Recent stories in tech seem to center around a widening of the gap between successful and unsuccessful companies. Nowhere is this story more true than in the world of semiconductor manufacturing, and Samsung re-asserted its dominance early this week when it released the highest density DRAM memory chip to date. Their continued success is shared by the top fab companies, who simply can't make enough chips for the voracious appetite of the fabless trying to monopolize on a particularly hot mobile market. UMC, Taiwan's (and the world's) second largest chip manufacturer, broke ground on the first third of a three-part project investing an $8 billion in developing 12" wafer process -- when this project comes to fruition UMC will be able to play chip-fab with the big kids in the playground.
the middle class gets smartphones,
Many of those Taiwan-made chips are likely to end up just across the waters in China, as Apple is tries hard to break into an as-of-yet untapped Chinese market. The incorporation of new Qualcomm chips should make iPhones available on the Chinese wireless networks, and the race is on between Samsung and Apple to see which "fancy new handset" can capture the hearts of the world's largest mobile market. Addressing the problems that eventual market saturation might cause in China (as it already does in America), researchers in Nanyang revealed a new wireless transmission technology, demonstrating transmission speeds up to 1000x faster than Bluetooth. Telecom giant Huawei also chimed in, answering FCC calls for more small-cell transmission technology to alleviate global mobile network traffic congestion.
the poor get poorer -- but at least they're working on it,
Once-great PC manufactures, both Dell and HP posted disappointing quarter results earlier this week amidst large-scale corporate restructuring. To the dismay of America's job-hungry public, HP's new CEO also announced some serious job cuts -- 27,000 over the next year. Motorola also got a new CEO recently, kicking off a technology partnership unlike any the world has ever seen.
and the rest of us are all just looking at stars -- or is that just the space station?
Though not strictly tech news, per se, I would be amiss to neglect a major step in human space history. This morning SpaceX's Dragon capsule became the first private spacecraft to successfully dock with the International Space Station, ushering in an exciting new era of privatized space travel. If you had a million dollars -- what thousand-pound package would you send to the ISS?