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Showing posts with label Other News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Other News. Show all posts

Facebook investigated for the acquisitions of WhatsApp, Instagram and other companies



If you can't beat them, allies or, better yet, buy them . It is an extreme synthesis, but it gives an idea of ​​the suspicions about the anticompetitive practices that led the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to the decision to investigate the work of Facebook in relation to the numerous acquisitions made over the years. Those of WhatsApp (in 2014) and Instagram (in 2012) are the best known, but are placed in a more articulated strategy through which the company of Mark Zuckerberg has incorporated about 90 companies in the last 15 years.

The purpose of the investigation, which is now brought to the media's attention by The Wall Street Journal , is to establish the exact motivation that prompted Facebook to start such a massive '' buying campaign ' ': it was motivated by the legitimate desire to strengthen the resources at its disposal and to expand business activities or the desire to eliminate potential competitors?

Facebook obviously favors the first hypothesis: during the convening at the United States Congress on 16 July as part of the important Antitrust investigation against web giants , Matt Perault , head of Global Policy Development at Facebook, said that these operations they gave an impulse to innovation and allowed to bring together companies with peculiarities and complementary strengths. The startups and companies that joined Facebook, according to Perault:

as part of Facebook they had more chances to innovate than they would have had on their own.


Among the acquisitions that could be passed under the magnifying glass of the FTC is that of 2013 by Onavo Mobile : as recalled by the US daily, Facebook has used its technology to collect data in order to identify promising companies or new product categories /services. The acquisition of WhatsApp would have been decided precisely by analyzing the data collected by the Onavo Protect app, removed in recent months from the Play Store .

We will have to wait for the outcome of the investigations conducted by the FTC to establish whether the Facebook strategy violates the competition rules. If the social network giant were found guilty, various scenarios would open up: from the cancellation of some of the acquisitions - it is an idea supported by a certain part of the US political class , and not only in relation to Facebook - to the application of limits to the use of acquired resources.

A new difficult period is on the horizon for Facebook, after the record $ 5 billion fine that the FTC ordered last July . 


Qualcomm and Tencent together for 5G and mobile gaming


Qualcomm and Tencent will collaborate in the mobile gaming sector : in practice, the two companies will optimize the performance of TenCent games on some Qualcomm chips, and will produce a 5G version of the ASUS ROG Phone 2 ( Video Preview ). The involvement of the Chinese company in the development of ASUS's recent gaming smartphone was already evident with the announcement of a special variant , precisely "TenCent Edition", characterized by more conservative memory cuts and an extremely attractive price.

The Qualcomm SoCs affected by the initiative are those that fall under the Snapdragon Elite Gaming program - a subset of processors that, according to the manufacturer, guarantee maximum performance to video game enthusiasts. The brand was inaugurated a few months ago, and currently includes the only Snapdragon 855 , the top-of-the-line chip that we have seen in most of this year's flagships.

The decision to collaborate in the creation of a ROG Phone 2 5G is particularly important for TenCent, which is developing a mobile cloud gaming service. The greater speed of the network, added to the lower latencies, will be crucial for the success of the initiative.

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Huawei, Kirin top range with integrated 5G modem later this year | Rumor



Huawei could present two top-of-the-line SoCs by the end of the year: in addition to the already planned Kirin 985 , whose debut should take place with the launch of Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro , a chip with an integrated 5G modem would be coming ; it would be the first on the market, given that so far all processors with support for 5G networks rely on external modems mounted on the motherboard. For example, staying at Huawei, the Mate 20 X uses a normal Kirin 980 with integrated 4G modem, while 5G connectivity is guaranteed by the "external" Balong 5000 modem .

The solution of the external modem is naturally temporary for everyone. It allowed the arrival of 5G more quickly, but it has important negative aspects to take into account, including greater consumption and more space occupied on the motherboard - and in a smartphone every square millimeter is precious.

The indiscretion, which comes from the respected Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei , does not dwell on the possible technical details of the new SoC. We do not know if Huawei will be able to keep the Kirin 985 features unchanged and simply include a 5G modem instead of the 4G one, or it will have to compromise. Also for this chip, however, the debut should take place on a Mate, specifically the 5G variant of the 30 , whose presentation is scheduled for December .

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Chinese division Alibaba reveals its first IoT-focused chip


Known for being one of the leading companies in China and standing out in the e-commerce market, Alibaba has announced that it has officially begun developing its first IoT processor.

Named Piegtouge Xuantie 910, the new chip is based on RISC-V, an open-source architecture developed by a consortium of researchers and technology companies, serving the simplest functions, especially for internet access.

The main advantage of betting on RISC-V as opposed to buying some patented option is precisely to avoid the risks of government sanctions that may occur sometime in the future, similar to what happened to Huawei when the US government decided to embark on making it difficult to negotiate with ARM.

"Chinese companies that rely on RISC-V need not rely on vendors like Arm or Intel. There is no threat of them losing access to a fundamental part of this design." - Stewart Randall, who monitors China's semiconductor industry at Intralink Consulting 

 According to Alibaba, the intention is to obtain royalties from its intellectual property by making the technology available to chip makers. However, it is confirmed that some of their code will be made available in the well-known GitHub developer repository to stimulate the creation of chip-related applications at some point in the future.

For now, there is no information about the arrival of products with this embedded chip and whether there are already companies working with Alibaba for launch in the near future.

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Apple announces acquisition of Intel's cellular modem business for a billion dollars


Earlier this week, it was reported that Apple would be acquiring Intel's smartphone modem business. Today, Apple announced the billion-dollar deal. The original report was pretty spot-on, with the deal being worth $1B and it including patents, employees, and equipment. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

“This agreement enables us to focus on developing technology for the 5G network while retaining critical intellectual property and modem technology that our team has created,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan. “We have long respected Apple and we’re confident they provide the right environment for this talented team and these important assets moving forward. We’re looking forward to putting our full effort into 5G where it most closely aligns with the needs of our global customer base, including network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and cloud service providers.”

With this deal, 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple, and the company says that it will now hold more than 17,000 wireless technology patents, now that it has absorbed Intel's patents.

Interestingly, Intel will still be able to make cellular modems, just not for smartphones. That means that if you buy a PC that connects to a 4G LTE network, it could have an Intel modem.

But Intel's entire cellular business has been struggling. Back in February, Intel announced that its 5G modem would be delayed until 2020. After Apple and Qualcomm settled their legal disputes, Intel said it was canceling its 5G plans altogether, just hours later. 5G PCs are coming next year, and Intel clearly won't be a part of that, so while the firm can continue to make modems for PCs, it clearly won't be a part of that next generation.

While today's deal should give Apple what it needs to get involved with 5G without relying on Qualcomm, don't expect to see it this year. After all, new iPhones will be announced in about a month and a half, and this deal won't be finalized until the fourth quarter of this year. 2020 or 2021 seems more likely for a 5G iPhone, and most customers won't have access to the technology until then anyway.

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