Japanese Renesas Electronics Corporation, a leading supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, on Wednesday announced a strategic partnership with Tata Motors and Tejas Networks Ltd (a Tata Group company) to design, develop and manufacture semiconductor solutions.
The aim is to enhance innovation across electronics systems for the Indian and emerging markets.
Renesas will collaborate with Tejas for implementing next-generation wireless network solutions, including the design and development of semiconductor solutions for radio units (RU) used in telecom networks, from 4G, 5G, to open radio access network (O-RAN) for the 5G era.
Additionally, Renesas and Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) will establish a joint innovation center in Bengaluru.
"We see great potential in collaborating with Renesas in areas like automotive electronics and present and future telecom networks. The collaboration will accelerate our presence in these areas in India as well as globally," said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman, of Tata Sons.
The companies recently announced the next-generation EV Innovation Center (NEVIC), jointly established by Renesas and Tata Group's Tata Elxsi, in March.
The companies will collaborate on developing next-generation automotive electronics to drive leadership performance and scalability for vehicles.
The companies said they aim to roll out products and solutions initially for India and aim to expand their footprint in the global markets.
"This partnership brings two industry-leading companies closer together, creating numerous benefits," said Hidetoshi Shibata, President and CEO of Renesas.
"Renesas and Tata will support the acceleration of progress in advanced electronics and its multitudes of applications for the Indian and emerging markets, which sets us both on a path for continued success," he added.
The planned innovation centre in Bengaluru will focus on comprehensive system solutions for the internet of things (IoT), Infrastructure, Industrial and Automotive segments by leveraging Renesas' semiconductor solutions and TCS' industry experience.
Google on Tuesday rolled out Earth Engine, a leading technology for planetary-scale environmental monitoring, to businesses and governments worldwide as an enterprise-grade service through Google Cloud.
Google Earth Engine, which originally was launched to scientists and NGOs in 2010, combines data from hundreds of satellites and earth observation datasets with powerful cloud computing to show timely, accurate, high-resolution insights about the state of the world's habitats and ecosystems -- and how they're changing over time.
The technology will be available free of cost to government researchers, least-developed countries, tribal nations and news organisations. And it will remain available at no cost for non-profit organisations, research scientists, and other impact users for their non-commercial and research projects, Google said in a statement.
Earth Engine will also be available to startups that are a part of the Google for Startups Cloud Programme. Through this initiative, we provide funded startups with access to dedicated mentors, industry experts, product and technical support, and Cloud cost coverage (up to $100,000) for each of the first two years and more.
This technology comes at a time when Earth is facing existential climate threats -- a growing crisis already manifesting in extreme weather events, coupled with the loss of nature resulting from human activities such as deforestation.
Last October, the tech giant announced a preview of Earth Engine in Google Cloud. Since then Google has been working with dozens of companies and organisations across industries -- from consumer packaged goods and insurance companies to agriculture technology and the public sector -- to use Earth Engine's satellite imagery and geospatial data in incredible ways.
This includes Regrow, a company that helps large consumer packaged goods corporations decarbonise their agricultural practices, which started using Earth Engine to report and verify regenerative and sustainable techniques.
Through Earth Engine's analysis of historical and satellite imagery, Regrow could generate granular field data at the state or country levels across millions of acres of farmland around the world.
Further, it also helped SC Johnson, a manufacturer of household cleaning supplies, to develop a publicly accessible, predictive model of when and where mosquito populations are emerging nationwide.
The forecast accounts for billions of individual weather data points and over 60 years of mosquito knowledge in forecasting models.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Foxconn's Chairman Young Liu and hailed the company's electronics manufacturing plans in the country.
"Glad to meet Mr. Young Liu, Chairman, Foxconn. I welcome their plans for expanding electronics manufacturing capacity in India, including in semiconductors," Modi said in a tweet.
The Taiwan-based company is also planning to set up an EV manufacturing plant in India.
Foxconn's EV manufacturing arm, Foxtron, is planning to set up manufacturing plants at various locations in southeast Asia, including India.
"Our push for EV manufacturing is in line with our commitment of Net Zero Emission," the prime minister said in the tweet.
Liu also met Akarsh Hebbar, Vedanta Group's Global Managing Director of Display and Semiconductor Business, to discuss next steps for their proposed partnership to manufacture semiconductor chips in the country.
Vedanta and Foxconn signed an MoU in February to form a joint venture company in India.
Vedanta will hold 60 per cent of the equity in the JV while Foxconn will own 40 per cent.
"The Vedanta-Foxconn partnership will, in the coming years, arrest the electronic component import bill of around $100 billion. Vedanta and Foxconn are in discussion with some state governments, to finalise the location of semiconductor units soon," the companies said in a statement.
This is the first joint venture in the electronics manufacturing space after the announcement of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for semiconductors and display manufacturing.
Vedanta is planning to invest around $15 billion in a phase-wise manner over the next 5-10 years to build displays and semiconductor chips in India.
The JV will look at setting up a semiconductor manufacturing plant in the next two years, said the companies.
India, which aims to become a global semiconductor hub in coming years, is set to pump $30 billion into its technology sector to achieve independence on chips so that it isn't "held hostage" to global suppliers.
The Indian government recently announced an outlay of Rs 76,000 crore (around $10 billion), under its production linked incentive (PLI) scheme, separately for the development of a semiconductor and display manufacturing electronics ecosystem.
In the last few years, India has been actively promoting cooperation with Taiwan in trade, investment, tourism, culture, education, and people-to-people exchanges. Both the countries have also constituted teams for the expansion of fruitful collaboration in education and skill development.
The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and data utilisation strategy can add $500 billion to India's GDP by 2025, a new Nasscom report showed on Thursday.
The AI adoption in four key sectors -- BFSI, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail, healthcare, and industrials/automotive -- can contribute 60 percent of the total $ 500 billion opportunities, according to "AI Adoption Index" Nasscom, EY and Microsoft, EXL and Capgemini.
Though the current rate of AI investments in India is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.8 per cent and poised to reach $881 million by 2023, it will still represent just 2.5 per cent of the total global AI investments of $340 billion.
This creates a massive opportunity for Indian enterprises to accelerate investments and the adoption of AI to drive equitable growth across sectors.
For India to achieve its $1 trillion GDP goal by FY 2026-2027, it needs to have a strong correlation to the maturity of AI adoption, the report noted.
"The pandemic has made it absolutely time-critical for organisations to move from data & technology silos to building specialised AI capabilities at scale across sectors combined with a structured data utilisation strategy," said Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom.
With rapidly scaled digitalisation, Indian enterprises have already embarked on their AI journey.
As per the report, 65 percent of organisations have AI strategy defined either at a functional or enterprise level.
With a burgeoning number of STEM graduates and digital natives, India is one of the biggest talent hubs for AI.
India currently is the second-largest global hub in training and hiring AI talent.
"However, rapid growth in AI applications has led to a surge in hiring for AI professionals. While the talent pipeline has grown over the past two years, a rapid jump in talent demand has caused a supply demand gap," said the report.
As per the findings, 44 percent of businesses already have a dedicated or a cross-functional AI team structure, while 25 percent rely fully on outsourcing as their primary source for AI talent.
India's healthcare market has grown 3 times from $110 billion in 2016 to $372 billion in 2022, driven by increasing investments in cutting-edge healthcare technologies.
The use of AI in improving healthcare systems can potentially generate $25 billion of economic value added for India by 2025, the report noted.
Global VC firm Accel has announced a new $4 billion later-stage fund to provide expansion capital to promising companies within its own portfolio worldwide, as well as other aspiring firms.
Accel set up local teams and establish a deep presence in exciting regions such as Europe (since 2000) and India (since 2008).
The VC firm has a sizable presence in India and has invested in companies like Flipkart (now Walmart-owned), Freshworks, Swiggy, Spinny, Vedantu, Zetwerk, Infra.Market, Moglix, Browserstack and others.
In March this year, Accel announced its seventh India fund with $650 million.
"Our decades-long experience has also taught us the importance of patience and discipline - especially during periods of volatility and change like we are experiencing today," Accel said in a statement late on Tuesday.
"With that in mind, we are announcing the close of a $4 billion global, later-stage fund. This fund is a critical element in our global strategy," the firm said.
The $4 billion fund also complements its early-stage and growth-stage funds where "we will stay focused on being the first partner to Seed, Series A, and bootstrapped or lightly-capitalized businesses".
Other companies where Accel has invested in include Atlassian (Sydney), Celonis (Munich), Chainalysis (New York), CrowdStrike (Irvine), Slack (Vancouver), Spotify (Stockholm), UiPath (Bucharest) and dozens more.
"Through this prepared approach, we can strip away competing distractions and focus on helping these exceptional teams build defining companies," said the VC firm.
China on Wednesday sent a new satellite into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.
The Tianxing-1 test satellite was launched by a Kuaizhou-1A carrier rocket at 10:08 a.m. (Beijing Time) and entered the planned orbit, Xinhua news agency reported.
The satellite is mainly used for experiments such as space environment detection.
It was the 15th flight mission of the Kuaizhou-1A rockets, according to the launch center.
The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) and the Energy Ministry have announced support for testing three chosen innovative energy technologies developed by Israeli companies.
The purpose of the grants is to promote the economy and develop Israeli hi-tech in the fields of energy and water, while dealing with the climate crisis and reducing pollution, said a joint statement issued by the Ministry and the IIA on Sunday.
The total support amounts to 3.3 million shekels ($950,000), up to 50 per cent of the cost of each testing project, Xinhua news agency reported.
The first technology, developed by the energy storage company Augwind, creates an energy system from renewable sources, using clean storage and aiding in energy efficiency as well as compressed air supply to factories, the statement added.
The second project will test an ultra-fast charging system, developed by Zooz Power company, for an electric vehicle based on a charging accelerator, which allows for an additional driving range of about 200 km in just 15 minutes of charging, it said.
The third technology to be tested, developed by Siasol Eyes company, monitors faults in solar panels. It is based on a thermographic review using a drone which flies above solar farms throughout the country, it added.
TikTok has clarified that it is not interested in copying Facebook as it is not a social network but an entertainment platform, as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeks to make Facebook and Instagram to be more like TikTok.
Blake Chandlee, TikTok's president of global business solutions, told CNBC that Facebook is a social platform.
"They've built all their algorithms based on the social graph. That is their core competency. Ours is not," Chandlee was quoted as saying.
"We are an entertainment platform. The difference is significant. It's a massive difference," he added.
TikTok is owned by China's ByteDance, as is gaining popularity among teens all over the world.
To take on TikTok, Meta-owned Instagram is testing out a new full-screen mode for its feed and an updated navigation bar.
The test, which has been rolled out to "a limited number of people" according to Meta spokesperson Seine Kim, is the latest effort from the platform to compete with TikTok when it comes to social video.
Facebook employees have reportedly been directed by the senior executives to change the platform's algorithms to make it more like its arch Chinese rival TikTok that is gaining immense popularity among the teenagers.
The other directive to employees is that years after Messenger and Facebook split up as separate apps, the two will be brought back together, mimicking TikTok's messaging functionality.
The company realises that its short-form video platform Reels is not enough to threaten TikTok.
TikTok users are spending more time on the app than ever before.
The government IT spending in India is likely to reach $9.5 billion in 2022, an increase of 12.1 per cent from last year, a new report said on Monday.
Software will continue to be the highest growing segment in India this year, followed by IT services.
"Contrary to the worldwide spending, all segments will experience growth in 2022 in India," said Apeksha Kaushik, principal analyst at Gartner.
Now, governments are executing innovative activities by harnessing technology to streamline digital services, advance automation processes and evolve citizen experiences and building a data fabric.
Global government IT spending is likely to reach $565.7 billion in 2022, an increase of 5 per cent from 2021.
Continuing the trend from 2021, software is forecast to record the strongest growth across all segments in 2022.
As legacy modernization continues to be a priority in government organizations, growth in the data center systems segment will continue to slow though the forecast period, the report mentioned.
"Governments are executing innovative activities by harnessing technology to streamline digital services, advance automation processes and evolve citizen experiences," said Daniel Snyder, director analyst at Gartner.
Spending on telecom services is set to decrease in 2022 as governments reduce spending on expensive legacy systems in favour of digital service delivery models.
Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) is gaining popularity across government organizations as it provides better return on investment normalising IT spend over time making budgeting for IT more predictable.
"The pandemic sped up public-sector adoption of cloud solutions and the XaaS model for accelerated legacy modernization and new service implementations," said Kaushik.
With the ongoing talent challenges facing organizations, XaaS makes it easier for government organizations to find the right talent via XaaS operating models.
Announced at tech giant Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2022, the all-new iOS 16 has introduced a new feature that allows an eSIM to be transferred between iPhones via Bluetooth while setting up cellular service.
According to MacRumors, in the Settings app on an iPhone running iOS 16, tapping on "Set up eSIM" brings up an option to transfer an eSIM and its associated phone number from another iPhone via Bluetooth.
To transfer an eSIM from another iPhone, Apple said to make sure the other iPhone is nearby, unlocked, has Bluetooth turned on, and is running iOS 16 or later.
The feature appears to be available in multiple countries, including the US and the UK, but it is only possible to complete Bluetooth transfers of eSIMs issued by carriers that support the feature.
Given that iOS 16 was only announced a few days ago and is currently in beta, carrier support may be limited right now, the report said.
Apple also continues to provide the more traditional option of setting up an eSIM by scanning a QR code provided by a carrier.
An eSIM is a digital SIM that allows users to activate a cellular plan from a carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM card. A single eSIM is available on the iPhone XS and is newer, while all four iPhone 13 models support dual eSIMs.
The first beta of iOS 16 was seeded to developers earlier this week, and a public beta will be available in July.
The tech giant said iOS 16 will be released in the fall, at which point this new eSIM transfer feature will be available to all users.
Edtech startup PhysicsWallah has raised $100 million in Series A funding from Westbridge and GSV Ventures, becoming India's 101st unicorn and the first edtech player to achieve this milestone, the company announced on Tuesday.
Once the transaction is completed, the company will be valued at $1.1 billion, it said in a statement.
PhysicsWallah said it will utilise these funds raised for business expansion, branding, opening more learning centres, and introducing more course offerings.
"We are delighted to join the unicorn bandwagon with this latest funding. This development will help us further our vision and implement new initiatives to augment the learning journeys of students, thereby enabling them to reach new heights in their careers," said Alakh Pandey, Founder, and CEO, in a statement.
Founded in 2016 by renowned YouTube STEM educator Alakh Pandey and later joined by tech executive Prateek Maheshwari, PhysicsWallah offers online and offline courses and study materials for JEE, NEET and other engineering entrance and state board exams. The platform offers live classes, video lectures, test series and dynamic exercises for the aforementioned exams.
The edtech platform currently has 5.2 million Play Store downloads with a 4.7 rating and 6.9 million subscribers on YouTube.
The firm currently has 1900 employees, including 500 teachers and 90-100 tech experts. It also has 200 associate professors available to answer student queries and another 200 professionals to create exam questions and term papers.
The new funding announcement comes amid a downturn of edtech players in India, with many including BYJU's-led WhiteHat Jr, Unacademy cost-cutting and laying off employees due to fund crunch.
"The company has been profitable since inception with positive cash flows and reserves," said Pandey. "Our revenue grew 9-fold in the year 2021-2022 vis-a-vis 2020-2021. Our current run rate for FY2023 is at $65 Million," he added.
Aiming to reach every corner of the country and connect with 250 million+ students by 2025, PhysicsWallah is also gearing up to launch educational content in 9 vernacular languages, including Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Odia, Malayalam, and Kannada.
The firm is also looking to bridge the accessibility gap by opening 20 offline coaching classrooms across India. PhysicsWallah has established more than 20 centres across 18 cities with more than 10,000 students enrolled for 2022-2023 session.