Technology Roundup – Microsoft’s new PC security tech coming to Intel, AMD chips; Huawei sells Honor brand to ensure survival
Microsoft’s new PC security tech coming to Intel, AMD chips
Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) new Pluton security technology embeds on a computer’s CPU. The on-chip security would require a potential hacker to have access to the machine, an advantage over easier to access software-based security.
Pluton was designed by in-house chip engineers using similar technology as what appears in the Xbox consoles.
Intel (INTC -0.4%) and AMD (AMD -0.5%) will have chips with Pluton ready within the next couple of years. Qualcomm (QCOM -0.5%) supports the general design but hasn’t said it will use Pluton in its chips.
Microsoft plans to expand into more in-house chip offerings, but doesn’t plan general purpose chips that would compete with Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm.
Huawei sells Honor brand to ensure survival
Huawei Technologies is selling its budget brand smartphone unit Honor to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology.
Once the sale is complete, Huawei will not hold any shares or be involved in any business management in the new Honor company.
The deal comes after U.S. Government sanctions have restricted supplies to the Chinese company on grounds the firm is a national security threat – which it denies.
In a statement, the company said its consumer business has been under “tremendous pressure” due to the “persistent unavailability of technical elements” for its phone business.
This move has been made by Honor’s industry chain to ensure its own survival. Over 30 agents and dealers of the Honor brand first proposed this acquisition.
Facebook and Twitter CEOs testify in latest round of Tech vs. Congress
It’s only been three weeks since Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s (NYSE:TWTR) Jack Dorsey testified in Congress, but the two executives are heading under the spotlight again this morning.
In this round, the Senate Judiciary Committee will press the tech titans on “Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election” in what’s likely to be another multi-hour hearing of assorted grievances.
The last hearing, by the Senate Commerce Committee, was about reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, but the pressing policy issue barely came up and morphed into ongoing complaints about bias on the platforms.
Things may get hotter this time around as it’s the first grilling of social media leaders since the election, with President Trump continuing to use social platforms to make claims of voter fraud and contest Joe Biden’s victory.
The hearing goes live on C-SPAN at 10 a.m. ET.
TSMC shares dip as rival Samsung invests $116B in next-gen chp battle
Samsung (OTC:SSNNF,OTC:SSNLF) is investing $116B into next-gen 3nm chips to reach mass production by 2022. Foundry giant and rival TSMC (NYSE:TSM) also has a goal of ramping 3nm production two years from now.
TSMC will be using the established FinFET structure for its 3nm production, but Samsung is betting on the more advanced Gate-All-Around technique.
Samsung’s goal was revealed by a foundry senior executive at an event last month, but the news is only now becoming public via Bloomberg.
If Samsung is able to push production ahead of TSMC, the company could woo away lucrative major clients like Apple and AMD.
Last year, TSMC held more than half of the contracting chipmaking market vs. the 18% share for Samsung, according to TrendForce data.
TSM shares are down 1.2% pre-market to $98.10.
Autodesk inks agreement to acquire Spacemaker for $240M
Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) to acquire Spacemaker for $240M net of cash.
Based in Oslo, Norway, Spacemaker uses cloud-based, AI, and generative design to help architects, urban designers, and real estate developers make decisions faster and enables improved opportunities for sustainability.
The acquisition of Spacemaker provides ADSK with a powerful platform to drive modern, user-centric automation and accelerate outcome-based design capabilities for architects.
The transaction expected to close during Q421, ending Jan. 31, 2021.