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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 13

TSMC is investing $16 billion in a new advanced chip factory

Some interesting news has just appeared online, but first we'll tackle the business side of things. TSMC has said that it is investing a hefty $16 billion on creating a new chip factory, but there was some more interesting news that didn't seem to make the headlines.

 

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TSMC will never make a 20nm GPU, with the reasoning behind this is that there are very low yields associated with the big cores and high performance requirements. Starting next year the Taiwanese giant will switch over to 16nm FinFET, but it wants to shift into 10nm as early as late 2016.

 

Intel is another player in the 10nm business, where it has invested $6 billion in fabrication facilities over in Israel. The chipmaker has already invested into the R&D of 7nm, which should happen before 2020. TSMC shifting to 16nm and then 10nm so quickly is a pre-emptive move against Samsung and Globalfoundaries, which have just joined forces in the R&D side of things.

Microsoft scoops up calender app maker Sunrise for $100 million

Microsoft has reportedly acquire Sunrise, which is a calendar app maker for a swift $100 million. Both sides haven't confirmed the deal, but sources close to TechCrunch have said that the deal is wrapped up for over $100 million.

 

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Sunrise was founded in 2012, where it has since raised $8.2 million from investors like Balderton Capital, SV Angel and BoxGroup. But what can make it an attractive acquisition target for Microsoft? Well, Sunrise consolidates calendars from various providers, making them available on different platforms like iOS, Android and the web.

 

The acquisition of Sunrise by Microsoft is an interesting one, as it shows that Microsoft is happy to support other, competing operating systems. If Microsoft does indeed acquire Sunrise and continues development of the application for iOS and Android like it does for Office, it could eventually lead to great things.

Samsung will reportedly make 14nm chips for NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Apple

There are going to be big shifts in manufacturing nodes this year, with Samsung reportedly making 14nm FinFET chips for the three biggest players in the industry: NVIDIA, Apple and Qualcomm.

 

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Samsung will be capable of doing this as the company only reached an important breakthrough recently, which has allowed the South Korean giant to increase yields, and reduce costs. On top of this, TSMC has been experiencing various delays which have seen big companies having to shift over from TSMC to Samsung. Qualcomm also reportedly stopped their production of 16nm FinFET chips at TSMC just three weeks ago, jumping over to Samsung and its next-gen 14nm FinFET processors.

 

Apple's upcoming A9 processor will be based on its main competitors technology, with Samsung making the 14nm FinFET A9 processor. NVIDIA had originally partnered up with TSMC to make 16FF+ GPUs, but then we have the legal battle between Samsung and NVIDIA stepping in the way. We don't know if Samsung will choose to make its discrete GPUs using Samsung's next-gen 14nm node, but right now NVIDIA will be making its next-gen GPUs with TSMC on its 16FF+ process. NVIDIA will be having its Tegra processors made over at Samsung, however.

Samsung's marketing boss quits, before the launch of the Galaxy S6

It looks like Samsung is about to hit a bump in the road, with Kim Seok-pil resigning from his position as the executive in charge of the company's upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone.

 

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Seok-pil only joined the company in December, and was goign to take the company through the launch of the Galaxy S6, which should be unveiled on March 1. The launch of the upcoming flagship handset is being watched by many, after not-so-great things came from the Galaxy S5. December was a bad month for Samsung as it is, with multiple executives being laid off due to a planned restructuring process.

 

D.K. Lee left the company, with Seok-pil replacing him, but with Seok-pil now leaving the company, what happens now? For the meantime, Samsung Russia's boss, Lee Sang-chul will take over, until the South Korean giant can find a replacement.

Motorola sales are up 118% after Lenovo acquired the firm from Google

When Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility out from under Google's nose, we didn't know what would come of it. Well, increased sales is a huge part of that, with Lenovo's new FQ3 2014/5 results showing us just how well Motorola is doing.

 

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Motorola has sold over 10 million smartphones in the last quarter alone, which is up 118% from the same quarter of last year. We don't know the breakdown in numbers for the Moto X and Moto G, but we have to expect that those two phones have been selling rather well for the company. Lenovo is now positioning itself to launch Motorola into the Chinese market, which should see those numbers continue to climb.

 

Lenovo also expects Motorola to make a lot of money moving into the next four to six quarters (12-18 months), where as of this quarter the Mobile Business Group, of which Motorola operates within, posted an $89 million loss.

Bitcoin still not dead, but needs to better promote itself

The bitcoin cryptocurrency may be able to generate a large amount of buzz, but still has a major sales and marketing problem.

 

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"Bitcoin has a sales job to getting people to trust it, which is ironic because it was set up to be a trustless system," said Paul Vigna, co-author of "The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order, in a statement to CBS News. "It is sort of opaque and hard to understand and esoteric because it is so new."

 

Bitcoin won't go away any time soon, and there is around $50 million bitcoin-related transactions carried out per day. It's an extremely small figure compared to the entire financial market, but is an indicator that people remain interested.

Continue reading 'Bitcoin still not dead, but needs to better promote itself' (full post)

Rooster Teeth animator Monty Oum has died at 33 years of age

The Rooster Teeth community is in shock right now, with the creator of RWBY, Monty Oum, dying at the young age of 33. Oum died due to an extreme allergic reaction during a routine medical procedure. Oum fell into a coma, and never recovered, where he passed away at 4:34pm on February 1 "surrounded by people who loved him very much".

 

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Rooster Teeth has released a message to its fans, saying: "As for honoring Monty, we will do that in our own way. In lieu of flowers or gifts, we ask that you simply do something creative. Use your imagination to make the world a better place in any way that you can. If you know Monty like we do, then you know he would certainly be doing that if he were able to".

 

There's already a GoFundMe campaign that has been opened up, to help Oum's family with the medical costs. Our thoughts are with his family, as it's such a sad way to go. Did you enjoy Oum's work? Are you a fan of Red vs. Blue?

Sprint set to buy half of RadioShack stores, possibly close others

It looks like this is the end for RadioShack, as the company will sell almost half of its retail stores to Sprint, while the rest will be shuttered. Sprint will operate the RadioShack locations under its own brand name, according to sources.

 

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It's still possible Sprint and RadioShack won't finalize a deal, or something could change, with both companies previously discussing a co-branded retail effort.

 

There are about 4,300 RadioShack stores in North America, and half of those stores will close if the company is unable to entice another suitor. Employees have been ordered to slash prices and ship inventory other locations, in anticipation of future store closures.

Continue reading 'Sprint set to buy half of RadioShack stores, possibly close others' (full post)

Jay Z wants to buy Aspiro music streaming service for $56 million

Rap mogul Jay Z wants to expand his business empire even more, offering $56 million to purchase the Swedish Aspiro music streaming service. The Roc Nation entertainment company would receive additional exposure, in addition to acquiring Aspiro's WiMP and Tidal services.

 

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"The recent developments in the entertainment industry, with the migration to media streaming, offers great potential for increased entertainment consumption and an opportunity for artists to further promote their music," according to a statement from Jay Z's Project Panther.

 

Streaming Media OS, which owns 76 percent of the Aspiro brand, is expected to accept the deal - and helps Jay Z jump into the competitive, yet lucrative streaming music business. The streaming music business is booming - and while companies like Pandora and may struggle to create long-lasting revenue - it could make for a wise investment for Jay Z.

Microsoft is reportedly investing in Cyanogen, hurting Google

It looks like Microsoft will be a minority investor in a new round of funding for Cyanogen, shelling up $70 million for the company that makes its money making custom versions of Google's mobile OS, Android.

 

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that other companies and investors could jump in, throwing their hats into the ring for investment into Cyanogen, something that would take parts of Android's dominance away from Google. But with Microsoft sitting in the corner with its own mobile OS in Windows Phone, this is an interesting turn for the Redmond-based software giant.

 

With a market share of around 3%, Microsoft needs to claw some of that mobile OS market share away from Android and get people using its Windows Phone platform. Something we could see Microsoft do with an investment into Cyanogen is bake its Bing search engine into it, something that can't be done on an Android-based smartphone.

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