Google-More Custom Chips; Facebook’s Experimental Wrist Gadget; Trump Plots Launching Social Net; Micro EV Beating Tesla Model 3 Sales Last 60 DaysPosted: March 22, 2021
Apple has gone big in their own silicon, moving from iOS devices to Macs in the last year. Now, Google has announced that it is ‘doubling down’ on custom chips as well, as “one way to boost performance and efficiency now that Moore’s Law no longer provides rapid improvements for everyone.” According to 9to5google.com, the company is focused on Systems on Chip (SoC), where ‘multiple functions sit on the same chip, or on multiple chips inside one package,’ as opposed to on motherboards. Google plans to use the tech in servers as well as in their consumer hardware, like Pixel phones and Pixelbooks.
Facebook has not had the best luck with hardware…think the Facebook phone or their in-home screens that creepily follow you around the room so you can be on camera. Now, a new wearable is in the works…or at least being experimented with. Arstechnica.com reports that the wrist worn device senses nerve activity that controls your hands and fingers. They claim it could enable new types of human-computer interactions. Technically, it is called an electromyography device. It allows you to just flick your fingers in space to control virtual inputs, either to a VR headset or other device. Facebook is apparently trying to make it trainable…so it can sense the intention of your fingers, so actions could happen even when your hands are totally still. Don’t expect to see this gadget by Christmas…it could be 5 to 10 years out.
Ex-President Donald Trump has been holed up in the Bridal Suite at his Mar-a-Lago resort (mostly closed due to a COVID outbreak.) engadget.com says he’s scheming to start a new, Trump=branded social network in the next ‘two to three months.’ His aide Jason Miller claimed on Fox News it would ‘redefine the game,’ and attract millions of users. So far, the response from his supporters has ranged from tepid to angry. Many are complaining on actual social media that he should be planning to run for office again, not attempting to get into a business he knows nothing about. One feature that might kill the millions of users off before it even gets off the ground…he is apparently thinking of charging users to be on the platform!
A micro-sized EV has beat Tesla’s Model 3 in sales during January and February. It’s the Hong Guang Mini, made by a joint venture between China’s state-owned SAIC Motor, Wuling Motors, and General Motors. According to theverge.com, the Mini sold 36,000 units in January and 20,000 in February…compared to the Model 3’s 21,500 units in January and 13,500 in February. It sells in China for about $4500, and has a range of 106 miles on a charge…with the top speed being 62 mph! As a short distance commuter car, it might work, but if you look at a photo, the claim that its seats 4 adults is laughable. It appears to be the size of a Smart Car. In gross numbers, a big win…but as a practical matter, Tesla probably doesn’t have much to worry about with their vast range superiority…not to mention size and capacity.