Worldwide semiconductor spending to dip 0.7% in 2016

GartnerWorldwide semiconductor capital spending is expected to slide 0.7 percent in 2016, to US$64.3 billion, according to Gartner. This is up from the estimated 2 percent decline in Gartner’s previous quarterly forecast.

“Economic instability, inventory excess, weak demand for PC’s, tablets, and mobile products in the past three years has caused slow growth for the semiconductor industry. This slowdown in electronic product demand has driven semiconductor device manufacturers to be conservative in increasing production,” said David Christensen, Senior Research Analyst of Gartner.

“Looking ahead, it appears the second half of 2016 may see improved demand. However, following Brexit, semiconductor inventory levels may rise in the third and fourth quarters, which could lead to reduced production volumes,” he added.

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Mastercard sports new logo

Mastercard new logoMastercard has unveiled a new brand identity and logo to be aligned with its position as a forward-thinking, human-centred technology company.

“To thrive in this new digital world where business moves faster than ever, we want to modernise and elevate the brand in a design that is simple and elegant, yet unquestionably Mastercard. We’ve been on a fantastic trajectory, with digital technology being an increasingly important part of our business. Now it’s time for our brand to embody the company we’ve become,” said Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Mastercard.

Designing a brand mark to work seamlessly across all digital platforms, retail channels and connected-devices, while preserving its heritage was key to the overall effort, which also includes the most comprehensive brand design system ever introduced globally within Mastercard. The evolved brand identity will be rolled out across Mastercard beginning in Fall.

Enterprises driving AR market

Pokemon GoPokemon Go is taking the world by storm with its use of augmented reality (AR). The craze has received widespread publicity across the world as hordes of people go around in search of Pokemon using their mobile devices.

AR is also set to leave footprint in the enterprise market. ABI Research forecasts that AR in enterprise will explode over the next five years, as the technology will add functionality to existing workforces that was not previously possible, with remote assistance to be the primary use case.

Combined with increased safety and efficiency, this will drive investors and project managers to explore AR with smart glasses applications in the healthcare, industry, and government market segments forecast to hit 27 million shipments by 2021.

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NVIDIA springs Titan X surprise

New_NVIDIA_TITAN_XJust when we thought NVIDIA was done with the Pascal range of GPUs with the benchmark release of the GeForce GTX 1060 early this week, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang pulled off a major surprise with the announcement of the new NVIDIA Titan X at an artificial intelligence meeting in Stanford University.

The new NVIDIA Titan X, based on the new Pascal GPU architecture, is the biggest GPU ever built with a record-breaking 3,584 CUDA cores.

Here are the numbers that matter:

  • 11 TFLOPS FP32
  • 44 TOPS INT8 (new deep learning inferencing instruction)
  • 12B transistors
  • 3,584 CUDA cores at 1.53GHz (versus 3,072 cores at 1.08GHz in previous TITAN X)
  • Up to 60 percent faster performance than previous TITAN X
  • High performance engineering for maximum overclocking
  • 12 GB of GDDR5X memory (480 GB/s)

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Security software market up 3.7% in 2015

GartnerWorldwide security software revenue hit US$22.1 billion in 2015, a 3.7 percent increase in from 2014, according to Gartner.

Security information and event management (SIEM) remained the fastest-growing segment in 2015, with 15.8 percent growth, while consumer security software showed the sharpest decline at 5.9 percent year on year.

In 2015, the top five vendors together accounted for 37.6 percent of the security software revenue market share, down 3.1 percentage points from 2014. These vendors also displayed a collective decline of 4.2 percent in 2015, while the rest of the market (Others) grew strongly at 9.2 percent year on year.

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7.5m cellular smartwatches to ship in 2016

Seven and a half million smartwatches with cellular connectivity will ship in 2016, rising to 53.6 million in 2020, according to Canalys. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 63 percent from 2016 to 2020.

In the short term, shipments are likely to be driven by a new Apple Watch with cellular connectivity. Samsung and LG have been very aggressive in bringing new cellular technologies to market, with smart watches such as the Gear S2 classic 3G/4G and the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, and will also play significant roles. Both the Tizen and Android Wear smart watch platforms already support cellular connectivity.

‘The phase 2 eSIM specification will enable more independent smart watches with a smoother user experience around cellular connectivity. Users will soon be able to easily choose among cellular providers and pay for monthly service. Many more smart watches with LTE and GPS/GNSS will also be released this year, thanks to the availability of new LTE Category 1 chipsets,” said Daniel Matte, Analyst of Canalys.

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Worldwide IT spending to be flat in 2016

GartnerWorldwide IT spending is forecast to be flat in 2016, totaling US$3.41 trillion, according to Gartner, Inc. This is up from last quarter’s forecast of negative 0.5 percent growth. The change in the forecast is mainly due to currency fluctuations.

“The current Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast assumes that the UK would not exit the European Union. With the UK’s exit, there will likely be an erosion in business confidence and price increases which will impact UK, Western Europe and worldwide IT spending,” said John-David Lovelock, Research Vice President of Gartner.

While the UK has embarked on a process to change, that change is yet to be defined. The “leave” vote will quickly affect IT spending in the UK and in Europe while other changes will take longer. Staff may be the largest immediate issue. The long-term uncertainty in work status will make the UK less attractive to new foreign workers. Retaining current non-UK staff and having less access to qualified new hires from abroad will impair UK IT Departments.

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