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Intel warns of two-year chip shortage

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CEO Pat Gelsinger has warned the worst of the global chip crisis is yet to come, after Intel reported flat revenues for 2021.

The chip shortage, caused by a combination of the pandemic, global supply shortages and poor relations between the US and China is likely to last well into 2023, according to Gelsinger.

The company reported a slight two percent YoY revenue rise for the second quarter of the year, from $18.2 billion to $18.5 billion. It forecasts a 5.4% revenue increase for Q3, as well as a modest full-year growth of one percent to $73.5 billion. 

What is big tech doing?

Intel is set to announce the construction of new semiconductor factories in Europe and the US, after the Biden administration announced $52 billion of infrastructure spending to combat the shortage.

The firm’s recently embarked upon IDM 2.0 strategy combines internal manufacturing capacity with the use of third-party producers, which positions the company to weather the challenges and build a more resilient supply chain.

Roughly 25% of Intel’s revenue is tied up in China, which Gelsinger says has “an insatiable thirst for technology that helps them digitise their economy”.

He said he hoped that Intel could be “as influential as possible” in bringing back good relations between the US and China.

In its roadmap to 2025, Intel also announced a move to smaller, more powerful semiconductors to combat chip shortages

The company aims to move away from naming its chip tech using nanometres – which they originally used to name the small spaces between transistors, but has since become a marketing term.

“It’s a lot of years since we were actually measuring physical dimensions,” says Gelsinger, acknowledging that the “industry has drifted away from how Intel looked at it.”

“It’s a new era of 3D structures and atomic level devices,” he says, citing new architecture and power delivery networks that he hopes will drive the firm forward in the coming decade.

find out more about the global chip shortage here

Business

Four-day office week for Snapchat employees

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Snapchat is asking workers to return to the office 80% of the time, or the equivalent of four days a week.

They want workers back from the start of next year.

It’s the latest sign of tech employees receiving less flexibility nearly three years after the pandemic took hold.

It also comes amid a wave of cost-cutting in the tech sector.

The company says in a statement: “We believe that being together in person, while retaining flexibility for our team members, will enhance our ability to deliver on our strategic priorities of growing our community, driving revenue growth, and leading in [augmented reality].”

The new policy will take effect at the end of February.

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Twitter quietly cancels COVID misinformation policy

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More big changes at Twitter under the new Elon Musk ownership.

This time, its Twitter’s controversial COVID misinformation policy, which the social platform has quietly canceled.

Twitter said in December 2020 that it would begin to label and remove misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

But Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been a vocal critic of how health officials reacted to the coronavirus pandemic.

Musk has committed to free speech on Twitter, which might explain why the change has now been enacted.

But online safety experts have contended his approach has led to an increase in hate speech, harassment and misinformation on the platform.

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Hospital staff have resorted to using pen and paper following cyber breach

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Vanuatu’s public service remains offline nearly a month after a ransomware attack on the nation’s government.

The ABC reports hospital staff have resorted to using pen and paper, as key infrastructure remains offline.

Senior ministers describing the incident as a “serious breach” of national security.

Cybersecurity staff were told about the attack when government websites became unavailable.

Port Vila’s hospital has also been badly affected, with staff using pen and paper for some medical records.

It’s understood some government employees are using their personal email addresses and hotspots to complete their work.

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