Entries by admin

The Journey of Wi-Fi: So Far and Beyond

The ever increasing use of mobile and handheld electronic devices, smart home appliances, and widespread adoption of work-from-home, telemedicine and online education, especially after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, have made Wi-Fi ubiquitous. Not only for Internet services in residences, offices, and commercial areas, Wi-Fi is now being utilized by various telecom operators to provide […]

Centre’s PLI scheme attracts Rs 1300 crore investment from top mobile makers

In a resounding success for Centre’s production linked incentive scheme (PLI), the top mobile manufacturers have invested over Rs 1,300 crore and produced goods worth around Rs 35,000 crore in the 2020 December quarter, the ministry of commerce and industries said on Wednesday.According to the ministry, the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for large scale electronics manufacturing was notified on April 1, 2020, under which incentives 4% to 6% incentives were announced on incremental sales for a period of five years subsequent to the base year.
The Union government had also selected 16 proposals under the scheme, including from mobile handset major Samsung, Foxconn Hon Hai, Rising Star, Wistron and Pegatron with an incentive outlay of Rs 36,440 crore.
[embedded content]As per government note, three companies including Foxconn Hon Hai, Wistron and Pegatron — are contract manufacturers for Apple iPhones. Apple and Samsung account for 37% and 22% of global sales revenue of mobile phones.
Indian companies selected under the scheme included Lava, Micromax, Padget Electronics, UTL Neolyncs and Optiemus Electronics.
“As per the quarterly review reports for the quarter ending December 2020, in the first five months of scheme operation and despite challenging times, the applicant companies have produced goods worth ~INR 35,000 crore and invested ~INR 1,300 crore under the scheme. Additional employment generation during this period stands at around 22,000 jobs,” the ministry said in a statement.
The second round of the PLI Scheme was launched on March 11 early this year, which focuses on building a vibrant and robust electronic component manufacturing ecosystem. “More than 60% of production is expected to be exported. The scheme is also expected to bring in an additional investment of Rs 11,000 crore. Value addition is expected to go up from 20-25% presently to 35-40% by 2025,” the statement said.
Meanwhile Centre has also notified PLI Scheme for IT Hardware on March 3 and the last date for application under the scheme is April 30. Under this scheme, eligible players will get an incentive of 1 to 4% on net incremental sales over the base year of goods manufactured in India.

Chip shortage hits global manufacturing; electronics cos affected

A global semiconductor chip shortage has caused a major delay in manufacturing activity, with automakers cutting down on production and electronic device makers struggling to keep up with a pandemic-led surge in demand for phones, TVs and gaming consoles. The scarcity has prompted U.S. President Joe Biden to sign an executive order to address the issue, after he pledged to seek $37 billion in funding for legislation to supercharge chip manufacturing in the United States. Below is a list of major corporations that have been at the receiving end of the crisis. Company Comments General Motors Co Both General Motors and Ford said they will cut more vehicle production due to a semiconductor chip shortage that has roiled the global automotive industry. Earlier, GM had said that due to the global semiconductor chip shortage, it is building certain 2021 light-duty full-size pickup trucks without a fuel management module, hurting those vehicles’ fuel economy performance. GM had also extended production cuts at three North American plants, adding a fourth to the list due to chip shortage.Said shortage could shave up to $2 bln from 2021 profit Ford Motor Co Has said it will, for now, assemble its flagship, highly profitable F-150 pickup trucks and Edge SUVs in North America without certain parts and idle two assembly plants due to the global semiconductor chip shortage. Earlier, it said shortage is hitting production of F-150 pickup trucks, and it could lose 10% to 20% of planned Q1 vehicle production, with adj. earnings falling by $1 bln to $2.5 bln. Apple Inc’s production of some of Apple MacBooks and iPads has been postponed due to a global component shortage, the Nikkei reported. Volkswagen AG Truckmaker Scania, part of Volkswagen AG’s commercial vehicle arm Traton SE , might have to stop production as a shortage of semi-conductors threatens deliveries, Swedish media has quoted it as saying. Volkswagen was the first carmaker to warn of a chip supply crunch. It said in February that chip shortage will impact production at some of its plants. VW’s production sites in Wolfsburg and Kassel are affected. Renault SA Has estimated the chip shortage could reduce its production by about 100,000 vehicles this year. Visteon Corp The auto parts supplier has said uncertainty around the semiconductor shortages will lead to some plant closures in the first half of 2021, before it stabilizes during the second half. Honda Motor Co Has cut North America production citing supply chain issues that have wreaked havoc with the auto industry. Has cut its 2021 sales target by 100,000 vehicles, or 2.2% to 4.5 mln cars due to the chip shortage. Nissan Motor Co Has said that the chip shortage has led it to cut production at its plants in Smyrna, Tennessee, Canton, Mississippi, and Aguascalientes, Mexico. It did not disclose how much volume would be lost due to the action. Earlier had lowered its target by 150,000 vehicles, or 3.6%, to 4.015 mln units.Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk said Tesla’s Fremont, California plant shut down for two days in February due to “parts shortages”. Stellantis NV Production at Stellantis’ Eisenach factory in Germany and its Zaragoza plant in Spain were impacted due to the shortage. Union sources told Reuters in February that Stellantis planned to slow production at its Melfi plant in Italy and furlough 7,000 workers. Sony Corp CFO Hiroki Totoki said it is difficult for the company to increase production of the PS5 amid the shortage of semiconductors. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Volvo Cars, which is owned by China’s Geely Ltd Holding, has said will temporarily stop or adjust production in China and the United States for parts of March due to a global shortage of semiconductor chips. Volvo AB Volvo AB said it expects shortage of semiconductors to have negative impact on earnings and cash flow and warned of a substantial hit on production in the second quarter. Acer Inc Andrew Hou, Acer’s president for Pan-Asia Pacific Operations, said he expected better supplies in the second quarter compared with the first quarter of this year, and that the situation in the second half will be better than the second quarter. Toyota Motor Corp Toyota’s Czech unit Toyota Motor Manufacturing Czech Republic said it will halt production at its car plant in Kolin, east of Prague, for 14 days from March 22 due to a shortage of semiconductors, news agency CTK reported.

Cambodia’s exports to US continue to rise

Cambodia’s export to the world’s biggest economic nation keeps increasing in the first two months of this year, which reflects the increasing demand for Cambodia-made products.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that from January to February 2021, Cambodia exported $1,120 million worth of goods to the U.S., a 3.3 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the imports from the U.S. rose by 26 percent to $67 million.
The bilateral trade of the two countries was recorded at $1,187 million, inching up 4.4 percent.
Cambodia’s major exported products to the U.S. are garments, footwear and travel products, bicycles, while the main imported products from the U.S. are vehicles, animal feed, and machinery.
Bilateral trade between the two countries reached all-time high of $6,921 million in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 17.8 percent, of which $6,577 million were Cambodian exports, up 22.8 percent.
The Kingdom’s strong export to the U.S. in 2020 was backed by the export of non-garment products such as bicycle, furniture, and electronic components, according to a report from the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Chea Vannak – AKP

Related Posts

White House to reportedly meet with tech leaders about semiconductor shortage

Automakers and tech companies will be discussing chip shortfalls with the White House.
Screenshot by Corinne Reichert/CNET

The White House will meet with CEOs from Intel, Dell, Samsung, Ford, HP, AT&T, Alphabet, General Motors and other companies on Monday to discuss the global computer chip shortage, according to reports Friday. Also set to attend the semiconductor summit are executives from Cummins, Global Foundries, Medtronic, Micron, Northrop Grumman, NXP, PACCAR, Piston Group, SkyWater Technology, Stellantis and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., CNBC reported.Read more: From PS5 to Ford F-150: How a global chip shortage is ‘impacting everything’The virtual semiconductor summit will include White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, according to Reuters. It follows President Joe Biden in February signing an executive order to improve the semiconductor chip supply chain, which included a 100-day review.”We need to make sure these supply chains are secure and reliable,” Biden said at the time, adding that semiconductor chips power everything from cars to phones to medical devices. With Ford, General Motors, Toyota and other automakers unable to obtain certain chips, they’re cutting production on cars including the Ford F-150, while there are also shortages in chips for Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. Qualcomm has also been unable to get enough processors to meet the demands of phone makers.The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

CNET Mobile

Discover the latest news and best reviews in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s mobile experts.

This webcam literally looks and behaves like a human eye… because tech surveillance wasn’t …

Remember when Sundar Pichai stepped on stage at Google I/O in 2018 and demonstrated how the virtual Google Assistant could make phone calls and have realistic conversations with people? It was a combination of scary and impressive, as Google’s voice AI literally spoke to a human, booking a haircare appointment at a salon. The virtual assistant’s manner of speaking was so incredibly natural, it could fool anyone into thinking it was a real human. The assistant’s voice had a natural speaking quality to it, with mannerisms, inflections, and even the occasional “ummm” and “ahhh” sounds to make it sound natural and human. The demo was a combination of incredibly impressive and incredibly scary, as it demonstrated how tech could easily cross over into human territory.
For people who still don’t feel tech is dystopian enough, here’s the Eyecam… a webcam that creepily stares right into your soul. In a world where tech spies on you (sometimes blatantly), the Eyecam adds a layer of realism to it. Designed by researcher Marc Teyssier, the Eyecam is more of a social project that aims at turning the humble camera into something more relatable – for better or for worse. The resulting device is eerily similar to an eye. Sure, it comes covered with faux flesh and has eyebrows and eyelashes, but the Eyecam doesn’t just look like an eye. It behaves like one too. The eyeball can independently pivot inside the eye socket, looking around the room. A facial-recognition software runs in the background, allowing the Eyecam to detect humans and look them directly in the eye. If that wasn’t creepy enough, the eyeball even has a tendency to move and jitter around like a human eye. It doesn’t stay absolutely still… instead, it looks and scans you, parts of your face, and intermittently shifts its gaze between your left and right eye. Oh, and it blinks too, feeling so real that your mind’s bound to feel extremely conscious of the camera’s gaze.
The Eyecam is more of an experiment than a real product. It aims at understanding, decoding, and tweaking the human-tech relationship. The camera behaves quite like a human eye would. Looking around the room before it spots you and stares directly into your eyes like another human. When the camera is resting, the eyelid shuts too, allowing you to feel a little more at ease around it. Obviously, when it wakes up and looks right at you, it feels slightly unnerving at first. I’m not sure how one would feel after months of using and getting used to the Eyecam… in fact, I’m not sure I even want to know, although it’s definitely something Teyssier is studying. Does the human tech relationship drastically change when the tech takes on a more human avatar? We’re comfortable with smartphone front-facing cameras casually pointing at us when we’re staring at our screens. What happens when that camera adopts a human appearance? How would our behaviors change if the surveillance around us felt that much more tangible?
If Black Mirror-esque dystopia excites you, you can actually build your own Eyecam from scratch. Marc’s been kind enough to document his entire process in great detail, and has even made hardware and software files available on Github. Just promise you won’t scare anyone to death… and remember, Big Brother’s always watching!
Designer: Marc Teyssier

The Eyecam comes built to scale, with remarkably human-like proportions and even details like skin-folds, wrinkles, and crow’s feet for that added realism.

The camera sits within an eyeball-shaped enclosure, which is rotated on multiple axes thanks to a series of motors and mechanisms that mimic the human eye’s randomized movement. *shudder*

All mechanical and electronic components sit within the Eyecam’s silicone casing. The casing was modeled from scratch, with all the human details being sculpted in before being converted into a slip-casting mold. The mold was then used to cast silicone pieces, which were then implanted with actual human hairs in the eyebrow and eyelash region. Not creepy at all…

Social experiment? Late April Fool’s Prank? Early Halloween experiment? You decide!

5 key components of next-gen digital insurance billing

Editor’s note: This item is excerpted with permission from “Property Casualty Billing Systems – North America: 2021 Spectrum Report.” The full report is available here. Billing continues to be an important part of an insurer’s customer service strategies. Billing is not purely a financial issue but has a significant role to play in the overall experience. After all, over the course of five years, a policyholder will have a single new business experience, four renewals, perhaps a claim or two (depending on the LOBs written), and 60 billing transactions—if they are on monthly billing.Billing presents an opportunity to fulfill a brand promise of convenience and trust. But errors can be costly. These costs can be direct, as in the case of a mistaken cancellation or billing errors leading to increased call volume. But there is also an indirect cost on customer experience and retention.Insurers are looking for several key capabilities when they determine whether to invest in a new billing solution:• Improved customer experience. The prevalence of Internet purchasing and bill payment in other industries continues to increase the pressure on insurers to deliver web capabilities such as electronic bill pay and presentment, mobile transactions, and policyholder/producer portals. Many legacy systems “just can’t get there from here,” and updated technology must be introduced to fully enable these functions.• Transparency. Progress is being made to deliver transparency across product lines. The ability to bill multiple policies on a single bill is still elusive for many with legacy systems or for those with multiple billing systems in production. The ability to see the equity date or to easily identify how payment might change with different payment plans is a growing need.• Increased use of billing analytics. As the function transitions to a strategic service differentiator, different information is required to respond to new challenges. Billing reporting has historically been more operational in nature, reporting on number of invoices issued, average payments, number of days outstanding, etc. Questions such as “Are my current billing plans attracting profitable business?” and “What happens if I increase specific fees?” require analytics, not simply reporting. Vendors differ in their approach, some offering tools embedded as part of the base system and others providing utilities to extract information into specialized, enterprise analytic engines.• Increased flexibility. Seeking new ways to differentiate, insurers are looking for the ability to easily add new bill plans, new payment options, and new ways of interacting with customers through the bill.• Increased control. Seeking increased flexibility and speed, insurers increasingly want to control their own destiny and perform updates themselves. Some of these companies maintain a billing system in a traditional IT organization. Others seek to move some parts of the maintenance into end user areas.