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Beyond the Arches

Beyond the Arches #23: Processing power is top-of-mind for manufacturers, innovators, and investors in next-gen technology

May 16th, 2024 By Emily Norwood

Featured Story

Chip competition heats up as demand for next-gen processing increases

With the growing need for semiconductors to power AI, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and other next-gen tech, the global battle to produce semiconductor chips is heating up. The US and European Union have invested over $80B USD into ramping up production and capabilities to upstage China for production. The investments are the latest action by U.S. officials to boost production of semiconductors that push the limit of calculating power, following President Joe Biden’s 2022 Chips and Science Act aimed at funding grants and tax incentives. 

Companies like Intel, NVIDIA, and Taiwan Semiconductor are key players in meeting surging demand for tailored chip solutions for AI applications. Officials are also investing in smaller players such as Micron Technology Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Intel and Apollo are nearing an $11B deal to build a chip plant in Ireland, according to insiders. The exclusive partnership talks would diversify the companies’ manufacturing reach beyond traditional sites within Asia. Intel has already made similar plans in other emerging production markets, including Israel, investing $25B and striking a deal for an additional $3.2B in incentives for developing a plant there. The company has recently cemented a similar deal in Germany.

Intel’s main competitor, NVIDIA, is on investor radars as Chinese tech giants push for domestic AI solutions that would edge out U.S. AI chips. The push is a response to 2023 restrictions on the export of technology to China. The two countries have endured a steady increase in tensions in the post-pandemic economy.

How to invest in chip-driven technologies

The desire for AI-specific chips and faster processing capabilities brings semiconductor manufacturing to the forefront for investors. On the other hand, there are plenty of opportunities to invest in innovative products that require these chips.

For those interested in chip-driven consumer and commercial products, here are three technology companies worth looking at:

  • AvaWatz: Collaborative robotics enhance the experience and productivity of human workers with robots, making workspaces safer and more efficient. AvaWatz is designing AI-driven decision intelligence for these teams of autonomous helpers. Robots can carry out safety, maintenance, and inspection tasks that would be difficult or dangerous for human workers. AvaWatz’s talented team of leaders includes Founder, CEO, and President Rajini Anachi, Co-founder Bala Jana, and Director of Business Development J.R. May.
  • Lit Motors: Science fiction classics like Tron and others provide vivid images of the future of transportation, including zipping along on a next-generation motorcycle or transport. Lit Motors is bringing those images to reality with its self-balancing, two-wheeled electric transports. This fast and inexpensive entry into the EV market could make transport in urban areas more efficient and cost-effective for commuters. Vehicle architecture veteran Danny Kim founded and leads Lit Motors alongside former Audi leader Stefan Schaeper and VW alum Volker Kaese.
  • Target Arm: Mobile launch and recovery of autonomous drones presents unique opportunities and challenges. The technology opens the door for no-stop launch of rotary and fixed-wing drones for military and commercial applications. Currently, the Tular launch and recovery system can deploy multiple drones at highway speeds (over 65 MPH). Founder and CEO Jeffrey McChesney leads a technical and aeronautics team that includes mechanical engineer SVP Ryan Bigham and naval expert James Dalo.

On Our Radar This Week

  • Near-term inflation concerns rose in April as consumers speculated on the outcome of housing prices and a weakening labor market. A Federal Reserve Bank survey showed that consumers expect a 0.3 percent increase in prices after a four-month trend of 3 percent results. Anticipated home prices rose similarly, the highest estimate since July 2022.
  • Memestock enthusiasts are at it again, with investors in GameStop and AMC sending the stocks soaring 70 percent. Renegade investor “Roaring Kitty” (Keith Gill) led the charge after posting for the first time in three years. In 2021, Gill inspired a short squeeze of GameStop by energizing a following of day traders to short the stock.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu responded in harsh terms to a Biden administration ultimatum on aid as Israel ramped up an incursion into Rafah. Netanyahu declared that Israel was “not a vassal state of the United States” after Biden held 3,500 bombs set to depart for Israel. The tensions increase as more than 600,000 are fleeing Rafah in response to Israel’s move into the region. Rafah is one of the main points of access between Gaza and Egypt.

Macro Bites

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