Welcome to Silicon Pulse – your roundup of the latest tech news and developments impacting your business for the week ending 23/06/2023.
Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse
This is your weekly round-up of the top tech news stories.
Every Friday, Silicon UK surveys the week’s tech news.
Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry or sector.
I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.
Microsoft’s reached a valuation of $2.6 trillion dollars after shares hit a record high last week.
It’s mainly down to investor optimism about its AI push.
Overall, the firm’s stock has gained more than 45% in the year to date.
But it is still lagging behind Apple, valued at $2.94 trillion.
And it comes despite Microsoft facing significant opposition and setbacks in both the UK and the US to its proposed $69 billion acquisition of game publisher Activision Blizzard.
Amazon’s been given the go-ahead from UK regulators for its acquisition of a robot vacuum cleaner manufacturer.
It’s taking over iRobot – who make Roombas – in a deal worth 1.7 billion dollars.
It means a further expansion of Amazon’s already substantial smart home offer.
The deal was announced back in August, but both the UK and the US raised some concerns about it reducing competition in the market.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has confirmed it has cleared the takeover.
Meanwhile, Adobe’s $20 billion deal to buy start-up Figma is at risk.
Reports this week suggest the takeover is going to be reviewed by EU regulators,
The deal was revealed in September 2022 and would be Adobe’s biggest-ever acquisition.
Figma was founded in 2012 and offers online design collaboration tools.
Quick update now on this big data hack on several UK firms, which has been in the news for a couple of weeks.
US government agencies have now been revealed to be among the victims of the attack,
We already knew that big UK names, including the BBC, British Airways and Boots, had been hit and had some data stolen.
It had been thought that the Russian group Clop was behind the attack.
But they’ve spoken to the BBC via email to say they don’t have the stolen data.
It’s now unclear whether they’re lying or it’s actually a different group.
Intel has agreed a deal “in principle” to invest around $25 billion in building a new chip manufacturing plant in Israel.
It comes amidst drive-by chipmakers and governments to diversify production following disruption during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Israel announced the deal on Sunday, and Intel confirmed it had “submitted a business plan to upgrade its manufacturing facilities” in the country.
Virgin Media users have had some issues this week.
The company apologised after its email services went down for several days.
Users complained that they couldn’t access their inboxes on Monday, and the issue dragged on.
It comes a few weeks after a significant outage left Virgin Media customers without any internet access for hours.
3D-printed rocket engines are being tested to see whether they could be used in space crafts.
This innovation come from the Edinburgh firm Skyroma.
It says using 3D printing halves production time and reduces costs.
Trials of the engines will take place this summer.
And we have some more space-related news coming up later in the bulletin.
Car maker Jaguar Land Rover is to use AI to try to reduce disruption to its supply chain.
It’ll use the tech to help predict potential risks such as natural disasters, strikes, data breaches and export issues that could affect shipments.
It’ll use a combination of AI, predictive analytics, machine learning and human intuition to help avoid costly industrial disruption.
Everstream Analytics is producing the tech.
Staying with cars – well, kind of – flying cars, to be specific.
They’ve moved a step closer to becoming a reality this week as Suzuki signed a deal with Japanese company SkyDrive to manufacture them.
How quickly could it happen?
Well, the plan is to start making flying cars next Spring.
And ok – that’s flying cars – but I raise you with a flight into space.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic says it’ll launch its first commercial flight before the end of this month.
The first flight will be a scientific research mission, carrying three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy to conduct microgravity research.
A second will follow in early August, and then they should be monthly after that.
The company said its second commercial spaceflight would follow in early August, and it expects to operate monthly spaceflights from then on.
800 people have already signed up for the flight to over 80 kilometres above earth and experience weightlessness.
I’d better get saving my pocket money – tickets cost $450,000 dollars!
That’s the latest from Silicon UK Pulse – for more tech news and features, head to silicon.co.uk