May 19, 2024

Innovation & Tech Today

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This Week’s Top 5 Tech Stories You Must Know- January Week 1

Lots has happened this past week in the tech world! With a new AI keyboard button for Microsoft Windows, the U.S. providing government grants for microchip technology, SpaceX launching Falcon 9 rocket, and more, there’s much to catch up on. So, let’s get started! 

New AI Keyboard Button for Microsoft Windows

Microsoft announced the “Copilot key” to its Windows keyboard, the first change to the device in almost three decades. The introduction of the Copilot key aligns with Microsoft’s vision for AI-enabled PCs, equipped with advanced chips capable of running large-language models and AI-powered apps directly on the device rather than relying on cloud processing. The Copilot key will be featured on select new Windows 11 PCs, debuting at the CES tech trade show in Las Vegas next week, and is expected to be available on upcoming Surface devices after February this year. 

US Provides Government Grants for Microchip Technology

On Jan. 4, the U.S. Commerce Department announced it’ll grant microchip technology $162 million in government funding to enhance the domestic production of semiconductors and microcontroller units.

This financial support will enable Microchip to triple its output of mature-node semiconductor chips and microcontroller units at two U.S. manufacturing facilities. These components are key in various applications, including automobiles, household appliances, mobile phones, internet routers, aircraft, and the defense-industrial sector. The announcement aligns with the United States’ strategic initiative to shift the production of chips away from foreign sources, particularly China.

SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket

On Jan. 2, SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the initial batch of Starlink satellites equipped to transmit phone signals directly to smartphones from space.

Per the announcement made in Aug. 2022, T-Mobile will utilize SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, under the ownership of Elon Musk, to deliver network connectivity to mobile users in specific regions of the United States. Several global wireless providers, including KDDI in Japan, Optus in Australia, One NZ in New Zealand, and Rogers in Canada, will join forces with SpaceX to introduce direct-to-cell tech. Initially, the direct-to-cell service will commence with text messaging, with plans to expand to voice and data capabilities in the coming years.

Apple Addresses Lawsuit Over Gift Card Scam

Apple has agreed to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of knowingly allowing scammers to exploit its gift cards and retaining stolen funds for its benefit.

As per a filing in federal court in San Jose, California, on Jan. 3, Apple and the plaintiffs have agreed on substantial settlement terms after collaborating with a mediator. They are currently formulating a formal settlement to submit for preliminary approval to U.S. District Judge Edward Davila. 

Tesla Announces Astounding Production of 2023

Tesla has released its production and delivery figures for the fourth quarter of 2023. The key numbers are as follows:

  • Total deliveries Q4 2023: 484,507
  • Total production Q4 2023: 494,989
  • Total annual deliveries in 2023: 1,808,581
  • Total annual production in 2023: 1,845,985

In comparison, the electric vehicle manufacturer reported annual deliveries of 1.31 million and production of 1.37 million electric vehicles in 2022. The latest figures indicate a year-over-year delivery growth of 38% and production growth of 35%. In 2022, Tesla achieved a 40% year-over-year delivery growth from the previous year.

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By Lindsey Feth

Managing Editor, Innovation & Tech Today

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