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Over $100b AI chip market keeps US, China on warpath — What does it mean for Taiwan?

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With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and the recent exponential growth in its development and daily life applications, the demand for semiconductor chips — an essential component of modern electronic devices, has witnessed a significant surge therefore boosting the revenue-generating potential of the market up to $67 billion by 2024.

Semiconductors are highly sought-after chips as they are responsible for conductivity between conductors and non-conductors within electronic devices. However, artificial intelligence-enabled semiconductor chips have created a new avenue for further market growth and revenue generation.

As per Gartner’s vice president Alan Priestley, the surge in demand for semiconductor chips is primarily driven by high-end computing requirements of generative AI programs and platforms.

This year alone, the semiconductor market with regard to its AI application is approximately worth around $ 53.4 billion. The revenue generation trend is expected to not only sustain itself but in fact witness notable growth of around 25.6% amounting to $ 67.1 billion by 2024 next year.

As reported by editorialge, Priestley is of the view that the progressive trend in its demand and therefore production is expected to reach $ 119.4 billion by 2027.

Why are US and China concerned?

Designing semiconductor chips is not an issue, however, manufacturing them and controlling the supply chain is. The country that dominates semiconductor manufacturing and global supply chain will benefit from significant financial and geo-political leverage on a global stage.

Currently, Taiwan is the leading semiconductor-producing country in the world and controls around 20% of the global supply. 

However, owing to supply chain and manufacturing issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has witnessed a significant increase in demand for these chips, which has led to the US and China engaged in a semiconductor race that is gradually turning into a war.

For the United States, the concern is that if China achieves notable dominance in semiconductor manufacturing and supply chain, it’ll use it as a geo-political weapon against the US and its European allies. 

China on the other hand aims to counter Taiwan’s supremacy – a key Western partner, to strengthen its geo-political position. 

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Users of WhatsApp will soon be able to lock chats on connected devices.

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Additionally, linked devices will now have access to the conversation lock feature. Users of WhatsApp will also soon have the option to tag their contacts in status updates.

Notably, WhatsApp users can link their devices to log in to the same account on different devices. However, several functions, such as conversation locks and status updates, are not accessible on the secondary devices.

Even if they are locked on the main conversations, anybody can still access your private chats on a connected device. WhatsApp is currently working on adding Chat Lock capability to connected devices in order to address this.

The chat lock feature on WhatsApp will soon be available on connected devices.

Prior to this, it was claimed that WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta, was developing new personalisation options for an iOS beta.

According to WABetaInfo, an update tracker portal for the instant messaging network, WhatsApp for iOS users will soon get the option to modify both the conversation bubble’s colour and the app’s primary colour scheme.

A feature that let beta testers choose the primary colour scheme of the WhatsApp iOS app from a selection of five colours was first tested back in January.

The instant messaging app is testing a feature that lets users change the colour of chat bubbles within conversations, though, in a new beta edition.

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Moon train operations are planned by NASA.

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The goal is to construct the first lunar train system, which will enable safe, independent, and effective cargo transportation on the moon, according to robotics specialist Ethan Schaler of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

He went on, “The day-to-day functioning of a sustainable lunar base in the 2030s will depend heavily on a robust, long-lasting robotic transport system.”

The Flexible Levitation on a Track, or FLOAT, is the name of the proposed lunar rail system. According to NASA, the establishment of a railway system on the moon is “critical to the daily operations.”

According to the space agency, the primary objective of FLOAT is to offer transportation services in regions of the moon where astronauts are engaged in activities. To do this, cargoes of lunar soil and other materials will need to be transported to various regions of the moon.

Each robot will be able to transport cargo of various sizes and shapes at a pace of roughly 1 mph (1.61 km/h), according to Dr. Schaler.

Notably, NASA also declared new initiatives last month to create and test new vehicle models intended for moon exploration.

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Pakistan’s lunar mission ‘ICUBE-Q’ reaches the moon orbit.

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Pakistan’s lunar mission (ICUBE-Q) entered orbit around the moon on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s historic lunar mission (ICUBE-Q) launched from Hainan, China, on Friday aboard China’s Chang’E6 spacecraft.

According to the IST, the satellite ICUBE-Q was planned and developed in partnership with China’s Shanghai University SJTU and Pakistan’s national space agency SUPARCO.

The ICUBE-Q orbiter is equipped with two optical cameras to image the lunar surface. ICUBE-Q has now been integrated into the Chang’e6 mission after successfully qualifying and testing it.

Chang’e6 is the sixth lunar exploration mission launched by China.

The launch event was streamed live on the IST website and social media platforms. Chang’6, China’s Lunar Mission, will land on the Moon’s far side to collect surface samples before returning to Earth for further research.

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