Samsung Investing $1B to Boost Chip Production in Texas Facility

Today's topics include Samsung's plan to invest $1billion in its chip production facilities in Austin, Texas, new ARM chip cores designed to support virtual reality and augmented reality in mobile devices, the release of Microsoft's Dynamics NAV 2017 ERP platform and the introduction of new Google management features for Android mobile devices.

Samsung will spend more than $1 billion to boost chip production at its facilities in Austin, Texas, part of a larger strategy to spend almost $24 billion in capital expenditures in the wake of the company's withdrawal of Galaxy Note7 smartphones from the market due to overheating problems.

The money for the 19-year-old Texas facility will be used over the next eight months to help increase the production of processors for smartphones and other electronic devices. The company not only makes its Exynos systems-on-a-chip for such devices and memory chips—including DRAM and 3D NAND flash memory chips—but also builds processors for other vendors, including Qualcomm.

In a statement to the news media, Samsung officials said the decision to invest in the Austin facility was based on what was best not only for customers, but also the region.

ARM is rolling out two chip cores that address the demand for greater immersive and interactive visual capabilities—including virtual and augmented reality—in their mobile devices.

The company, which designs low-power chip architectures and then licenses those designs to such chip makers as Qualcomm and Samsung, on Oct. 31 unveiled the Mali-V61 video processing unit (VPU) and Mali-G51 GPU, which officials said will bring improved visual experiences to mobile devices, something that members of Generation Z are demanding.

Device and component makers want to build virtual reality and augmented reality features into their latest models including new headsets that work with smartphones and other mobile systems.

Dynamics NAV 2017, Microsoft's ERP software platform, is now generally available.

In some significant ways, the new release mirrors how cloud-enabled analytics and machine-learning technologies are permeating the company's business software offerings. This time, instead of delivering those capabilities to corporate customers, Microsoft is aiming them at the market for small- and midsize-business software applications.

Building on the Power BI integration from last year's release, Dynamics NAV 2017 features embedded reports and dashboards and self-service tools that allow users to create reports of their own. Business intelligence tools are also present in the software's Role Center pages.

Google has introduced a couple of new features to help administrators better manage company-owned Android smartphones and tablets in the enterprise.

One of them is a bulk enrollment feature that lets organizations enroll Android devices en masse and deploy them to remote offices and other locations with all required settings enforced. Administrators can assign a new asset tag attribute when using bulk enrollment. The goal is to make it easier to integrate company-owned Android devices with internal billing and tracking tools, Google announced in its G-Suite Update blog this week.

The other enhancement is in the mobile inventory page in the console that administrators use for device management.