Taiwan places harsh chip export restrictions on Russia and Belarus, a software engineer is suing Amazon for work-from-home costs, and Ford wants to move all EV sales online.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, June 7, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.
Russia and Belarus can now only purchase CPUs operating at below 25MHz from Taiwan. As a part of its sanction, Taiwan has imposed strict rules around what type of processors can be exported to the two countries. For reference, most of today’s PC processors operate at between 3 to 5 GHz, which is up to 200 times faster than the frequency specified in the restriction. In addition, Digitimes reports that Russian entities also cannot purchase processors with more than 144 pins and has a bit width higher than 32 bits, essentially barring them from accessing any modern chips.
A senior software engineer at Amazon is suing the company for not reimbursing electricity and internet costs incurred while working from home. The engineer claims that Amazon violated California’s labour laws when his employer refused to pay for his monthly expenses. In addition to internet and electricity costs, the engineer also wants Amazon to foot any other expenses during the time its employees were working from home. He calculated that the expenditure for a single employee amounts to $50 to $100 per person. When summed up for the 4,000 employees he’s suing on behalf of, the suit easily amounts to more than $5 million. Amazon has refused to pay, claiming that the company and the employee were simply following social distancing orders. However, A U.S. federal district judge has denied Amazon efforts to dismiss the lawsuit.
Ford wants to move all of its electric vehicle sales online at a fixed price. The automaker told USA Today that it believes all cars should go directly to the customer, or offer remote pickup and delivery. Although this doesn’t mean that all transactions will happen online, it does indicate Ford’s commitment to implement a fixed-price model and develop its online platform. To complete the transformation, Ford said that dealerships must evolve as well, although that they will face brutal new standards. The company also plans on scaling back its EV advertisements.
Google has announced a program that will let developers print chips for free. Dubbed the Open MPW shuttle program, anyone can submit open source integrated circuit designs to be manufactured at no cost. Granted, it isn’t going to be on super advanced nodes; the designs will be made using Skywater Technology’s 130nm transistors. There are some limits, of course, including size restrictions. Also, developers will only get one submission every other month.
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