Roundup – China’s chip battle continues; US and EU data transfer pact nears
UK export controls block China’s access to Arm’s chip designs
Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group is unable to buy some of the most advanced chip designs after SoftBank-owned British chip firm Arm has said that it will not approve licenses to export technology to China. Arm added that it would not approve the sale of its latest Neoverse V series because the performance was “too high”, yet the decision comes two months after the US published a set of controls set to cut off China from semiconductor chips made from anywhere in the world. This is the first time the company has refused to export designs to the country.
Volkswagen and Italy’s Enel launch partner for high-speed charging
Together they will each invest 100 million euros to build 3,000 EV high-speed charging points across Italy. The charging points will be accessible to all cars at 500 locations by the end of 2023, and will have a capacity of up to 350 kW.
“The main challenge is making the energy available when it is needed,” said Volkswagen board member Thomas Schmall. “Energy storage will play a key role.”
By the end of this year, Volswagen will have installed 4,300 of a planned 18,000 fast-charging points in Europe, 3,700 of a planned 10,000 in the US and 8,000 of a planned 17,000 in China. Volkswagen will also roll out bidirectional charging in 2023.
US and EU make headway on data transfer pact
After Europe dismissed a data transfer accord in 2020 over concerns about US intelligence agencies accessing Europeans’ data, in October, US President Joe Biden laid out an executive order with new safeguards on the activities of US intelligence gathering. The European Commission said that the draft shows US safeguards offer the same level of data protection to EU citizens as that under European law. However there are still concerns that the safeguards are not adequate for people outside of the US.
“I can’t see how this would survive a challenge before the Court of Justice. It seems that the European Commission just issues similar decisions over and over again,” said Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems.
Mercedes gears up powertrain network for EVs from 2024
In June, the company reached an agreement to shift European car plants towards EVs. This week it has set out an over one billion-euro plan to adapt its global production network for electric powertrain systems, including battery assembly, electric drive units and axles from 2024. Plants in Germany as well as Beijing, which already assemble batteries for electric and hybrid models, will assemble batteries for models on the upcoming MMA and MB.EA platforms.
“There is no site that is not included,” production chief Joerg Burzer said on a press call.
The plants will produce both combustion engine and electric cars on single production lines, but assembling batteries and motors on the same line is more complex, Burzer added.
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