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Industry News

IDC: W. European SMB Market is "Big and Growing"

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IDC: W. European SMB Market is

The W. European SMB IT market is on the up IDC reports, even if European SMBs can make a "difficult" market-- and as such the region is the second largest for global SMB IT spending during the 2016-2021 forecast period.

"The W. European SMB market is big and growing even if European SMBs traditionally show a lower level of IT sophistication than their bigger counterparts and therefore they can represent a difficult target market," the analyst says. "In this context we see today the rise of SMBs that were born in the digital era, that are very innovative and attracted by 3rd Platform and Innovation Accelerators (particularly cloud, mobility, and IoT). Even if these companies represent only a small percentage of the overall SMB market, they can set the scene and pave the way to a broader adoption of innovative IT solutions."

On a global basis, IDC predicts IT spending by SMBs (defined as companies employing 1000 or less) will total $568 billion in 2017-- a sum expected to exceed $676bn by 2021, with a CAGR for the 5-year forecast period of 4.5%. The forecast is actually slightly stronger than previous forecasts by the analyst, a reflection of the changing ways SMBs are buying and using technology.

SMBs around the world are "increasingly interested" in improving employee productivity, and thus improving their competitive positions. Smaller SMBs have immediate tactical needs to sharpen performance, and are also looking to coordinate resources in a meaningful way, all in the name of Digital Transformation (DX).

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Gravitational Anomaly Leads to Better Solid State Devices?

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Gravitational Anomaly Leads to Better Solid State Devices?

A team of IBM researchers manage to observe an "elusive gravitational effect" on Earth-- a phenomenon previously thought possible only "hundreds of light years away," and one that could lead to improvements in the energy-conversion process in electronic devices.

But what does an elusive gravitational effect involve? It is, essentially, an unusual quantum effect scientists theorised could take place within quark-gluon plasma (GDP), the strange, soupy substance that made the universe back when it was little more than a few microseconds old. The quantum effect involved in the IBM experiments is known as the axial-gravitational anomaly, and breaks the conservation laws of classic physics such as charge, energy and momentum.

To observe the axial-gravitational anomaly here on Earth, the scientists used Weyl semimetal, a material similar to 3D graphene, inside a cryolab at the University of Hamburg using high magnetic fields. Weyl semimetal has two kinds of electrons, but when placed inside the cryolab mimicking the conditions of the early universe the electrons change from one type to the other.

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Gartner: Q2 EMEA PC Market Down -3.5% Y-o-Y

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Gartner: Q2 EMEA PC Market Down -3.5% Y-o-Y

According to Gartner EMEA PC shipments total 17 million units in Q2 2017-- a -3.5% Y-o-Y decline, with mixed results across different countries, as some are confident while others are not.

For instance, uncertainty around the UK elections lead to some UK businesses delaying purchases, especially in the public sector. On the other hand, France sees a "more than expected" surge in consumer confidence after the electoral win of Emmanual Macron, even if spending on PCs remains "sluggish." German businesses are spending more on PCs as they invest in new Windows 10-based hardware, while the Russian market sees improvement thanks to economic stabilisation.

In global terms, Q2 2017 PC shipments are also down-- specifically by -4.3% Y-o-Y, reaching 61.1m units. Gartner says the industry is in the midst of a 5-year slump, making an 11th straight quarter of shipment declines and, when it comes to Q2 2017, the lowest quarter volume since 2007.

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Gartner: WW IT Spending to Grow 2.4% in 2017

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Gartner: WW IT Spending to Grow 2.4% in 2017

According to Gartner total global IT spending will total $3.5 trillion in 2017-- a 2.4% increase over 2016. The analyst has actually increased its forecast from the previous quarter, following the decline of the US dollar against many foreign currencies.

"Digital business is having a profound effect on the way business is done and how it is supported," Gartner remarks. "The impact of digital business is giving rise to new categories; for example, the convergence of "software plus services plus intellectual property." These next-generation offerings are fueled by business and technology platforms that will be the driver for new categories of spending. Industry-specific disruptive technologies include the Internet of Things (IoT) in manufacturing, blockchain in financial services (and other industries), and smart machines in retail. The focus is on how technology is disrupting and enabling business."

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Researchers Combine Computing, Storage in 3D Chip

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Researchers Combine Computing, Storage in 3D Chip

Scientists at Stanford and MIT take on the communications bottleneck separating the storage and processing of data-- bringing about a 3D chip combining processing and storage through breakthrough nanotechnologies.

As the researchers put it, current computers waste a lot of time and energy shuffling data between storage and processing. The amount of data produced by the modern world is increasing at a rapid rate, while we are reaching the physical limit as to by how much silicon transistors can be improved.

Enter the Stanford-MIT 3D chip. It is built using carbon nanotubes, sheets of 2D graphite formed into nanocylinders, and resistive random-access memory (RRAM), a type of memory built using a "solid dielectric material." The actual prototype stacks 1 million RRAM cells on 2 million carbon nanotube transistors, making a "dense 3D computer architecture with interleaving layers of logic and memory." Bringing the layers together are ultradense wires, resolving the communication bottleneck.

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