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Eurobites: Nokia sets up SoC university to boost ReefShark chips

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: new boss for Imagination Technologies; Vodafone supplies 5G for UK connected-cars trial; Facebook versus Belgium.

  • Nokia has joined forces with Finland's Tampere University to set up a "Center of Excellence" focused on the development of system-on-chip (SoC) custom processors for its ReefShark chipsets that are used in its 5G infrastructure products. The vendor lost ground in 5G as a result of its earlier decision to use 5G products based heavily on field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) as opposed to application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) – although FPGAs were deemed to be more flexible, they are more expensive than ASICs – and it has attempted to address the issue by moving to SoC-based products. As part of the collaboration, Nokia says it will also explore areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and security hardware development as well as SoCs based on open source hardware. (See Nokia adds Broadcom to 5G chip supplier roster, Nokia's 5G chip choice leaves it exposed and Nokia makes 5G waves with its ReefShark chip.)

    Fish and chips: Nokia's ReefShark product range was floundering for a while.
    Fish and chips: Nokia's ReefShark product range was floundering for a while.

  • Elsewhere in the world of chip shops, London-based Imagination Technologies has appointed Simon Beresford-Wylie as its new CEO. Beresford-Wylie was previously top dog at towers company Arqiva, and prior to Arqiva he had spells at Samsung and Nokia Siemens Networks and Nokia. He replaces interim CEO Ray Bingham, who remains Imagination's executive chairman. (See Eurobites: Imagination Cashes In Its Chips With Canyon Bridge for £550M and Eurobites: Imagination Rocked by Apple Shut-Out.)

  • Vodafone is to supply new 5G macro coverage along routes that form part of the Midlands Future Mobility testbed for connected and automated vehicles in the UK. A combination of Vodafone and Wireless Infrastructure Group will see 80% of the route – covering more than 300 miles of roads in the West Midlands region – feeling the benefit of 5G connectivity, which is considered vital for the future of connected mobility.

    Also joining the testbed is Immense, a company specializing in creating "digital replicas" of real-world driving environments.

  • Europe's top court was the venue yesterday (Monday) for a battle between Facebook and the Belgian data protection authority over whether the latter had the legal power to police the social media giant under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As Reuters reports, Facebook and the European Commission both support the concept of Ireland's privacy authority being the "lead authority" of Facebook, as the company's European headquarters is in Ireland. The Belgian regulator is trying to stop Facebook tracking users in Belgium through the use of cookies stored in Facebook's all-pervasive social plugins, regardless of whether those users actually have a Facebook account or not.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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