Emerging Technologies

Nvidia unveils new chip, and other technology stories to read

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NVIDIA logo is seen near computer motherboard in this illustration taken January 8, 2024. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Tech giant Nvidia has unveiled a new AI chip. Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Sebastian Buckup
Head of Network and Partnerships; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
  • This monthly round-up brings you the latest stories from the world of technology.
  • Top tech stories: Nvidia unveils new AI chip; SpaceX Starship completes furthest test flight; UK to join EU semiconductor research programme.

1. Nvidia unveils new AI chip

The US chip manufacturer Nvidia has unveiled a new artificial intelligence chip that it says is up to 30 times faster at some tasks than its predecessor.

The B200 'Blackwell' chip was revealed at the company's annual developer conference, with the firm saying major tech companies, including Amazon, Google and Microsoft are set to use the new chip in their technology.

Nvidia, originally founded in 1993, is the US's third most valuable company and has seen its shares rocket over the last 12 months as the AI revolution has gained pace. Its stock rose further on the announcement of the new chip.

2. SpaceX Starship completes furthest test flight

SpaceX's Starship rocket has completed its third and furthest test flight to date. The rocket, which it's hoped will one day send astronauts to the moon and further, was able to complete nearly an entire test flight, but broke up on its return to Earth.

The two previous test flights were both cut short following explosions shortly after launch.

It had been planned to use this flight to re-ignite one of the rocket's engines, which is considered key to its future success, but this was not attempted.

However, the test was hailed a success by NASA – SpaceX's biggest customer – and SpaceX itself. Several goals set for the launch were achieved, including the opening and closing of its payload door in orbit and the transfer of super-cooled rocket propellant from one tank to another.

The company plans at least six more test flights this year, pending regulatory approval. It has to investigate each mission failure and present findings and corrective steps to the Federal Aviation Administration before it can fly again.

SpaceX's next-generation Starship spacecraft atop its powerful Super Heavy rocket is launched from the company's Boca Chica launchpad on an uncrewed test flight, near Brownsville, Texas, U.S. November 18, 2023. REUTERS/Joe Skipper     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Starship on previous launch. Image: REUTERS/Joe Skipper

3. In brief: Other tech stories to know

The UK has announced it will join the European Union's semiconductor research programme, pledging some $45 million to the total $1.4 billion fund.

Hospitals in the UK are trialling the use of VR headsets to calm patients during minor operations, with one hospital trust saying it helped improve recovery and lower anxiety and pain.

Global sales of fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles rose at just 3% in February, year-on-year. Market research company Rho Motion said the lower figure was largely due to the impact of Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations.

Goldman Sachs has said global stock markets are increasingly concentrated, including with a greater weight of technology stocks. "While global technology profits have surged since the financial crisis, other sectors in aggregate have made virtually no progress," the strategists said.


The US Federal Communications Commission has said it's investigating whether US mobile phone use of foreign satellite systems could be a security risk.

The James Webb Space Telescope has identified the earliest known dead galaxy. It likely ceased to exist some 13.1 billion years ago, making the galaxy the earliest by some 500 million years.

An internet outage that hit West Africa in mid-March is thought to have been caused by damage to a submarine data cable system.


4. More on technology on Agenda

This year marks 40 years since the first Apple Macintosh personal computer, but what other technology milestones have shaped our lives over that time? From the world wide web to social media, here are just some of them.

What does the rest of the decade hold for EdTech? Malvika Bhagwat, Partner and Head of Outcomes at Owl Ventures, looks at five key trends shaping the sector to 2030.

How can space technology help tackle climate change back on planet Earth? Here are five examples of how space observation is helping with climate change research.

1. Nvidia unveils new AI chip2. SpaceX Starship completes furthest test flight3. In brief: Other tech stories to know4. More on technology on Agenda

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