360° IT Check #57 - New iPads, USA Introduces New Export Rules on Chips, and More!
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360° IT Check #57 - New iPads, USA Introduces New Export Rules on Chips, and More!

USA’s Chip Race with China

As China is gaining ground on USA's advantage of being the global tech superpower, Washington felt threatened. So much so, that the president Joe Biden has decided to use his power to slow down China’s tech sector with new export rules.

"This will set the Chinese back years," said Jim Lewis, a technology and cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) [...] "China isn't going to give up on chipmaking ... but this will really slow them (down)."

The export rules introduced “also block shipments of a broad array of chips for use in Chinese supercomputing systems. The rules define a supercomputer as any system with more than 100 petaflops of computing power within a floor space of 6,400 square feet, a definition that two industry sources said could also hit some commercial data centers at Chinese tech giants.

As it quickly turned out, American companies got hit in the process. “[T]he Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (.SOX) [fell] nearly 6% by the end of the day. American semiconductor equipment makers Lam Research Corp (LRCX.O), Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O) and KLA Corp (KLAC.O) were all down more than 4%.” Of course, Nvidia, and AMD, among others will get hit in the process as well.

That’s not all. US nationals working in the industry literally face the choice of either quitting from a Chinese company or losing their nationality. According to Nikkei Asia, “For the first time, U.S. export controls on China have expanded to block ‘U.S. persons’ -- both citizens and permanent residents -- from supporting the ‘development’ or ‘production’ of certain high-end chips that could advance Chinese tech applications from military use and artificial intelligence to supercomputers.”

Record Wind and Solar Energy Production in the EU

As the Russian invasion on Ukraine does not stop, the EU started a radical shift away from Russian gas, and oil. The change resulted in a steep incline in the price of all fossil fuels. The countries also started to look for alternative sources of electricity.  

As a result, the electricity output from solar, and wind source has gone up. The country that boosted its electricity generation from wind and sun the most is Poland.

The overall production from fossil fuels is below that of solar and wind, which we can be optimistic about. Unfortunately, the prices for all users were rising steadily. “The European Power Benchmark averaged 191 €/MWh in Q2 2022 – 181% higher than Q2 2021.

New iPads

Apple quietly refreshed its line of iPads. The new devices include the refreshed base iPad, two new iPad Pros, and an updated Apple TV 4K. All products are more expensive than the previous versions.

The new base iPad features the new, slim bezel design, and finally offers USB-C for connectivity purposes. The new iPads Pro are more or less the same, except for the updated CPU, which is now the new Apple M2 – even faster than its laptop-grade predecessor.

The new Apple TV now features HDR 10+. It’s (no surprises here) faster than the previous-gen product. There isn’t much that changed here, apart from the fact that you must pay extra to get an Ethernet port – maybe not an essential, but a quality of life improvement over Wi-Fi.

There is one aspect we can all be happy about. Apple seems to (finally) have decided to remove their proprietary Lightning port, and replace it with the industry-standard USB-C. That’s great news not only for iPad owners, but also for others.

Bonus Links

New React Core Team Member  

Docker in 100 lines of Bash – Bocker

If you feel Docker is too heavy, try Bocker.

New React RFC – first class support for Promises


The plan to support promises in React – use a hook.  

“Introduces support for async/await in Server Components. Write Server Components using standard JavaScript await syntax by defining your component as an async function.

Introduces the use Hook. Like await, use unwraps the value of a promise, but it can be used inside normal components and Hooks, including on the client.”

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