Apple’s Ireland data center could use more energy than city of Dublin

Apple's proposed data center in Ireland.
Apple's proposed data center in Ireland.
Photo: Apple

As part of a hearing concerning its proposed 850 million euro ($960 million) data center in Athenry, Ireland, Apple has acknowledged that it has no current plans to build power generators on the site, and would therefore be plugging into the Irish national grid.

The result? That according to a residents group, Apple will wind up as the largest private user of electricity in the state, consuming 8 percent of the national capacity — or more than the entire daily power usage of Dublin, which is home to over half a million people.

Apple chipmaker will spend $2.2 billion to gain edge over rivals

Apple chips are getting EMI shielding.
TSMC may have won the A10 battle, but it also wants to win the war.
Photo: Apple

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may have reportedly scored Apple’s A-series orders for the next-gen iPhone 7, but with plenty of rivals on its tail it’s not shying away from putting in the work (and, more importantly, the cash) to ensure it stays Apple’s chipmaker of note.

According to TSMC’s co-CEO Mark Liu, this means spending a massive, record-setting $2.2 billion on R&D this year; a significantly higher figure than the $1.067 it spend researching new processes last year.

iPhone maker replaces half its factory workers with robots

Tim Cook greeting Foxconn workers in China. Photo: Apple
Tim Cook meeting with (human) Foxconn workers.
Photo: Apple

Apple manufacturer Foxconn has been talking about investing in robots for years now, but apparently it’s finally done it — replacing more than half of the employees at one of its factories with machines.

“The Foxconn factory has reduced its employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000, thanks to the introduction of robots,” said a government official, adding that “it has tasted success in reduction of labour costs” and that more companies are now likely to follow suit.

Microsoft’s smartphone team is on its last legs

microsoft-is-gutting-its-windows-phone-hardware-business-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201403video-review-htcs-windows-phone-8x-940x704-jpg
Is this the blue screen of death for Microsoft's phones?
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft may be doing great in some areas of its business, but it’s struggling in others — with “exhibit A” being its smartphone business.

Having sold off its feature phone business this month, Microsoft has now announced plans to “scale back” its smartphone output — which will impact “up to 1,850 jobs worldwide,” although Microsoft still claims it’s got some “great new devices” being developed for the future.

Check out Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s head of Windows’ message to employees: