The R&D World Index (RDWI) for the week ending June 16, 2023, closed at 2,897.05 for the 25 companies in the RDWI. The Index was up 3.73% (or 104.09 basis points). Twenty three of the 25 RDWI members gained value last week from 0.33% (AbbVie) to 14.21% (Oracle). Two of the 25 RDWI members lost value last week from -0.38% (Roche Holdings) to -1.26% (Merck & Co.).
RDW Index member Intel, Santa Clara, California, announced last week that it plans to build a $4.6 billion semiconductor assembly and test facility in Poland, near Wroclaw, which already has several American businesses located there. The Poland site will receive semiconductor wafers from Intel sites in Germany and Ireland. The three Intel facilities are expected to increase the resilience and cost efficiency of the European semiconductor supply chain. With these and their similar large U.S. chip-making investments, Intel hopes to become the global second-largest chip producer after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).
Micron Technology, Boise, Idaho, announced last week that it will invest about $600 million to expand production in Xi’an, China. As part of the investment, Micron will acquire semiconductor packaging equipment owned by Taiwan’s Powertech Technology that is inside an existing Micron plant in Xi’an. The company also said it will build a new plant in Xi’an for packaging and testing. The new plant will also include a new production line of memory chips. Micron will create 500 new jobs with these moves, raising its total workforce in China to more than 4,500.
Siemens, Munich, Germany, announced last week that it will invest more than $2 billion to boost manufacturing capacity, including a new facility in Singapore and the expansion of its digital factory in Chengdu, China. The company will also invest in a digital R&D innovation center in Shenzhen, China, to boost the development of motion control systems with digitalization and power electronics technologies. There is an expected increase of about $0.6 billion in its R&D including artificial intelligence and the industrial metaverse. The company also announced a partnership with Microsoft to speed up code generation for industrial automation by using ChatGPT AI systems. The company is also working with Nvidia to develop the industrial metaverse to improve the design, production, and operation of factories and infrastructures.
Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation, with both companies having corporate headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, announced last week that they are reorganizing their joint R&D organization to flexibly respond to the rapidly changing global automotive industry and advance the transition to electrification. This will also be done to accelerate their development of Software Defined Vehicles. The new R&D organization will transform from a centralized structure focused on vehicle development to an independent Allianced Tech Organization (ATO). This new system looks to having electrification and software capabilities as the key enablers in their organization. Their next-generation innovation technology teams within the existing R&D division will be transformed into a stand-alone Tech Unit.
While the official stance by the U.S. government seeks to contain China’s progress in AI through sanctions, the CEO of OpenAI, San Francisco, Sam Altman, last week at an AI conference emphasized the importance of collaboration between U.S. and Chinese researchers to mitigate the potential risks of AI systems. Both countries look to be the leader in AI development with both having strong AI talent. The U.S. imposed sanctions in the fall of 2022 to prevent China from accessing the most popular cutting-edge semiconductor chips needed for AI development.
Stock exchange NASDAQ last week announced it will acquire Adenza, San Francisco, a software maker employed by banks and brokerages in a $10.5 billion deal that represents the most ambitious acquisition in NASDAQ’s 52-year history. Adenza provides software to help manage trading, risk management, and post-trade processing in markets such as currencies, fixed income, and derivatives. Its technology also streamlines the time-consuming process of reporting data to regulators.
Tesla, Austin, Texas, announced last week that it doesn’t expect to begin producing its new electric semitrailer truck in larger volumes until the end of 2024 due to battery supply constraints. Tesla began delivering electric trucks in December 2022. Tesla CEO Elon Musk cited a massive increase in electricity demand as limiting his truck’s production increase.
Venture firm Thrive Capital, New York City, last week announced the launch of its Medivis augmented reality software that allows medical surgeons to view three-dimensional images of a surgical patient through any commercially available AI headset, such as Microsoft’s Hololens 2. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared Medivis’s system for use in planning surgeries in 2019.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Santa Clara, California, announced its latest chip for data center computing last week. Its new super chip combines a central processing chip with a graphics processor and memory in the same chip packaging. AMD also announced a graphics processor-based accelerator for AI uses in data centers. These devices are pitted against those chips produced by Nvidia for use in generative AI technologies, such as ChatGPT.
R&D World’s R&D Index is a weekly stock market summary of the top international companies involved in R&D. The top 25 industrial R&D spenders in 2020 were selected based on the latest listings from Schonfeld & Associates’ June 2020 R&D Ratios & Budgets. These 25 companies include pharmaceutical (10 companies), automotive (6 companies), and ICT (9 companies) which invested a cumulative total of nearly 260 billion dollars in R&D in 2019, or approximately 10% of all the R&D spending in the world by government, industries and academia combined, according to R&D World’s 2021 Global R&D Funding Forecast. The stock prices used in the R&D World Index are tabulated from NASDAQ, NYSE, and OTC common stock prices for the companies selected at the close of stock trading business on the Friday preceding the online publication of the R&D World Index