January 18, 2022
Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: AMD’s frustrating wait for Chinese approval of the biggest deal in its history, Tonga struggles to recover its tech infrastructure and the latest funding deals in enterprise tech.
At one point Tuesday morning more than 700,000 people visited the U.S. Postal Service website at the same time to order free COVID-19 tests, after it launched a day early to mild surprise. That’s a pretty good test of the USPS site’s auto-scaling tech and evidence the government has learned a few lessons from the healthcare.gov launch debacle.
AMD has spent its entire corporate life as a second-class citizen to Intel. That’s just one reason why CEO Lisa Su seized an opportunity with a $35 billion stock deal to snap up programmable chipmaker Xilinx more than a year ago at one of Intel’s weakest moments in decades.
When the deal was announced in October 2020 AMD expected it to close by the end of 2021, but late last month AMD pushed the expected close date to the end of March. It will now have to re-file its regulatory paperwork with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which has already approved the deal once; China has yet to do so.
The purpose of the largest deal in AMD history is clear.
Absorbing Xilinx would vault AMD into a bigger corporate category at a moment in the chip industry when size equals survival, because small companies can no longer afford to develop the most-advanced chips demanded by the world.
FPGAs are interesting pieces of hardware.
The deal will have to clear the final regulatory hurdle in China in order to realize Su’s strategy.
VLSIresearch president Risto Puhakka told Protocol it’s unlikely AMD’s bid will be successful, citing that tension.
But not everyone shares the negative outlook.
A volcano off the coast of Tonga erupted on Saturday, Jan. 15th, causing damage as far away as Peru. The blast also took the entire country off the internet completely, and could take weeks to fix, according to the MIT Technology Review.
The country started reporting internet traffic outages on the evening of the eruption, and its networks are still down as of Tuesday. Experts think the undersea internet cable to Tonga may have been destroyed by the blast, and the event could have affected the satellites used as a backup as well.
In the meantime, there’s nothing the country can do but wait. Fixing the cable will require a specialized shipping vessel outfitted with skilled technicians — but that’s going to take a while. The nearest ship is reportedly more than 3,000 miles away, and Tonga still needs basic disaster relief and aid.
Security and resiliency have been hot topics in the enterprise tech world. Tonga is a reminder those conversations apply to physical infrastructure as well.
Businesses need applications faster than ever before, and they need them to solve increasingly complex, sophisticated problems. This means IT teams need a more efficient way to quickly deliver powerful software and a better way to partner with their business counterparts. That’s where low-code comes in.
We’ve talked at length about the promise of low-code and no-code software development tools to make companies more efficient and allow a bigger percentage of the population to create software, but how can companies implement those tools inside their organizations most effectively? Join Protocol’s Kevin McAllister tomorrow at 10am PT for a virtual event with Nutanix CIO Wendy M. Pfeiffer and Kerim Akgonul, chief product officer at Pegasystems, in discussion about the best ways to make low-code and no-code tools work for you. Sign up here.
And as you get ready for the event, check out our latest Protocol Index: Low Code/No Code.
Checkout.com, an enterprise payment processor, was valued at $40 billion after a $1 billion funding round.
One-click checkout company Bolt was valued at $11 billion after raising $355 million to compete with companies like Stripe, Shopify and Checkout.com.
Highspot, a software platform for salespeople, raised $248 million at a $3.5 billion valuation for its sales enablement services.
Project44 raised $240 million at a $2.4 billion valuation to provide supply-chain visibility across transportation providers, shippers and third-party logistics companies.
Exotec raised $335 million at a $2 billion valuation for its industrial robotics software.
Justworks pulled out of its $2 billion IPO due to unfavorable market conditions.
The U.S. Commerce Department is investigating Alibaba’s cloud business over concerns about the Chinese government’s access to U.S customer data, according to Reuters.
Intel looks ready to unveil a new chip design for bitcoin mining hardware, a business it has largely ceded to Nvidia over the bitcoin boom years.
Four of the world’s largest hyperscale computing companies — Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft — now control around two-thirds of the private undersea networking cables that link the world, according to the Wall Street Journal.The IT administrator for a hospital in northwest Florida quickly shut down all of its systems after detecting a ransomware attack, and largely staved off major damage with his quick thinking.
Low-code is the fastest way to develop applications. Instead of writing lines of code, you build software by drawing a flowchart, and the platform then handles the code for you. Low-code is a much more intuitive and human way of interacting with a machine than coding.
Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the cost of AMD's Xilinx bid. This story was updated Jan. 18, 2022.