Developing new flavors for chocolate can take years due to challenges related to solubility, viscosity, and water and fat migration, said Daniele Bwamba, food scientist and candy researcher at Hershey. Although occasional flavor combinations prove disappointing, Bwamba celebrates wins such as Fruity Cereal Kit Kats and expects sweet and savory mashups, as well as tropical and spicy flavors, to continue to trend in confectionery.
Chips using neuromorphic designs for artificial intelligence, which can reduce power consumption and increase performance, are now available for the commercial market. Manufacturer BrainChip is selling boards using the Akida AKD1000 processor for $500 and up.
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Although Chinese ports and factories are operational, the country's Omicron-related lockdown measures could have implications for an already tight supply chain. "Right now, we are at the tail end of one flavor of those challenges, the port snarls," says Chris Netram of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Evaluating suppliers' costs and price increases can help procurement departments minimize the impact of inflation and improve future cost resiliency, according to this McKinsey analysis. Transferring risk upstream, downstream or to outside entities and building flexibility into the procurement process are other tools companies can use, the authors write.
Aircraft, engine and avionics manufacturers are facing difficult supply chain dilemmas and labor shortages as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Companies such as Garmin and Avidyne are reporting that some suppliers are breaking commitments, with Avidyne "prioritizing availability over cost, which is a decision some people will like and others might not like," says CEO Dan Schwinn.
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The industrial metaverse is expected to be an immersive setting that combines industrial internet of things data, remote collaboration and real-time positioning to enhance remote maintenance, sales and other functions, writes UrsaLeo CEO John Burton. "Some of these applications will use virtual reality, but more are likely to use 'mixed reality' where data is overlaid in the real world, enabling the operator to make use of real-time data in an industrial setting," Burton writes.
Appliances, electric vehicles, smart buildings and solar farms are all adopting digital technologies, and next-generation microchips are crucial to making those changes, Chris Shore of Arm writes. "The push toward sustainability will also mean that the semiconductor industry itself will have to become more energy-efficient," Shore notes.
Consumer prices rose 0.5% in December. The consumer price index has risen 7.1% over the past 12 months (seasonally adjusted), the fastest year-over-year pace since June 1982. At the same time, core inflation (which excludes food and energy) increased 5.5% year-over-year in December, the most since February 1991. The cost of used cars and trucks jumped 3.5% in December, with prices for new vehicles up 1.0%. The automotive sector continues to be challenged by supply chain disruptions and the chip shortage. New vehicles and used cars and trucks have seen price growth of 11.8% and 37.3% year-over-year. Read more.