A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news Aer Lingus is again flying directly from Dublin to San Francisco, California.
Re-opening of direct Dublin-San Francisco flight route to boost Irish tech sector
Ireland’s reputation as a strategic international bridgehead for Californian tech companies planning global growth received a boost with the re-opening of the direct Aer Lingus route connecting Dublin with San Francisco.
The re-opened Aer Lingus route began flying five times a week on 2 April, following the closure of its four-days-a-week San Francisco direct service in 2009 in the wake of the economic crisis.
Despite this, about 40pc of the foreign direct investment to Ireland from the US has come from the Silicon Valley area, according to IDA Ireland.
AdRoll to move to bigger Dublin offices – halfway to year one employment goal
Online advertising player AdRoll, which plans to create 100 jobs in its first year in Ireland, is nearly halfway towards achieving that target and is to move to bigger offices in Burlington Plaza, Dublin 4, in June.
AdRoll established its EMEA headquarters in Dublin city centre last October.
The company now has 45 employees in Dublin, and it is hiring across all functions, including sales, account management, business development, finance and engineering to support customers in a number of languages throughout the EMEA region.
Big data player Cloudera raises US$900m, including US$740m from Intel
Big data software player Cloudera has raised US$900m in a financing round that includes Intel, Google Ventures and Dell founder Michael Dell and his family.
The lion’s share of the investment – some US$740m – is understood to come from Intel.
The round includes the previously announced US$160m of funding from T. Rowe Price and three other top-tier public market investors, Google Ventures, and an affiliate of MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment arm of Dell and his family, and a significant equity investment by Intel that gives it an 18pc share of Cloudera.
Apple in talks to buy stake in chipmaker Renesas Electronics
In a bid to improve image sharpness and the battery life of its smartphones and tablet devices, Apple is in talks with chip designer Renesas Electronics, with a view to taking a majority stake in the company.
The Californian tech giant is prepared to pay US$479m for a 55pc stake in the Japanese company, according to business publication Nikkei.
Renesas Electronics produces drivers and controllers for small and mid-size LCDs. These chips determine a display’s quality and performance, as well as a phone’s overall energy efficiency.
Intel commands lead as global semiconductor sales grow 5pc
Total worldwide semiconductor revenues for 2013 hit US$315bn, up 5pc on 2012 despite a weakening PC market and signs of saturation in smartphone sales.
Intel maintained its No 1 rank, followed by Samsung and Qualcomm.
“After a weak start to 2013 due to excess inventory, revenue growth strengthened during the second and third quarters before levelling off during the fourth quarter,” said Andrew Norwood, research vice-president at Gartner.
“Memory, and in particular DRAM, led this growth; not due to strong demand, but rather weak supply growth that pushed pricing higher.”
Nadella reveals leadership changes at Microsoft
Satya Nadella, the new CEO of Microsoft, has made sweeping leadership changes at the software giant in an effort to “evolve and tune our organisation for maximum focus and impact”, he wrote in a message to staff.
Scott Guthrie has been promoted to executive vice-president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise organisation. According to Nadella, Guthrie made critical contributions to .NET and other pivotal Microsoft technologies.
Phil Spencer will lead the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video teams, as well as Microsoft Studios, as head of Xbox.
Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will join Microsoft as executive vice-president in charge of Microsoft’s devices group.
Golden Gate Bridge image via Shutterstock
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