The Boeing Co has closed out the 757 commercial jet program with the last of the 1,050 jets to roll off the assembly line. \nT-shirts showing a 757 with the words, "Celebrate the Legacy," were worn by thousands of past and present Boeing workers on Thursday at a ceremony marking the end of two decades of production of the 200-passenger plane in this Seattle suburb. \n"A big chunk of my life has been spent on this program," said Clyde Brown, who worked on the 757 line from the start more than 22 years ago to the end. "That plane has been good to me." \nThe last 757 is scheduled for delivery to Shanghai Airlines in April. \nBrown and many other workers will now work on another plane that figured in the demise of the 757 -- the newest models of the 737, also made in Renton. No layoffs from the end of 757 production are planned. \nAlan Mulally, head of the company's commercial airplane division, said Boeing plans to "crank up" 737 production but gave no details. \nBoeing, based in Chicago, announced in July that after cutting more than 27,000 jobs in three years, about 3,000 workers will be hired in the Puget Sound region by Dec. 31. \nMany are in technical and engineering jobs for the 7E7 program in Everett and a military program to equip the 737 airframe as a Navy submarine-hunting aircraft. \nAny new hires for 737 production were factored into Boeing's employment forecast in July, a spokeswoman said. \nMulally was an engineer on the original design team for the 757 program, which was headed by Philip Condit, who went on to become chief executive of Boeing but resigned earlier this year in an uproar over the use of dubious methods to win government contracts. \nAt the ceremony Mulally noted that all but 20 of the 757s remain in service worldwide. \n"It has one of the great safety records of any plane in the world," he said. \nOne unique feature for Boeing was simultaneous design of the single-aisle 757 and the widebody 767, which is assembled in Everett. \nDespite differences in size and range, they were designed with common flight decks so pilots trained on one could fly the other with little additional training, resulting in big cost savings for airlines. \nSales of 757s reached a peak of 99 planes in 1992 but declined to 45 by 2000, then plummeted in the airline industry slump that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. \nTwo of the three planes seized by the terrorists were 757s. One hit the Pentagon and the other crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers stormed the cockpit. \nFactors in the end of the line for the 757 include development of bigger, more economical and longer-range 737 models, the 7E7 Dreamliner that Boeing plans to begin building in 2006 and competition from Airbus SAS. \nStill, Mulally said predicted that Boeing would be providing product support for the 757 for "the next 30 to 40 years."
‘SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC PAIN’: A military takeover would only temporarily weigh on wafer production on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, IC Insights said Taiwan has more chip manufacturing capacity than any other economy in the world, US-based market information advisory firm IC Insights said in a research paper last week, cautioning that the nation’s strength could prompt China to attempt to take over Taiwan. Taiwan commanded 21.4 percent of global installed IC capacity, ahead of South Korea’s 20.4 percent, Japan’s 15.8 percent and China’s 15.3 percent, North America’s 12.6 percent and Europe’s 5.7 percent, IC Insights said. Taiwan is one of two countries that uses 10-nanometer technology or better to produce wafers, holding 62.8 percent of global capacity, with South Korea holding the remaining 37.2
SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Alibaba is one of a number of Chinese firms that has answered Beijing’s call to invest in the development of cutting-edge technologies Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) yesterday unveiled a new server chip that is based on advanced 5-nanometer technology, marking a milestone in China’s pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency. The Chinese tech giant’s newest chip is based on micro-architecture provided by the SoftBank Group Corp-owned Arm Ltd, it said. Alibaba, which is holding its annual cloud summit in Hangzhou, China, said that the chip is to be used in its own data centers in the “near future” and would not, for the time being, be sold commercially. “Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better
AGGRESSIVE STEP: With the new processors, Apple is aiming at the high-end chips Intel has provided for the MacBook Pro and other top-end Macs for about 15 years Apple Inc on Monday took the most aggressive step yet to strip Intel Corp chips from its computers, announcing more powerful homegrown Mac processors alongside a total revamp of its MacBook Pro laptop computers. The company showcased the chips at an event called “Unleashed,” which also included its latest audio products. The new components, called the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, are 70 percent faster than its M1 predecessors, Apple said. It also unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro, adding larger screens, MagSafe charging and better resolution. With the new processors and devices, Apple is aiming squarely at the high-end chips that Intel has
PRICE SPREAD: Oil trading under the Brent futures contract is giving the US a hefty edge in pricing, increasing the rush to secure cheap fuel as winter approaches Asian demand for US oil is rising as the energy crisis boosts prices for other crudes that are priced against the global Brent futures contract. China and other Asian buyers have been snapping up supertankers of US oil for delivery next month and seeking more for December, some traders have said. Most buyers are seeking US grades that had recently slumped to the lowest levels in more than a year, with an added incentive after Beijing awarded millions of tonnes of crude oil import quotas. A wide spread between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil futures is accommodating higher US crude