Potpourri Of Industrial Market Analyses

I like the methodology of Interact Analysis industrial market research better than any I’ve seen so far. At the end of the year, they’ve flooded me with reports. Following are summaries from several of the latest ones including industrial machinery, global machinery production, German manufacturing, and industrial robots.

A Square Root Recovery For Industrial Machinery?

At times of economic turbulence, machinery markets get hit as consumer goods manufacturers slash spending. As we move into the post-pandemic era, the picture for machine builders is mixed. A recovery is underway. But it is likely to be a so-called square root recovery. In reality, this means a lasting slowdown that looks like an inverted square root – a huge and sudden dip, followed by a much slower and more protracted climb.

If we consider order intakes alone, the machinery recovery is a classic V-shape: end-users, having paused spending during the pandemic, are now ordering machinery in large quantities. The problem is that OEMs cannot meet this demand due to supply chain snarl-ups depriving them of vital components and semiconductors, and also due to there being simply too many orders coming in at once. The situation is ironic since, in the main, the major end-user manufacturers were able to keep producing as normal during the pandemic – only pausing planned machinery upgrades out of caution.

Full Recovery For Global Machinery Production In 2021, As Sector Size Surpasses 2019

This is an analysis by CEO Adrian Lloyd.

Our research shows that the global machinery market was worth $1.98 trillion in 2020. This constituted YoY growth of about -6%. But we expect to see a 6.2% rebound in 2021 up to $2.11 trillion. Materials handling equipment is the largest segment, with a 2020 value of $275 billion. Our forecasts for the total machinery sector out to 2025 put the three highest CAGRs as mining machinery (5.3%), farming machinery (5.1%) and textile machinery (4.5%). Multi-industry machinery will have a CAGR of 3.8% over the forecast period, with materials handling equipment performing particularly well within that category (CAGR 4.7%), owing to the booming warehousing and logistics sectors.

German Manufacturing On The Mend

Another analysis from Lloyd.

Our updated manufacturing industry output research forecasts global growth of 7.6% for 2021. This is a much smaller recovery compared with the one we witnessed in 2010, when manufacturing output grew by 16% following the 2009 depression. The hangover from the pandemic has manifested itself in a number of specific ways. Supply chains have been badly disrupted, transport and raw material costs are up, and there is a major labour shortage in many countries. Additionally, reciprocal pressure (i.e. a high recovery rate in economies that experienced sudden economic declines in 2020) means that the current projected 2021 growth rate is not a good indicator for the long-term.

But German manufacturing has now to weather the latest COVID-19 wave. Hopefully the experience of 2020 will stand the sector in good stead. In line with the established cyclical patterns caused by fluctuating waves of demand across our MIO forecast regions, the next contraction for German manufacturing is forecast for 2023.

Industrial robot component revenues to exceed $9.3 billion by 2025

New research shows that the market for industrial robot components will enjoy strong double digit growth in 2021, marking a clear turnaround after two years of disruption. However, 2021 market growth in revenue terms can be partially explained by major price increases in key components and raw materials, as well as supply chain issues and general inflationary pressure.

The key components markets covered by the report – motors, drives, gearboxes, controllers, teach pendants, sensors, end effectors, and machine vision – are all forecast for growth of varying degrees. Machine vision and end effectors will see the strongest performance as a result of particularly strong growth in the complex robotics systems that require these components. End effectors, which is the largest individual component market, will enjoy above average growth right out to 2025, by which time the sector will be worth more than $2.5 billion. Meanwhile, the combined market for motors, drives, and gearboxes will exceed that of end effectors, although a high proportion of these components are manufactured in-house by robot manufacturers themselves.

Industrial Robot Component Manufacturers Should Target Cobots

Finally, here is an essay by Tim Dawson of Interact Analysis.

But we are seeing a strong 2021 rebound as end customers resume much-delayed industrial automation projects. Beyond 2021, although activity will not be so frenzied, we predict continued strong growth, not least because the experience of operating factories along social distancing lines has made even the most conservative production line managers think hard about the potential that automation offers. By 2024, the market for industrial and collaborative robots should achieve its previous 2018 revenue peak of $10.5 billion, with 410,000 units shipped.

While the overall industrial robot market is forecast to see annual growth of the order of 4% – 5%, the collaborative robot sector is expected to enjoy 15%-20% year-on-year growth. We are seeing a trend towards smaller, lower payload robots, as industries such as electronics continue to automate, and new industries such as battery manufacturing and PV manufacturing increasingly come on stream. SCARA robots with a payload usually of <10 kg, for example, are already the most widely used robot solution in the electronics sector, and have a broad range of applications, including material handling, assembly, and inspection. This clear trend towards smaller robots will heavily impact the robot components sector.

Linux Foundation Open Standards Updates

Industries cannot advance without standards. Trains could not operate across a continent. I could not connect to the world from my computer through WiFi to an Internet. Standards may be recognized by governments or they may be de facto industry standards. The key benefit from standards is interoperability. At some level, competing proprietary products can interoperate. I can send a text from my iPhone to your Android phone. I support standards in the name of interoperability. I say this as preamble to three pieces of news coming from the Linux Foundation.

EdgeX Foundry Announces Jakarta, the Project’s First Long Term Support Release

EdgeX Foundry, a Linux Foundation project under the  LF Edge project umbrella, announced the release of version 2.1 of EdgeX, codenamed ‘Jakarta.’  The project’s ninth release, it follows the recent Ireland release, which was the project’s second major release (version 2.0). Jakarta is significant in that it is EdgeX’s first release to offer long term support (LTS). 

“Our Jakarta release is a stabilization release,” said Jim White, the EdgeX Foundry Technical Steering Committee  (TSC) Chairman and co-founder of the project.  “As such, it is our project community’s pledge to adopters that EdgeX offers you a stable version of the platform that you can expect the community to stand behind and support for a period of two years.  We stand with you in support of EdgeX in real world, commercial deployments of the platform.”

“Only a few open-source projects offer long term support; the rapid change of open source projects and the effort needed to LTS is significant,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IoT, at the Linux Foundation. “By including LTS, EdgeX demonstrates it understands the needs of the operational technology (OT) user base, and how products in this space must work and operate over longer periods of time than traditional IT solutions,” said Arpit Joshipura. “This is a big milestone for any open source community, and we are incredibly proud of EdgeX Foundry for this achievement.”

The EdgeX long term support policy states that the community will work as quickly as possible and give “best effort and development priority to fix major flaws as soon as possible.”  Major flaws by the project are defined as 

• bugs causing the system or service to crash and where there is no work around for the function

• bugs for a feature/function that does not work and there is no work around for the function

• a security issue deemed a critical or high-level CVE (per CVSS)

The project has further stipulated in its LTS policy that “no new major functionality (at the discretion of the TSC) will be added” to the LTS version after the release happens.

The next EdgeX release, codenamed “Kamakura,” is set for Spring 2022.  The community has held its semi-annual planning session to lay out the goals and objectives of this release.  Kamakura is likely to be another dot-release that will again be backward compatible with all EdgeX 2.x releases (Ireland and Jakarta).  Major additions currently under consideration and being developed by the community include:

• Initial north to south message bus.  Improved security secrets seeding and allowing for delayed service starts.

• Metrics collection

• Dynamic device profiles.  Better (native) Windows support

• Improve testing – including real hardware testing

• A second version release of the EdgeX Command Line Interface (CLI) which,  compatible with EdgeX v2.x.

The Cyber-Investigation Analysis Standard Expression Transitions to Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation announced the Cyber-investigation Analysis Standard Expression (CASE) is becoming a community project as part of the ​​Cyber Domain Ontology (CDO) project under the Linux Foundation. CASE is an ontology-based specification that supports automated combination and intelligent analysis of cyber-investigation information. CASE concentrates on advancing interoperability and analytics across a broad range of cyber-investigation domains, including digital forensics and incident response (DFIR). 

“Becoming part of the Linux Foundation is a major milestone for CASE that will significantly benefit the broader open source and cyber-investigation communities,” said Eoghan Casey, Presiding Director of CASE. “As an evolving standard supporting structured expression and exchange of cyber-investigation information, CASE will substantially enhance efforts to address growing challenges in the modern world, including cyberattacks, ransomware, online fraud, sexual exploitation, and terrorism. Our objective is to create a culture of common comprehension and collaborative problem solving across cyber-investigation domains.”

Organizations involved in joint operations or intrusion investigations can efficiently and consistently exchange information in standard format with CASE, breaking down data silos and increasing visibility across all information sources. Tools that support CASE facilitate correlation of differing data sources and exploration of investigative questions, giving analysts a more comprehensive and cohesive view of available information, opening new opportunities for searching, pivoting, contextual analysis, pattern recognition, machine learning and visualization.

Development of CASE began in 2014 as a collaboration between the DoD Cyber Crime Center (DC3) and MITRE, led by Dr. Eoghan Casey and Sean Barnum, involving the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In response to international interest, this initiative became an open source evolving standard, with hundreds of participants in industry, government and academia around the globe. Early contributors include the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), the Italian Institute of Legal Informatics and Judicial Systems (IGSG-CNR), FireEye, and University of Lausanne. CASE governance and community coordination were formalized with support of Harm van Beek, Rich Brown, Ryan Griffith, Cory Hall, Christopher Hargreaves, Jessica Hyde, Deborah Nichols, and Martin Westman. Growing international involvement is tracked on the CASE website.

CASE, built on the Hansken trace model developed and implemented by the NFI, aligns with and extends the Unified Cyber Ontology (UCO). This year has seen the release of UCO 0.7.0, and most recently CASE 0.5.0. CASE and UCO now both are built on SHACL constraints, providing an instance data validation capability. Currently, CASE is developing a representation for Inferences, both human formulated and computer generated, to bind investigative conclusions to supporting evidence and associated chain of custody.

Linux Foundation to Host the Cloud Hypervisor Project

The Linux Foundation announced it will host the Cloud Hypervisor project, which delivers a Virtual Machine Monitor for modern Cloud workloads. Written in Rust with a strong focus on security, features include CPU, memory and device hot plug; support for running Windows and Linux guests; device offload with vhost-user; and a minimal and compact footprint.

The project is supported by Alibaba, ARM, ByteDance, Intel and Microsoft and represented by founding member constituents that include Arjan van de Ven, Fellow at Intel; K. Y Srinivasan, Distinguished Engineer and VP at Microsoft; Michael Zhao, Staff Engineer at ARM, Gerry Liu, Senior Staff Engineer at Alibaba, and Felix Zhang, Senior Software Engineer at ByteDance. Initial focus for the Cloud Hypervisor project will be security and modern operation for Cloud. 

K.Y Srinivasan, Advisory Board member from Microsoft adds: “Cloud Hypervisor has matured to the point that moving it to the Linux Foundation is the right move at the right time. As LF continues to standardize key components of the software stack for managing/orchestrating modern workloads, we feel that the Cloud Hypervisor will be an important part of the overall stack. Being part of LF will help us accelerate development and adoption of this key technology.”

Thoughts On Apache Security Exploit

One of the more difficult things I do concerns filtering press releases to figure out which are hype and which have some enduring relevance. The first one I received about the Log4J exploit seemed over the top. However, this one appears to have legs. Best practices tell us to take action and be concerned. Following are a number of statements from security leaders. Take note of these.

This from my host platform, Cloudflare, “Last Friday we sent you an email about a zero-day exploit affecting the popular Apache Log4j utility (CVE-2021-44228). We advised you that Cloudflare had immediately updated our WAF to help protect you against this vulnerability. We also recommended that all organizations that use Log4j immediately update to the newest version to mitigate exploit attacks. The latest version can be found at the Log4j download page.”

Glen Pendley, Deputy CTO at Tenable, “Log4Shell, a critical vulnerability in Apache Log4j, shines a bright light on the risky practice of relying on open-source code libraries to build enterprise-scale applications. Many organizations around the world rely on open-source libraries as a key element in their ability to bring applications to market quickly. Yet, these libraries often stop short of a security-first approach. This dependence on what is effectively a wild, wild west of code libraries will continue to leave organizations vulnerable until time and resources are invested to make them more secure.”

And from Paul Laudanski, Head of Threat Intelligence at Tessian, “The log4j vulnerability has created endless golden opportunities for bad actors – and they know it and are getting creative. What they’re trying to do now is build an arsenal of tools that they can use across the globe for theft and service disruption, especially ahead of the holiday season. DDoS attacks in particular are a top concern, as exploitation could allow bad actors to download, install and then fully control an army of botnets. DDoS operators can then focus on attacks that bring down critical infrastructure – ranging from utilities to power grid – and especially retailers ahead of the holiday season, a time when people are notoriously distracted, tired and more prone to making security mistakes. Couple that with an increase in moratoriums, when no code is released into production, so emergency patches would require a break of that moratorium.

Meanwhile, there’s also the concern that the original CVE will end up generating subsequent CVEs, potentially exponentially multiplying its impact, similarly to the follow-on bugs we saw after SolarWinds. Luckily, log4j only has one in 2021 so far, but I wouldn’t be surprised if other related flaws are found soon. However, it’s worth noting one silver lining: white hats are working tirelessly to train folks on how to identify the vulnerability, so most teams will now be properly educated and informed on the growing threat.”

From the blog of Nozomi Networks, “At the end of last week (Friday, December 10), the cybersecurity world became aware of a new zero-day vulnerability in the Apache Log4j logging utility that has been allowing easy-to-exploit remote code execution (RCE). Coupled with the popularity of this tool, multiple companies and commercial applications have become affected by it. It received a codename Log4Shell. In addition to promptly deploying several protection mechanisms for our customers, Nozomi Networks set up a honeypot to monitor the situation and became aware of all potential global scans and exploitation attempts.”

“Apache quickly categorized the vulnerability as critical due to the simplicity of the attack and the number of susceptible platforms and systems. All an attacker has to do is send a malicious string that would be logged by the server. Minecraft users were exploiting servers using the chat function, and Twitter users could trigger the exploit by changing their display names, as could iPhone users by changing their phone name. In this post, we provide some technical details related to how malware authors immediately started taking advantage of this vulnerability.”

Further from Amit Yoran, Chairman and CEO, Tenable, “Just as we warned, Log4Shell is unleashing holy hell on businesses everywhere. And the worst is yet to come if organizations don’t take immediate action.

Researchers are already observing ransomware activities as cybercriminals begin utilizing Log4Shell in their playbooks. Let me be clear, these ransomware activities are not going to go away – they will only increase like wildfire thanks in part to this new, perfect payload in the form of Log4Shell. Organizations need to take swift and decisive action as Log4Shell can and will completely undermine your security program.

No vendor’s product is a silver bullet to solve this problem. Eliminating the threat posed by Log4Shell requires hard work and time to understand this vulnerability and how it will morph and evolve over time to bypass protective measures.”

Phoenix Contact News From SPS Show

Phoenix Contact sent an executive report meant for the SPS show in Nuremberg. I have not heard much from that company for several years. That’s a shame. The company has been active, investing, growing, and pushing technology forward. I’ve summarized the high points from an extensive letter detailing achievements of 2021.

In addition to the situation surrounding the pandemic, the biggest challenges we faced in 2021 were on the material supply side. It started with one of the coldest winters in Texas history. The location experienced system downtimes and significant production outages for key components in plastic manufacturing. Storerooms gradually ran empty along the downstream production chains, resulting in significant malfunctions and additional expenses on the purchasing side in large segments of our industry, in particular in the first six months of the year.

Despite the tense situation on the raw materials markets and challenges related to the pandemic, it currently appears that Phoenix Contact will conclude the 2021 fiscal year with revenue growth of approx. 25 percent, and total revenues of € 2.95 billion. Growth in all of our key regions (Germany, Europe, the Americas and Asia) has been unusually uniform, and is over 20 percent everywhere. The same applies to the business units. This growth is also reflected in the significant growth of our workforce of almost 20,000 employees worldwide. In light of the overall very difficult circumstances, this is an outstanding result.

Phoenix Contact continued to invest and expand during the pandemic totaling around 180 million euros. It said the investment could have been higher except for delivery bottlenecks for machines and plants. These investments focused on further developing the location in Blomberg and China and on expanding production capacities of Phoenix Contact E-Mobility in Poland. Phoenix Contact has also invested in Russia and is now part of Europe’s largest technology park in Skolkovo, with 2.6 million m² of space. Here, industrial companies, research laboratories, start-ups, and a university offer a unique high-tech combination. In addition to investing in systems and buildings, over 10 percent of the total investment was in intangible assets. This percentage will increase in 2022 by more than 25 percent, a disproportionate investment compared to this year. This is a trend that we expect to continue seeing in coming years, as a consequence of increasing digitization.

Sustainability: A challenge and driver of growth

While politicians bicker and posture, companies lead the way toward sustainable growth. “The aspect of sustainability is a top priority in the investments in our new Building 60. However, sustainability is becoming an ever more important focus not only when constructing new buildings, but in many other activities as well, since climate change is one of the most urgent challenges of our time. We have already achieved many milestones on our journey towards sustainable business practices, focusing on our ecological footprint throughout our entire supply chain, as well as the impacts on social factors.”

We continue to work on achieving the goal we have set for ourselves, of global CO2 neutrality throughout the entire company. Currently, we are addressing Scope 1 and Scope 2 within the power supply. Scope 1 deals with our emissions at our locations directly within the company. Scope 2 mainly includes the electricity that we purchase. We are already CO2 neutral in Germany as of the beginning of the year 2021 for Scope 1 and Scope 2, and we have been neutral for both in Europe since July. It should be noted that, in addition to converting to green power by purchasing electricity made from renewable energy, as well as implementing energy-saving measures, we are also investing in global climate protection projects, such as in wind turbine generators in India or in Turkey. In the long-term, we will compensate for these volumes by further increasing our energy efficiency and expanding our own renewable energies.

Sustainability as the engine of the economy

From the standpoint of automation technology, however, the goal of sustainability also represents a tremendous economic opportunity. Extraordinarily high investments will be required in order to provide more people access to more sustainable well-being. All areas of our lives must be electrified, networked, and automated if we want to achieve full electric mobility in all sectors. From regenerative power generation to different stages of energy storage, we need major changes in transportation networks and distribution grids, even down to intelligent secondary substations. Once we have achieved this energy supply, however, we also need to make much better use of energy efficiency potentials and intelligent controllable consumers, such as intelligent home chargers, air heating pumps, or decentralized storage devices. Factories must be digitized, sectors must be linked, and energy must be converted and stored if sustainability is the goal. And electrical and automation technology will be used in all of these areas. We are facing an era that offers an extraordinary potential for growth to our entire industry. Phoenix Contact has begun aligning its entire product and service range towards this goal, with its perspective of an “All Electric Society.” In the dimensions of “electrification, networking, and automation,” we want to provide our customers with specific technologies that facilitate or simplify solutions for an “All Electric Society.” In the electrification area, we offer new products under “Power” such as the intelligent CHARX power supply for high system availability, or the new and modular overvoltage and surge protection device CAPAROC under “Protect.” We deliver each of these products with a clear goal of meeting the grid requirements of the future today. In light of future DC (or direct current) grids, we are already developing network technologies under the point “Electrification” to serve all needs of the market and of customers in this area as well. In the “Networking” area, the first industrial Single Pair Ethernet Switches and associated IP20 and IP6X plugs stand for the next generation of network communication in factory and process automation. These are flanked by special services in the network security area, which delivers not only independent security devices such as our MGuard series, but also benefits all network-based devices as a technological platform.

Future Automation Technology

Through my work with the Germany-based analyst firm IoT Analytics, I’ve been introduced to the German passion for a newer PLC technology. I read this as a reaction to Siemens’ PLC technology. A number of companies have been pushing what they call “PC-based” PLCs. Phoenix Contact is one of them, and I could count Beckhoff Automation, B+R (now ABB), and Wago among the crowd. American companies seem not so impacted by the movement overall. I’ve seen pockets of alternative control technologies over here. What the future holds is up in the air. I think it is possible that the growth of Internet of Things installations could spur growth for the PC-based technology perhaps with Siemens (Europe) and Rockwell Automation (US) still dominant in machine control. We’ll see how it plays. Here is more from Phoenix Contact’s point of view.

Openness and replacing proprietary systems are the keys to success. Phoenix Contact has already been demonstrating the value of openness consistently since 2016 with the PLCnext Technology Ecosystem.

Classic partnerships replaced by communities

Partnerships morphing into ecosystems and communities pop up everywhere. Phoenix Contact contributes to the trend. “Openness also means a new way of thinking about partnerships and collaboration. In order to best utilize available potentials within the industry and drive innovations forward, new opportunities must be created to exchange knowledge and trade in existing software solutions. There are many partnerships with a generally exclusive character in the industry. The idea of bringing together as many experts as possible from the fields of IT and automation in a global network of relationships, thereby providing access to expertise from throughout the entire industry, is a new one. The PLCnext Technology Ecosystem turns exclusivity into openness.”

Phoenix Contact has been promoting networking among international experts in the industry since 2017 with our own website to serve as a central platform of exchange for the PLCnext Community. (www.plcnext-community.net http://www.plcnext-community.net).  Phoenix Contact revised and further optimized the platform for the Community in November 2021. It offers better functions for digital networking and information. In addition to exchanging ideas and information via established platforms such as GitHub, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn, the PLCnext Community can also network here. This allows users, potential users, and software providers to become part of the global network of relationships between experts in the IT and automation fields in many different ways.

The hardware portfolio of the PLCnext Technology Ecosystem also continues to grow. Controllers are available in various performance classes within the PLCnext Control family – from devices optimized for edge use cases to modules for additional controller functions. PLCnext Extension Modules can be used to expand a PLCnext Control controller to the left. This makes it possible, for instance, to add further Ethernet interfaces or extend the system with Interbus or Profibus. Applications that require functional safety can also be retrofitted with an extension module.

Phoenix Contact Smart Business continues to develop its product portfolio, and will be offering new services in e-mobility and energy management starting in 2022. In the coming year, it will begin by offering a solution for billing charging processes for company electric vehicles in the private sector. The service is developed so that any home charger is taken into consideration, even home power generation with a photovoltaic system. By doing so, this service offers a universal, complete solution to companies and employees that can be used to significantly increase the attractiveness of electric mobility within the company. In addition, companies can achieve significant cost savings compared to charging an electric company car from the public grid, thereby significantly reducing fleet emissions.

Additional news and detail can be found at the Phoenix Contact website.

Quantum Intermediate Representation Alliance for Quantum Computing Development

Let’s mix open source, alliances, collaboration, and the future of computing—quantum—into a new Linux Foundation Alliance. This is more future than 5G and IoT, but this is something we need to pay attention to. It’ll be here before you know it. 

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the new QIR Alliance, a joint effort to establish an intermediate representation with the goal to facilitate interoperability within the quantum ecosystem and provide a representation suitable for current and future heterogenous quantum processors. Founding members include Honeywell, Microsoft, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Quantum Circuits Inc. and Rigetti Computing.  

QIR, or Quantum Intermediate Representation, is based on the popular open source LLVM https://llvm.org/ compiler toolchain. QIR specifies a set of rules for representing quantum programs within the LLVM IR. Examples of QIR applications include using the standard LLVM  infrastructure to write quantum optimizers that operate on QIR and target it to specific hardware backends or linking it with classical high performance libraries for quantum simulation. 

“We expect there to be exciting advances in how classical and quantum computations can interact at the hardware level. The QIR Alliance will provide a single representation that can be used for both today’s restricted capabilities and the more powerful systems of the future,” said Bettina Heim, principal software engineering manager, Microsoft. “This will allow the community to experiment with and develop optimizations and code transformations that work in a variety of use cases.” 

Quantum development SDKs and languages appear and evolve at a fast pace, along with new quantum processors with unique and distinct capabilities from each other. To provide interoperability between new languages and new hardware capabilities and reduce development effort from all parties, it is imperative for the ecosystem to develop and share a forward-looking intermediate representation that works with present and future quantum hardware.

“Quantum technology is still quite nascent but the promise grows every day,” said Seth Newberry, executive director the Joint Development Foundation. “The QIR Alliance is poised to enable the open and technical development necessary to realize these promises. We’re very happy to provide a forum for this work.” 

“The Quantum-Intermediate Representation Alliance, also known as QIRA, is a key piece of the quantum computing ecosystem that enables quantum hardware suppliers and quantum software suppliers to reduce redundant efforts involved in implementing programming languages across quantum computer architectures,” said Alex Chernoguzov, Honeywell Quantum Chief Engineer, Honeywell. 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
“ORNL is thrilled to be a part of the Quantum Intermediate Representation Alliance, which aims to develop a unified LLVM-based intermediate representation for quantum computing. A consistent IR of quantum programs will enable interoperability between quantum applications and hardware devices, making quantum computing more usable to researchers and developers. We look forward to contributing to the QIR specification and the associated compiler toolchain under this partnership,” said Thien Nguyen, Quantum Computer Science Researcher, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Quantum Circuits Inc.
At QCI, we are very pleased to be participating in the QIR Alliance. The QIR approach represents a revolutionary advance in the representation of quantum circuits, enabling users to take full advantage of the unique capabilities of quantum computing systems across a variety of different hardware platforms,” said Tom Lubinski, Chief Software Architect of Quantum Circuits Inc. 

“Rigett has pioneered hybrid system architectures that are quickly becoming the predominant approach for cloud-based quantum computing” said David Rivas, SVP Systems & Services at Rigetti Computing. “The QIR Alliance is focusing on precisely the interface between quantum and classical compute, enabling rapid advances in quantum programming  language design and execution systems. We’re thrilled to be working closely with this community to design the necessary compiler technology and develop implementations for Rigetti hardware.”

About Joint Development Foundation
Launched in 2015, the Joint Development Foundation (the Joint Development Foundation) is an independent non-profit organization that provides the corporate and legal infrastructure to enable groups to quickly establish and operate standards and source code development collaborations. More information about the Joint Development Foundation is available at http://www.jointdevelopment.org/.

About the Linux Foundation
Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more.  The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration..

New Positions at Rockwell Indicate Strategic Directions

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Meanwhile, I spoke at the IoT Workshop of the Precision Metalforming Association and MetalForming magazine virtual IoT Experience on November 17. If you wish to hear a few thoughts about implementing IoT for fun and profit, tune in.

I’ve mentioned that I went to Houston last week to attend Automation Fair. I had a lot of work to clear up this week so far putting me far behind compiling my thoughts.

This article by Keith Larson of Control Magazine (Putman Publishing) summarized one aspect of the press conferences we attended. By the way, I loved the way Rockwell Automation put these together. I’m sure balancing virtual and live was part of the equation, but they kept these to a half-hour speaking to the point while allowing time for questions.

Keith points out three new senior positions that suggest new directions at Rockwell as CEO Blake Moret shapes the company for the future.

First up was Bobby Griffin, the company’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. Together with Becky House, senior Vice President and chief people and legal officer (another telling title), he discussed leveraging culture and DEI as competitive advantage. 

Another presenter sporting a newly created title was Sherman Joshua, global competency business director. In his new role, he’s working within Rockwell’s services group to create a more agile and flexible workforce. 

Last up was Tom O’Reilly, newly minted vice president of sustainability. He talked about how Rockwell was leveraging data to drive productivity and sustainability—both within Rockwell and on behalf of its customers. The ability of the Rockwell portfolio of hardware, software and services to increase efficiency and reduce waste on behalf of its customers is clear, but Rockwell itself has also improved energy efficiency and reduced waste of its manufacturing processes and is targeted the increased recycling and reuse of its products.

Keith was the first editor I met after I left manufacturing to become an editor back in 1998. Interestingly, he changed positions for a promotion leaving an opening which I filled. Indirectly, he is responsible for me being here. The people in this market don’t link to each other like the writers in some other technology markets do. But I have no problem linking.