TechNation: South Korea to Buy Israeli Radar System

Postal service to partner with startups ■ Israel’s Annapurna behind groundbreaking new server chip unveiled by Amazon

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FILE Photo: Green Pine Radar
FILE Photo: Green Pine Radar Credit: ELTA

Postal service to partner with startups

Israel Post is looking to collaborate with local startups to develop new services in areas including retailing, e-commerce, financial technology and blockchain. The postal service is due to publish a call for proposals, offering access to its database — including data on its struggles to keep up with the surge of online buying. “Israel Post and its expert teams will let the selected companies conduct pilots and demonstrate their abilities in large-scale systems like the postal service,” it said. The program is part of a government project that allows some 20 state-owned companies to take equity stakes in startups. Israel Post has the right to invest up to 45 million shekels ($12 million), but in practice the ceiling will be no more than 10 million. (Amitai Ziv) 

Israel’s Annapurna behind groundbreaking new server chip unveiled by Amazon

An Israeli development team working at Amazon’s Annapurna Labs unit has developed a groundbreaking processor used to power giant server farms. Amazon Web Services, the unit of the giant online retailer that provides cloud computing services, unveiled the AWS Graviton Processor at a Las Vegas conference Monday night. Using technology developed by ARM, the new processor could cut the costs for applications like web servers by 45% versus alternatives, said Peter DeSantis, AWS’s vice president of global infrastructure and customer support. Amazon bought Annapurna, which was founded by Avigdor Willenz, in 2015 for $360 million and turned it into AWS’ chip-development group. The company, once based in Yokne’am, is now in Haifa and Hod Hasharon, with a research and development team in the United States. Amazon has other R&D operations in Israel working in areas like voice search, computer vision and artificial intelligence. (Sagi Cohen) 

South Korea to buy Israeli radar system

South Korea plans to buy two Israeli early warning radar systems, as it reinforces air defenses against North Korea despite fast-improving relations. The decision to adopt the two Green Pine Block C radar systems, built by Elta Systems, a subsidiary of state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, was made by a defense acquisition committee, Seoul’s DAPA arms procurement agency said Tuesday, without specifying the value of the order. An official at the Defense Ministry put it at 330 billion won ($292 million), saying the systems would be deployed in the early 2020s.  The project is intended to boost South Korea’s capabilities to “detect and track ballistic missiles from a long distance at an early stage,” DAPA said in a statement. It did not mention North Korea, but South Korea said in December it would buy additional early warning radars after North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile and declared completion of the “state nuclear force.” (Reuters)