IT sector avoids crashing economy

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Even though a smattering of IT vendors including Dell and Nortel issued earnings warnings this week, industry insiders remain hopeful that tech companies won’t be dragged down as Wall Street giants collapse. After reports surfaced Thursday that the federal government is considering creating a repository for the failing banks’ bad debt, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 5 percent, or 100 points, to close at 2199. The report about the repository seemed to allow underlying confidence in the tech market to push up even IT stocks that had been battered earlier in the week.

Amazon plans to expand its roster of hosted computing services for developers with a content delivery network. The goal of the still-unnamed service is to give application developers a vehicle for distributing public Web content with low latency and high data transfer rates, Amazon announced Thursday on its official Amazon Web Services blog. Now in private beta testing and scheduled for public release before the end of the year, this content delivery service will be the latest cloud-computing offering from Amazon Web Services, which also provides hosted computing capacity, e-commerce and storage services.

Graphics chip developer Nvidia plans to lay off 6.5 percent of its workforce. About 360 people worldwide will lose their jobs by the end of October, Nvidia said. The Santa Clara, California, company plans to offer severance, counseling and job placement services for the affected workers.  In a statement, Nvidia said the layoffs will allow it to continue to invest in strategic growth areas, including its CUDA parallel computing technology and its Tegra mobile single-chip computer. The move is also intended to help the company become more competitive and boost its financial performance.

IBM announced plans to expand a hardware design center in Taiwan due to the strong engineering work being done at the fledgling operation. The company’s Taiwan Systems and Technology Laboratory has grown from a small lab in 2004 to become a major Asia-Pacific design center for IBM, now responsible for several major server products. Next year, IBM will start hiring more engineers for the lab to handle an increasing work load, said Jan Janick, vice president of modular server and storage development at IBM. The company plans to expand the lab to 400 workers, up from just over 200 now.

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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