GM CEO Barra wants to slow down PC chip improvements and cut costs

After seeing her profit and market share fall, General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra has a mission: To end supplier shortfalls and keep production up. Barra wants to work with the chip industry, which has…

GM CEO Barra wants to slow down PC chip improvements and cut costs

After seeing her profit and market share fall, General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra has a mission: To end supplier shortfalls and keep production up.

Barra wants to work with the chip industry, which has been working to decrease power and memory costs.

“That’s one of the areas that we’re working on,” Barra said on an earnings call on Thursday. “We’re also trying to innovate here and see the opportunities that we have to work on the supply chain.”

The need for less expensive, less-powerful processors is a byproduct of the release of the iPhone 5 in 2007, which utilized a mobile computer processor that was 1.8 times less power efficient than the older Motorola LiMo processor. As phones and tablets have become more powerful over the past decade, technology companies have ramped up production and provided them with ever-richer cradles of computing power.

“It’s also why we’re working with our suppliers to make sure they are producing chips that are less expensive,” Barra added.

GM will have to step up production without adding staff. The automotive supplier sector has been struggling to add workers despite recent unemployment rates and nearly 100,000 job openings, and according to the International Manufacturing Technology Institute, long-term problems with the American workforce contributing to decline in manufacturing jobs.

It’s an idea that tech industry firms have been pushing to make possible: One of the fastest growing job sectors this year is data analytics and technical design, according to a survey by Aberdeen Group.

Programmers working on software that comes with Apple’s iPhone have been seeing a record-breaking 30 percent annual growth in their median compensation, according to a study by Forrester Research. The authors of the study said the jobs are high-paying, covering $100,000 to $150,000 per year.

Tech companies have been stepping up efforts to recruit and train more American workers.

Motorola is building a robot that will “think like a human” and help assemble cell phones. Across the country, nearly 4 million Americans are working at factory jobs, according to Federal Reserve data.

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