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Where's the Ryzen Effect? Intel posts Record Financials

Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 financial results. The company also announced that its board of directors approved a five percent cash dividend increase to $1.32 per share on an annual basis. The board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.33 per share on the company's common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 7.

"In 2019, we gained share in an expanded addressable market that demands more performance to process, move and store data," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "One year into our long-term financial plan, we have outperformed our revenue and EPS expectations. Looking ahead, we are investing to win the technology inflections of the future, play a bigger role in the success of our customers and increase shareholder returns."

Kingston Technology Announces Data Center DC1000B NVMe SSD

Kingston Technology today announced the Data Center DC1000B M.2 NVMe SSD, optimized for server boot drive applications, featuring power-loss protection (PLP). Kingston's Data Centre DC1000B is a high-performance M.2 (2280) NVMe PCIe SSD using the latest Gen 3.0 x 4 PCIe interface with 64-layer 3D TLC NAND. DC1000B offers data centres a cost-effective boot drive solution with the reassurance that they are purchasing an SSD designed for server use. The DC1000B is ideally suited as an internal boot drive for use in high-volume rack-mount servers, as well as for use in purpose-built systems that require a high-performance M.2 SSD that includes on-board power loss protection (PLP).

M.2 NVMe SSDs are evolving within the data centre, providing efficiencies in booting servers to preserve valuable front-loading drive bays for data storage. Whitebox and Tier 1 Server OEMs are beginning to equip server motherboards with one, or sometimes two, M.2 sockets for boot purposes. While the M.2 form factor was originally designed as a client SSD form factor, its small physical size and high performance make it attractive for server use. Not all SSD are created equal and using a client SSD in a server application may result in poor, inconsistent performance.

Western Digital Samples World's First 20TB SMR and 18TB CMR Hard Drives

Western Digital announced that it has started shipping the industry's highest-capacity HDD samples to enterprise OEMs and hyperscale customers worldwide. The 20 TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDDs and 18 TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDDs, first previewed in June 2019, and announced in September 2019, feature its first-ever commercial implementation of energy-assisted magnetic recording technology on a nine-disk platform, enabling customers to more efficiently provision and scale their data center environments with unmatched total cost of ownership.

With zettabyte-scale data growth, the need for higher-capacity data storage across a broad spectrum of applications and workloads can be reliably met only with high Capacity Enterprise HDDs. The industry-leading capacities of Western Digital's Ultrastar 20 TB SMR and 18 TB CMR HelioSeal HDDs enable customers to deploy up to 22 percent fewer racks and reduce their TCO by up to 11 percent, along with the corresponding reductions in power consumption, cooling costs, and data center infrastructure needs when compared with today's 14 TB CMR HDDs.

AWS Starts Designing 32-Core Arm Neoverse N1 CPU for Data Center

Amazon Web Services, a part of Amazon that is in charge of all things cloud, has announced plans to release 32 core CPU based on Arm Neoverse N1 microarchitecture that is designed to handle a diverse workload that today's cloud infrastructure needs. This new CPU should be the second iteration of AWS'es custom CPU based on the Arm architecture. First-generation AWS CPU was a processor called Graviton, which Amazon offered on-demand in the cloud.

The still-unnamed second-gen CPU will utilize a 7 nm manufacturing process if the Neoverce N1 core at its base is to be believed. Additionally, everything from the Neoverse line should translate to this next-gen CPU as well, meaning that there will be features like high frequency and high single-threaded performance, cache coherency, and interconnect fabric designed to connect special-purpose accelerators to the CPU complex. For reference, Arm's design of Neoverce N1 has a TDP of 105 W for the whole SoC and its packs 64 cores running at 3.1 GHz, delivering amazing power efficiency and high core count.

Micron Brings 3D XPoint Technology to Market With the World's Fastest SSD

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced a breakthrough in nonvolatile memory technology with the introduction of the world's fastest SSD, the Micron X100 SSD. The Micron X100 SSD is the first solution in a family of products from Micron targeting storage- and memory-intensive applications for the data center. These solutions will leverage the strengths of 3D XPoint technology and usher in a new tier in the memory-to-storage hierarchy with higher capacity and persistence than DRAM, along with higher endurance and performance than NAND.

"Micron's innovative X100 product brings the disruptive potential of 3D XPoint technology to the data center, driving breakthrough performance improvements for applications and enabling entirely new use cases," said Micron Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Sumit Sadana. "Micron is the only vertically-integrated provider of DRAM, NAND and 3D XPoint solutions in the world, and this product continues the evolution of our portfolio towards higher value solutions that accelerate artificial intelligence capabilities, drive faster data analytics and create new insights for our customers."

Kingston Technology Also Releases Enterprise-Grade Data Center 450R SSD

Kingston Digital Europe Co LLP, the flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced it is shipping the Data Center 450R (DC450R) Enterprise SSD, a high performance 6 Gbps SATA SSD with 3D TLC NAND, designed for read-centric application workloads. This streamlined server SSD delivers on performance while providing exceptional I/O and latency predictability, a requirement now amongst Data Center Class SSDs. Built to Kingston's strict QoS requirements, the DC450R is designed to ensure performance consistency over a wide range of read intensive and read caching workloads.

Kingston's DC450R is designed for workloads that require 24/7 uptime and reliability, such as Content Delivery Networks (CDN), edge computing applications and a wide array of software-defined storage architectures. DC450R presents a specifically focused feature set that enables data centers to select the most cost effective SSD for their workloads. Businesses require results as they deliver on products, solutions and service level agreements (SLAs) and DC450R provides system builders and Cloud providers with a high performance, economical SSD standard they can count on.

Western Digital Announces Sale of IntelliFlash Business and Intention to Exit Storage Systems

Western Digital Corp. today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its IntelliFlash business to DDN, a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and multi-cloud data management. In addition, Western Digital and DDN have agreed to expand their existing partnership through a multi-year strategic sourcing agreement, under which DDN will increase its purchase of Western Digital's HDD and SSD storage devices.

This announcement is part of Western Digital's strategic intention to exit Storage Systems, which consists of the IntelliFlash and ActiveScale businesses. The company is exploring strategic options for ActiveScale. These actions will allow Western Digital to optimize its Data Center Systems portfolio around its core Storage Platforms business, which includes the OpenFlex platform and fabric-attached storage technologies.

"As we look to the future, scaling and accelerating growth opportunities for IntelliFlash and ActiveScale will require additional management focus and investment to ensure long-term success," said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer. "By refocusing our Data Center Systems resources on our Storage Platforms business, we are confident that the Western Digital portfolio will be better positioned to capture significant opportunities ahead and drive long-term value creation."

Western Digital to Deliver 18TB CMR and 20TB SMR HDDs in the First Half of 2020

Addressing the TCO requirements of data center customers, Western Digital announced its nine-disk mechanical platform, which includes energy-assisted recording technology and maintains the company's areal density leadership while delivering the highest capacity available. The company will sample the 18 TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDD and the 20 TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDD to select customers by the end of 2019 with production ramp expected in the first half of 2020.

This rapid ramp and availability of the 20 TB SMR drive following a technology preview in June 2019, supports a growing ecosystem and the continued industry adoption of SMR. Western Digital estimates that 50 percent of its HDD exabytes shipped will be on SMR by 2023. "At Dropbox, we are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and power in our data centers," said Akhil Gupta, vice president of engineering at Dropbox. "We're excited to see SMR drives reach a 20 TB capacity point, which will enable us to power collaboration and deliver long-term value to our customers."

AMD Zen 2 EPYC "Rome" Launch Event Live Blog

AMD invited TechPowerUp to their launch event and editor's day coverage of Zen 2 EPYC processors based on the 7 nm process. The event was a day-long affair which included product demos and tours, and capped off with an official launch presentation which we are able to share with you live as the event goes on. Zen 2 with the Ryzen 3000-series processors ushered in a lot of excitement, and for good reason too as our own reviews show, but questions remained on how the platform would scale to the other end of the market. We already knew, for example, that AMD secured many contracts based on their first-generation EPYC processors, and no doubt the IPC increase and expected increased core count would cause similar, if not higher, interest here. We also expect to know shortly about the various SKUs and pricing involved, and also if AMD wants to shed more light on the future of the Threadripper processor family. Read below, and continue past the break, for our live coverage.
21:00 UTC: Lisa Su is on the stage at the Palace of Fine Arts events venue in San Francisco to present AMD's latest developments on EPYC for datacenters, using the Zen 2 microarchitecture.

21:10 UTC: AMD focuses not just on delivering a single chip, but it's goal is to deliver a complete solution for the enterprise.

Next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors to Deliver Breakthrough Platform Performance with up to 56 Processor Cores

Intel today announced its future Intel Xeon Scalable processor family (codename Cooper Lake) will offer customers up to 56 processor cores per socket and built-in AI training acceleration in a standard, socketed CPU as part of its mainline Intel Xeon Scalable platforms, with availability in the first half of 2020. The breakthrough platform performance delivered within the high-core-count Cooper Lake processors will leverage the capabilities built into the Intel Xeon Platinum 9200 series, which today is gaining momentum among the world's most demanding HPC customers, including HLRN, Advania, 4Paradigm, and others.

"The Intel Xeon Platinum 9200 series that we introduced as part of our 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor family generated a lot of excitement among our customers who are deploying the technology to run their high-performance computing (HPC), advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and high-density infrastructure. Extended 56-core processor offerings into our mainline Intel Xeon Scalable platforms enables us to serve a much broader range of customers who hunger for more processor performance and memory bandwidth."
-Lisa Spelman, vice president and general manager of Data Center Marketing, Intel Corporation

Intel Switches to a "Data Center First" Strategy with 7nm

Intel traditionally released new CPU microarchitectures and new silicon fabrication nodes with the client segment, and upon observing some degree of maturity with both, graduated them to the enterprise segment. With its homebrew 7 nanometer silicon fabrication process that takes flight in 2021, Intel will flip its roadmap execution strategy, by going "Data Center First." Speaking at the 2019 Investors Day summit, Intel SVP and GM of Data Center Group Navin Shenoy revealed that the first product built on Intel's 7 nm process will be a GPGPU accelerator chip derived from the Xe architecture for the Data Center, followed closely by a new server CPU. Both these products come under Shenoy's group. One is a competitor to likes of NVIDIA Tesla and AMD Radeon Instinct, while the other is a Xeon processor competing with AMD EPYC.

Shenoy explained the reason why within his group, the GPGPU product was prioritized over the server CPU. It has to do with redundancy of the GPU silicon, or specifically, the higher potential to harvest partially defective dies than CPU. A GPU has a larger number of indivisible components that can be disabled if found non-functional at the time of quality assurance, and these harvested dies can be used to carve out variants of a main product. An example of this would be NVIDIA carving out the GeForce GTX 1070 (1,920 CUDA cores) from the GP104 silicon that physically has 2,560 CUDA cores. The first manufacturing runs of the GPGPU will give the foundry valuable insights into the way the node is behaving, so it could be refined and matured for the server CPU. With 10 nm, however, Intel is sticking to the client-first model, by rolling out the "Ice Lake" processor towards the end of 2019. Within the Client Computing group, Intel has flipped its roadmap execution such that mobile (notebook) CPUs take precedence over desktop ones.

Intel on Q1 FY 2019: Servers Down, PC Market Up, Revenue Flat

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter 2019 financial results. In the first quarter, the company generated approximately $5.0 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.4 billion and used $2.5 billion to repurchase 49 million shares of stock.

"Results for the first quarter were slightly higher than our January expectations. We shipped a strong mix of high-performance products and continued spending discipline while ramping 10nm and managing a challenging NAND pricing environment. Looking ahead, we're taking a more cautious view of the year, although we expect market conditions to improve in the second half," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Our team is focused on expanding our market opportunity, accelerating our innovation and improving execution while evolving our culture. We aim to capitalize on key technology inflections that set us up to play a larger role in our customers' success, while improving returns for our owners."

Intel Reports First-Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter 2019 financial results. "Results for the first quarter were slightly higher than our January expectations. We shipped a strong mix of high performance products and continued spending discipline while ramping 10nm and managing a challenging NAND pricing environment. Looking ahead, we're taking a more cautious view of the year, although we expect market conditions to improve in the second half," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Our team is focused on expanding our market opportunity, accelerating our innovation and improving execution while evolving our culture. We aim to capitalize on key technology inflections that set us up to play a larger role in our customers' success, while improving returns for our owners."

In the first quarter, the company generated approximately $5.0 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.4 billion and used $2.5 billion to repurchase 49 million shares of stock. In the first quarter, Intel achieved 4 percent growth in the PC-centric business while data-centric revenue declined 5 percent.

Intel Announces Broadest Product Portfolio for Moving, Storing, and Processing Data

Intel Tuesday unveiled a new portfolio of data-centric solutions consisting of 2nd-Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Intel Optane DC memory and storage solutions, and software and platform technologies optimized to help its customers extract more value from their data. Intel's latest data center solutions target a wide range of use cases within cloud computing, network infrastructure and intelligent edge applications, and support high-growth workloads, including AI and 5G.

Building on more than 20 years of world-class data center platforms and deep customer collaboration, Intel's data center solutions target server, network, storage, internet of things (IoT) applications and workstations. The portfolio of products advances Intel's data-centric strategy to pursue a massive $300 billion data-driven market opportunity.

Kingston Technology Launches New Data Center 500 Series SSDs

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced it is shipping the Data Center DC500R Enterprise SSD optimized for read-intensive applications. This is the first drive in the DC500 series that implements Kingston's strict Quality of Service (QoS) requirements to ensure predictable random I/O performance as well as predictable low latencies over a wide range of read and write workloads. Next week, the company will ship its DC500M SSD optimized for mixed-use workloads.

DC500R is ideal for read-intensive applications such as boot up, web servers, virtual desktop infrastructure, operational databases and real-time analytics. Cloud service providers and software-defined storage architects can leverage the drive's consistent I/O and latency performance to deliver the QoS needed in demanding read-centric environments. At .5 DWPD (drive writes per day), DC500R allows IT administrators to maximize their investment in storage hardware with a drive that delivers on performance, endurance and reliability. DC500R is available in 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB and 3.84TB capacities.

Toshiba Memory Expands NVMe SSD Portfolio Targeting Cloud Data Centers

Toshiba Memory America, Inc. the U.S.-based subsidiary of Toshiba Memory Corporation, announced availability of its XD5 Series NVMe SSD platform in a 2.5-inch, 7 mm low-profile form factor that is optimized for low-latency and performance consistency in read-intensive workloads. Developed for both data center and cloud environments, the new 2.5-inch form factor XD5 Series is ideal for NoSQL databases, large-scale-out data mining and analysis, and streaming applications. The XD5 Series is also well-suited for Open Compute Project (OCP) applications and systems.

Built on 64-layer BiCS FLASH TLC (3-bit-per-cell) 3D flash memory, and featuring a PCIe Gen 3 x4 interface, the new XD5 SSD 2.5-inch option delivers sequential read performance up to 2,700 megabytes per second (MB/s) and sequential write performance up to 895 MB/s with low active power consumption of 7 watts. At one drive write per day (DWPD), the XD5 Series can write nearly 4 terabytes (TB) of random data daily for five years at a consistent performance rate. Random read/write performance is specified at 250,000/21,000 Input/Output Operations per Second (IOPS) respectively, making the XD5 Series a predictable and reliable solution for read-intensive or heavy transactional workloads.

WD Announces CL SN720 and DC SN630 NVMe SSDs for Data Centers

Western Digital Corp. today announced two new additions to its broad portfolio of NVMe-based systems, platforms, SSDs, and memory drives for data center and cloud customers. With a full portfolio covering applications from edge-to-core, these additions are the Western Digital Ultrastar DC SN630 NVMe SSD and the Western Digital CL SN720 NVMe SSD. Each leverages the power of Western Digital's vertical integration capabilities, including internally developed controller and firmware architectures, and 64-layer 3D NAND technology. As a replacement for lower-performing SATA SSDs, these new NVMe drives meet the insatiable need for performance, scalability, endurance and low total cost of ownership (TCO) for public and private cloud deployments, hyperscale cloud environments, and next-generation workloads at the edge.

IT managers face challenges such as managing multiple workload types, scaling at optimal TCO, and controlling server sprawl. Due to its inherent scalability and performance benefits, NVMe is quickly becoming the de facto standard for everything from traditional scale-up database applications to emerging edge computing architectures.

Intel Reports Third-Quarter 2018 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported third-quarter 2018 financial results. Third-quarter revenue of $19.2 billion was an all-time record, up 19 percent YoY driven by broad business strength and customer preference for performance-leading products. The Client Computing Group (CCG), the Data Center Group (DCG), the Internet of Things Group (IOTG), the Non-volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG) and Mobileye all achieved record revenue. Collectively, data-centric businesses grew 22 percent, led by 26 percent YoY growth in DCG. PC-centric revenue was up 16 percent on continued strength in the commercial and gaming segments. Excellent operating margin leverage and a lower tax rate drove record quarterly EPS.

"Stronger than expected customer demand across our PC and data-centric businesses continued in the third quarter. This drove record revenue and another raise to our full-year outlook, which is now up more than six billion dollars from our January expectations. We are thrilled that in a highly competitive market, customers continue to choose Intel," said Bob Swan, Intel CFO and Interim CEO. "In the fourth quarter, we remain focused on the challenge of supplying the incredible market demand for Intel products to support our customers' growth. We expect 2018 will be another record year for Intel, and our transformation positions us to win share in an expanded $300 billion total addressable market."

Samsung Electronics Unveils Comprehensive New Data Center SSD Lineup

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today unveiled the Samsung Data Center solid-state drive (SSD) lineup to address current and future trends in high performance computing storage in the big data era for small and medium businesses (SMBs). Samsung's new family of Data Center SSD solutions, which consists of the 860 DCT, 883 DCT, 983 DCT and the 983 ZET, are engineered to meet the evolving needs of SMBs, including faster, sustained performance, higher capacities and enterprise-class reliability and security.

Samsung's Data Center SSD portfolio will raise the bar for efficiency compared to legacy storage systems, requiring fewer servers and reduced power and cooling for a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). The new lineup delivers better Quality of Service (QoS) for SMBs by reducing latency and lowering data delays. The entire line provides enhanced reliability and endurance for 24/7 operation backed by a 5-year limited warranty and impressive Drive Writes Per Day (DWPD) ratings.

Marvell Introduces Industry's First NVMe-over-Fabric SSD Converter Controller

Marvell today announced the industry's first NVMe over Fabric (NVMe-oF) SSD converter controller, the 88SN2400 designed and optimized to convert an NVMe SSD into an NVMe-oF SSD.

By bringing low latency access over the fabric and exposing the entire SSD bandwidth to the network, the Marvell controller supports true scalable, high-performance disaggregation of storage from compute. The 88SN2400 utilizes a simple, low-power and compute-less Ethernet fabric instead of a traditional PCIe fabric controlled and managed by an enterprise-class server SoC with integrated 100GE controllers.

Seagate MACH.2 Multi Actuator Tech Enables 480MB/s HDDs

At the OCP summit this week Seagate and its partners revealed new proof points showing continued progress, solid results, and customer and industry adoption of the company's advanced HAMR and Multi Actuator technologies, which will be implemented in the near future in Seagate Exos enterprise hard drives.

Today Seagate said its new MACH.2 Multi Actuator technology has enabled them to set a new hard drive speed record, demonstrating up to 480MB/s sustained throughput - the fastest ever. Seagate formally introduced its MACH.2 Multi Actuator technology yesterday, which has now been deployed in development units for customer testing prior to productization. Read below to learn more.

Toshiba Adds New Lineup of Data Center SSDs Featuring 64-layer BiCS Flash

Toshiba Memory America, Inc. (TMA), the U.S.-based subsidiary of Toshiba Memory Corporation, has enhanced its portfolio of solid-state drives (SSDs) for the data center with a new, 3D flash memory-based lineup of PCI Express NVMe and SATA SSDs in multiple form factors. The new CD5, XD5 and HK6-DC SSDs enable infrastructure managers to address performance and workload demands by offering robust performance and reliability with lower operating power for read-intensive applications such as NoSQL databases, big data analytics and streaming media.

"Demand for flash storage in data centers continues to grow rapidly - with capacity shipped into the enterprise expected to increase at a 58 percent CAGR through 2021," said Jeff Janukowicz, IDC Research Vice President for Solid State Drives and Enabling Technologies. "In order for hyperscale, virtualization, automation/orchestration and software-defined storage applications to thrive, cloud data centers must meet specific workload requirements. Toshiba's latest data center SSDs are designed to help customers address these demanding environments and realize the most value from their flash storage."

Intel Reimagines Data Center Storage with New 3D NAND SSDs

Today, Intel announced the Intel SSD DC P4510 Series for data center applications. The P4510 Series uses 64-layer TLC Intel 3D NAND to enable end users to do more per server, support broader workloads and deliver space-efficient capacity. The P4510 Series enables up to four times more terabytes per server and delivers up to 10 times better random read latency at 99.99 percent quality of service than previous generations. The drive can also deliver up to double the input-output operations per second (IOPS) per terabyte. The 1 and 2TB capacities have been shipping to cloud service providers (CSPs) in high volume since August 2017, and the 4 and 8TB capacities are now available to CSPs and channel customers. All capacities are in the 2.5-inch 15 mm U.2 form factor and utilize a PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 connection.

To accelerate performance and simplify management of the P4510 Series PCIe SSDs and other PCIe SSDs, Intel is also delivering two new technologies that work together to replace legacy storage hardware. Intel Xeon Scalable processors include Intel Volume Management Device (VMD), enabling robust management such as surprise insertion/removal and LED management of PCIe SSDs directly connected to the CPU. Building on this functionality, Intel Virtual RAID on CPU (VROC) uses Intel VMD to provide RAID to PCIe SSDs. By replacing RAID cards with Intel VROC, customers are able to enjoy up to twice the IOPs performance and up to a 70 percent cost savings with PCIe SSDs directly attached to the CPU, improving customer's return on their investments in SSD-based storage.

Italian Multinational Gas, Oil Company Fires Off HPC4 Supercomputer

Eni has launched its new HPC4 supercomputer, at its Green Data Center in Ferrera Erbognone, 60 km away from Milan. HPC4 quadruples the Company's computing power and makes it the world's most powerful industrial system. HPC4 has a peak performance of 18.6 Petaflops which, combined with the supercomputing system already in operation (HPC3), increases Eni's computational peak capacity to 22.4 Petaflops.

According to the latest official Top 500 supercomputers list published last November (the next list is due to be published in June 2018), Eni's HPC4 is the only non-governmental and non-institutional system ranking among the top ten most powerful systems in the world. Eni's Green Data Center has been designed as a single IT Infrastructure to host all of HPC's architecture and all the other Business applications.

NVIDIA Forbids GeForce Driver Deployment in Data Centers

NVIDIA recently updated the end-user license agreement (EULA) for their GeForce Software. There's one particular statement in the limitations section that caught our eye. And it reads: No Datacenter Deployment. The SOFTWARE is not licensed for datacenter deployment, except that blockchain processing in a datacenter is permitted. It seems that NVIDIA isn't too happy with data centers that utilize GeForce and TITAN graphics cards instead of the more expensive Quadro or Tesla cards. With this prohibition in place, data centers are forced to either invest in NVIDIA's pricier offerings or completely switch over to AMD. Data centers that are using GeForce products for cryptocoin mining are unaffected by this change in the EULA.
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