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Intel 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake-S" IGP-Disabled Processor Lineup Detailed

With its 9th generation Core processor series, Intel adapted an interesting strategy to maximize its yields and increase competitiveness of its desktop processors. The "F" model number extension would go on to denote a lack of integrated graphics. It could be used in conjunction with other extensions such as "K" (unlocked base-clock multiplier). Completely disabling integrated graphics would allow Intel to salvage dies on which the iGPU component, which takes up a large chunk of the die area, doesn't clear validation. Intel refers to this as "GT0" (graphics tier zero), to fit into its iGPU tier differentiation scheme. The company also tends to price its "F" SKUs slightly lower, letting it compete with AMD Ryzen chips better. A case in point is the Core i5-9400F, often found under $160, and proving a strong alternative to the Ryzen 5 series for gaming PCs. With the 10th generation "Comet Lake-S" family, the company is planning several new "F" and "KF" SKUs.

According to a company slide leaked to the web by InformaticaCero, there are at least three each of "F" and "KF" SKUs in the works. The lineup includes the 10-core/20-thread i9-10900KF and i9-10900F; the 8-core/16-thread i7-10700KF and i7-10700F; and the 6-core/12-thread i5-10600KF and i5-10600F. Clock speeds and cache sizes of these chips are identical to their corresponding non-F SKUs (eg: i7-10700KF clock-speeds being identical to those of the i7-10700K). Provided they're sold at slightly lower prices, the lack of an iGPU doesn't affect target buyers of these chips - PC gamers or creative professionals who use graphics cards and don't need an iGPU. Competing Ryzen processors lack iGPUs by design. Intel is expected to debut its 10th generation Core "Comet Lake-S" processors in April.

GIGABYTE Updates the Brix Lineup with 10th Generation Comet Lake CPUs

GIGABYTE has updated its Brix lineup of Mini-PCs with Intel's latest and greatest 10th generation Comet Lake mobile CPUs. Measuring 46.8 x 119.5 x 119.5 mm, the Brix mini PC is a small form factor machine with its 0,6-liter size. If anyone thinks that power is proportional to the size of a PC, the GIGABYTE Brix is here to prove them wrong. Available in four variants that differ only in CPU that is soldered inside, you can get anything from a dual-core Intel Core i3-10110U, all the way up to six-core Core i7-10710U CPU powerhouse. These CPUs are 15 W TDP models, so even though the Brix is small, its cooling solution should be able to handle the heat.

The Brix Mini-PC comes with a mounting bracket for 75 x 75 mm and 100 x 100 mm VESA mounts, meaning that you can place it behind a monitor. Storage options are limited to one 2.5-inch drive that can be up to 9.5 mm thick. For RAM, the Brix is using two SO-DIMM slots that can support up to 64 GB of DDR4 2666 MHz RAM. When it comes to connectivity options, GIGABYTE has equipped the Brix with Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 wireless adapter providing Bluetooth 4.2 and WiFi 802.11ac connectivity. The IO options are somewhat decent as Brix has three USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports at the front, along with a USB Gen 2 Type-C connector and 3.5 mm headphone jack. On the back, there are two HDMI 2.0a ports for video output, two additional USC 3.2 Gen 2 ports, power input, and of course an RJ45 Ethernet connector.

Intel and QuTech Detail "Horse Ridge," First Cryogenic Quantum Computing Control Chip

Intel Labs, in collaboration with QuTech ‑ a partnership between TU Delft and TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) ‑ outlines key technical features of its new cryogenic quantum control chip "Horse Ridge" in a research paper released at the 2020 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco. The paper unveils key technical capabilities of Horse Ridge that address fundamental challenges in building a quantum system powerful enough to demonstrate quantum practicality: scalability, flexibility and fidelity.

"Today, quantum researchers work with just a small number of qubits, using smaller, custom-designed systems surrounded by complex control and interconnect mechanisms. Intel's Horse Ridge greatly minimizes this complexity. By systematically working to scale to thousands of qubits required for quantum practicality, we're continuing to make steady progress toward making commercially viable quantum computing a reality in our future," said Jim Clarke, director of quantum hardware, Intel Labs.

ASUS Equips ROG Huracan G21 Mini PC with 8 cores and RTX 2080

ASUS launched its ROG Huracan G21 mini gaming PC a long time ago intending to provide a small form factor gaming machine. Today, ASUS decided to update the Huracan with the latest hardware available. Inside a 17.7 liter chassis measuring 129.9×372.4×366.1 mm, ASUS managed to pack some powerful hardware. Starting with CPU, the ROG Huracan G21 is a house to Intel's Core i9-9900K 8 core, 16 thread CPU. There are also configurations available with Intel Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9400 CPUs. The CPU is installed on Mini-ITX Z390 motherboards made by ASUS, so it is technically possible to overclock it, however with an inadequate cooling solution for that it is not recommended.

To make a gaming PC, you need to have a good GPU to push all the framerates, and ASUS opted to equip the G21 with up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card with a blower-type cooler. Other options include GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 GPUs as well. For storage, there are quite a few options. There is one M.2 SATA SSD which can range from 128 GB to 512 GB in capacity. In addition to a 3.5-inch HDD that is available in 1 TB and 2 TB capacity, there is a hot-swap bay for a 2.5-inch drive. As far as the main memory goes, there is room for up to 32 GB of DDR4 2666 MHz memory. For IO, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port is available on the front of the chassis. In the back, there are two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, along with four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports. Video outputs are dependant on which graphics card is equipped in a given configuration. Additionally, to power this PC, ROG Huracan G21 relies on external power adapters that come in 180, 230, or 280 Watt options that again depend on the configuration of the machine. It is also worth pointing out that for audio, the G21 uses Realtek ALC1150 with ESS DAC and amplifier. Support for RGB is not lacking and of course, and it is compatible with ASUS Aura Sync software.

Intel Core i7-10700K Features 5.30 GHz Turbo Boost

Intel's 10th generation Core "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor series inches chose to its probable April 2020 launch. Along the way we get this fascinating leak of the company's Core i7-10700K desktop processor, which could become a go-to chip for gamers if its specifications and pricing hold up. Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK revealed what could be a Futuremark SystemInfo screenshot of the i7-10700K which confirms its clock speeds - 3.80 GHz nominal, with an impressive 5.30 GHz Turbo Boost. Intel is probably tapping into the series' increased maximum TDP of 125 W to clock these chips high across the board.

The Core i7-10700K features 8 cores, and HyperThreading enables 16 threads. It also features 16 MB of shared L3 cache. In essence, this chip has the same muscle as the company's current mainstream desktop flagship, the i9-9900K, but demoted to the Core i7 brand extension. This could give it a sub-$400 price, letting it compete with the likes of AMD's Ryzen 7 3800X and possibly even triggering a price-cut on the 3900X. The i7-10700K in APISAK's screenshot is shown running on an ECS Z490H6-A2 motherboard, marking the company's return to premium Intel chipsets. ECS lacks Z390 or Z370 based motherboards in its lineup, and caps out at B360.

Intel Zooms in on "Lakefield" Foveros Package

The fingernail-size Intel chip with Foveros technology is a first-of-its kind. With Foveros, processors are built in a totally new way: not with the various IPs spread out flat in two dimensions, but with them stacked in three dimensions. Think of a chip designed as a layer cake (a 1-millimeter-thick layer cake) versus a chip with a more-traditional pancake-like design. Intel's Foveros advanced packaging technology allows Intel to "mix and match" technology IP blocks with various memory and I/O elements - all in a small physical package for significantly reduced board size. The first product designed this way is "Lakefield," the Intel Core processor with Intel hybrid technology.

Industry analyst firm The Linley Group recently named Intel's Foveros 3D-stacking technology as "Best Technology" in its 2019 Analysts' Choice Awards. "Our awards program not only recognizes excellence in chip design and innovation, but also acknowledges the products that our analysts believe will have an impact on future designs," said Linley Gwennap, of The Linley Group.

Intel Xe Graphics to Feature MCM-like Configurations, up to 512 EU on 500 W TDP

A reportedly leaked Intel slide via DigitalTrends has given us a load of information on Intel's upcoming take on the high performance graphics accelerators market - whether in its server or consumer iterations. Intel's Xe has already been cause for much discussion in a market that has only really seen two real competitors for ages now - the coming of a third player with muscles and brawl such as Intel against the already-established players NVIDIA and AMD would surely spark competition in the segment - and competition is the lifeblood of advancement, as we've recently seen with AMD's Ryzen CPU line.

The leaked slide reveals that Intel will be looking to employ a Multi-Chip-Module (MCM) approach to its high performance "Arctic Sound" graphics architecture. The GPUs will be available in up to 4-tile configuration (the name Intel is giving each module), which will then be joined via Foveros 3D stacking (first employed in Intel Lakefield. This leaked slide shows Intel's approach starting with a 1-tile GPU (with only 96 of its 128 total EUs active) for the entry level market (at 75 W TDP) a-la DG1 SDV (Software Development Vehicle).

MSI's Rose Pink Prestige 14 Laptop Packs Some Serious Horsepower

MSI got bored of old dark/gray/white laptop designs and decided to spice things up a bit. Say goodbye to the old boring laptops and enter the MSI Prestige 14 Limited Edition Rose Pink laptop. Designed as a premium-looking machine, it has decent specifications to back up the good looks. Equipped with a 14-inch IPS display comes in two variants, a 1080p version, and 4K edition, and it has 100% coverage of the AdobeRGB spectrum. With such specifications, we know that it is targeting the professional content creators.

Under the hood, there is Intel's 10th generation Core i7-10710U "Comet Lake" processor paired with 16 GB of LPDDR3 2133 MHz RAM running in single-channel mode. For graphics, NVIDIA's GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU is on board with 4 GB of GDDR6 memory. Storage is limited to 512 gigabytes of PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD space, as there is no room for expansion. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 6 powered by Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 wireless adapter. When it comes to the IO, the Prestige 14 laptop is rocking two USB 2.0 adapter along with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one 3.5 mm headphone jack, and one Micro-SD card reader. There is also a 3-cell 50 Whr battery powering the system. Price-wise, this laptop is retailing for around $1399 on stores like Amazon and Newegg.

ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX TB3 Receives Official Thunderbolt Certification

The leading global motherboard, graphics card and mini PC manufacturer, ASRock, announces X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 receives the Thunderbolt Host certification from Intel. It is the first Thunderbolt Certified AMD motherboard.

X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 is the high-end Mini-ITX model in the ASRock X570 series motherboard which supports AMD Ryzen 2000 and 3000 series processors with AM4 socket. It is equipped with 10 power phase design (Dr.MOS) which provides completely smooth power delivery to the CPU to offer unmatched overclocking capabilities, and enhanced performance with the lowest temperature for advanced gamers. The key feature of this motherboard, Thunderbolt 3 technology, enables lightning-fast data bandwidth up to 40 Gbps, and can also provide both data and video transmission. Meanwhile, X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 can connect up to six Thunderbolt 3 devices such as graphics card, hard disk or monitor simultaneously by means of Daisy Chain technology.

GIGABYTE Rolls Out Designare DDR4-3200 High-Capacity 64GB (2x 32GB) Memory for Creators

The Designare brand of motherboards by GIGABYTE target content creators, and the company is extending the brand to memory, with the new Designare Memory series. It debuts with a high-capacity 64 GB dual-channel memory kit using two 32 GB modules. The rationale behind these densities is that creators may need them to deal with large data-sets. These are not off-spec "double height" modules, but are common dual-rank modules that stick to JEDEC compatibility spec, and pack XMP profiles that can run them at DDR4-3200 with 16-18-18-38 timings at 1.35 V.

GIGABYTE has tested these modules to work on all of its AMD X570, AMD B450, AMD TRX40, Intel X299, and Intel Z390 motherboards. For X570 and B450, however, the company states that only 3rd generation "Matisse" processors can handle this memory density. In its compatibility testing, GIGABYTE used 18-19-19-39 timings. Physically, the Designare modules have regular 32 mm height, a black PCB, and aluminium heatspreaders. GIGABYTE is backing the modules with lifetime warranty. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Microsoft Releases Microcode Updates Adressing Intel CPU Vulnerabilities under Windows 10

Microsoft today has released several microcode updates for Intel CPUs. The updates are meant to be applied in a case-by-case basis under their Windows 10 operating system, and these updates target several releases of that OS (ranging from version 1507 through version 1903/1909). These address several vulnerability exploits related to side-channel and speculative execution attacks on Intel CPUs.

The updates need to be installed specifically for the Windows OS version you're rocking, and on systems with CPUs affected by the vulnerabilities and covered by this microcode update release. These include Intel's Denverton (Atom C3000 series); Sandy Bridge, Sandy Bridge E and EP (2000 and 3000 series), Valleyview (Atom Z3000 series) and Whiskey Lake U CPUs (8000U series, 5000U series, and 4200U series). These updates must be installed manually by users.

GIGABYTE Lists AMD B550 and Intel Z490 Motherboards

Thanks to the findings of VideoCardz, we have information that GIGABYTE has listed its upcoming motherboards for AMD and Intel platforms. Starting with AMD's upcoming mid-range chipset, the B550 model is supposed to bring PCIe 4.0 connectivity options to lower-priced motherboard variants. So far, only high-end chipset versions like X570 had PCIe 4.0 support, while the mid-range option was lacking. GIGABYTE has prepared a total of six B550 AORUS models, along with a GAMING series which is supposed to be a tier below AORUS models. The B550 chipset will span all motherboard sizes, including ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX.

In the EEC listing, GIGABYTE also submitted Intel's upcoming Z490 motherboards for Comet Lake-S CPUs. In the listing, we see a total of 15 motherboards listed with an unusable entry. Again the W480 chipset appears, which is meant to power workstation motherboards. This chipset will go inside a new motherboard lineup called the "VISION" series. While we don't know what this new series brings, we know that both the workstation enabled W480 chipset and regular Z490 chipset will be a part of it.

ASRock Lists Z490 and H470 Motherboards in its Polychrome Sync Software

According to VideoCardz, ASRock has already listed Intel's upcoming lineup of motherboards in its Polychrome Sync software for controlling the RGB lighting of your motherboard. In the installed program files, ASRock displays several of the models that are a part of Intel's upcoming LGA1200-based Comet Lake-S 10th generation of CPUs. There are a total of nine Z490 motherboards and they are ASRock Z490 AQUA, Phantom Gaming 4, Phantom Gaming 4 SR, Phantom Gaming 6, Pro4, Steel Legend, Taichi, Z490M ITX AC, and Z490M Pro4.

When it comes to the cheaper, non-overclockable H470 chipset, there are two motherboards listed - H470 Steel Legend and H470M ITX AC. Additionally, perhaps one of the most interesting finds is the appearance of W480 chipset meant for workstation solutions. The motherboard using the new chipset is a model named W480 Creator, which should be a new addition to the consumer motherboard lineup.

Intel Core i5-L16G7 is the first "Lakefield" SKU Appearance, Possible Prelude to New Nomenclature?

Intel Core i5-L16G7 is the first commercial SKU that implements Intel's "Lakefield" heterogenous x86 processor architecture. This 5-core chip features one high-performance "Sunny Cove" CPU core, and four smaller "Tremont" low-power cores, with an intelligent scheduler balancing workloads between the two core types. This is essentially similar to ARM big.LITTLE. The idea being that the device idles most of the time, when lower-powered CPU cores can hold the fort; performance cores kick in only when really needed, until which time they remain power-gated. Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK discovered the first public appearance of the i5-L16G7 in an unreleased Samsung device that has the Userbenchmark device ID string "SAMSUNG_NP_767XCL."

Clock speeds of the processor are listed as "1.40 GHz base, with 1.75 GHz turbo," but it's possible that the two core types have different clock-speed bands, just like the cores on big.LITTLE SoCs. Other key components of "Lakefield" include an iGPU based on the Gen11 graphics architecture, and an LPDDR4X memory controller. "Lakefield" implements Foveros packaging, in which high-density component dies based on newer silicon fabrication nodes are integrated with silicon interposers based on older fabrication processes, which facilitate microscopic high-density wiring between the dies. In case of "Lakefield," the Foveros package features a 10 nm "compute field" die sitting atop a 22 nm "base field" interposer.

Blizzard Releases Warcraft III: Reforged System Requirements

Blizzard today released the system requirements for their remastered version of Warcraft III, Warcraft III: Reforged. The new game sees the inclusion of the original Reign of Chaos campaign and its expansion, the Frozen Throne, amounting to 60 campaign missions. Reworked graphics, four-hours of updated in-game cutscenes and re-recorded voice-overs are paired with rebalanced online play and the addition of social and matchmaking capabilities.

Requirements-wise, it's a light game on its minimum settings for sure: Blizzard says gamers will need an Intel Core i3-530 or AMD Athlon Phenom II X4 910. A mere 4 GB of system RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 or AMD Radeon HD 5750 will be required to power the games' visuals. If you aren't looking for the minimum specs but how good of an experience you'll have, the Recommended specs up the ante: an Intel Core i5-6400 or AMD Ryzen 7 1700X or better are being called for, paired with 8 GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R9 280X.

CacheOut is the Latest Speculative Execution Attack for Intel Processors

Another day, another speculative execution vulnerability found inside Intel processors. This time we are getting a new vulnerability called "CacheOut", named after the exploitation's ability to leak data stored inside CPU's cache memory. Dubbed CVE-2020-0549: "L1D Eviction Sampling (L1Des) Leakage" in the CVE identifier system, it is rated with a CVSS score of 6.5. Despite Intel patching a lot of similar exploits present on their CPUs, the CacheOut attack still managed to happen.

The CacheOut steals the data from the CPU's L1 cache, and it is doing it selectively. Instead of waiting for the data to become available, the exploit can choose which data it wants to leak. The "benefit" of this exploit is that it can violate almost every hardware-based security domain meaning that the kernel, co-resident VMs, and SGX (Software Guard Extensions) enclaves are in trouble. To mitigate this issue, Intel provided a microcode update to address the shortcomings of the architecture and they recommended possible mitigations to all OS providers, so you will be protected once your OS maker releases a new update. For a full list of processors affected, you can see this list. Additionally, it is worth pointing out that AMD CPUs are not affected by this exploit.

Intel Rumored to be Courting GlobalFoundries for Some CPU Manufacturing

With its own silicon fabrication facilities pushed to their capacity limits, Intel is looking for third-party semiconductor foundries to share some of its supply load, and according to a WCCFTech report, its latest partner could be GlobalFoundries, which has a 14 nm-class fab in Upstate New York. If it goes through, the possible Intel-GloFo deal could see contract manufacturing commence within 2020.

GloFo's fab offers 14 nm FinFET and 12LPP, a refinement that's marketed as 12 nm. According to the report, Intel could use GloFo for manufacturing CPU dies, specifically its entry-level chips such as Core i3, Pentium, and Celeron. Intel is also known to shed its own manufacturing workload by contracting foundries for 14 nm core-logic (chipsets). In a bid to maximize 14 nm fab allocation for its CPUs, Intel also started making some of its 300-series chipsets on the older 22 nm process, which goes to show the company's appetite for 14 nm.

Intel 400-series Chipset Motherboards to Lack PCIe Gen 4.0, Launch Pushed to Q2

Intel's upcoming 400-series desktop chipset will lack support for PCI-Express gen 4.0. The motherboards will stick to gen 3.0 for both the main x16 PEG slots wired to the LGA1200 socket, and general purpose PCIe lanes from the PCH, according to a Tom's Hardware report. It was earlier expected that 400-series chipset motherboards will come with preparation for PCIe gen 4.0, so even if the upcoming 10th gen "Comet Lake" desktop processors lacked gen 4.0 root-complexes, the boards would be fully ready for the new bus standard in 11th gen "Rocket Lake" desktop processors.

10th gen "Comet Lake" desktop processors are built on 14 nm process, and implement Intel's current-gen CPU core design Intel has been implementing since 6th gen "Skylake." It's only with 11th gen "Rocket Lake" that the mainstream desktop platform could see a new CPU core design, with the company reportedly back-porting "Willow Cove" CPU cores to the 14 nm process. "Rocket Lake" is also expected to feature a small Gen12 iGPU with 32 execution units, and a new-gen uncore component that implements PCIe gen 4.0. PCIe gen 4.0 doubles bandwidth over gen 3.0, and while only a handful GPUs support it, the standard is made popular by a new generation of M.2 NVMe SSDs that are able to utilize the added bandwidth to push sequential transfer rates beyond M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 limitations.

MSI Registers Z490 Motherboards With the EEC

As we gear up for another Intel CPU launch with their 10th Gen Comet Lake-S CPUs with up to 10 cores, motherboard manufacturers have to go through the process of getting their products approved through various regulatory requirements. The Eurasian Economic Commission is one which constantly gives little snippets towards the future, and now, MSI motherboards based on Intel's Z490 chipset and LGA 1200 socket have shown up.

Knowing MSI's usual staple of motherboards for each product generation, there aren't many surprises here. The entries refer to these MSI motherboards: Z490-A PRO (Standard ATX); Creator Z490I (Mini-ITX); MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK (Standard ATX); MPG Z490M GAMING EDGE WIFI (Micro-ATX); MPG Z490 GAMING; CARBON WIFI (Standard ATX); MPG Z490 GAMING PLUS (Standard ATX); MEG Z490I UNIFY (Mini-ITX); MEG Z490 UNIFY (Standard ATX); MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE; WIFI (Standard ATX); MEG Z490 ACE (Standard ATX); MEG Z490 GODLIKE (E-ATX). You can expect the GODLIKE to be so in both features and price, as usual, topping out MSI's lineup.

Intel joins CHIPS Alliance to promote Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) as an open standard

CHIPS Alliance, the leading consortium advancing common and open hardware for interfaces, processors and systems, today announced industry leading chipmaker Intel as its newest member. Intel is contributing the Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) to CHIPS Alliance to foster broad adoption.

CHIPS Alliance is hosted by the Linux Foundation to foster a collaborative environment to accelerate the creation and deployment of open SoCs, peripherals and software tools for use in mobile, computing, consumer electronics and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The CHIPS Alliance project develops high-quality open source Register Transfer Level (RTL) code and software development tools relevant to the design of open source CPUs, SoCs, and complex peripherals for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and custom silicon.

Pure 12V PSU Standard, Named ATX12VO, Debuts Later This Year

Back at CES, at the FSP booth, we spied an inconspicuous-looking PSU with a curious 10-pin connector in place of the 24-pin ATX. The FSP500-30AKB turned out to be the first public exhibit of a the pure 12-Volt PC power supply standard being pushed by Intel, which is called "ATX12VO," which abbreviates Advanced Technology eXtended 12-Volt Only. According to the specification, the PSU only puts out +12 V and 12 Vsb voltage domains, and does away with the 5 V, 5 Vsb, and 3.3 V domains. This greatly simplifies the design of PSUs, as PCs of today don't use too many power-hungry 5 V or 3.3 V devices (such as half-a-dozen mechanical hard drives). The PC will still need 5 V for interfaces such as USB, but VRM on the motherboard will be responsible for DC-to-DC switching of 12 V to those lower-voltage domains. It's also likely that the motherboard will now put out a handful SATA power connectors.

Intel could debut ATX12VO within 2020 via its next-generation desktop platform, which features a 10-pin connector instead of 24-pin. It remains to be seen if the company could help the transition from current PSUs to the new standard by having its motherboard partners include a 24-pin to 10-pin adapter of some sort. In addition to the 10-pin connector, ATX12VO PSUs will put out two other purely-12 V connector types: 8-pin/4+4 pin EPS and 6+2 pin PCIe power. The EPS connector powers the CPU VRM, while the PCIe connector powers add-on cards, such as graphics cards. 4-pin Molex connectors could also be put out, but those will only feature 12 V pins (the 5 V pins will be absent).

Intel Board of Directors Elects New Chairman and New Director

Intel Corporation announced today that at the company's Jan. 15 board meeting Andy D. Bryant stepped down as chairman and the board elected lead independent director Dr. Omar Ishrak to succeed Bryant as an independent chairman, effective immediately. Intel also announced that Alyssa Henry was elected to Intel's board. Her election marks the seventh new independent director added to Intel's board since the beginning of 2016.

Bryant will remain on the board through the end of Intel's 2020 annual stockholders' meeting. He had previously notified the board in March 2019 that he did not intend to stand for re-election at this year's meeting. Bryant made the decision to leave the role now in order to facilitate an effective transition.

QNAP Releases Intel Dual-Core Powered TS-251D Multimedia NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today launched the 2-bay TS-251D NAS. Powered by an Intel J4005 dual-core processor, the TS-251D can be used with QNAP's smart AI photo management application, QuMagie, which integrates AI image recognition to group similar photos together in album "People", "Things" and "Places". The 4K media transcoding and streaming capabilities of the TS-251D brings users an excellent and satisfying cross-device multimedia experience. The TS-251D also provides a PCIe slot for expanding its core functionality.

Powered by an Intel Celeron J4005 dual-core 2.00 GHz processor (burst up to 2.7 GHz), DDR4 RAM (up to 8 GB), one Gigabit LAN port, and supports SATA 6 Gbps drives. The TS-251D provides dependable read/write speeds and Intel AES-NI 256 hardware-accelerated encryption to secure sensitive and confidential data on the NAS. The TS-251D also supports snapshots, allowing users to quickly recover data in the event of accidental deletion/modification or ransomware attack.

Intel Reportedly Looking Into Further Reduction in CPU Pricing for 2020

Intel's policy on CPU pricing has been a strong, definite one for years: no price reductions. Faced with less than admirable competition from a struggling AMD back in its Phenom and especially Bulldozer days, Intel enforced a heavy hand on the market and on CPU pricing. However, a much revitalized AMD and difficulties in the transition to the 10 nm process have left Intel with no other recourse than to cut pricing on its CPUs in order to remain competitive. No uptake of new I/O technologies such as PCIe 4.0 has also taken its toll on Intel's position in the server and HEDT market, which has led to recent price-cuts and tightening of Intel's Xeon line of CPUs - as well as price-cuts in the order of 50% in their Cascade Lake-X processors compared to the previous generation.

DigiTimes, citing industry PC makers, says that Intel is gearing up to keep fighting in the only front it actually can, besides puny core count increases on their heavily-iterated Skylake architecture - pricing. This move comes in a bid to keep its market dominance, which Intel themselves have said - after Zen 2, that is - isn't a priority for the consumer market. You can rest assured that Intel is very, very likely already practicing hefty price reductions for tray-quantity purchases for partners. However, it seems that the company might bring some price cuts on to its upcoming Comet Lake CPUs. The company has always been loathe to reduce pricing on existing inventory, rather choosing to reduce the price on new launches (see the Cascade Lake-X example above), which, arguably, saves Intel's face on claims of only being able to compete on pricing - which lurks dangerously close to Intel being painted as the budget, price-cut alternative to AMD.

Intel "Panther Canyon" NUC Implements "Tiger Lake" SoC with Xe Graphics

Intel NUC 11 Extreme is the spiritual successor to the "Hades Canyon" and "Skull Canyon" NUC, and implements the company's next-generation 10 nm+ "Tiger Lake" processor. Codenamed "Panther Canyon," the NUC 11 Extreme represents a line of ultra-compact desktops with serious computing power, bringing together the company's highest-performance CPU cores and iGPUs. The "Tiger Lake-U" SoC powering the NUC 11 Extreme will reportedly be configured with a 28-Watt TDP, and will come in Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 variants.

The "Tiger Lake-U" processor is expected to combine next-generation "Willow Cove" CPU cores with an iGPU based on Intel's new Xe graphics architecture, in what could be the first commercial outing for both. The NUC 11 Extreme "Panther Canyon" will also support up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory over SO-DIMMs, an M.2-2280 slot with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, and option for Intel Optane M10 cache memory. On the connectivity front, and Intel AX-201 WLAN card provides 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5. A 2.5 GbE wired interface will also be available. These will also be among the first NUCs to feature front- and rear-Thunderbolt ports (possibly next-gen 80 Gbps given that the platform implements PCIe gen 4.0). The NUC 11 Extreme "Panther Canyon" is expected to launch some time in the second half of 2020.
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