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ECS Intros Liva Q, its Smallest 4K Capable Mini PC

Elitegroup Computer System (ECS), the global leading motherboard, Mini-PC, Notebooks and mobile device manufacturer, is proud to announce the new LIVA Q, pocket-sized mini-pc featuring Intel Apollo Lake SOC processors, along with 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC storage and HDMI 2.0; this little monster is capable of handling 4K content playback with ease.

The new LIVA Q pocket-sized mini-pc allows you to stay connected with dual network options, a standard RJ45 LAN connector for more stabilized connection and 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless connections. There's also a MicroSD card slot that support up to 128GB memory cards for those who seeks more storage and x2 USB slots for peripherals.

Intel Hires Raja Koduri, to Develop Discrete GPUs, This Time for Real

Intel hired Raja Koduri, who resigned as head of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), earlier this week. Koduri has been made Senior Vice President and Chief Architect of Intel's future discrete GPUs. That's right, Intel has renewed its dreams to power high-end graphics cards that compete with AMD and NVIDIA. Intel's last attempt at a discrete GPU was "Larrabee," which evolved into a super-scalar multi-core processor for HPC applications under the Xeon Phi line.

This development heralds two major theories. One, that Intel's collaboration with AMD RTG on graphics IP could only go further from here, and what is a multi-chip module of Intel and AMD IP now, could in the future become a true heterogeneous die of Intel's and AMD's IP. Two, that the consolidation of AMD's graphics assets and IP into a monolithic entity as RTG, could make it easier to sell it lock, stock, and barrel, possibly to Intel.

Latest Intel Graphics Driver Enables Netflix HDR

Intel today released its latest Graphics Driver for Windows (GDW). Version 15.60 WHQL (15.60.0.4849), which is applicable for integrated graphics embedded into 6th generation "Skylake," 7th generation "Kaby Lake," and 8th generation "Coffee Lake" processors. The drivers are WDDM 2.3 compliant (Windows 10 Fall Creators Update), and add support for Netflix HDR and YouTube HDR on Windows 10. The drivers also add support for 10-bpc (1.07 billion colors) displays over HDMI, and adds video decode hardware acceleration for several formats introduced after DirectX 12.

For those with beefier Iris Pro graphics, Intel GDW 15.60 adds optimization for "Middle-earth: Shadow of War," "Pro Evolution Soccer 2018," "Call of Duty: WWII," "Destiny 2," and "Divinity: Original Sin." As a WDDM 2.3 compliant driver, version 15.60 enables Windows Mixed Reality headsets plugged into the integrated graphics connectors. Download the driver from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: Intel Graphics Driver for Windows 15.60

Intel Xeon Scalable Processors Supercharge Amazon Web Services

Intel Xeon Scalable processors are deployed by today's cloud service providers to deliver disruptive performance efficiency across a diverse range of cloud workloads. Today, Intel announced Amazon Web Services' (AWS) public cloud customers can now harness the workload-optimized performance that the Intel Xeon Scalable platform delivers in Amazon's latest cloud instance. Available now, the Amazon EC2 C5 instances are AWS' latest generation, most powerful compute-optimized instances with the best price-to-compute performance.

Intel Xeon Scalable processors are highly agile, high-performance compute engines that allow public cloud environments to seamlessly transition among general purpose compute, high-performance computing (HPC) and AI/deep learning compute. This agility provides public cloud users a wide range of options for their target workloads. Intel Xeon Scalable processors are uniquely architected for today's evolving cloud data center infrastructure, offering energy efficiency and system-level performance that average 1.65x higher performance over the prior generation Xeon processors.

Kontron Releases the KBox C-102-4 with Four PCIe Slots

Kontron, a leading global provider of Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), introduces a new member of its high-end industrial computer platforms for control cabinet environments - the Kontron KBox C-102-4. The new model allows the integration of up to four PCIe expansions slots and is thus ideally suited for users requiring a large number of additional interfaces, industrial I/Os, or fieldbuses.

The KBox C-102 series is now available in four alternative design variants: the compact KBox C-102-0 without additional expansion slots, the KBox C-102-1 and KBox C-102-2 with one or two PCI(e) expansion slots respectively, and the new KBox C-102-4 with four PCI(e) expansion slots. The industrial computers are used mainly for control, visualization, and inspection in the production process.

Intel, AMD MCM Core i7 Design Specs, Benchmarks Leaked

Following today's surprise announcement of an Intel-AMD collaboration (of which NVIDIA seems to be the only company left in a somewhat more fragile position), there have already been a number of benchmark leaks for the new Intel + AMD devices. While Intel's original announcement was cryptic enough - to be expected, given the nature of the product and the ETA before its arrival to market - some details are already pouring out into the world wide web.

The new Intel products are expected to carry the "Kaby Lake G" codename, where the G goes hand in hand with the much increased graphics power of these solutions compared to other less exotic ones - meaning, not packing AMD Radeon graphics. For now, the known product names point to one Intel Core i7-8705G and Intel Core i7-8809G. Board names for these are 694E:C0 and 694C:C0, respectively.

Intel Announces "Coffee Lake" + AMD "Vega" Multi-chip Modules

Rumors of the unthinkable silicon collaboration between Intel and AMD are true, as Intel announced its first multi-chip module (MCM), which combines a 14 nm Core "Coffee Lake-H" CPU die, with a specialized 14 nm GPU die by AMD, based on the "Vega" architecture. This GPU die has its own HBM2 memory stack over a 1024-bit wide memory bus. Unlike on the AMD "Vega 10" and "Fiji" MCMs, in which a silicon interposer is used to connect the GPU die to the memory stacks, Intel deployed the Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB), a high-density substrate-level wiring. The CPU and GPU dies talk to each other over PCI-Express gen 3.0, wired through the package substrate.

This multi-chip module, with a tiny Z-height, significantly reduces the board footprint of the CPU + discrete graphics implementation, when compared to having separate CPU and GPU packages with the GPU having discrete GDDR memory chips, and enables a new breed of ultra portable notebooks that pack a solid graphics muscle. The MCM should enable devices as thin as 11 mm. The specifications of the CPU and dGPU dies remain under the wraps. The first devices with these MCMs will launch by Q1 2018.
A video presentation follows.

Intel CPU On-chip Management Engine Runs on MINIX

With the transition to multi-core processors, and multi-core processors with integrated core-logic (chipset), the need arose for a low-level SoC embedded into the processor with just enough compute power to make sure all the components you pay for start-up and function as advertised. Enter the Intel ME (management engine). This is a full-fledged computer within your Intel processor, which isn't exposed to you. It runs on its very own tiny x86 CPU core that isn't exposed, and its software is driven on an infinitesimally small ROM and RAM. Since you can't have software without some sort of operating-system, Intel chose MINIX for the job.

MINIX is a Unix-like OS with an extremely small memory footprint. The OS was designed by Andrew Tanenbaum, originally as an educational tool to demonstrate that machines can still be built with extremely tiny code. If you're familiar with the "ring-level" system of hardware-access privilege by software, ring 0 would designate the "highest" level of access. A software with ring 0 access can erase your disk, flash your system BIOS, and even make your CPU run at any C-state. The OS kernel needs these privileges, and hence is a ring 0 software. Most user software, like the web-browser you're reading this on, runs at ring 3 (with the browser's own sandbox, the user-level, and API level forming inner levels). Intel ME runs at ring -3 (negative 3), and your OS has no power over it. Most system BIOS updates for Intel motherboards include a ROM update for ME. ME governs the functioning of the rest of the processor, its start-up, and booting. It also governs silicon-level security and management features that can't be compromised by malware.

Source: NetworkWorld

Intel Launches High-Density ARM-based Stratix 10 FPGA on 14 nm

Intel today announced it has begun shipping its Intel Stratix 10 SX FPGA - the only high-end FPGA family with an integrated quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor. With densities greater than 1 million logic elements (MLE), Intel Stratix 10 SX FPGAs provide the flexibility and low latency benefit of integrating an ARM processor with a high-performance, high-density FPGA needed to tackle the design challenges of next-generation, high-performance systems.

By integrating the FPGA and the ARM processor, Intel Stratix 10 SX FPGAs provide an ideal solution for 5G wireless communication, software defined radios, secure computing for military applications, network function virtualization (NFV) and data center acceleration.

HP and Intel Become Official Overwatch League Sponsors

Tech leaders HP Inc. and Intel today joined forces with Blizzard Entertainment in major Overwatch League sponsorship deals that represent an extended investment in the groundbreaking professional league. As part of the multiyear agreements, Intel will sponsor future Overwatch competitive events in addition to the Overwatch League. Players taking part in these events will be equipped with cutting-edge gaming hardware from both HP and Intel. HP, and more specifically, its OMEN by HP gaming PCs and displays will be used exclusively for Overwatch League games, with PCs powered by Intel Core i7 processors.

"We're thrilled to be joining forces with HP and Intel to ensure that the teams competing professionally in Overwatch are equipped with top-end technology," said Pete Vlastelica, president & CEO of Blizzard Entertainment's Major League Gaming division. "Multiyear collaborations such as this illustrate the momentum behind the Overwatch League as well as a long-term commitment by us and our partners in what we see as the future of esports."

Intel 10 nm CPUs to See Very Limited Initial Launch in 2017

UPDATE: Some slides have surfaced today on Reddit that actually place Intel's updated 10 nm roadmap as starting initial risk production in 2Q 2018. The same leaks also point towards a yearly advancement in process technology (akin to Intel's current 14 nm+ and 14 nm++ production processes), with 10 nm+ risk production on 1Q 2019 and 10 nm++ on 1Q 2020. This roadmap, however, is relative to Intel's Custom Foundry partners; as such, this doesn't go directly against Intel CEO's Brian Kzarnich remarks on the latest investor call, since he was likely talking about the 10 nm ramp-up on Intel's own products.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has come out to say that the company's first 10 nm CPUs based on the "Cannon Lake" micro-architecture will see the light of day before this year's end. Intel has been having a slew of ramp-up delays with its 10 nm products, which prompted a slippage from an expected 2016, full-scale launch (whose ship has sailed, clearly) towards a timed, product-tier based strategy. Intel opted to first introduce 10 nm technology to FPGA accelerators, which due to their redundancy, would suffer less from yield issues.

GIGABYTE Unleashes Their Itty-bitty Z370N WiFi Motherboard

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, has released the new GIGABYTE Z370N WIFI motherboard based on the Intel Z370 chipset. The new motherboard incorporates powerful performance capabilities within a compact design to provide users with a versatile motherboard for building their ideal PCs.

The GIGABYTE Z370N WIFI motherboard is optimized to support 8th Gen. Intel Core Processors. For a mini-ITX form factor, this motherboard can truly maximize the power of the Intel Core i7-8700K processors by easily reaching overclocked frequencies of 5GHz and higher. The motherboard uses an Intersil Hybrid Digital VRM design to ensure that power is distributed effectively, enabling the GIGABYTE Z370N WIFI to perform at its highest standards. Additionally, over 1000 memory modules have been validated by GIGABYTE to ensure proper compability with support for XMP profiles up to a frequency of 4600MHz when overclocked.

Intel Launches its Blazing-Fast Optane SSD 900P SSD

Intel today announced the launch of the Intel Optane SSD 900P Series, the first SSD for desktop PC and workstation users built on Intel Optane technology. Intel, in collaboration with Roberts Space Industries, announced the new SSD at CitizenCon, a Star Citizen community gathering in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Intel Optane SSD 900P Series delivers incredibly low latency and best-in-class random read and write performance at low queue depths - up to four times faster than competitive NAND-based SSDs - opening incredible new possibilities. With the new SSDs, users will unlock more potential from their platform. The Intel Optane SSD 900P Series is ideal for the most demanding storage workloads, including 3D rendering, complex simulations, fast game load times and more. Up to 22 times more endurance than other drives also gives the heaviest users peace of mind.

Intel Reports Q3-2017 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported third-quarter 2017 financial results. "We executed well in the third quarter with strong results across the business, and we're on track to a record year," said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. "I'm excited about our progress and our future. Intel's product line-up is the strongest it has ever been with more innovation on the way for artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and more." "In the third quarter, we delivered record earnings, exceeded our EPS expectations, and increased our profit expectations for the full year," said Bob Swan, Intel CFO. "We feel great about Intel's transformation and where we are nine months into our three year plan." In the third quarter, the company generated approximately $6.3 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.3 billion, and used $1.1 billion to repurchase 31 million shares of stock.

In the third quarter, Intel saw strength across the business. The data center, Internet of Things and memory businesses all achieved record quarterly revenue, and Intel extended its performance leadership with the launches of 8th Gen Intel Core and Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Intel's FPGA business, the Programmable Solutions Group, is experiencing strong momentum, winning designs with automotive and cloud service provider customers that advance Intel's position in artificial intelligence. The company also furthered its autonomous driving efforts with exciting customer wins and the completion of the Mobileye tender offer, four months earlier than expected.

Intel Starts Shipping its High-End Stratix 10 SX FPGA

Intel today announced it has begun shipping its Intel Stratix 10 SX FPGA - the only high-end FPGA family with an integrated quad-core ARM* Cortex*-A53 processor. With densities greater than 1 million logic elements (MLE), Intel Stratix 10 SX FPGAs provide the flexibility and low latency benefit of integrating an ARM processor with a high-performance, high-density FPGA needed to tackle the design challenges of next-generation, high-performance systems.

By integrating the FPGA and the ARM processor, Intel Stratix 10 SX FPGAs provide an ideal solution for 5G wireless communication, software defined radios, secure computing for military applications, network function virtualization (NFV) and data center acceleration.

Intel "Cannon Lake" Could Bring AVX-512 Instruction-set to the Mainstream

Intel's next-generation "Cannon Lake" CPU micro-architecture could see the introduction of the AVX-512 instruction-set to the mainstream segments (MSDT or mainstream-desktop, and mobile). It is currently available on the company's Core X "Skylake-X" HEDT processors, and on the company's Xeon "Skylake-W," Xeon Scalable "Skylake-SP," and in a limited form on the Xeon Phi Knights Landing and Knights Mill scalar compute chips.

The upcoming "Cannon Lake" mainstream silicon will feature AVX512F, AVX512CD, AVX512DQ, AVX512BW, and AVX512VL instructions, and will support AVX512_IFMA and AVX512_VBMI commands, making it a slightly broader implementation of AVX-512 than the "Skylake-SP" silicon. The new AVX-512 will vastly improve performance of compute-intensive applications that take advantage of it. It will also be a key component of future security standards.

Source: Anandtech

ASUS Confirms Z270 Platform Could be Compatible with Intel Coffee Lake CPUs

In an interview with Bit-tech, ASUS ROG motherboard product manager Andrew Wu has let the proverbial cat out of the bag: apparently, compatibility of Z270 boards with Coffee Lake processors wouldn't have been impossible after all. When asked why the new Coffee Lake CPUs aren't compatible with the previously released Z270 platform, Andrew Wu explained that it" (...) depends on Intel's decision." Andrew Wu also went on to mention that Intel's stated power delivery reasons don't "make much difference", and that ASUS themselves could make their Z270 motherboards compatible with Coffee Lake. For that, however, they'd need "(...) an upgrade from the ME [Management Engine] and a BIOS update", for which "Intel somehow has locked the compatibility."

It seems all of that extra "pin-count" doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of the current Coffee Lake lineup with up to six core processors - the CPU socket and platform as designed with Z270 would have been able to handle the increased core counts and power loads. The question gets murkier with Intel's ability to release an 8-core CPU to the Z370 platform though - that particular amount of cores might indeed prove to be too much for Z270's power delivery. Making an educated guess, it would seem that Intel could have allowed for Coffee Lake compatibility on Z270 motherboards on CPUs up to 6 cores, but would need the new revisions on the Z370 platform to allow for operation of 8-core Coffee Lake chips.

BIOSTAR Launches Flagship RACING Z370GT7 Motherboard

BIOSTAR introduces its flagship Intel Z370 motherboard under the third generation RACING series, the BIOSTAR RACING Z370GT7. This motherboard supports the latest 8th generation Intel Core processors also known as Coffee Lake. The RACING Z370GT7 sports premium features that gamers, overclockers, professional content creators, and modders demand. It has a luxurious golden black color theme and advanced RBG lighting customizations with Advanced VIVID LED DJ. New and improved features: the smart A.I FAN and reinforced PCI-E slots to handle heavier graphics cards make the new-gen RACING Series much more robust. Push performance and harness the power of the new Intel Core i7-8700K 6-core, 12-thread processor along with dual Intel Optane-ready M.2 slots for the fastest PCIe NVMe drives available today.

BIOSTAR's 3rd Gen RACING Design
BIOSTAR revamps the RACING series motherboards with a much more flashy and high-end design with a golden black color theme.
  • Gold I/O Armor - Gold I/O Armor strongly protects I/O interfaces and components from static electricity. The RGB LED lights on top of the armor
  • are controllable with the Advanced VIVID LED DJ for more lighting control.
  • Gold Tattoo RACING R - The classic "R" sign on the heatsink shows the spirit of RACING Series.
  • RGB Rainbow Lighting Effect - 10 flashing modes for RGB lighting effect bring you more customization fun via Advanced VIVIVD LED DJ utility.
  • Gold PCB Treatment - The 3rd Gen RACING Z370 motherboards ascend to a higher level of luxury and fashion for your gaming world!

Intel Helps Retailers Digest Old Core K-series Inventory with Game Bundles

With the rather fast introduction of the Intel Core i7-8700K (just 9 months following the January 3rd launch of the i7-7700K), retailers are finding themselves with quite a bit of unsold i7-7700K (and even i7-6700K) inventory. Consumers are drawn to either the i7-8700K, or the competing AMD Ryzen processors. To help the market digest these unsold chips, Intel started a new game-bundle dubbed "Game Without Compromise."

Buyers of brand-new Core i7-7700K and i7-6700K processors will receive game keys to "Total War: Warhammer II" and "Assassins Creed: Origins," which is effectively a $100 value-addition to these $330 quad-core chips. It provides an upgrade path to users of the older 100-series/200-series chipset platform. As with most such game bundles, the "Game Without Compromise" bundle will be limited to select retailers.

Source: OC3D

On Intel's Decision to no Longer Disclose All-core Turbo

Intel is no longer going to disclose all-core Turbo Boost speeds, starting with their 8th Gen Coffee Lake processors that have just been released. The information comes straight from the blue giant. Answering a query from ExtremeTech on the matter, the company said that "[W]e're no longer disclosing this level of detail as its proprietary to Intel. Intel only specifies processor frequencies for base and single-core Turbo in our processor marketing and technical collateral, such as ARK, and not the multi-core Turbo frequencies. We're aligning communications to be consistent. All Turbo frequencies are opportunistic given their dependency on system configuration and workloads."

This decision is a rollback that does little more than rob users of another data point that has really always been there. The practical effect of this change isn't anything to write home about: Intel's Turbo Boost capabilities were never guaranteed performance levels (the fact that the advertised Turbo speeds were called "Max Turbo" implied Turbo levels could be lower.) However, there's also not much that can be said to explain this change in stance from the blue giant. If anything, this decision only opens up debate and speculation regarding the reasons why Intel is making this change: and the skeptics among us will always default to foul play or dark linings.

To our Forum dwellers: this piece is marked as an Editorial

Intel Delivers 17-qubit Superconducting Chip with Advanced Packaging to QuTech

Today, Intel announced the delivery of a 17-qubit superconducting test chip for quantum computing to QuTech, Intel's quantum research partner in the Netherlands. The new chip was fabricated by Intel and features a unique design to achieve improved yield and performance. The delivery of this chip demonstrates the fast progress Intel and QuTech are making in researching and developing a working quantum computing system. It also underscores the importance of material science and semiconductor manufacturing in realizing the promise of quantum computing.

Quantum computing, in essence, is the ultimate in parallel computing, with the potential to tackle problems conventional computers can't handle. For example, quantum computers may simulate nature to advance research in chemistry, materials science and molecular modeling - like helping to create a new catalyst to sequester carbon dioxide, or create a room temperature superconductor or discover new drugs. However, despite much experimental progress and speculation, there are inherent challenges to building viable, large-scale quantum systems that produce accurate outputs. Making qubits (the building blocks of quantum computing) uniform and stable is one such obstacle.

Intel B360 Chipset for 8th Gen Coffee Lake Chips Surfaces in SiSoftware

Intel's Coffee Lake launch has shown the telltale signs of a product that wasn't originally planned to launch as early as it did. Intel's decision to pull the release date of Coffee Lake based CPUs - and its accompanying platform - have translated into an overall lack of availability for the latest Intel core processors, and a staggered launch for their platform chipsets, with only the higher-tier Z370 being available for motherboard designs as of writing.

It's expected that Intel's lower tier chipsets, such as the B360 chipset, will only be released during the first quarter of 2018. However, a recent leak that has surfaced in Sisoftware's Official Live Ranker has revealed a SuperMicro C7B360-CB-M board. following SuperMicro's known naming scheme, it's a somewhat "in your face" statement that this is a B360 chipset test board, in the Micro-ATX form-factor. The fact that this board has surfaced already (and especially considering SuperMicro's Z370 board, SuperMicro's C7Z370-CG-L, surfaced just 85 days before the platform launch) could point towards an earlier than expected release time-frame for B360 boards. It's arguable that this Intel generation is the one that offers itself the most to budget chipset offerings, considering Intel's Core i5 8400's placement as one of the best bang-for-buck CPUs from the Intel field in a long while.

Sources: SiSoftware, via Videocardz

Optane 900P SSD, Successor to the Intel 750 Series

"Industry contacts" have told TweakTown that a successor to Intel's well received 750 series NVMe drives will launch within weeks. The second generation Optane 900P SSDs will be available in both the U.2 and AIC (PCI-E 3.0) form factors, with capacities of 280, 480, 960 and 1500 GBs. Like the Intel 750 series, the Optane 900P has enterprise roots, namely Intel's ridiculously expensive 375GB P4800X; which we covered earlier. As the 900P is aimed at consumers, maybe more accurately prosumers, prices should be "affordable".

Slide courtesy of TweakTown

Newegg Confirms Limited Availability of Intel Core 8th Gen Processors

A user from [H]ardOCP has posted on the website's forums an exchange he had with the customer service over at Newegg. If availability of Intel's latest 8th Gen CPUs was rumored to be limited before, this seems to bring some more credence to those reports. Case in point: over at Newegg, orders for the Core i5 8600K processor are currently being put on back-order, with estimated shipping dates of 15 to 20 days. Pore over the i7 8700K processor, though, and you'll find it currently out of stock.

Newegg has apparently ordered over 3000 units of the Core i7 8700K CPU alone, in order to keep pace with demand (these have been well-received chips as you can see on TPU's own reviews). Newegg expects these to come in at around a "3 to 5 weeks" time-frame. What separates this particular availability problem from being simply an issue of overly high demand is that Intel's Coffee Lake processors were already expected to be limited in availability even before they were launched. Remember that while Intel probably had such six-core processors as these taped out well in advance already, they did pull up their launch window so as to better compete with current AMD Ryzen offerings.

Sources: HardOCP, Newegg 8600K, Newegg 8700K

German Company to Sell Binned Core i7 8700K With 99.9% Silver Heatspreader

For those users who thought they'd like some silver with their Intel, german webshop Caseking has a product for you. The company has taken the binning concept that we've already seen with other webshops, which pass the onus of the silicon lottery towards themselves, and taken it to the next level. Caseking will offer Core i7 8700K products that have not only been binned towards achieving guaranteed speeds of 5 GHz, 5.1 GHz and 5.2 GHz, but they're also retrofitting these binned 8700K processors with a 99.9% purity silver heatspreader to improve operating temperatures for these guaranteed-overclocking processors.
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