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Intel Discontinues Omni-Path Enabled Xeon Processors

Intel's Omni-Path technology has been used primarily in high performance computing market, in order to provide high speed interconnect between Intel Xeon CPUs, with speeds reaching around 100 Gbps. Accompanied by different design and system integration that Omni-Path uses, it was a bit difficult to integrate into server system, while not adding much value that other technologies couldn't match or beat.

Because of these reasons, Intel is now discontinuing its last product capable of utilizing Omni-Path - the first generation Xeon Scalable CPUs. Carrying the suffix "F", these CPUs had an extra connector sticking out of CPU's PCB to enable the Omni-Path functionality (see images bellow). There were eight CPUs manufactured in total that had this extra feature, consisting out of two Xeon Platinum and six Xeon Gold CPUs, which have now reached end of life. Intel states that focus from these CPUs has shifted to other technologies like silicon photonics, which provides much greater speed reaching 100s of gigabits per second. Intel already demonstrated transceivers capable of reaching 400 Gb/s speeds with the magic of light, which will become available in 1H 2020.

Intel Announces 10th Gen Core X Series and Revised Pricing on Xeon-W Processors

Intel today unveiled its latest lineup of Intel Xeon W and X-series processors, which puts new classes of computing performance and AI acceleration into the hands of professional creators and PC enthusiasts. Custom-designed to address the diverse needs of these growing audiences, the new Xeon W-2200 and X-series processors are targeted to be available starting November, along with a new pricing structure that represents an easier step up for creators and enthusiasts from Intel Core S-series mainstream products.

Intel is the only company that delivers a full portfolio of products precision-tuned to handle the sustained compute-intensive workloads used by professional creators and enthusiasts every day. The new Xeon W-2200 and X-series processors take this to the next level, as the first high-end desktop PC and mainstream workstations to feature AI acceleration with the integration of Intel Deep Learning Boost. This offers an AI inference boost of 2.2 times more compared with the prior generation. Additionally, this new lineup features Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, which has been further enhanced to help software, such as for simulation and modeling, run as fast as possible by identifying and prioritizing the fastest available cores.

GIGABYTE Smashes 11 World Records with New AMD EPYC 7002 Processors

GIGABYTE, a leading server systems builder which recently released a total of 17 new AMD EPYC 7002 Series "Rome" server platforms simultaneously with AMD's own official launch of their next generation CPU, is proud to announce that our new systems have already broken 11 different SPEC benchmark world records. These new world records have not only been achieved against results from all alternative processor based systems but even against competing vendor solutions using the same 2nd Generation AMD EPYC 7002 Series "Rome" processor platform, illustrating that GIGABYTE's system design and engineering is perfectly optimized to deliver the maximum performance possible from the 2nd Generation AMD EPYC.

Intel Launches First 10th Gen Core Processors: Redefining the Next Era of Laptop Experiences

Today, Intel officially launched 11 new, highly integrated 10th Gen Intel Core processors designed for remarkably sleek 2 in 1s and laptops. The processors bring high-performance artificial intelligence (AI) to the PC at scale, feature new Intel Iris Plus graphics for stunning entertainment and enable the best connectivity with Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) and Thunderbolt 3. Systems are expected from PC manufacturers for the holiday season.

"These 10th Gen Intel Core processors shift the paradigm for what it means to deliver leadership in mobile PC platforms. With broad-scale AI for the first time on PCs, an all-new graphics architecture, best-in-class Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) and Thunderbolt 3 - all integrated onto the SoC, thanks to Intel's 10nm process technology and architecture design - we're opening the door to an entirely new range of experiences and innovations for the laptop."
-Chris Walker, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Mobility Client Platforms in the Client Computing Group

AMD Announces 3rd Generation Ryzen Desktop Processors

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su at her 2019 Computex keynote address announced the 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processor family, which leverages the company's Zen 2 microarchitecture, and are built on the 7 nm silicon fabrication process at TSMC. Designed for the AM4 CPU socket, with backwards compatibility for older AMD 300-series and 400-series chipset motherboards, these processors are multi-chip modules of up to two 8-core "Zen 2" CPU chiplets, and a 14 nm I/O controller die that packs the dual-channel DDR4 memory controller and PCI-Express gen 4.0 root complex, along with some SoC connectivity. AMD claims an IPC increase of 15 percent over Zen 1, and higher clock speeds leveraging 7 nm, which add up to significantly higher performance over the current generation. AMD bolstered the core's FPU (floating-point unit), and doubled the cache sizes.

AMD unveiled three high-end SKUs for now, the $329 Ryzen 7 3700X, the $399 Ryzen 7 3800X, and the $499 Ryzen 9 3900X. The 3700X and 3800X are 8-core/16-thread parts with a single CPU chiplet. The 3700X is clocked at 3.60 GHz with 4.40 GHz maximum boost frequency, just 65 Watts TDP and will be beat Intel's Core i7-9700K both at gaming and productivity. The 3800X tops that with 3.90 GHz nominal, 4.50 GHz boost, 105W TDP, and beat the Core i9-9900K at gaming and productivity. AMD went a step further at launched the new Ryzen 9 brand with the 3900X, which is a 12-core/24-thread processor clocked at 3.80 GHz, which 4.60 boost, 72 MB of total cache, 105W TDP, and performance that not only beats the i9-9900K, but also the i9-9920X 12-core/24-thread HEDT processor despite two fewer memory channels. AMD focused on gaming performance with Zen 2, with wider FPU, improved branch prediction, and several micro-architectural improvements contributing to a per-core performance that's higher than Intel's. The processors go on sale on 7/7/2019.

Some AMD Processors Have a Hardware RNG Bug, Losing Randomness After Suspend Resume

Red Hat Systemd (system and service manager) lead developer Lennart Poettering discovered that AMD A6-6310 "Beema" SoC that's popular among low-cost notebooks, has a faulty implementation of the RdRand random-number generation instruction. The processor's hardware random number generator (RNG) loses "randomness" after the machine resumes from a suspended state (i.e. waking up the notebook from sleep by opening its lid while it's powered on). Modern computers rely on RNGs for "entropy," critical to generation of unpredictable keys on the fly for SSL. However, the entropy source needn't be hardware, and isn't so by default. Software RNGs exist, and by default the Linux kernel does not use RdRand to generate entropy. Windows is not known to use RdRand for basic ACPI functions such as suspend/resume; however a faulty hardware RNG is not without implications for the platform, and applications that run on it.

Users on GitHub and Bugzilla report that with this bug, you cannot make a machine suspend a second time after waking it up from a suspended state, if your kernel uses RdRand. Commit cc83d51 to Systemd introduced optional randomness generation based on RdRand instruction. So, if RdRand instruction is present, it is used to generate UUIDs for invocation IDs. Michael Larabel of Phoronix comments that the RdRand bug is only found on older generations of AMD processors, "Excavator" and older; and does not affect the latest "Zen" processors. This bug report chronicles what's wrong with RdRand on the affected processors, as does this Linux kernel bugzilla thread. By avoiding RdRand usage on the system as part of generating a UUID, the reported systemd issue no longer happens. Red Hat is working on a solution to this bug.

Intel, AMD, and HTC Partner to Resolve Vive Wireless Adapter Compatibility Issue with Ryzen Processors

The headline of this post makes it seem a touch more innocuous than the story may lead to, at least if you believe the rumor mills abound. There has been an ongoing issue with AMD systems using Ryzen CPUs and the HTC Vive wireless adapter (powered by Intel WiGig) to where the systems have frozen or even had a BSOD. HTC acknowledged this as early as Nov, 2018, noting that they have seen this with a subset of Ryzen-based motherboards when the PCIe wireless adapter is installed and running. It took until last week to get a solution of sorts, and unfortunately reports from users indicate this is not a true fix for everyone.

The hotfix update 1.20190410.0 was made available April 25 to attempt to combat this issue, which was garnering a lot of attention in the VR-community on whether there was more Intel could be doing to help AMD customers. This hotfix update is available automatically once an end user with the Vive wireless adapter checks for an update, and HTC acknowledge that they continue to test this, as well as partner with Intel and AMD to help resolve this once and for all. In the meantime, users report mixed success to date, including some we know personally as well, and it remains a thorn in the side of wireless VR to get to the PC successfully.

ASRock DeskMini 310 supports Intel 9th Gen Processors

The world leading motherboard and mini PC manufacturer - ASRock, announces DeskMini 310 supports Intel the latest 9th Generation Core series 65-watt LGA1151 processors. ASRock DeskMini 310 adopts with Intel H310 chipset, supports up to 32GB DDR4-2666MHz memory, dual 2.5-inch hard drive and one M.2 (2280) PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe SSD. ASRock provides various optional accessories of DeskMini 310, includes USB 2.0 cable, VESA mount kit, and Wi-Fi ac kit. With comprehensive accessories, DeskMini 310 can satisfy diverse demands from all users.

AMD Kicks-Off 2019 Offering Complete Mobile Portfolio with Ryzen, Athlon, and A-Series Processors for Notebooks and Chromebooks

Today, AMD announced the first members of its 2019 mobility line-up encompassing all notebook segments: 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen 3000 Series Mobile Processors powering ultrathin and gaming notebooks; AMD Athlon 300 Series Mobile Processors powering mainstream notebooks with the fast and efficient "Zen"3 core; and optimized 7th Gen AMD A-Series processors, elevating performance for mainstream Chromebooks. In addition, AMD announced that starting this quarter, gamers, creators and enthusiasts will be able to install Radeon Software Adrenalin software to bring the latest GPU features and game optimizations to all systems powered by AMD Ryzen Processors with Radeon Graphics.

"Users expect mobile PCs that excel at both everyday tasks and compute-heavy experiences, and with our latest mobile processor portfolio AMD offers exactly that across all levels of the market," said Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, Client Compute, AMD. "Notebook users want to experience the latest modern features while streaming, gaming, or finishing work faster. Enabling breakthrough entertainment experiences, AMD is pleased to enable a wide range of AMD powered notebooks than ever that deliver on those expectations with blazing fast performance, rich graphics, and long battery life."

AMD 7nm EPYC "Rome" CPUs in Upcoming Finnish Supercomputer, 200,000 Cores Total

During the next year and a half, the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC) will be purchasing a new supercomputer in two phases. The first phase consists of Atos' air-cooled BullSequana X400 cluster which makes use of Intel's Cascade Lake Xeon processors along with Mellanox HDR InfiniBand for a theoretical performance of 2 petaflops. Meanwhile, system memory per node will range from 96 GB up to 1.5 TB with the entire system receiving a 4.9 PB Lustre parallel file system as well from DDN. Furthermore, a separate partition of phase one will be used for AI research and will feature 320 NVIDIA V100 NVLinked GPUs configured in 4-GPU nodes. It is expected that peak performance will reach 2.5 petaflops. Phase one will be brought online at some point in the summer of 2019.

Where things get interesting is in phase two, which is set for completion during the spring of 2020. Atos' will be building CSC a liquid-cooled HDR-connected BullSequana XH2000 supercomputer that will be configured with 200,000 AMD EPYC "Rome" CPU cores which for the mathematicians out there works out to 3,125 64 core AMD EPYC processors. Of course, all that x86 muscle will require a great deal of system memory, as such, each node will be equipped with 256 GB for good measure. Storage will consist of an 8 PB Lustre parallel file system that is to be provided by DDN. Overall phase two will increase computing capacity by 6.4 petaflops (peak). With deals like this already being signed it would appear AMD's next-generation EPYC processors are shaping up nicely considering Intel had this market cornered for nearly a decade.

New Intel (9th Gen?) Processors Leaked, Core i7-9550U Will Replace Core i7-8565U

The specsheet of a Lenovo IdeaPad S530-13IWL has allowed us to know the existence of the new Intel 9000 series mobile CPUs. These are the Core i7-9550U, i5-9250U and i3-9130U. The laptop datasheet, spotted on Twitter by @momomo_us, confirms new members of that family , with "IWL" at the end of the model name meaning "Intel Whiskey Lake", a family launched last October with the Core i7-8565U, Core i5-8265U and Core i3-8145U. There is no confirmation from Intel on this rumor, and there aren't much details about the CPUs either: clock speeds and core counts are not specified, though should remain quite similar to the previous members of the 8000 series.

This information points to a light rebadge of Whiskey Lake CPUs according to NotebookCheck given that there is no mention of the 9th generation of processors. This is weird because the 8000 series is basically a synonym of the 8th Gen and the same happens with the 9000 series and the 9th generation. It seems the Core i7 will be a quad-core CPU with Hyper Threading support and 8 MB of L3 cache, while the Core i5, with the same core count, will have 6 MB of L3 cache. The Core i3 CPU would be a dual-core chip with 4 MB of L3 cache. We'll have to wait for an official confirmation to confirm the specs and advantages over the older models.

Stuttgart-based HLRS to Build a Supercomputer with 10,000 64-core Zen 2 Processors

Höchstleistungsrechenzentrum (HLRS, or High-Performance Computing Center), based in Stuttgart Germany, is building a new cluster supercomputer powered by 10,000 AMD Zen 2 "Rome" 64-core processors, making up 640,000 cores. Called "Hawk," the supercomputer will be HLRS' flagship product, and will open its doors to business in 2019. The slide-deck for Hawk makes a fascinating disclosure about the processors it's based on.

Apparently, each of the 64-core "Rome" EPYC processors has a guaranteed clock-speed of 2.35 GHz. This would mean at maximum load (with all cores loaded 100%), the processor can manage to run at 2.35 GHz. This is important, because the supercomputer's advertised throughput is calculated on this basis, and clients draw up SLAs on throughput. The advertised peak throughput for the whole system is 24.06 petaFLOP/s, although the company is yet to put out nominal/guaranteed performance numbers (which it will only after first-hand testing). The system features 665 TB of RAM, and 26,000 TB of storage.

Intel 9th Gen LGA1151 Processors Support Up to 128GB of Memory

Intel's 6-core "Coffee Lake" die was essentially a "Kaby Lake" die with two extra cores, and no physical changes to other components, such as iGPU or uncore. With its new 8-core "Coffee Lake" Refresh silicon, Intel has turned its attention to not just increasing the core-count, but also improving the processor's integrated memory controller, in addition to hardware fixes to certain security vulnerabilities. The 128-bit wide (dual-channel) integrated memory controller now supports up to 128 GB of memory. Intel's current DDR4-capable mainstream desktop processors only support up to 64 GB, as do rival AMD's Ryzen socket AM4 processors.

Support for up to 128 GB explains the emergence of off-spec memory standards such as ASUS' Double Capacity (DC) DIMMs. Samsung is ready with a JEDEC-compliant 32 GB dual-rank UDIMM memory module for client platforms. Introduction of 32 GB UDIMMs also comes amidst reports of DRAM pricing cool-off through 2019, which could make 32 GB dual-channel memory kits consisting of two 16 GB UDIMMs more affordable. The increase in maximum memory amount could also indicate Intel's seriousness to introduce 3D Xpoint-based Optane Persistent Memory modules as alternatives to DRAM-based main memory, with higher capacities compensating for worse latencies and data-rates compared to DRAM.

AMD Announces "Zen" Based Athlon and 2nd Gen Ryzen PRO Desktop Processors

AMD today announced a reimagined family of AMD Athlon desktop processors with Radeon Vega graphics that have been optimized for everyday PC users: the AMD Athlon 200GE, Athlon 220GE, and Athlon 240GE processor. Combining the high-performance x86 "Zen" core and "Vega"] graphics architectures in a versatile System-on-Chip (SOC) design, the Athlon desktop processors offer responsive and reliable computing for a wide range of experiences, from day-to-day needs like web browsing and video streaming through more advanced workloads like high-definition PC gaming. Complementing this news, AMD announced the availability of the commercial-grade Athlon PRO 200GE desktop processor, along with three 2nd Gen Ryzen PRO desktop processor models for the commercial, enterprise, and the public sector: the Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X, Ryzen 7 PRO 2700, and Ryzen 5 PRO 2600 processors. With these new introductions, AMD now offers a top-to-bottom line-up of professional-grade computing solutions for experiences that range from premium content creation to advanced multitasking and office productivity.

"We are proud to expand our successful "Zen" core-based consumer and commercial product portfolios today with the addition of AMD Athlon, AMD Athlon PRO, and 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen PRO desktop processors. The new Athlon desktop processors, now incorporating the advanced "Zen" core and "Vega"3 graphics architectures, energize a legendary processor brand in AMD Athlon - a brand that consumers and PC enthusiasts alike trusted throughout nearly two decades of innovation," said Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, Client Compute, AMD. "Additionally, we are continuing to offer business PC users more processing power than we ever have before with the launch of 2nd Gen Ryzen PRO desktop processors into the commercial market."

Intel 14nm Processors Face Shortages

Intel's 8th generation Core desktop processors based on the company's 14 nm node are facing shortages in the market, according to a Tom's Hardware report. Tracking prices and availability of popular 8th generation Core SKUs such as the i5-8400, i5-8600K, and i7-8700K, the report notes that retailers are heavily marking up these SKUs above their SEP, and many of whom are running out of stock often. This may not be attributed to heavy demand.

A possible explanation for these shortages could be Intel allocating volumes from the same 14 nm++ node for its upcoming 9th generation Core processors, which debut with three SKUs - i5-9600K, i7-9700K, and i9-9900K. Intel probably wants to launch the three chips not just at competitive prices, but also good enough volumes to win the 2018 Holiday season, and repair its competitiveness damaged by AMD 2nd generation Ryzen over the past couple of quarters.

VIA C3 Processors Compromised by a Simple Shell Command

VIA processors probably make up an infinitesimal amount of the desktop PC market-share, and its makers market the chip only at pre-built machines such as digital-signage kiosks, information kiosks, ticket vending machines, ATMs, etc (which don't need a lot of processing power). At the Black Hat 2018 conference, security researcher Christopher Domas discovered that getting access to root privileges in Linux on a machine powered by VIA C3 "Nehemiah" processors is laughably easy. Just key in ".byte 0x0f, 0x3f" (without quotes) in any Linux CLI in user mode, and voila! You are now the root user.

Domas calls this his own iddqd (the cheat-code for "God Mode" in "Doom"). This backdoor, probably put in place by the processor's designers themselves, completely collapses the ring-based privilege system of the operating system, and elevates users and applications from the ring-2 (and above) userspace to ring 0 (root). It is an exploitation of a shadow-core, a hidden RISC processor within C7, which manages the startup, operation, and key storage of the x86 cores. Intel and AMD too have shadow-cores with similar functions.

Chinese Company Begins Making x86 Processors Based on AMD "Zen" Architecture

Chinese chipmaker Hygon began mass-producing its first x86 processors codenamed "Dhyana" based on AMD's "Zen" micro-architecture. The processor is the fruition of a deal AMD entered with a Chinese state-owned company back in mid-2016. As part of this deal, a company called Haiguang Microelectronics Company (HMC), in which AMD has a 51 percent stake, would license the "Zen" architecture to another company called Hygon (Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit Design Co.), in which AMD owns a 30 percent stake. Hygon would then design "Dhyana," and a third entity (likely TSMC or some other Chinese foundry), would contract-manufacture the chip.

Such legal gymnastics is necessary to ensure AMD makes good on the $293 million it will take from the Chinese firms to license "Zen," while not breaching the x86 architecture cross-licensing agreement it signed with Intel, the core x86 IP owner. Chinese firms are going through all this trouble to build "Dhyana" instead of simply placing a large order of EPYC processors not just because they want more control over the supply and pricing of these chips, but probably also to ensure that China can keep an eye on all the on-die software that makes the processor tick, and weed out any backdoors to foreign governments (*cough*NSA*cough*).

AMD Announces Availability of 2nd Generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" Processors

AMD today announced the global availability of its 2nd Generation Ryzen Desktop processors, starting with four models optimized for gamers, creators, and hardware enthusiasts: Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 7 2700, Ryzen 5 2600X, and Ryzen 5 2600 processors. Using the world's first 12 nm process technology, these 2nd Gen Ryzen processors can offer up to 15% higher gaming performance than 1st Gen Ryzen processors, while delivering the highest multiprocessing performance you can get on a mainstream desktop PC, and enhanced capabilities including Precision Boost 2 and Extended Frequency Range 2 (XFR 2), an included Wraith Cooler, unlocked performance accessed with the new Ryzen Master Utility, and more.

"Last year we started changing the PC industry with the introduction of our first wave of Ryzen processors - delivering more performance, features, and choice to our customers than before. Our 2nd Gen Ryzen CPUs continue this pursuit by raising the standards for enthusiast gamers and creators," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD. "With this launch we're also demonstrating that we are just getting started, that we are committed to delivering a multi-generational roadmap of leadership high-performance processors that will drive innovation and competition into the industry for years to come."

New "BranchScope" Side-channel CPU Vulnerability Threatens Modern Processors

In the age of cyber-security vulnerabilities being named by their discoverers, much like incoming tropical storms, the latest, which exploits speculative execution of modern processors, is named "BranchScope," discovered by academics from four US universities, Dmitry Evtyushkin, Ryan Riley, Nael Abu-Ghazaleh, and Dmitry Ponomarev. The vulnerability has been successfully tested on Intel "Sandy Bridge," "Haswell," and "Skylake" micro-architectures, and remains to be tested on AMD processors. It bears similarities to "Spectre" variant 2, in that it is an exploit of the branch prediction features of modern CPUs.

BranchScope differs from Spectre variant 2, in that while the latter exploits the branch target buffer, BranchScope goes after the directional branch predictor, a component that decides which speculative operations to execute. By misdirecting it, attackers can make the CPU read and spit out data from the memory previously inaccessible. The worst part? You don't need administrative privileges to run the exploit, it can be run from the user-space. Unlike CTS-Labs, the people behind the BranchScope discovery appear to have alerted hardware manufacturers significantly in advance, before publishing their paper (all of it, including technicals). They will present their work at the 23rd ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS 2018), later today.

GIGABYTE Intros BRIX Mini-PCs with 8th Gen Core Processors

GIGABYTE today launched four new BRIX mini-PC models featuring 8th generation Intel Core processors. These include the GB-BRi5-8250, the GB-BRi7-8550, the GB-BRi5H-8250, and the GB-BRi7H-8550. The GB-BRi5-8250 and the GB-BRi7-8550 are built in a more compact 0.46L (34.4 x 112.6 x 119.4mm) chassis, while the GB-BRi5H-8250 and the GB-BRi7H-8550, come in a slightly taller 0.63L (46.8 x 112.6 x 119.4mm), with added room for a 2.5-inch drive bay. As their names suggest, the GB-BRi5-8250 and GB-BRi5H-8250 are powered by the Core i5-8250U processor (4-core/8-thread, 1.60~3.40 GHz, 6 MB L3 cache, 25W TDP); while the GB-BRi7H-8550 and GB-BRi7H-8550 implement the range-topping Core i7-8550U (4-core/8-thread, 1.80~4.00 GHz, 8 MB L3 cache, 25W TDP).

The 0.46L models offer two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, a 32 Gb/s M.2-2280 slot, a second M.2-2240 slot holding the pre-installed WLAN card, HDMI and mini-DP display output, two USB 3.0 type-A ports on the rear panel, and two USB 3.1 ports on the front-panel, including a type-C port; and network connectivity including a gigabit Ethernet connection driven by Intel i219-V controller, and Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 WLAN card with dual-band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. Stereo audio makes for the rest of it. The 0.63L models simply add to this feature-set with a 9 mm-thick 2.5-inch drive bay that has SATA 6 Gb/s interface. All models feature VESA mounting, so you can tuck them away behind your monitor. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Intel Processors to Have "In-silicon" Fixes to Meltdown and Spectre This Year

Intel, which benefited from the post-Q4 public-disclosure of Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in its latest results, is hoping to mitigate its fallout on Q1-2018. The company, along with several other CPU designers, such as AMD and ARM, are firefighting the two devastating security vulnerabilities through OS kernel patches and CPU micro-code updates; which come at a slight expense of performance. In a bid to unnerve investors, company CEO Brian Krzanich announced that Intel is working on "in-silicon" fixes to Meltdown and Spectre.

An "in-silicon" fix would entail a major CPU micro-architecture design that's inherently immune to the two vulnerabilities and yet offers the benefits of modern branch-prediction and speculative execution. Krzanich says processors with in-silicon fixes to the two vulnerabilities will be released to market by the end of 2018.

AMD Announces Official Price-Cuts for Ryzen Processors

Following its Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G socket AM4 APU announcement, AMD announced price cuts for its Ryzen family of processors, across the board. These are official price cuts, and not seasonal retailer discounts. The price cuts have been made in a bid to make its existing socket AM4 Ryzen processors more competitive against 8th generation Intel Core "Coffee Lake" processors.

Among the notable changes, are bringing the entire Ryzen 7-series lineup under the $350-mark, with the 1800X being priced at $349, the 1700X at $309, and the 1700 non-X at $299. These changes make the three competitive against the Core i7-8700K (which is scraping the $400-mark in many places), and the i7-8700 non-K (around $330). The Ryzen 5-series six-core parts also receive much-needed price-cuts to make them competitive against the Core i5 six-core SKUs, such as the i5-8600K and i5-8400. There are marginal changes in the Ryzen 3 series and Ryzen Threadripper series. All price cuts are tabled below.

Intel Announces New Pentium Silver and Celeron Processors

Intel delivers industry-leading innovations and creates new experiences across its portfolio products. Today, Intel unveils the all-new Intel Pentium Silver and Intel Celeron processors.

The new Intel Pentium Silver and Intel Celeron processors are based on Intel's architecture codenamed Gemini Lake, and are engineered for a great balance of performance and connectivity for the things people do every day - working on office documents and spreadsheets, browsing online, enjoying favorite shows and movies, and editing photos - with great battery life. And it can all be performed on a range of devices at an amazing value. Pentium Silver will deliver 58 percent faster productivity performance compared with a similar 4-year-old PC.

ASUS BIOS Change-log Reveals New Ryzen Processors Incoming

ASUS recently released BIOS updates for its socket AM4 motherboards based on AMD X370 and B350 chipsets, which implement AGESA 1.0.0.7, which as you'll recall, paves the way for implementing support for upcoming processors, based on AMD's Vega-infused "Raven Ridge" APU silicon, and the 12 nm refreshed Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon due for February 2018. ASUS published, and later withdrew the BIOS updates as the media got whiff of them.

The next parts for AMD's mainstream-desktop socket AM4 platform will be Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs, which let you finally use the HDMI and DisplayPorts on your motherboards. "Raven Ridge" combines a quad-core "Zen" CPU with a 640-stream processor integrated graphics based on the "Vega" graphics architecture. The "late-2017 or early-2018" time-line for these chips still appears to stand. RedGamingTech suggests that AMD's answer to Intel "Coffee Lake" processors, the 12 nm Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, could be out by as early (or late) as February 2018. These chips could be previewed or teased at the company's events held on the sidelines of the 2018 International CES.

Intel to Rebrand Pentium "Kaby Lake" Processors as Pentium Gold

Intel this Tuesday, issued a curious-looking product-change notification (PCN) directed at retail-channel distributors, which points to the re-branding of 7th generation Pentium "Kaby Lake" desktop processors under the new Pentium Gold brand (PCN #115827-00). The re-brand affects retail SKUs of the Pentium G4560, G4620, and G4600. Intel is borrowing the precious-metal nomenclature from its Xeon product-line over to the Pentium brand, which will help consumers tell the MSDT (mainstream-desktop) Pentium processors from the ULP (ultra low-power) chips branded Pentium.

When this product-change comes into effect from the 2nd of November, 2017, MSDT Pentium dual-core chips will be branded Pentium Gold, while low-power "Gemini Lake" SoCs will bear the Pentium Silver brand, besides Celeron. Re-branded names apart, the Pentium Gold SKUs will be identical to the parts they are replacing. The Pentium G4560, for example, will be re-branded Pentium Gold G4560 (or simply "4560") and will carry an identical feature-set. You probably won't even need to update your motherboard BIOS (of your 100-series and 200-series chipset motherboards) to use these chips. It's not likely that these chips will work on 300-series chipset motherboards since they feature a different pin-map, and the retail box design will reflect that with clear markings. The name change also comes with a refreshed case-badge and a slightly modified box design.
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