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Xilinx Revolutionizes the Modern Data Center with Software-Defined, Hardware Accelerated Alveo SmartNICs

Addressing the demands of the modern data center, Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) today announced a range of new data center products and solutions, including a new family of Alveo SmartNICs, smart world AI video analytics applications, an accelerated algorithmic trading reference design for sub-microsecond trading, and the Xilinx App Store.

Today's most demanding and complex applications, from networking and AI analytics to financial trading, require low-latency and real-time performance. Achieving this level of performance has been limited to expensive and lengthy hardware development. With these new products and solutions, Xilinx is eliminating the barriers for software developers to quickly create and deploy software-defined, hardware accelerated applications on Alveo accelerator cards.

GIGABYTE Releases 2U Server: G262-ZR0 with NVIDIA HGX A100 4-GPU

GIGABYTE Technology, (TWSE: 2376), an industry leader in high-performance servers and workstations, today announced the G262-ZR0 for HPC, AI, and data analytics. Designed to support the highest-level of performance in GPU computing, the G262-ZR0 incorporates fast PCIe 4.0 throughput in addition to NVIDIA HGX technologies and NVIDIA NVLink to provide industry leading bandwidth performance.

Despite AMD Momentum, Intel Claws Back Market Share in Both Desktop and Mobile

AMD's CPU offerings are generally considered to best Intel's competition, especially since the company's Zen 3, Ryzen-5000 series of CPUs launched to great critical and customer acclaim. However, silicon performance can only get you so far - one other issue impacting market penetration is availability of said processors. As AMD fights for constrained wafer supply from TSMC - in no small part due to their focusing of their entire portfolio on the company's highly-sought 7 nm process - users worldwide are generally seeing insufficient stocks of AMD silicon to satisfy their needs. And as such, it seems that at least some users are going with Intel solutions, due to their higher availability in the market.

According to a report from Mercury Research, AMD's constrained chip supply has led the company to a market share loss QoQ. AMD's desktop penetration fell from 20.1% to 19.3% in a single quarter, and its mobile market share saw a similar decrease, going from a 20.1% share down to 19.1%. Of course, not only from market share and shipments are a company's financials made of; AMD ushered in higher ASP (Average Selling Price) for its products, leading the company to a 50% increase in YoY revenue. This doesn't mean AMD is selling less CPUs, however; the x86 CPU market grew a massive 20.1% YoY, so AMD is actually shipping more product than in previous years - it just couldn't account for the entirety of that x86 market increase. Overall, and considering AMD's desktop, mobile, and server markets, the company's x86 market share decreased by 0.7% in Q4 2020 to 21.7% - still a very significant increase, YoY, from its previous 15.5% of the market pie.

Millitronic Introduces WiFi 6 Media Server for Wireless Docking Station Applications

Millitronic introduced the WiFi 6 Media Server module. The module provides wireless docking functionality for portable touch screens and monitors. With the WiFi 6 Media server installed, an external monitor connects to Windows computer using WiFi 6 wireless connection, effectively realizing high-speed and low-latency two-way wireless multimedia transmission and overcoming the limitations posed by using a single computer screen.

The WiFi 6 Media Server module solves the aforementioned problems by offering wireless docking functionality for external displays, allowing for wireless projection and two-way signal transmission and removing the need for a physical wire connection between the computer monitor and external display. In the extended desktop mode, portable screens and monitors integrated with the WiFi 6 Media Server module can be used as the second screens of computers, seamlessly extending laptop screens and enabling users to enjoy the convenience of multi-tasking. Moreover, users can select the synchronous display function to wirelessly project laptop screens onto larger displays, creating a more comfortable WFH environment.

TSMC to Put Away More Capacity for Automotive Industry if Possible

TSMC is one of the world's biggest semiconductor manufacturers, and the company is currently the leading provider of the newest technologies like 5 nm and 3 nm, along with advanced packaging. So far, TSMC's biggest customers have included Apple, NVIDIA, AMD, etc., where the company has mainly produced chips for mobile phones and PCs/Servers. However, Taiwan's Economics Ministry has announced that they have spoken to TSMC and have reached an agreement that the company will be putting away some additional capacity for the automotive industry, specifically for the production of automotive chips. The reason for this push is the increasing shortage of semiconductors for automakers, experienced due to the Trump administration sanctions against key Chinese chip factories.

TSMC has stated that "Other than continuously maximizing utilization of our existing capacity, Dr. Wei also confirmed in our investors' conference that we are working with customers closely and moving some of their mature nodes to more advanced nodes, where we have a better capacity to support them". The company also states that their capacities are fully utilized for now, however, TSMC has ensured ministry that "if production can be increased by optimizing production capacity, it will cooperate with the government to regard automotive chips as a primary application." That means that TSMC will not decrease any existing capacity, but rather just evaluate any increased capacity for automotive chip production.

Microsoft is Engineering Custom Processors for Servers and Surface PCs

Designing a custom processor can be a rewarding thing. You can control your ecosystem surrounding it and get massive rewards in terms of application-specific performance uplift, or lower total cost of ownership. It seems like cloud providers have figured out that at their scale, designing a custom processor can get all of the above with the right amount of effort put into it. If you remember, in 2018, Amazon has announced its Graviton processor based on Arm instruction set architecture. Today, the company has almost 10% of its AWS instances based on the Graviton 1 or 2 processors, which is a massive win for a custom design.

Following Amazon's example, the next company to join the custom server processor race is going to be Microsoft. The Redmond based giant is looking to build a custom lineup of processors that are meant to satisfy Microsoft's most demanding sector - server space. The company's Azure arm is an important part where it has big and increasing revenue. By building a custom processor, it could satisfy the market needs better while delivering higher value. The sources of Bloomberg say that Microsoft is planning to use Arm ISA, and start building independence from the x86 vendors like Intel and AMD. Just like we saw with AWS, the industry cloud giants are starting to get silicon-independent and with their scale, they can drive the ecosystem surrounding the new processors forward rapidly. The sources are also speculating that the company is building custom processors for Surface PCs, and with Windows-on-Arm (WoA) project, Microsoft has laid the groundwork in that field as well.

Worldwide Server Market Revenue Grew 2.2% Year Over Year in the Third Quarter of 2020, According to IDC

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, vendor revenue in the worldwide server market grew 2.2% year over year to $22.6 billion during the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20). Worldwide server shipments declined 0.2% year over year to nearly 3.1 million units in 3Q20. Volume server revenue was up 5.8% to $19.0 billion, while midrange server revenue declined 13.9% to $2.6 billion, and high-end servers declined by 12.6% to $937 million.

"Global demand for enterprise servers was a bit muted during the third quarter of 2020 although we did see areas of strong demand," said Paul Maguranis, senior research analyst, Infrastructure Platforms and Technologies at IDC. "From a regional perspective, server revenue within China grew 14.2% year over year. And worldwide revenues for servers running AMD CPUs were up 112.4% year over year while ARM-based servers grew revenues 430.5% year over year, albeit on a very small base of revenue."

Intel 10 nm Ice Lake-SP Server Processors Reportedly Delayed

Intel 10 nm products have seen massive delays over the years, and Intel has built many IPs on the new node, however, not many of them have seen the light of the day due to problems the company has experienced with the manufacturing of the new node. That has caused delays in product shipments in the past, meaning that the time for 10 nm is just ahead. According to the latest DigiTimes Taiwan report, we have information that Intel is going to delay its Ice Lake-SP server processors manufactured on a 10 nm node. And it is going to be a whole quarter late according to the report. Instead of launching in Q4 this year, we can expect to see new processors in Q1 of 2021. It is yet unknown whatever the launch will happen at the beginning of Q1 or its end, however, we will report on it as we hear more information.

Update: DigiTimes has also released another report regarding server shipments. It is reported that server vendors are decelerating the shipments as they are making fewer orders in Q4 to wait for the new Intel CPUs. Judging by this move, the demand for these new processors is going to be rather high and the supply chain is preparing slowly for it.

Chenbro Adds RB238G13-U04 Hybrid Storage System to NVMe Server Line-Up

Chenbro has announced that they are adding the RB238G13-U04 Hybrid Storage System to their NVMe Server line-up. This new 2U server model under the Chenbro barebone servers category is an addition to the previously released RB238G13-U08. It features a dual-socket Intel Xeon scalable processor server board and is configured as a 24-bay hot-swappable hybrid flash array solution, except that it has 4 NVMe drives instead of the 8 NVMe drives of its sibling. Just like the RB238G13-U08, the RB238G13-U04 also complies with Apache Pass, Intel VROC, and Redfish.

Penguin Computing Packs 7616 Intel Xeon Platinum Cores in one Server Rack

In data centers of hyperscalers like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and ones alike, there is a massive need for more computing power. Being that data centers are space-limited facilities, it is beneficial if there is a system that can pack as much computing power as possible, in a smaller form factor. Penguin Computing has thought exactly about this problem and has decided to launch a TundraAP platform, designed specifically as a high-density CPU system. Using an Intel Xeon Platinum 9200 processor, the company utilizes Intel's processor with the highest core count - 56 cores spread on two dies, brought together by a single BGA package.

The Penguin Computing TundraAP system relies on Intel's S9200WK server system. In a 1U server, Penguin Computing puts two of those in one system, with a twist. The company implements a power disaggregation system, which is designed to handle and remove the heat coming from those 400 W TPD monster processors. This means that the PSU is moved from the server itself and moved on a special rack, so the heat from the CPUs wouldn't affect PSUs. The company uses Open Compute Project standards and says it improves efficiency by 15%. To cool those chips, Penguin Computing uses a direct-to-chip liquid cooling system. And if you are wondering how much cores the company can fit in a rack, look no further as it is possible to have as much as 7616 Xeon Platinum cores in just one rack. This is a huge achievement as the density is quite big. The custom cooling and power delivery system that the company built enabled this, by only allowing compute elements to be present in the system.

Intel Halts CPU Shipments to Inspur: One of the World's Top-5 Server Builders

Intel has reportedly halted shipments of processors (and other data-center hardware) to Inspur, one of the world's top-5 server manufacturer by market-share, and China's single largest. The supply stoppage comes in the wake of the Pentagon it as one of 20 companies it says are controlled by the Chinese military. "We have temporarily paused shipments to one customer in order ensure compliance with U.S. Government export regulations. This is a temporary pause expected to last less than two weeks for some items, and others will resume in a matter of days. We will resume shipments as soon as we can do so while ensuring compliance with U.S. law," said Intel, in a statement to Tom's Hardware.

Chenbro RB133G13-U10: Barebone 1U Dual Xeon NVMe SSD Server System

Chenbro launches the RB133G13-U10, a 1U dual Intel Xeon Scalable NVMe SSD server barebone system designed for all-flash array (AFA), tiered and virtualized storage applications in Enterprise. Offering Intel VROC, Apache Pass, and Redfish compliance, the RB133G13-U10 is ideal for high-performance applications such as software-defined storage, virtualization, HPC, Cloud computing, and SaaS, with end-to-end security and effortless management. The scale-up storage design helps Enterprise remain agile to meet future business needs.

The RB133G13-U10 is a custom 1U chassis pre-fitted with dual Intel Xeon motherboard. Ready to install two Intel Xeon Scalable processors with up to 28-cores, 165 W TDP, with a maximum of 2 TB of DDR4 memory, 2X 10 GbE connectivity, 1X PCI-E Gen 3 x16 HH/HL expansion slot and with support for up to 10X hot-swappable NVMe U.2 drives, it is an ideal barebone storage solution that scales as a company's needs grow.

Microsoft Project xCloud Servers to be Powered by Xbox Series X SoC

Microsoft is preparing to launch a competitive product to Google's Stadia and Amazon's Project Tempo, which are both game streaming services. To Microsoft's advantage, the company has experience in building gaming systems and using cloud technology to integrate them. While both Google and Amazon are cloud providers and have the infrastructure to implement game streaming services, Microsoft has its Xbox division, which has been in the gaming industry for a long time. Despite already owning the infrastructure, Microsoft wants to use the hardware from its Xbox consoles as a base of the upcoming game streaming service called Project xCloud.

According to sources of Tom Warren, senior editor at Verge, Microsoft will be re-using the Xbox SoCs found in their consoles. According to the source, in the beginning, Microsoft is going to use Xbox One S blades to power its game streaming service. After that, the company will upgrade its servers with more powerful Xbox Series X SoC. As a reminder, the Xbox Series X SoC has 8 Ryzen CPU cores based on "Zen 2" µarch, RDNA 2 GPU capable of delivering 12 TFLOPs, 16 GB of GDDR6 memory and a mighty fast SSD. This will be enough to satisfy game streaming service demands and power all of the AAA titles users will be playing once it is available.
Xbox Series X SoC

GIGABYTE Launches R292 Servers Supporting 4-way 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

GIGABYTE, an industry leader in high-performance servers and workstations, today announced the launch of the GIGABYTE R292 servers featuring four 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, supporting four double-slot accelerators in the R292-4S0, and eight full-height half-length expansion cards in the R292-4S1.

The R292 series server supports four 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Each processor can perform data transfer or share workload at 20.8GT/s with the other three processors on the motherboard. Its breakthrough computing power can be used to power mission-critical application at scale and analyze growing data at extraordinary speeds.

Xilinx Announces Real-Time Server Appliances for High-Quality, Low-Cost Live Video Streaming

Xilinx, Inc., the leader in adaptive and intelligent computing, today introduced two real-time computing video appliances for easy-to-scale, ultra-high-density video transcoding applications. Based on the new Xilinx Real-Time (RT) Server reference architecture, these new appliances will enable service providers delivering applications such as eSports and game streaming platforms, social and video conferencing, live distance learning, telemedicine and live broadcast video to optimize video quality and bitrate at the lowest cost per channel for significant TCO savings over both software-based and fixed-architecture approaches.

Designed for edge and on-premise compute-intensive workloads where video channel density, throughput and latency are critical requirements, the new Xilinx Real-Time Video Appliances feature optimized hardware architectures and software to deliver the industry's highest channel density and lowest latency performance. The appliances are available in two pre-configured options integrating Xilinx Alveo data center accelerator cards - the High Channel Density Video Appliance and the Ultra-Low Bitrate Video Appliance.
Xilinx Real-Time Video Server Appliance Xilinx Real-Time Video Server Appliance

Intel Reassures Investors of its Server Processor Roadmap: Ice Lake-SP in 2020, Sapphire Rapids in 2021

Intel's Investor Relations head Trey Campbell, in a "fire-side chat" with top investors at the Cowen Virtual Technology Media and Telecom Conference, reaffirmed Intel's commitment to its server processor roadmap. Intel is on course to introducing its 10 nm Xeon "Ice Lake-SP" enterprise processor family by the end of 2020, and "Sapphire Rapids" sometime within 2021.

"Ice Lake-SP" processor will introduce the new "Whitley" platform, with a new 4,189-pin LGA socket, which leverages PCI-Express gen 4.0. While retaining the DDR4 memory standard, the memory interface has been broadened to 8-channel, and reference memory clock speeds are expected to be increased to DDR4-3200. The company's "Sapphire Rapids" processor is expected to shake up the market, as it introduces next-generation I/O, when it launches alongside the "Eagle Stream" platform in 2021. The processor will be built on the refined 10 nm+ silicon fabrication node, feature "Willow Cove" CPU cores, and I/O feature set that sees the introduction of DDR5 memory standard, and PCI-Express gen 5.0.

ASUS Servers Lead SPEC Power Ranking for Energy Efficiency

ASUS, the leading IT company in server systems, server motherboards, and workstations today announced that ASUS servers achieved the highest rankings on the SPEC Power suite of benchmarks for energy efficiency performed by the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). ASUS selected the Intel-based RS720-E9-RS8 and AMD-based RS500A-E10-PS4 rack servers for these benchmarks to show the power and performance characteristics of ASUS servers on both CPU platforms and to demonstrate to customers how they can achieve faster deployments and higher energy efficiency for their IT infrastructures. These servers were tested using both Windows Server and Linux — the most popular operating systems used in data centers — to ensure the benchmarks results are relevant to real-world performance and operating conditions. These results are current as of April 16, 2020.

Eurocom Launches Tornado F7 SE Mobile Server

Eurocom's Tornado F7 SE Mobile Server powered by 8 Cores/16 Threads Xeon CPU, 128 GB ECC memory and up to 28 TB of storage is designed for rapid deployment anytime, anywhere.

The Tornado F7 Server Edition is an all-in-one, single-server, small form factor, laptop-based server form Eurocom that is designed for rapid, on-the-go ad-hoc deployment. This Mobile Server has its own internal UPS/battery pack and is ready to go right out of the box, providing On-the-Go capabilities where fast deployment and high mobility of server capabilities are needed.

Huawei Rumored To Enter GPU Server Market

Huawei may become the 4th player in the GPU server market if a new report by Korean news outlet The Elec is to be believed. The Elec has received reports from Industry Sources that Huawei is readying to enter the market in 2020, this will put them in direct competition with industry leader NVIDIA along with AMD and newcomer Intel. Huawei Korea will reportedly assign the project to the new Cloud and AI Business Group division, talent scouting has already begun with rumors of current and former NVIDIA staff getting poached.

Huawei is no newcomer to the server market having already launched the Ascend 910 one of the worlds most advanced AI accelerators in August 2019. The Ascend 910 outperforms the Tesla V100 by a factor of two, and is developed on a more advanced 7 nm+ technology compared to the 12 nm Tesla V100. In January 2020 Huawei launched their next server product the Kunpeng 920 a big data CPU along with a new server lineup featuring the chip. Considering Huawei's experience and resources in the server market along with Intel's entrance the GPU server landscape is set to become very competitive.

ASUS Announces Exclusive Power Balancer Technology and Servers with New 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable

ASUS, the leading IT Company in server systems, server motherboards, workstations and workstation motherboards today announced exclusive Power Balancer technology to support the new 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processor (extended Cascade Lake-SP refresh SKUs) across all server product lineups, including the RS720/720Q/700 E9, RS520/500 E9 and ESC8000/4000 G4 series server systems and Z11 server motherboards.

In complex applications, such as high-performance computing (HPC), AI or edge computing, balancing performance and power consumption is always a challenge. With Power Balancer technology and the new 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processor, ASUS servers save up to 31 watts power per node on specific workloads and achieve even better efficiency with more servers in large-scale environments, significantly decreasing overall power consumption for a much lower total cost of ownership and optimized operations.

Kingston Technology Announces Data Center DC1000B NVMe SSD

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

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

Intel 10 nm Ice Lake is Alive: Server and Desktop Support Added to the Linux Kernel

There were many rumors about Intel's 10 nm CPUs, many of them indicating that Intel will not manufacture 10 nm CPUs for desktop users, due to the 10 nm manufacturing process being in a bad shape. Those rumors were later countered by Intel, claiming that 10 nm is doing very well on improving yields and that we will see desktop CPUs based on the new node very soon.

Thanks to the Linux kernel mailing list (LKML), we now know that support for Ice Lake desktop and server CPUs has been added. A Patch titled "Add more CPU model number for Ice Lake" has many details about variants of Ice Lake with names like Ice Lake X for server Xeon CPU, Ice Lake D for Xeon D CPUs, Ice Lake L for mobile, and regular Ice Lake for desktop series of CPUs. This confirms Intel's claims that Ice Lake is on its way to desktop and server users in the near future. Possible launch date on these CPUs would be sometime in 2020, when Xe graphics cards are launched in July/August, so Intel could bundle both processors on the same 10 nm node.

AMD Zen 2 EPYC "Rome" Launch Event Live Blog

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

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

Eurocom Launches 'Server-on-the-Go' Tornado F7 Mobile Server

EUROCOM Tornado F7 Server On-the-Go. The Tornado F7 Server Edition is an all-in-one, single-server, small form factor, laptop-based server form Eurocom that is designed for rapid, on-the-go ad hoc deployment. This Mobile Server has its own internal UPS/battery pack and is ready to go right out-of-the box, providing On-the-Go capabilities where fast deployment and high mobility of server capabilities is critical.

At 4 kg (9lbs), the Tornado F7 weighs much less than traditional rack-mounted servers and is ideal for fast set-up and relocation of server environments consisting of multiple VMs, anywhere.

Intel "Sapphire Rapids" Brings PCIe Gen 5 and DDR5 to the Data-Center

As if the mother of all ironies, prior to its effective death-sentence dealt by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Huawei's server business developed an ambitious product roadmap for its Fusion Server family, aligning with Intel's enterprise processor roadmap. It describes in great detail the key features of these processors, such as core-counts, platform, and I/O. The "Sapphire Rapids" processor will introduce the biggest I/O advancements in close to a decade, when it releases sometime in 2021.

With an unannounced CPU core-count, the "Sapphire Rapids-SP" processor will introduce DDR5 memory support to the data-center, which aims to double bandwidth and memory capacity over the DDR4 generation. The processor features an 8-channel (512-bit wide) DDR5 memory interface. The second major I/O introduction is PCI-Express gen 5.0, which not only doubles bandwidth over gen 4.0 to 32 Gbps per lane, but also comes with a constellation of data-center-relevant features that Intel is pushing out in advance as part of the CXL Interconnect. CXL and PCIe gen 5 are practically identical.
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