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Cloudflare Deploys AMD EPYC Processors Across its Latest Gen X Servers

The ubiquitous DDoS-mitigation and CDN provider, Cloudflare, announced that its latest Gen X servers implement AMD EPYC processors ditching Intel Xeons with its older Gen 9 servers. Cloudflare uses multi-functional servers (just like Google), in which each server is capable of handling any kind of the company's workloads (DDoS mitigation, content delivery, DNS, web-security, etc.). The company minimizes server hardware configurations so they're easier to maintain and lower TCO. The hardware specs of its servers are periodically updated and classified by "generations."

Cloudflare's Gen X server is configured with a single-socket 2nd gen AMD EPYC 7642 processor (48-core/96-thread, 256 MB L3 cache), and 256 GB of octa-channel DDR4-2933 memory, along with NVMe flash-based primary storage. "We selected the AMD EPYC 7642 processor in a single-socket configuration for Gen X. This CPU has 48-cores (96 threads), a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz, and an L3 cache of 256 MB. While the rated power (225 W) may seem high, it is lower than the combined TDP in our Gen 9 servers and we preferred the performance of this CPU over lower power variants. Despite AMD offering a higher core count option with 64-cores, the performance gains for our software stack and usage weren't compelling enough," Cloudflare writes in its blog post announcing Gen X. The new servers will go online in the coming weeks.
Many Thanks to biffzinker for the tip.

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.

Intel Announces Unmatched Portfolio for 5G Network Infrastructure

Unlocking the full potential of 5G requires transforming network infrastructure from core to edge. As the world's leading network silicon provider, Intel is at the forefront of driving this transformation. Today, the company made a sweeping set of hardware and software announcements, including the launch of the new Intel Atom P5900, a 10 nm system-on-chip (SoC) for wireless base stations, which is a critical early deployment target for 5G networks.

"As the industry makes the transition to 5G, we continue to see network infrastructure as the most significant opportunity, representing a $25 billion silicon opportunity by 2023," said Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Platforms Group at Intel. "By offering customers the fastest and most effective path to design, deliver and deploy 5G solutions across core, edge and access, we are poised to expand our leading silicon position in this growing market."

Chris Hook and Heather Lennon No Longer with Intel?

Will Intel even make client-segment gaming discrete GPUs now? Because the GPU marketing gurus Intel snatched from AMD to sell them, Chris Hook and Heather Lennon, are reportedly no longer with the company. The two are on their way to an unnamed startup. This, according to a sensational Charlie Demerjian report citing company sources. These exits closely follow that of another valuable chip marketing honcho, John Carvill, who joined Austin-based startup Nuvia, which is designing ASICs and SoCs for the data-center of the future.

Hook and Lennon were responsible for the PR dexterity AMD RTG enjoyed through its ups and downs this decade. With RTG head Raja Koduri leaving for Intel to head its GPU development project, his former comrades at RTG soon followed. The flight of GPU marketing talent out of Intel at this stage could be the first of many hints that Intel has made a big decision with regards to how it plans to monetize Raja's work. "Ponte Vecchio" is Intel's ambitious GPU compute processor designed primarily for HPC and AI workloads. There's tumbleweed coming out of Intel on "Arctic Sound" since Q2-2019, a contraption that more closely resembles graphics cards as you know it.

Intel Announces New GPU Architecture and oneAPI for Unified Software Stack at SC19

At Supercomputing 2019, Intel unveiled its vision for extending its leadership in the convergence of high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) with new additions to its data-centric silicon portfolio and an ambitious new software initiative that represents a paradigm shift from today's single-architecture, single-vendor programming models.

Addressing the increasing use of heterogeneous architectures in high-performance computing, Intel expanded on its existing technology portfolio to move, store and process data more effectively by announcing a new category of discrete general-purpose GPUs optimized for AI and HPC convergence. Intel also launched the oneAPI industry initiative to deliver a unified and simplified programming model for application development across heterogenous processing architectures, including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and other accelerators. The launch of oneAPI represents millions of Intel engineering hours in software development and marks a game-changing evolution from today's limiting, proprietary programming approaches to an open standards-based model for cross-architecture developer engagement and innovation.

Intel Recalls Boxed Xeon E-2274G Processors Due to Inadequate Stock Cooler Effectiveness

Intel issued a product change notification (PCN) dated November 13, calling for a recall of boxed Xeon E-2274G processors from customers and distributors. The boxed SKU of the E-2274G, which includes a stock cooling solution, has been marked as "discontinued" and "end of life." Intel is offering an E-2274G tray processor (chip-only) as replacement for the returned inventory. The cause for the recall is the cooling solution included in the boxed SKU, which has been found to be insufficient to cool the E-2274G, a 4-core/8-thread processor based on the 14 nm++ "Coffee Lake" microarchitecture, with a rated TDP of 88 W.

The E973708-003 fan-heatsink included with boxed Xeon E-2274G processors is supplied by Foxconn, and has been known to be bundled with Intel's entry-level client-segment processors, such as the Pentium Gold series and Core i3 series (chips with TDP typically rated 65 W or less). It features a thin, circular, all-aluminium heatsink, which lacks a copper core that certain other LGA115x-compatible stock coolers by Intel have. The heatsink makes contact with the CPU over pre-applied TIM on an aluminium surface, with spirally-projecting fins dissipating heat under the fan's airflow. It could be been an oversight bundling such an underpowered cooler with an 88 W TDP processor that's designed for the rigors of mission-critical use-cases such as workstations and small-business servers.
Heatsink images courtesy: AndyKingParts (Amazon seller)

7nm Intel Xe GPUs Codenamed "Ponte Vecchio"

Intel's first Xe GPU built on the company's 7 nm silicon fabrication process will be codenamed "Ponte Vecchio," according to a VideoCardz report. These are not gaming GPUs, but rather compute accelerators designed for exascale computing, which leverage the company's CXL (Compute Express Link) interconnect that has bandwidth comparable to PCIe gen 4.0, but with scalability features slated to come out with future generations of PCIe. Intel is preparing its first enterprise compute platform featuring these accelerators codenamed "Project Aurora," in which the company will exert end-to-end control over not just the hardware stack, but also the software.

"Project Aurora" combines up to six "Ponte Vecchio" Xe accelerators with up to two Xeon multi-core processors based on the 7 nm "Sapphire Rapids" microarchitecture, and OneAPI, a unifying API that lets a single kind of machine code address both the CPU and GPU. With Intel owning the x86 machine architecture, it's likely that Xe GPUs will feature, among other things, the ability to process x86 instructions. The API will be able to push scalar workloads to the CPU, and and the GPU's scalar units, and vector workloads to the GPU's vector-optimized SIMD units. Intel's main pitch to the compute market could be significantly lowered software costs from API and machine-code unification between the CPU and GPU.
Image Courtesy: Jan Drewes

Intel Ice Lake-SP and Cooper Lake-SP Details Leaked

Brainbox, a Korean media outlet, has gathered information on Intel's newest Ice Lake and Cooper Lake server processors from a presentation ASUS held for its server lineup. With Cooper Lake-SP paving the way for the first server CPU model to be released on the new "Whitley" platform, it is supposed to launch in Q2 of 2020. Cooper Lake-SP comes with TDP of 300 W and will be available with configurations of up to 48 cores, but there also should be a 56 core model like the Xeon Platinum 9282, that has a TDP of 400 W. Cooper Lake-SP supports up to 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, 8 channel memory (16 DIMMs in total) that goes up to 3200 MHz and four Ultra Path Interconnect (UPI) links.

Ice Lake-SP, built on the new 10 nm+ manufacturing process, is coming in soon after Cooper Lake-SP release, with a launch window in Q3 of 2020. That is just few months apart from previous CPU launch, so it will be a bit hard to integrate the launches of two rather distinct products. As far as the specifications of Ice Lake-SP goes, it will have up to 38 core for the top end model, within 270 W TDP. It supports 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes with three UPI links. There is also 8 channel memory support, however this time there is an option to use 2nd generation Optane DC Persistent Memory. Both CPU uArches will run on the new LGA 4189 on the P+ socket.

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.

NVIDIA Leads the Edge AI Chipset Market but Competition is Intensifying: ABI Research

Diversity is the name of the game when it comes to the edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) chipset industry. In 2019, the AI industry is witnessing the continual migration of AI workloads, particularly AI inference, to edge devices, including on-premise servers, gateways, and end-devices and sensors. Based on the AI development in 17 vertical markets, ABI Research, a global tech market advisory firm, estimates that the edge AI chipset market will grow from US $2.6 billion in 2019 to US $7.6 billion by 2024, with no vendor commanding more than 40% of the market.

The frontrunner of this market is NVIDIA, with a 39% revenue share in the first half of 2019. The GPU vendor has a strong presence in key AI verticals that are currently leading in AI deployments, such as automotive, camera systems, robotics, and smart manufacturing. "In the face of different use cases, NVIDIA chooses to release GPU chipsets with different computational and power budgets. In combination with its large developer ecosystem and partnerships with academic and research institutions, the chipset vendor has developed a strong foothold in the edge AI industry," said Lian Jye Su, Principal Analyst at ABI Research.

NVIDIA is facing stiff competition from Intel with its comprehensive chipset portfolio, from Xeon CPU to Mobileye and Movidius Myriad. At the same time, FPGA vendors, such as Xilinx, QuickLogic, and Lattice Semiconductor, are creating compelling solutions for industrial AI applications. One missing vertical from NVIDIA's wide footprint is consumer electronics, specifically smartphones. In recent years, AI processing in smartphones has been driven by smartphone chipset manufacturers and smartphone vendors, such as Qualcomm, Huawei, and Apple. In smart home applications, MediaTek and Amlogic are making their presence known through the widespread adoption of voice control front ends and smart appliances.

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 Adds More L3 Cache to Its Tiger Lake CPUs

InstLatX64 has posted a CPU dump of Intel's next-generation 10 nm CPUs codenamed Tiger Lake. With the CPUID of 806C0, this Tiger Lake chip runs at 1000 MHz base and 3400 MHz boost clocks which is lower than the current Ice Lake models, but that is to be expected given that this might be just an engineering sample, meaning that production/consumer revision will have better frequency.

Perhaps one of the most interesting findings this dump shows is the new L3 cache configuration. Up until now Intel usually put 2 MB of L3 cache per each core, however with Tiger Lake, it seems like the plan is to boost the amount of available cache. Now we are going to get 50% more L3 cache resulting in 3 MB per core or 12 MB in total for this four-core chip. Improved cache capacity can result in additional latency because of additional distance data needs to travel to get in and out of cache, but Intel's engineers surely solved this problem. Additionally, full AVX512 support is present except avx512_bf which supports bfloat16 floating-point variation found in Cooper Lake Xeons.

LGA 4189 is the Latest Socket for Intel's Next Generation of Xeon CPUs

TE Connectivity, the maker of various kinds of connectivity solutions for computer systems, has released its latest iteration of the LGA socket for the next generation of Xeon Scalable CPUs. Being validated by Intel, the LGA 4189-4 and LGA 4189-5 are going to power the next generation of 10 nm Xeon CPUs, based on the Ice Lake architecture, and up to 56-core 2nd generation Xeon Scalable CPUs. While there are two models of the socket, TE Connectivity didn't reveal what the differences are between them. Socket P4 (LGA 4189-4) and P5 (LGA 4189-5) also feature exactly the same pin count, 0.9906 mm hex pitch and 2.7 mm SP height, so we can only speculate that the "4" or "5" in the revision is supposed to indicate details like higher power delivery capability or support for Ice Lake CPUs.

In addition to providing a new socket for Ice Lake, these sockets have support for PCI-Express Gen 4.0 and eight-channel memory (supported memory configurations are vendor dependent), meaning that we are getting two more memory channels than previous Xeon CPUs with a faster and newer PCIe standard.

Intel Ships First 10nm Agilex FPGAs

Intel today announced that it has begun shipments of the first Intel Agilex field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to early access program customers. Participants in the early access program include Colorado Engineering Inc., Mantaro Networks, Microsoft and Silicom. These customers are using Agilex FPGAs to develop advanced solutions for networking, 5G and accelerated data analytics.

"The Intel Agilex FPGA product family leverages the breadth of Intel innovation and technology leadership, including architecture, packaging, process technology, developer tools and a fast path to power reduction with eASIC technology. These unmatched assets enable new levels of heterogeneous computing, system integration and processor connectivity and will be the first 10nm FPGA to provide cache-coherent and low latency connectivity to Intel Xeon processors with the upcoming Compute Express Link," said Dan McNamara, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Networking and Custom Logic Group.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.24.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information, monitoring, and diagnostic utility. The new version 2.24.0 fixes a compatibility issue with Windows Vista in which the digital signature of the application's kernel-mode driver would spring up an error. We've also taken the opportunity to do some touch-ups, such as adding the PCI vendor ID for Dataland, some typos in the Vulkan Advanced information page; and support for a handful GPUs that include NVIDIA GeForce 305M, Quadro P620, and the Intel HD Graphics iGPU inside the Xeon E3-1265L V2. Grab it from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.24.0
The change-log follows.

AMD Zen 2 EPYC "Rome" Launch Event Live Blog

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

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

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

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

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

ASUS Rolls Out Pro WS C246-ACE Motherboard with Xeon E-series Support

ASUS today rolled out of the WS C246-ACE, a sober-looking workstation motherboard in the ATX form-factor based on the Intel C246 chipset, which supports not just Intel Xeon E-series processors in the LGA1151 package, but also 8th and 9th generation Core processors. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the processor with a 9-phase VRM that's cooled by heavy ridged heatsinks. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots that support up to 128 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and two metal-reinforced PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC or x8/x8). Two open-ended PCIe 3.0 x1 and a PCI-Express x16 (electrical gen 3.0 x4) make for the rest of the expansion area.

Storage connectivity on the ASUS WS C246-ACE include two M.2-22110 slots with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, a U.2 port, and four SATA 6 Gbps ports. Networking is care of two 1 GbE interfaces, driven by a combination of Intel i211-AT and i219-LM controllers. The onboard audio solution combines a Realtek ALC1220S CODEC with EMI shielding, ground-layer isolation, and a headphones amp circuit. USB connectivity includes four 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, all on rear panel, one of which is a type-C port; and six 5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, of which two are via headers. Display connectivity include HDMI and DisplayPort. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Intel Internal Memo Reveals that even Intel is Impressed by AMD's Progress

Today an article was posted on Intel's internal employee-only portal called "Circuit News". The post, titled "AMD competitive profile: Where we go toe-to-toe, why they are resurgent, which chips of ours beat theirs" goes into detail about the recent history of AMD and how the company achieved its tremendous growth in recent years. Further, Intel talks about where they see the biggest challenges with AMD's new products, and what the company's "secret sauce" is to fight against these improvements.
The full article follows:

Lenovo Unveils New ThinkPad P Series Portfolio with World's Most Powerful 15-Inch Mobile Workstation

Today at NXT BLD in London, Lenovo is launching the next generation of its ThinkPad P Series with the release of five new ThinkPads, including the ThinkPad P73, ThinkPad P53, ThinkPad P1 Gen 2, and ThinkPad P53s and P43s. The new portfolio is designed to meet the ever-changing power and portability needs of modern professionals across industries - both in the office and beyond without sacrificing our legendary engineering know-how, reliability and security.

Innovation can now happen anywhere - accomplished on movie sets, in the field and on the plot of land where the latest architecture masterpiece comes to life. The need for on-location power also requires real mobility - from the meeting room, to the office, to the presentation and back. Because of this, industry professionals are seeking similar power and performance they have come to expect from desktop workstations in their mobile workstations - and our new ThinkPad mobile workstations are meeting this demand.

Apple Announces Groundbreaking Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR

Apple today introduced the all-new Mac Pro, a completely redesigned, breakthrough workstation for pros who push the limits of what a Mac can do, and unveiled Apple Pro Display XDR, the world's best pro display. Designed for maximum performance, expansion and configurability, the all-new Mac Pro features workstation-class Xeon processors up to 28 cores, a high-performance memory system with a massive 1.5TB capacity, eight PCIe expansion slots and a graphics architecture featuring the world's most powerful graphics card. It also introduces Apple Afterburner, a game-changing accelerator card that enables playback of three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video simultaneously.

Pro Display XDR features a massive 32-inch Retina 6K display with gorgeous P3 wide and 10-bit color, an extreme 1,600 nits of peak brightness, an incredible 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a superwide viewing angle, all at a breakthrough price point. Together, the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are the most powerful tools Apple has ever put in the hands of pro customers and will change pro workflows forever.

Intel Puts Out Benchmarks Showing Minimal Performance Impact of MDS Mitigation

Intel Tuesday once again shook the IT world by disclosing severe microarchitecture-level security vulnerabilities affecting its processors. The Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) class of vulnerabilities affect Intel CPU architectures older than "Coffee Lake" to a greater extent. Among other forms of mitigation software patches, Intel is recommending that users disable HyperThreading technology (HTT), Intel's simultaneous multithreading (SMT) implementation. This would significantly deplete multi-threaded performance on older processors with lower core-counts, particularly Core i3 2-core/4-thread chips.

On "safer" microarchitectures such as "Coffee Lake," though, Intel is expecting a minimal impact of software patches, and doesn't see any negative impact of disabling HTT. This may have something to do with the 50-100 percent increased core-counts with the 8th and 9th generations. The company put out a selection of benchmarks relevant to client and enterprise (data-center) use-cases. On the client use-case that's we're more interested in, a Core i9-9900K machine with software mitigation and HTT disabled is negligibly slower (within 2 percent) of a machine without mitigation and HTT enabled. Intel's selection of benchmarks include SYSMark 2014 SE, WebXprt 3, SPECInt rate base (1 copy and n copies), and 3DMark "Skydiver" with the chip's integrated UHD 630 graphics. Comparing machines with mitigations applied but toggling HTT presents a slightly different story.

In Win Launches 928 Super Tower case for $999

In Win, a known luxurious case manufacturer has launched a super tower case titled the 928. The case costs $999 and is made out of premium and high-quality materials such as aluminium and tempered glass. In Win positions this case with the aim to "Present PC's Power" using its spacious interior. For a price of almost 1000 USD, the case is made with looks first and functionality second.

The 928 is made out of three distinct pieces: an aluminium shell and two tempered glass side panels. The aluminium shell is anodized in black and is 4 mm thick. Being over 125 liters in size, the case is perfect for any oversized watercooling build and is compatible with 14' x 14', EEB, E-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboard form factors. Of course, it doesn't lack RGB support - the front In Win logo is RGB illuminated, but that can be turned off if you so prefer. This case is made for extreme workstations that use Intel's Xeon W-3175X CPU, thus using ultra wide EEB motherboards like ASUS ROG Dominus Extreme.

Intel 10nm Ice Lake to Quantitatively Debut Within 2019

Intel put out interesting details about its upcoming 10 nanometer "Ice Lake" CPU microarchitecture rollout in its recent quarterly financial results call. The company has started qualification of its 10 nm "Ice Lake" processors. This involves sending engineering samples to OEMs, system integrators and other relevant industry partners, and getting the chips approved for their future product designs. The first implementation of "Ice Lake" will not be a desktop processor, but rather a low-power mobile SoC designed for ultraportables, codenamed "Ice Lake-U." This SoC packs a 4-core/8-thread CPU based on the "Sunny Cove" core design, and Gen11 GT2 integrated graphics with 64 execution units and nearly 1 TFLOP/s compute power. This SoC will also support WiFi 6 and LPDDR4X memory.

Intel CEO Bob Swan also remarked that the company has doubled its 10 nm yield expectations. "On the [10 nm] process technology front, our teams executed well in Q1 and our velocity is increasing," he said, adding "We remain on track to have volume client systems on shelves for the holiday selling season. And over the past four months, the organization drove a nearly 2X improvement in the rate at which 10nm products move through our factories." Intel is prioritizing enterprise over desktop, as "Ice Lake-U" will be followed by "Ice Lake-SP" Xeon rollout in 2020. There was no mention of desktop implementations such as "Ice Lake-S." Intel is rumored to be preparing a stopgap microarchitecture for the desktop platform to compete with AMD "Matisse" Zen 2 AM4 processors, codenamed "Comet Lake." This is essentially a Skylake 10-core die fabbed on existing 14 nm++ node. AMD in its CES keynote announced an achievement of per-core performance parity with Intel, so it could be interesting to see how Intel hopes 10 "Skylake" cores match up to 12-16 "Zen 2" cores.

Intel Reports First-Quarter 2019 Financial Results

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

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