Intel Archive

It’s time to pay attention to Intel’s Clear Linux OS project

Intel’s Clear Linux Project has been on my radar for months, mainly because of its sheer dominance over traditional Linux distributions — and often Windows — when it comes to performance. From time to time I check in on the latest Phoronix benchmarks and think to myself “I really need to install that.” Up until recently though, the installer for Clear Linux was anything but intuitive for the average user. It also looked considerably dated. Version 2.0 gives the installer a complete overhaul. Aside from the fact it runs Gnome – which is not something I’d want to use – the main issue I have with this project is that it’s from Intel. The processor giant has had many Linux projects in the past, but it often just abandons them or doesn’t really know what to do with them.

Intel says it will exit the 5G modem market

From The Verge: Intel this evening said it has decided to leave the 5G mobile modem market to focus its efforts more on 4G and 5G modems for PCs, smart home devices, and its broader 5G infrastructure business. The announcement comes just hours after Apple and Qualcomm struck a surprise settlement in the two companies’ ongoing patent infringement and royalties dispute related to Apple’s use of Qualcomm modems in the iPhone. It’s likely Intel’s decision here was what prompted Apple and Qualcomm’s decision to settle just as lawyers were presenting opening arguments at the latest courtroom trial that began just yesterday in Southern California. I love it when things make sense.

Intel’s new assault on the data center: 56-core Xeons, 10nm FPGAs, 100gig Ethernet

Intel today launched a barrage of new products for the data center, tackling almost every enterprise workload out there. The company’s diverse range of products highlights how today’s data center is more than just processors, with network controllers, customizable FPGAs, and edge device processors all part of the offering. The star of the show is the new Cascade Lake Xeons. These were first announced last November, and at the time a dual-die chip with 48 cores, 96 threads, and 12 DDR4 2933 memory channels was going to be the top spec part. But Intel has gone even further than initially planned with the new Xeon Platinum 9200 range: the top-spec part, the Platinum 9282, pairs two 28 core dies for a total of 56 cores and 112 threads. It has a base frequency of 2.6GHz, a 3.8GHz turbo, 77MB of level 3 cache, 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0 expansion, and a 400W power draw. AnandTech has more information on these technologies, which few of us will ever get to work with.

Intel to stop developing Compute Cards

Intel will not develop new Compute Cards, the company has confirmed to Tom’s Hardware. Compute Cards were Intel’s vision of modular computing that would allow customers to continually update point of sale systems, all-in-one desktops, laptops and other devices. Pull out one card, replace it with another, and you have a new CPU, plus RAM and storage. “We continue to believe modular computing is a market where there are many opportunities for innovation,” an Intel spokesperson told Tom’s Hardware. “However, as we look at the best way to address this opportunity, we’ve made the decision that we will not develop new Compute Card products moving forward. We will continue to sell and support the current Compute Card products through 2019 to ensure our customers receive the support they need with their current solutions, and we are thankful for their partnership on this change.” I’ve always been fascinated by the Compute Card’s concept, but it never seemed to receive much support from partners, stores, or even Intel itself. I’m not surprised they’re cancelling the product line.

Intel to discontinue Itanium 9700 ‘Kittson’ processor, the last of the Itaniums

Intel on Thursday notified its partners and customers that it would be discontinuing its Itanium 9700-series codenamed Kittson processors, the last Itanium chips on the market. Under their product discontinuance plan, Intel will cease shipments of Itanium CPUs in mid-2021, or a bit over two years from now. The impact to hardware vendors should be minimal – at this point HP Enterprise is the only company still buying the chips – but it nonetheless marks the end of an era for Intel, and their interesting experiment into a non-x86 VLIW-style architecture. Itanium has a long and troubled history, but it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to experiment and play with. Maybe the definitive discontinuation of the platform will inject some more stock of machines into eBay.

Intel Core i9-9990XE: up to 5.0 GHz, auction only

AnandTech has seen documents and supporting information from multiple sources that show that Intel is planning to release a new high-end desktop processor, the Core i9-9990XE. These documents show that the processors will not be sold at retail; rather they will only be sold to system integrators, and then only through a closed online auction.  This new processor will be the highest numbered processor in Intel’s high-end desktop line. The current top processor is the i9-9980XE, an 18 core part with a base frequency of 3.5 GHz and a turbo frequency of 4.0 GHz. The i9-9990XE, on the other hand, is not simply the 9980XE with an increase in frequency. The Core i9-9990XE will be a 14 core processor, but with a base frequency of 4.0 GHz and a turbo frequency of 5.0 GHz. This makes it a super-binned 9940X. This probably means this is very much a low-yield chip Intel can’t make enough of to sell at retail.

The future of Core, Intel GPUs, 10nm, and Hybrid x86

It has been hard to miss the fact that Intel has been vacuuming up a lot of industry talent, which brings with them a lot of experience. Renduchintala, Koduri, Keller, Hook, and Carvill, are just to name a few. This new crew has decided to break Intel out of its shell for the first time in a while, holding the first in a new tradition of Intel Architecture Days. Through the five hours of presentations, Intel lifted the lid on the CPU core roadmaps through 2021, the next generation of integrated graphics, the future of Intel's graphics business, new chips built on 3D packaging technologies, and even parts of the microarchitecture for the 2019 consumer processors. In other words, it's many of the things we've been missing out on for years. And now that Intel is once again holding these kinds of disclosures, there's a lot to dig in to.

AnandTech's coverage of the event.

The Intel Core i9-9980XE review: refresh until it hertz

AnandTech has published its comprehensive benchmarks and tests of the Intel Core i9-9980XE, and while this $2000 processor is unlikely to grace any of our computers, the article has some choice words for Intel. The problem with the 9980XE is that it's basically a 7980XE with slightly higher frequencies partly because Intel switched the TIM from paste to solder, and the numbers confirm this - the performance improvement isn't all that great.

And this is a big problem for Intel.

It all boils down to 'more of the same, but slightly better'

While Intel is having another crack at Skylake, its competition is trying to innovate, not only by trying new designs that may or may not work, but they are already showcasing the next generation several months in advance with both process node and microarchitectural changes. As much as Intel prides itself on its technological prowess, and has done well this decade, there’s something stuck in the pipe. At a time when Intel needs evolution, it is stuck doing refresh iterations.

Intel needs a breakthrough, because it can't keep sucking blood from the 14nm stone forever.

Why Intel processors draw more power than expected

One of the recent topics permeating through the custom PC space recently has been about power draw. Intel's latest eight-core processors are still rated at a TDP of 95W, and yet users are seeing power consumption north of 150-180W, which doesn't make much sense. In this guide, we want to give you a proper understanding why this is the case, and why it gives us reviewers such a headache.

A detailed look at this nebulous topic by AnandTech.

Intel Xeon E six-core review

Despite having officially launched back in July, Intel's Xeon E desktop platform has yet to see the light of day in systems casually available to users or small businesses. This should change today, with the official embargo lift for reviews on the parts, as well as the announcement today that SGX-enabled versions are coming for Server use. The Xeon E platform is the replacement for what used to be called the E3-1200 family, using Intel's new nomenclature, and these parts are based on Intel's Coffee Lake (not Coffee Lake Refresh) microarchitecture. We managed to get a few processors in to test, and today we'll start by examining most of the six-core family.

Another great and detailed benchmark by AnandTech.

Intel virtualisation: how VT-x, KVM and QEMU work together

VT-x is name of CPU virtualisation technology by Intel. KVM is component of Linux kernel which makes use of VT-x. And QEMU is a user-space application which allows users to create virtual machines. QEMU makes use of KVM to achieve efficient virtualisation. In this article we will talk about how these three technologies work together. Don't expect an in-depth exposition about all aspects here, although in future, I might follow this up with more focused posts about some specific parts.

Intel announces 9th Gen Core processors

Among many of Intel's announcements today, a key one for a lot of users will be the launch of Intel's 9th Generation Core desktop processors, offering up to 8-cores on Intel's mainstream consumer platform. These processors are drop-in compatible with current Coffee Lake and Z370 platforms, but are accompanied by a new Z390 chipset and associated motherboards as well. The highlights from this launch is the 8-core Core i9 parts, which include a 5.0 GHz turbo Core i9-9900K, rated at a 95W TDP.

Biggest news for me is that Intel unveiled that these new processors will switch from a cheap paste as thermal interface material between the die and the IHS to a layer of solder. This should greatly aid in cooling.

Intel launches Whiskey Lake-U and Amber Lake-Y

Earlier this year Intel announced that it would be introducing two new families to its low power notebook range: Whiskey Lake for new 15W (U-Series) processors, and Amber Lake for new sub-5W (Y-Series) processors. These new parts are at the core the same as the current 8th generation Kaby Lake Refresh parts, but they have been equipped with newer chipsets. With this announcement, we are expecting to see a large number of OEMs with new devices on display at the IFA trade show this week in Berlin.

Especially midrange thin laptops will benefit from these new processors - think a new MacBook Air, new Surface Pros, and so on.

Inside the die of Intel’s 8087 coprocessor chip

Looking inside the Intel 8087, an early floating point chip, I noticed an interesting feature on the die: the substrate bias generation circuit. In this articleI explain how this circuit is implemented, using analog and digital circuitry to create a negative voltage.

Intel introduced the 8087 chip in 1980 to improve floating-point performance on 8086/8088 computers such as the original IBM PC. Since early microprocessors were designed to operate on integers, arithmetic on floating point numbers was slow, and transcendental operations such as trig or logarithms were even worse. But the 8087 co-processor greatly improved floating point speed, up to 100 times faster. The 8087's architecture became part of later Intel processors, and the 8087's instructions are still a part of today's x86 desktop computers.

A detailed and very technical article.

Intel says not to expect mainstream 10nm chips until 2H19

Intel has set a concrete deadline for when it'll finally have processors built on a 10nm process in the mainstream market: holiday season 2019.

While the company's 14nm manufacturing process is working well, with multiple revisions to improve performance or reduce power consumption, Intel has struggled to develop an effective 10nm process. Originally mass production was planned for as far back as 2015. In April, the company revised that to some time in 2019. The latest announcement is the most specific yet: PC systems with 10nm processors will be in the holiday season, with Xeon parts for servers following soon after. This puts mainstream, mass production still a year away.

A seemingly endless string of delays. Things are not looking good for Intel.

Intel CEO resigns over past relationship with employee

Intel Corporation today announced the resignation of Brian Krzanich as CEO and a member of the board of directors. The board has named Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan interim chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Intel was recently informed that Mr. Krzanich had a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee. An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel has confirmed a violation of Intel's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel's values and adhere to the company's code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr. Krzanich's resignation.

Companies have these rules for a reason - and it's good to see the consequences of violating them apply to the CEO as well. That being said, I doubt Krzanich will be living in a cardboard box any time soon.

Intel “forgot” to mention 28 core, 5 GHz demo was overclocked

Intel's recent demonstration of a 28-core processor running at 5GHz has certainly stirred the pot here at Computex, particularly because the presentation appeared to imply this would be a shipping chip with a 5.0GHz stock speed. Unfortunately, it turns out that Intel overclocked the 28-core processor to such an extreme that it required a one-horsepower industrial water chiller. That means it took an incredibly expensive (not to mention extreme) setup to pull off the demo. You definitely won't find this type of setup on a normal desktop PC.

We met with the company last night, and while Intel didn't provide many details, a company representative explained to us that "in the excitement of the moment," the company merely "forgot" to tell the crowd that it had overclocked the system. Intel also said it isn't targeting the gaming crowd with the new chip.

A lot of people always say "CEO's and companies don't lie because that's illegal, so you can always believe them".

Yeah.

Intel’s 28-core 5 GHz CPU: coming in Q4

Alongside the launch of Intel's first 5 GHz processor, the 6-core Core i7-8086K, Intel today also showcased a 28-core single socket machine also running at 5 GHz. The system on display scored 7334 in Cinebench R15, and Gregory Bryant (SVP and GM of Intel Client Computing Group) explicitly stated that it would be coming in Q4 this year.

No other details were provided, however for it to exist in a current platform, this new processor would likely be in LGA2066 (X299) or LGA3647 (the server socket). Intel technically already makes 28-core monolithic designs in the Intel Xeon Scalable Platform with the Xeon Platinum 8180, which is a $10k processor, which runs a lot slower than 5.0 GHz.

This sounds like an absolutely insane processor few of us will ever get to enjoy.

Intel launches Optane DIMMs up to 512GB

Intel today announced the availability of their long-awaited Optane DIMMs, bringing 3D XPoint memory onto the DDR4 memory bus. The modules that have been known under the Apache Pass codename will be branded as Optane DC Persistent Memory, to contrast with Optane DC SSDs, and not to be confused with the consumer-oriented Optane Memory caching SSDs.

The new Optane DC Persistent Memory modules will be initially available in three capacities: 128GB, 256GB and 512GB per module. This implies that they are probably still based on the same 128Gb 3D XPoint memory dies used in all other Optane products so far. The modules are pin-compatible with standard DDR4 DIMMs and will be supported by the next generation of Intel's Xeon server platforms.

Are these supposed to speed up access to hard drives/solid state drives like the existing Optane SSDs, or can these be used as standalone storage? It's a little unclear to me what advantages these would offer over regular drives.

Intel delays its 10 nm ‘Cannon Lake’ CPUs yet again

Intel has announced that, once again, mass production of its 10-nanometer "Cannon Lake" chips will be delayed. The company is already shipping the chips in low volumes (though no one knows to whom at this point), but said it "now expects 10-nanometer volume production to shift to 2019 ." It announced the move in its first quarter earnings report, which saw it collect a record $16.1 billion in revenue and $4.5 billion in profit, a 50 percent jump over last year.

Ryzen 2 is kicking butt, and Intel is delaying chips. Must be fun to work at Intel these days.