Intel confirms first graphics chips will land in 2020

Intel confirms first graphics chips will land in 2020

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich disclosed during an analyst event last week that it will have its first discrete graphics chips available in 2020. This will mark the beginning of the chip giant’s journey towards a portfolio of high-performance graphics products for various markets including gaming, data center, and AI.

Some previous rumors posited that a launch at CES 2019 this coming January might be where Intel makes its graphics reveal, but that timeline was never adopted by Intel. It would have been drastically overaggressive and in no way reasonable with the development process of a new silicon design.

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NVIDIA chips power world’s most powerful supercomputer

NVIDIA chips power world’s most powerful supercomputer

Last week the US Department of Energy debuted a new supercomputer with the name Summit, built by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, that is eight times faster than the previous top US-based supercomputer (named Titan) that was launched just five years earlier. For some AI applications and workloads Summit will be more than 100x faster than Titan. This supercomputer recaptures the top performing spot for the United States for the first time since 2013 and unseats the Chinese-based Sunway TaihuLight with 60% better performance.

Summit is comprised of 4,608 servers with 9,216 IBM Power9 processors but at the core of the massive level of computational capability is the 27,648 flagship NVIDIA Volta graphics chips that are capable of drastically accelerated AI and machine learning performance.

Though built by the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge, NVIDIA is the company that benefits the most from its launch. As the market continues to adopt GPU technology in high performance computing systems, NVIDIA’s leadership position with these platforms provides long-term leadership stability for the company.

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AMD momentum accelerates with chip advances for 2018 and 2019

AMD momentum accelerates with chip advances for 2018 and 2019

By nearly any measure, 2017 was a banner year for AMD. The company was able to return not only to relevancy but transformed itself into an entity with technological advantages over rivals that had previously towered over them. CEO Dr. Lisa Su has realigned the corporate warship, pushing execution in key markets and product segments where its technology can flourish, rather than hap-hazard attempts in areas in does not posses a chance of success.

At the company’s event in Taipei, Taiwan during the annual Computex technology trade show, Su and other key executives trumpeted up past and current successes before describing the future of its roadmap for consumer and enterprise products for 2018 and 2019. A combination of 2018 chip launches and advanced process technology integrations for 2019 show an AMD that appears to be smelling blood in the water.

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Intel fights back against AMD, Qualcomm

Intel fights back against AMD, Qualcomm

Over the last year and half, Intel has been under siege from various competitors in the consumer PC product segments. Once dominant and seemingly untouchable, Intel must now deal with an AMD that started its resurgence in the processor market in early 2017 and has been gaining market share and significant momentum amongst buyers, media, and analysts that follow these fields.

Qualcomm is also guilty of taking a poke at Intel with its low power Snapdragon processors working their way into new Windows 10 notebooks that focus on portability, integrated cellular connectivity, and extreme battery life.

During the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan this week, Intel is trying to prove to its partners and the public that it is back on message, reengaged with an aggressive agenda for the consumer desktop and mobile markets once again. Though consumer PCs may not be a growth market in most developed countries, there is acceleration in undeveloped locales.

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NVIDIA woos customers with massive AI training systems

NVIDIA woos customers with massive AI training systems

During a presentation in front of machine learning and data scientists in Taiwan, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang announced on stage a new data center class system that promises to offer customers an unparalleled level of performance for artificial intelligence and HPC (high performance compute) applications.

NVIDIA’s leadership position in the world of machine learning and AI processing is a well understood topic at this point, though with continued pressure from companies like Intel and Google, the graphics giant must continue to prove to developers and investors that it is not losing a step to advancements other chip designers are making. With interest in the company’s capabilities in machine learning driving the stock up to all-time highs, every announcement and partnership is scrutinized.

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Defining the Always On, Always Connected PC

Defining the Always On, Always Connected PC

The future of the notebook PC lies in merging the familiarity of Windows with experiences and capabilities that are unique to smartphones. This should include a renewed emphasis on battery life, targeting days rather than hours of real-world usage. Deep sleep and hibernate states that force portions of the system to be inaccessible for dynamic updating and that slow the ability for the user to interact with PC should be eliminated. Ubiquitous internet access through high speed, Gigabit-class LTE can provide uninterrupted data support without the hassle and reliability concerns of Wi-Fi and comes with a connected standby experience where your data is ready when you need it.

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Huawei’s growth a threat to US technological dominance

Huawei’s growth a threat to US technological dominance

Though founded in 1987 and rising to as high as 83rd in the Fortune 500 list, Huawei remains an enigma to many investors and consumers in the US. It has grown to become the world’s third largest smartphone vendor behind only Samsung and Apple. (In Q3 of 2017 Huawei surpassed Apple to be #2 on that list.) Huawei doesn’t come by this success easily though as it spent more than $14B on research and development in 2017.

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AMD making moves in consumer PC, graphics, and data center

AMD making moves in consumer PC, graphics, and data center

In the build up to earnings season this month, AMD is eager to get out from under some of the problematic and lingering concerns that have followed it. Deftly navigating around a potentially serious security concern and trying to find ways to offset the risk involved in too much of its graphics business being associated with the volatile cryptocurrency markets, AMD continues to put itself in a position for growth.

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Graphics vendors could be hit by shift in crypto markets

Graphics vendors could be hit by shift in crypto markets

A recent financial downgrade from Susquehanna Financial for AMD stock has raised questions about the viability of companies that are dependent on at least some of their revenue from cryptocurrency mining on GPUs. The obvious players in the field are AMD and NVIDIA, the two largest suppliers of graphics chips that double as compute processors for specific workloads including, AI, machine learning, and cryptocurrency mining for Bitcoin-like alt-coins. The downgrade from the firm is based on information that a company called Bitmain, that I wrote about two months ago, is close to selling a new ASIC to mine today’s most popular cryptocurrency called Ethereum.

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How SoftBank Buyout of Qualcomm could affect the entire technology world

How SoftBank Buyout of Qualcomm could affect the entire technology world

A Financial Times report yesterday states that former Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, who was recently removed as executive chairman from the board of directors and moved to a standard sitting role on the board, is in talks with “several global investors” to buy out the San Diego chip giant. Of the key potential partners in this deal is SoftBank, an international conglomerate holding company that owns or has key holdings in companies like Arm, Sprint, and Alibaba.

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Intel hardware updates address security this year with new chips

Intel hardware updates address security this year with new chips

In continuing follow up from the spectacle that surrounded the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities released in January, Intel announced that it has provided patches and updates that address 100% of the products it has launched in the last 5 years. The company also revealed its plan for updated chip designs that will address both the security and performance concerns surrounding the vulnerabilities.

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Intel® Optane™ SSD 800P Low Queue Depth Performance and Implications on Testing Methodology

Intel® Optane™ SSD 800P Low Queue Depth Performance and Implications on Testing Methodology

The Intel® Optane™ SSD 800P shows itself to be a competitive product, offering impressive low-latency performance which gives it the edge in some of the more storage centric client workloads. Care must be taken to select the correct test system configuration and software in order to measure these potential gains in responsiveness observed at the lower queue depths in real-world usage. 

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Intel® Optane™ SSD 800P Powers Most Responsive Desktop Platform

Intel® Optane™ SSD 800P Powers Most Responsive Desktop Platform

There are many ways to measure the performance of a PC and many ways to measure the performance of any single sub-system of that computer. Storage performance is no different, and with the movement towards evaluating the performance of computing hardware based on end-user experiences, the expectations of how storage should behave has evolved. As processor performance, graphics capability, and workloads evolve for the consumer, the demand for higher performing storage solutions has increased. 

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Intel® Optane™ SSD 800P Offers New Levels of Performance for Mobile Platforms

Intel® Optane™ SSD 800P Offers New Levels of Performance for Mobile Platforms

Intel continues to expand its product line of Optane™ storage drives, targeting consumers and OEMs in the mobile space with the new Intel® Optane™ SSD 800P. As the relative performance of notebooks and mobile platforms increases when compared to desktops, there has been a resurgence of interest and focus on the secondary components and systems in these machines. As modern processors increase core and thread count, along with frequency, cache, and more, the impact of other hardware level features becomes more critical to the overall experience for consumers. While the value of faster processing is critical, the impact of storage performance also plays an important role.

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Samsung aims to steal market share from Apple in enterprise smartphones

Samsung aims to steal market share from Apple in enterprise smartphones

With the reveal of its next flagship phone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Samsung continues to be a driving force in the smart phone market with innovation and features unmatched in the Android space and as the primary competitor to Apple in the high-end of the market. The new Galaxy S9 and S9+ offer improvements to the camera system, a faster processor developed by Qualcomm, and a new set of color options.

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Qualcomm movement into Broadcom markets is behind acquisition battle

Qualcomm movement into Broadcom markets is behind acquisition battle

In the ongoing feud between Broadcom and Qualcomm and the former’s attempt to use a hostile takeover to acquire the latter, we have seen commentary, press releases, letters from the board, and countless TV interviews from leadership on both sides. But recent announcements and product reveals from the San Diego-based mobile chip giant continue to paint a picture that differs greatly from the one being presented by Broadcom and CEO Hock Tan.

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Bitcoin mining could impact global chip availability in 2018

Bitcoin mining could impact global chip availability in 2018

Last week analyst research firm Bernstein published a report on the profitability of Bitmain, a somewhat secretive Chinese company with a huge impact on the bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets. With estimated profit for 2017 ranging from $3B to $4B, the size and scope of Bitmain is undeniable, with annual net income higher than some major tech players including NVIDIA and AMD. Bitmain has expanded its reach into multiple bitcoin-based markets but the vast majority of its income stems from the development and sale of dedicated cryptocurrency mining hardware.

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AMD goes after $15B embedded space with two new chips

AMD goes after $15B embedded space with two new chips

Continuing its expansion of bringing modern processor and graphics designs to as many of its targeted market segments as possible, AMD announced today two new families that address the embedded processor space. The company has already seen double-digital YoY sequential growth in revenue from embedded markets, but the release of the Epyc Embedded 3000 and Ryzen Embedded V1000 family create significant additional opportunity for the company.

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Qualcomm signs major carriers and retailers for Always Connected PC launch

Qualcomm signs major carriers and retailers for Always Connected PC launch

With availability scheduled to begin next month, Qualcomm is prepping for its final push to prepare the market for what it believes is a revolutionary product category for the PC market. Just before the mobile media and analysts focus attention on Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, Qualcomm hopes it has completed the final step in the launch of its “Windows 10 on Snapdragon” line. Partners like Amazon, the Microsoft Stores, Verizon, and AT&T will provide the cellular LTE connections to maintain an always-connected state and the retail and online locations to purchase them.

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