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  1. Intel Can’t Survive Without Apple, to Exit Smartphone Modem Industry Intel sees no reason to continue investments in the smartphone modem industry, so the company will auction off all of its patents and leave the business completely. This is according to a report from IAM, which writes that Intel wants to sell some 8,500 patents to whoever pays more. Intel will sell cellular and connective device patents, with the first category said to include approximately 6,000 patents that concern technologies owned by the company for 3G, 4G, and 5G standards. The latter section is likely to comprise around 500 patents. While Intel wants to get rid of all its mobile patents, some 5G-related patents will be retained, as the firm will continue to invest in other devices, like PCs and laptops. 5G network is becoming the next big thing for all mobile devices, not just smartphones, and Intel wants to be a leader in the 5G market when it comes to products such as notebooks and 2-in-1s.Qualcomm to supply chip for 5G iPhoneIntel giving up on its smartphone modem business and auctioning off all of its patents comes only a couple of months after historic settlement between Apple and Qualcomm. The two companies decided to end their legal dispute over patent infringement and sign an agreement that would have the San Diego-based chipmaker supply 5G chips for future iPhone models. Intel was originally projected to finalize the development of its own 5G mobile chip next year, but after Apple’s settlement with Qualcomm, it decided to abandon the project altogether. Apple was Intel’s biggest partner in the mobile market. “We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the ‘cloudification’ of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan back in April. An official announcement regarding the auction isn’t yet available, but further information should surface soon as we get closer to Intel’s rumored exit from the mobile industry. Source
  2. Microsoft and Intel Promise They Won’t Abandon Huawei Devices Running Windows An executive order signed by United States President Donald Trump in mid-May bans Huawei from working with American companies and using their products, including here both hardware and software. With Huawei using Android and Windows to power its phones and PCs, many wondered whether existing customers would still be receiving any updates following the company getting blacklisted in the United States. And while the ban did not concern models already on the market, some companies turned to decisions that pointed to an at least uncertain future for Huawei devices, including laptops running Windows 10. Microsoft originally pulled all Huawei computers from the Microsoft Store, but the software giant overturned this decision a couple of weeks later explaining that the existing inventory can go back on sale. “We have been evaluating, and will continue to respond to, the many business, technical and regulatory complexities stemming from the recent addition of Huawei to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations Entity List. As a result, we are resuming the sale of existing inventory of Huawei devices at Microsoft Store,” Microsoft said.Software updates won’t be stoppedNow the software giant expresses its full commitment to Huawei products in a statement for PCWorld, and it emphasizes that updates would continue to be offered. “We remain committed to providing exceptional customer experiences. Our initial evaluation of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision on Huawei has indicated we may continue to offer Microsoft software updates to customers with Huawei devices,” the company said. Intel also confirmed for the cited source that Huawei devices will continue to receive security updates and drivers just like before the company got banned by the US government. Meanwhile, the bigger question is how Huawei plans to handle the release of new products, which according to the executive order should no longer use Windows. The Chinese tech giant is already working on its own in-house operating system to replace Windows, but the priority seems to be mobile rather than the PC market. Source
  3. (Reuters) - Dell Technologies Inc, HP Inc, Microsoft Corp and Intel Corp on Wednesday opposed U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal to include laptop computers and tablets among the Chinese goods targeted for tariffs. Dell, HP and Microsoft, which together account for 52% of the notebooks and detachable tablets sold in the United States, said the proposed tariffs would increase the cost of laptops in the country. The move would hurt consumers and the industry, and would not address the Chinese trade practices that the Trump administration’s office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) seeks to remedy, the four companies said in a joint statement posted online. Implementing the proposed tariffs would increase U.S. prices for laptops and tablets by at least 19%, or around $120 for the average retail price of a laptop, the companies said, citing a recent study by the Consumer Technology Association. “A price increase of that magnitude may even put laptop devices entirely out of reach for our most cost-conscious consumers,” the companies said, noting that the price hikes would occur during peak holiday and back-to-school seasons. In a separate statement, Microsoft, along with video game makers Nintendo of America Inc and Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC said the tariffs on video game consoles could stifle innovation, hurt consumers and put thousands of jobs at risk. The USTR kicked off seven days of testimony from U.S. retailers, manufacturers and other businesses about Trump’s plan to hit another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods with tariffs. The hearings will end on June 25 and the tariffs will not come into effect until after July 2, when a seven-day final rebuttal comment period ends. Source
  4. Intel hits 10th generation Core with 10nm Ice Lake launch Chip giant finally brings 10nm fabrication process to desktop chips. (Image: Intel) The days of Intel being stuck on 14nm fabrication technology for desktop chips is over as the chip giant launched its 10nm Ice Lake architecture on Tuesday at Computex. The 10th-generation Core processor is shipping to OEMs in i3, i5, and i7 variants, and arrives with its Gen11 graphics engine, deep learning boost, a Gaussian Network Accelerator for low-power AI tasks, as well as integrated Wi-Fi 6. Intel has touted its Gen11 graphics as being twice as good as Gen9, with the deep learning boost being just shy of nine times better for inference tasks than "comparable products on the market". Systems built with Ice Lake are expected to hit shelves around Christmas time. Also arriving at the end of the year will be Intel's Project Athena devices, first foreshadowed at CES in January. Intel released its Project Athena specification today, which states that systems need to be able to wake from sleep in under a second, and have battery life capable of 16 hours of video playback. Companies looking at releasing Athena products include Acer, Asus, Dell, Google, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung, and Sharp. Those products will use 8th and 10th generation Core chips. At the same time, Intel also announce 14 different new versions of its 9th-generation Core chips with vPro intended for mobile and desktop PCs, as well as 14 new Xeon E processors for workstations. (Image: Intel) On Monday at Computex, AMD announced the line up for its third-generation Ryzen processors, with the chips to be built on 7 nanometre technology. Topping the range is the Ryzen 9 3900X, which is set to cost $500, packs 12 cores, can handle 24 threads, has 2.8GHz base frequency with 4.6GHz boost, and has 70MB of cache. "That's half the price of our competition with much, much more performance," AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su said. Source
  5. United States has waged a war against Chinese telecom giant Huawei for some time now. But now the big guys are joining the fight. According to reports, Google will stop all collaboration with Huawei. Decision means that Huawei phones wont get any new Android updates, ever. It also means that all future Huawei phones will be blocked from accessing Google services. No access to Gmail, no access to Google Play store, etc. Huawei will still have an access to open sourced versions of Android, but without the access to Google's proprietary services and APIs. Google will also cease all collaboration and support for Huawei that involves Android development and testing, Reuters' sources say. Google's decision comes shortly after United States officially added Huawei to the U.S. trade blacklist. Huawei also owns popular sister phone brand, Honor, and the decision applies to that brand, too. UPDATE Google has confirmed the yesterday's news about Google revoking Huawei's Android license. Company said that the decision is based on United States adding Huawei officially to the country's trade blacklist on Thursday and that it is simply obeying the decision made by the U.S. It also states that the decision wont affect the current Huawei phones and that those will still have access to Google's services and updates. However, it is not clear whether the current Huawei phones will continue to receive Android updates or updates to Google services. Huawei losing its Android license means that it has to rely on open sourced version of Android (AOSP) for its Android updates. This means that all new Android versions will arrive to Huawei models with considerable delay - sometimes the delays between the official Android update and AOSP update have been almost a year or so. More importantly, Huawei will lose its access to Google services. This means that all future models of Huawei phones must ship without Google services: Google Play Store, YouTube, Google search and Gmail. Google also denies all support to Huawei's Android device development. The decision also applies to Huawei's other brand, Honor. INTEL and Qualcomm After yesterday's decision by Google to revoke Huawei's Android license, more bad news are piling for Huawei. Now, U.S. semiconductor giants Intel and Qualcomm have stopped supplying parts to Huawei. Even though Huawei has its own chip manufacturing business that produced Kirin chips and others for mobile phones, the company still relies heavily on U.S. chips for most of its other products. Effectively, the decision by Qualcomm and Intel will mean that the Huawei's PC manufacturing business ceases to exist. Only U.S. companies produce chips needed to build x86 compatible computers, at least in scale that is required by a giant like Huawei. Furthermore, some of the Huawei's phone models - especially those in the high end - use at least some U.S. -made chips - and this will mean trouble for those models, too. The decision is based on U.S. administration putting Huawei officially to its trade blacklist on Thursday, making it illegal for any U.S. company to do business with Huawei. Article 1 Article 2 Article 3
  6. https://mdsattacks.com/ The RIDL and Fallout speculative execution attacks allow attackers to leak confidential data across arbitrary security boundaries on a victim system, for instance compromising data held in the cloud or leaking your information to malicious websites. Our attacks leak data by exploiting the newly disclosed Microarchitectural Data Sampling (or MDS) side-channel vulnerabilities in Intel CPUs. Unlike existing attacks, our attacks can leak arbitrary in-flight data from CPU-internal buffers (Line Fill Buffers, Load Ports, Store Buffers), including data never stored in CPU caches. We show that existing defenses against speculative execution attacks are inadequate, and in some cases actually make things worse. Attackers can use our attacks to obtain sensitive data despite mitigations, due to vulnerabilities deep inside Intel CPUs.
  7. Intel Discloses Four New Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) Vulnerabilities Security researchers have publicly disclosed today a series of potential security vulnerabilities affecting Intel microprocessors, which may allow information disclosure on users' machines. Intel has published a security advisory today informing its customers about four new security vulnerabilities discovered in Intel CPUs, which may lead to information disclosure by allowing a malicious process to read data from another process running on the same CPU core, which is possible due to the use of buffers within the CPU core. The vulnerabilities could allow a malicious process to speculatively sample data from the said buffers, which apparently aren't cleared when switching between processes, then interpret the contents and read data from another process that is executing on the same CPU core. This can happen when switching between kernel and userspace, host and guest, or two different userspace processes. The new security vulnerabilities are described in detailed at CVE-2018-12126 for Microarchitectural Store Buffer Data Sampling (MSBDS), CVE-2018-12127 for Microarchitectural Load Port Data Samping (MLPDS), CVE-2018-12130 for Microarchitectural Fill Buffer Data Sampling (MFBDS), and CVE-2019-11091 for Microarchitectural Data Sampling Uncacheable Memory (MDSUM).Intel released microcode updates to mitigate the vulnerabilitiesIntel has released today Microcode Updates (MCU) updates for various of its processors to mitigate these potential security vulnerabilities. Users on all known computer operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Mac, and BSD, are encouraged to install these new firmware updates for Intel processors as soon as they're available for their systems. On some systems, such as Linux distributions, updating the Intel microcode firmware isn't enough to mitigate these new security vulnerabilities as users will also have to install corresponding Linux kernel and QEMU packages that are being prepared as we speak by Canonical, Red Hat, and other major Linux OS vendors. Intel says that it has worked closely with major operating system vendors and device manufacturers to create feasible solutions for correctly mitigating these new security vulnerabilities to protect users from potential attacks. Intel has published a list of impacted products here, and you can see the status of available microcode updates here. Source
  8. Intel Says a Foldable Laptop Could Be Here in Two Years Intel is looking at foldable screen technology, and the company thinks that we might be just a couple of years away from seeing something on the market. Folding a screen could have been considered pure science fiction just a couple of decades ago, but slowly it’s starting to show up in various ways. For now, this type of technology was usually demonstrated during some expos and then it was gone. Rumors about a foldable Samsung phone have been floating around for years, and then we finally got something. It turns out that folding your phone day in and day out is not such a great idea after all, and some users reported that the new Samsung phones were breaking after just a couple of days.A couple of years is a lot of timeTechnology time is just like dog years. A lot of stuff can happen in a couple of years, including the Intel arriving to the realization that a foldable laptop is actually unachievable and it’s not worth investing it. According to a report on Nikkei Asian Review and to a senior Intel executive, we might be just two years away from such a product. interestingly enough, Intel's general manager of mobile innovation Joshua D. Newman was cautious when providing timelines and says it's early pathfinding now, and we are trying to understand the capability and the limitation of the [foldable] technology.” An equally interesting statement is the fact that Intel could technically accelerate the timetable right now, invest in the technology, and have it here much faster. But neither the industry or the user community at large are asking for it. Simply put, we would have foldable screen if people actually wanted them, and for now, there is no such drive to push this particular technology forward. To be fair, there are a couple of foldable phones on the market right now, but they are not doing great, and it’s easy to see that foldable screens need to spend more time in the lab. Source
  9. Intel will reportedly ease up its entry-level processor stock squeeze in June, industry sources say. Intel has been focusing its efforts on high-performance and server-grade CPUs since late 2018 due to manufacturing constraints hitting its 14nm process node. But that policy looks to be coming to an end. Notebook clients were reportedly informed that the entry-level processor shortfall with drastically decrease from June onward, significantly reducing the CPU deficit and easing up the pressure on OEMs and system builders. This should increase notebook shipments in the second half of 2019, which had previously been stifled by Intel’s processor manufacturing crunch. AMD was reportedly set to gain due to the CPU constraints, however, during the red team’s Q1 2019 earnings call, Lisa Su claimed that the company did not see Intel’s shortfall as having any sizeable impact to its business. “As it relates to CPU shortages in the market,” AMD CEO, Lisa Su, says (via Seeking Alpha). “Look, we see a little bit of that, I would say there are pockets of footage, mostly at the low-end of the market, frankly. So, from our standpoint, I don’t believe it’s a huge contributor to our business.” So either AMD’s playing off Intel’s impact or the reported wave of OEMs fleeing to AMD’s processors may have never arrived. Nevertheless, according to sources speaking with DigiTimes, major OEMs – such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo – are all back to placing orders with Intel rather than side with the red team. Intel’s small-fry entry-level clients have been hit worst of all by the 14nm manufacturing crunch, as the company has preferred to instead turn its attention toward products with high margins and deliveries to its most sizeable partners. Intel Japan’s president had previously suggested that it would take until December before the company would be able to entirely rectify the processor shortages. And Bob Swan, Intel’s CEO, indicated the shortage would continue through Q3, while also promising to “never again to be a constraint” on its customers’ growth. Intel’s CPU shortage had been expected to ease with the gradual influx of 10nm mobile processors starting to ship at the end of 2019. Desktop parts, however, are not expected to make the change towards the denser process node until late 2020. Rather us gamers will have another 14nm generation with Intel Comet Lake, reportedly featuring up to 10 cores. View: Original Article.
  10. Ever since AMD released the Zen-based Ryzen CPUs, their fortunes have overturned. The company sent rival Intel into a panic, resulting in price cuts and unplanned product launches that made a mess of their product lineup. But before Ryzen, things weren’t so “green” for AMD. The infamous Bulldozer architecture and its reiterations in the form of Steamroller, and Excavator were far from successful. On the other hand, Intel’s Core architecture and its successors kept on building a formidable lead over team red’s processors. This finally resulted in the pre-Ryzen scene where octa-core AMD CPUs were equal to quad-core Intel chips and even dual core at times. Now, things have gotten much better for Dr. Lisa Su and Co, but let’s go down memory lane and see how CPU architectures have improved over the past decades. AMD CPU Architectures from 2003 to 2018: Single Threaded Performance or IPC AMD was much better off back in the early 2000s when the 64-bit version of the x86 instruction set came out. The Sledgehammer and Opteron server chips were quite competitive if not groundbreaking (well, definitely not the latter). After the K8 architecture, things started going south, when Intel released its Core microarchitecture, popularly marketed as the Next-Generation Micro-Architecture. Bulldozer only made things worse, with the IPC taking a dive to pre-K10 times. This wasn’t because Bulldozer wasn’t a new design, it’s just that it was a moronic new design. They decided to go with higher core counts, but with shared logic. These “cores” weren’t cores, but in-fact just ALU clusters. Traditional CPU cores have their own frontend, cache, and floating point units, but AMD’s Bulldozer had two cores/Integer Clusters sharing the frontend, cache, and floating-point logic. This made the CPUs easier to build, but also severely handicapped their single-threaded performance due to the limited resources available to each thread or “core”. This was known as Clustered Multi-Threading (CMT). And then came Zen, otherwise known as the Ryzen series which drastically improved the CPU IPC (by almost 70% while Intel’s Core architecture was reaching its limits). The rest happened in the last few years and is history. Intel CPU Architectures from 2003 to 2018: Single Threaded Performance or IPC Intel’s story is the exact opposite. Before the Core microarchitecture came up, team blue was rather deep in **** with the Prescott processors being a major failure, both in terms of performance as well as efficiency. However, thanks to the new Core architecture, and at the same time AMD’s Bulldozer being a massive flop, things just kept getting better and better for Intel. That is until Skylake, since then Intel has abandoned its Tick-Tock design model and has been stuck on the 14nm node. AMD, on the other hand, has regained much of its lost ground and is ready to transition to the 7nm node with Zen2. There’s really not much to say about the present situation of the CPU market. Intel is struggling to migrate to the 10nm node, and if the recently leaked roadmaps are legit, then that’ll continue for the time being. AMD, on the other hand, has regained its lost market share thanks to the efficiency of the Zen micro-architectures and is looking to take the fight to Intel in the server territory as well. Zen2 might just make up for the blunder that was the Bulldozer design and in the process give its competitor a thorough pummelling. I suppose we’ll know soon enough. View: Original Article.
  11. Intel announces new 45W mobile parts and a full range of desktop chips. Enlarge / An eight-core/16-thread Coffee Lake die. Intel The first processors to include Intel's ninth-generation Core branding came out last year with a limited line-up: just a handful of high-end desktop processors in the Coffee Lake family. Today, the company has unveiled a bumper crop of new ninth-gen chips. There's a set of H-series processors for laptops and a complete range of desktop processors across the Celeron, Pentium, and Core brands, from i3 all the way to i9. The most exciting of these are the mobile H-series parts and in particular the top-of-the-line Core i9-9980HK. This is a 45W processor with eight cores, 16 threads, and 16MB of cache, with a base clock speed of 2.4GHz and a turbo speed of 5GHz. The "K" on the name also indicates that the chip is overclockable: for those truly monstrous gaming laptops with high-powered cooling systems, you'll be able to go beyond the default speeds. This chip, along with its close partner, the i9-9880H (8C/16T, 2.3-4.8GHz), has a new feature called "Thermal Velocity Boost," too. TVB allows the chip to run 100MHz quicker if it detects that the system still has thermal headroom to do so; as long as case temperatures are below 50°C, it'll give you some extra speed. In fact, TVB is the only way to hit 5GHz; without it, the maximum turbo speed drops to 4.9GHz. The chip will be good for powerhouse mobile workstations, too; it supports up to 128GB RAM when used with the latest 32GB DDR4 modules, and it can be paired with a discrete GPU using its 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Intel has dubbed these powerhouse laptops as "musclebooks;" they'll be hefty desktop replacements and are likely to be outfitted with oversized cooling systems in order to more consistently reach the high clock speeds their processors are capable of. They won't come cheap, though; the i9-9980HK has a recommended price of $583 for the processor. The ninth-gen chips use intel's 300-series chipsets. These include integrated USB 3.1 generation 2 (which is to say, 10Gb/s when used with suitable Type-C cables and devices), support for hybrid drives using Intel's Optane memory, and partial Wi-Fi and gigabit Ethernet controllers. The Wi-Fi and Ethernet both need external chips to finish the job, and Intel is promoting the use of its AX200 chipset, as it offers support for Wi-Fi 6, aka 802.11ax. With 5GHz connections, this can offer speeds up to 2.4Gb/s, making it the fastest (and, for now, only) Wi-Fi 6 chipset for laptops. Enlarge / A representation of an H-series Coffee Lake mobile chip. Below this is the i9-9880H, which is 100 MHz slower than the i9-990HK and without the overclocking support. Otherwise, it's identical. That's then followed by two i7 chips, with six cores, 12 threads, and no TVB, with one semi-overclockable and the other not. Then you get two i5 chips with four cores and eight threads. Intel's expectation is that these other chips will be shipped in thin-and-light systems. Over on the desktop, the striking thing is the sheer number of chips that Intel is launching. The entire mainstream and budget range now has ninth-generation parts. These parts have a mix of suffixes: K for overclockable, F for no integrated GPU, and T for low power. At the top end is the i9-9900: eight cores, 16 threads, a base of 3.1GHz, and a peak of 5.0GHz. The big difference between this and the already-shipping 9900K and 9900KF is the power use: it's a 65W chip, whereas the other two are 95W, and it's not overclockable. It'll be priced at $439. There are no fewer than seven T-suffixed parts, and these cut the power further still to 35W. At the top is the i9-9900T: eight threads and 16 cores, with a base of 2.1GHz and a turbo of 4.4GHz. This, too, has a recommended price of $439. At the bottom of the range is the Celeron G4930: two cores, two threads, running at 3.2GHz (no turbo), with a 2MB cache and a 54W power rating, priced at $42. There's also a T variant that knocks 200MHz off the clock speed and cuts the power to 35W. The Celerons, Pentiums, and Core i3s also reduce the memory speed, only going up to DDR4-2400 as opposed to DDR4-2666 on the i5s and better. With these releases, Intel is now offering ninth-gen parts almost across the board. The exceptions are the 15W U-series and 5-7W Y-series parts for Ultrabooks. These are currently branded eighth generation and use Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake cores (respectively) even though they were launched simultaneously with the first Coffee Lake chips. Source: Intel puts 8 cores, 16 threads, and a 5GHz turbo option in a laptop processor (Ars Technica - Peter Bright)
  12. Intel says it will exit the 5G phone business as Apple and Qualcomm strike multiyear deal This is likely why Apple and Qualcomm settled Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Intel this evening says it has decided to leave the 5G mobile modem market to focus its efforts more on 4G and 5G modems for PCs and smart home devices, as well as 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 — which came as quite a surprise since it happened just as lawyers were presenting opening arguments at the latest courtroom trial that began yesterday in Southern California. But it’s unclear when Intel came to this decision, or when it informed Apple, and Intel declined to comment. Either way, phone manufacturers like Apple will need to look elsewhere for their 5G radios now, and that means Intel just ceded that business to Qualcomm. “IT HAS BECOME APPARENT THAT THERE IS NO CLEAR PATH TO PROFITABILITY AND POSITIVE RETURNS.” “We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the ‘cloudification’ of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns,” Intel CEO Bob Swan said in a statement. “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world.” Neither Apple nor Qualcomm released statements illuminating why the settlement occurred so abruptly, but Nikkei reported this afternoon that Apple was growing concerned about Intel’s ability to supply next year’s iPhone models with 5G modems. Intel became Apple’s sole supplier of smartphone modems last yearas the dispute with Qualcomm dragged on and became only more complex, involving multiple lawsuits around the globe. As part of the settlement, Apple will now pay Qualcomm an undisclosed amount related to royalties the chipmaker accused Apple of purposefully withholding as part of the dispute. (Apple, conversely, initially accused Qualcomm of overcharging it for using its technology and components.) The two companies have now entered into a new, six-year global patent licensing agreement that may in the future be extended another two years. It’s all but certain that Apple will now resume exclusively using Qualcomm modems in the iPhone, including Qualcomm’s 5G components that will likely make their way to Apple’s smartphones next year. The iPhone maker is said to be working on 5G phones slated for release in 2020. Source
  13. Intel Patches Vulnerabilities In Four Different Products Alongside Adobe patches and Microsoft Patch Tuesday updates, Intel has also released security updates for different products patching vulnerabilities posing a threat to four different products. Intel Patches Vulnerabilities With High-Severity Ratings As disclosed by the vendors in their security advisories, Intel patches vulnerabilities in four different products this week. The most serious security flaw among all four existed in Intel® Media SDK. Receiving a CVSS base score of 7.8, Intel marked this vulnerability (CVE-2018-18094) with high-severity. As described in their advisory, the flaw affected the Intel® Media SDK versions prior to 2018 R2.1. Upon exploit, this could allow privilege escalation to an authenticated attacker accessing locally. Another high-severity flaw (CVE-2019-0163) that attained a CVSS base score of 7.5 existed in Intel NUC firmware. According to Intel’s advisory, an attacker gaining local access to the target system may gain multiple advantages by exploiting this flaw. “Insufficient input validation in system firmware for Intel(R) Broadwell U i5 vPro before version MYBDWi5v.86A may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable escalation of privilege, denial of service, and/or information disclosure via local access.” The vendors recommend the users to upgrade their Intel® Broadwell U i5 vPro firmware to the patched version MYBDWi5v.86A or later. Two Other Less Serious Flaws Also Fixed Apart from the above two vulnerabilities, Intel has also patched two relatively less severe flaws in other products. One of these is a medium-severity flaw (CVE-2019-0158) in Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzer for Linux. The flaw affected the software versions 18.4 and earlier, allowing escalation of privilege to a local attacker. As mentioned in their advisory, this flaw has received a CVSS base score of 6.7. Intel recommends the users to upgrade to the patched 2019 R1 release. The other flaw marks a low-severity vulnerability with a CVSS base score of 3.8 in some Intel microprocessors. Intel describes in its advisory that exploiting the flaw (CVE-2019-0162) could to disclosure of information. “Memory access in virtual memory mapping for some microprocessors may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable information disclosure via local access.” To stay protected from potential exploits via this flaw, Intel advises the users to follow best practices. Intel, however, did not reveal any specific fix to mitigate this vulnerability. In January as well, Intel patched numerous security flaws in different Intel products including three high-severity flaws. Source
  14. Intel finally issues Spoiler attack alert: Now non-Spectre exploit gets CVE but no patch No patch for Spoiler attack affecting all Intel chips, but a security advisory gives it an official CVE identifier. Intel has finally posted an official security advisory in response to the recently revealed Spoiler attack, which uses a weakness in Intel CPUs to enhance already known attacks that leak secrets from memory. Researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, and the University of Lübeck in north Germany in March drew attention to a weakness in Intel's proprietary memory subsystem that affects Intel CPUs all the way back to its 1st generation Intel Core processors, regardless of the operating system. An attacker with low privileges can use Spoiler to learn a system's virtual address mapping to physical memory addresses, Intel said in an assessment, which stressed that Spoiler itself doesn't reveal secret data. Spoiler is not a speculative execution side-channel attack like Spectre v2, which could leak secrets like passwords. However, Spoiler does lower the bar for other known memory-leaking attack techniques, such as Rowhammer bit-flipping in memory chips, and classic side-channel attacks. Intel initially didn't say much about Spoiler's impact, except that it believed software can be shielded against Spoiler issues by employing "side-channel safe software development practices" and that DRAM modules with Rowhammer mitigations should remain protected. Rowhammer mitigations include ECC or Error-Correcting Code memory, used in RAM for mission-critical systems. Researchers recently showed that ECC in DDR3 and possibly DDR4 is fairly brittle in the face of a specific Rowhammer attack. If it triggered three simultaneous bit flips ECC could be completely bypassed. Intel has now assigned the vulnerability identifier CVE-2019-0162 to Spoiler and given it a CVSS severity score of 3.8 out of a possible 10. The 'low' severity rating is likely because an attacker would need to be authenticated and have local access to the hardware, while existing mitigations further reduce risks. "Memory access in virtual memory mapping for some microprocessors may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable information disclosure via local access," Intel notes in its advisory. The researchers who discovered Spoiler predicted the chip maker would be unable to patch its memory subsystem with microcode any time soon without "losing tremendous performance". Indeed, Intel doesn't have a patch but points to documents detailing 'Security Best Practices For Side Channel Resistance' and 'Guidelines for Mitigating Timing Side Channels Against Cryptographic Implementations'. "Intel recommends that users follow existing best practices to mitigate exploitation of this vulnerability," it notes. In a separate document, Intel says its kernel protections, such as the kernel page-table isolation (KPTI) mitigation against the Meltdown CPU attack, does "reduce the risk of leaking data across privilege levels". "After careful assessment, Intel has determined that existing kernel protections, like KPTI, reduce the risk of leaking data across privilege levels," Intel notes. "Combined with side-channel safe software development practices, like ensuring execution time and control flows are identical regardless of secret data, these protections mitigate classic side-channel methods enabled by the Spoiler exploit. Additionally, DRAM modules that are mitigated against Rowhammer-style attacks remain protected regardless of the Spoiler exploit." Source
  15. Intel Japan’s President has suggested that it will take until December this year for Intel’s 14nm CPU shortage problems to be fixed, with a healthy supply of processors coming back to the market for the holidays. Which means things are going to remain pretty tight throughout most of this year. But Intel’s 14nm CPU shortage has been great news for the competition. On the back of it AMD has really started to eat into Intel’s market share, gathering momentum not just in the consumer desktop space, but also in laptops and, more importantly, in the datacentre. Recent speculation is that AMD could have a 10% share in the server market in a couple of years, which might not sound that impressive, but considering it held a 0.8% share in 2017 that’s a hell of a growth spurt. And server infrastructure upgrades move slow, meaning that momentum could easily start to snowball with further solid EPYC releases. Which is all cold comfort for Intel. With the upcoming Comet Lake desktop chips releasing later this year, as a borderline desperate bid to compete with AMD’s Ryzen 3000 processors, there’s going to be even more pressure on Intel’s 14nm production capabilities. And that makes Intel Japan’s assessment understandable. The comments made by Kunimasa Suzuki, President of Intel K.K. (Intel Japan) were picked up by Expreview from a local event at the end of March. At the event he is supposed to have said that “the supply of Intel CPU will return to health in December this year.” There were hopes from within the industry that the 14nm shortages would be dealt with in the first few months of 2019, but every time we hear something new those timings get pushed further back. Though Suzuki has at least remained constant. His recent statement echoes one he made in an interview with PCWatch (via Elinfor) at the end of last year, where again he suggested that the CPU shortage would only be solved for the end of year shopping season of 2019. That’s also when we expect to have the first Ice Lake processors hitting the shelves, as 10nm volume production is also going to be taking up a significant amount of Intel’s manufacturing capacity too. Though those first Ice Lake CPUs will be of the mobile variety, with actual 10nm desktop processors not likely to arrive until well into 2020. We’ve heard rumours that a new chipset, and therefore new 10nm CPUs, aren’t likely to arrive any time before Computex next year. So yes, that means another year of mild 14nm Skylake upgrades. Though again we are looking at Intel at least jamming another two cores into its LGA 1151 socket. That will mean it has a 10-core chip to go up against the beefy 12-core AMD Zen 2 parts about to come this year. View: Original Article.
  16. Intel releases Graphics Command Center app for Windows 10 Today, Intel launched Graphics Command Center app for Windows 10 devices and it can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. Intel Graphics Command Center is a new and modern application to help consumers control game settings and GPU-related functionalities. There are several advanced options for optimizing the experience with Intel Graphics. The Intel PCs currently ships with Intel Graphics Control Panel which is a Win32 application and fails to match the UX of Windows 10. The new Graphics Command Center is a significant update from Intel’s legacy UI design for its previous graphics control panel application. Intel says consumers need PCs with latest Windows 10 update installed and 6th generation Intel Core processors or newer to install the app. Most of the devices should be able to install this app. “You’re tired of our ‘old, boring, corporate-looking’ Graphics Control Panel. We were too and we designed a completely new one from the ground up! We’re incorporating the changes you – the gamers, home theater enthusiasts, professionals, and everyday tinkerers requested,” Intel explains. Intel Graphics Command Center also comes with Microsoft’s Fluent Design elements and it has a sidebar on the left. The sidebar allows users to navigate between Display, Video, System, Support and Preferences settings. The app offers both advanced and basic setting options. For example, the Display setting lets you change the resolution, refresh rate, scale, rotation, colours, contrast and more. Intel Graphics Command Center offers simplicity and ease of use with a modern user interface (made of Fluent Design and XAML UI elements). At the same time, the app can automatically detect games and offer one-click game optimization feature. Intel says the app is in the early phase of development and many more features are planned for a later release. You can download the Intel Graphics Command Center app from Microsoft Store. Source
  17. Intel offers AI breakthrough in quantum computing Intel's senior vice president and head of Mobileye, Amnon Shashua, on Wednesday unveiled new research done with colleagues at Hebrew University that both establishes important proof for capabilities of deep learning, and also offers a way forward for computing some commonly intractable problems in quantum physics. We don't know why deep learning forms of neural networks achieve great success on many tasks; the discipline has a paucity of theory to explain its empirical successes. As Facebook's Yann LeCun has said, deep learning is like the steam engine, which preceded the underlying theory of thermodynamics by many years. But some deep thinkers have been plugging away at the matter of theory for several years now. On Wednesday, the group presented a proof of deep learning's superior ability to simulate the computations involved in quantum computing. According to these thinkers, the redundancy of information that happens in two of the most successful neural network types, convolutional neural nets, or CNNs, and recurrent neural networks, or RNNs, makes all the difference. Amnon Shashua, who is the president and chief executive of Mobileye, the autonomous driving technology company bought by chip giant Intel last year for $14.1 billion, presented the findings on Wednesday at a conference in Washington, D.C. hosted by The National Academy of Science called the Science of Deep Learning. In addition to being a senior vice president at Intel, Shashua is a professor of computer science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the paper is co-authored with colleagues from there, Yoav Levine, the lead author, Or Sharir, and with Nadav Cohen of Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Study. Also: Facebook's Yann LeCun reflects on the enduring appeal of convolutions The report, "Quantum Entanglement in Deep Learning Architectures," was published this week in the prestigious journal Physical Review Letters. The work amounts to both a proof of certain problems deep learning can excel at, and at the same time a proposal for a promising way forward in quantum computing. The team of Amnon Shashua and colleagues created a "CAC," or, "convolutional arithmetic circuit," which replicates the re-use of information in a traditional CNN, while making it work with the "Tensor Network" models commonly used in physics. Mobileye. In quantum computing, the problem is somewhat the reverse of deep learning: lots of compelling theory, but as yet few working examples of the real thing. For many years, Shashua and his colleagues, and others, have pondered how to simulate quantum computing of the so-called many-body problem. Physicist Richard Mattuck has defined the many-body problem as "the study of the effects of interaction between bodies on the behaviour of a many-body system," where bodies have to do with electrons, atoms, molecules, or various other entities. What Shashua and team found, and what they say they've proven, is that CNNs and RNNs are better than traditional machine learning approaches such as the "Restricted Boltzmann Machine," a neural network approach developed in the 1980s that has been a mainstay of physics research, especially quantum theory simulation. Also: Google explores AI's mysterious polytope "Deep learning architectures," they write, "in the form of deep convolutional and recurrent networks, can efficiently represent highly entangled quantum systems." Entanglements are correlations between those interactions of bodies that occur in quantum systems. Actual quantum computing has the great advantage of being able to compute entanglements with terrific efficiency. To simulate that through conventional electronic computing can be extremely difficult, even intractable. "Our work quantifies the power of deep learning for highly entangled wave function representations," they write, "theoretically motivating a shift towards the employment of state-of-the-art deep learning architectures in many-body physics research." The authors took a version of the recurrent neural net, or "RNN," and modified it by adding data reuse to a "recurrent arithmetic circuit," or RAC. Mobileye. The authors pursued the matter by taking CNNs and RNNs and applying to them "extensions" they have devised. They refer to this as a "simple 'trick'," and involves that redundancy mentioned earlier. It turns out, according to Shashua and colleagues. It turns out, they write, that the structure of CNNs and RNNs involves an essential "reuse" of information. In the case of CNNs, the "kernel," the sliding window that is run across an image, overlaps at each moment, so that parts of the image are ingested to the CNN multiple times. In the case of RNNs, the recurrent use of information at each layer of the network is a similar kind of reuse, in that case for sequential data points. Also: Google says 'exponential' growth of AI is changing nature of compute In both cases, "this architectural trait […] was shown to yield an exponential enhancement in network expressivity despite admitting a mere linear growth in the amount of parameters and in computational cost." In other words, CNNs and RNNS, by virtues of redundancy, achieved via stacking many layers, have a more efficient "representation" of things in computing terms. For example, a traditional "fully-connected" neural network — what the authors term a "veteran" neural network, requires computing time that scales as the square of the number of bodies being represented. A RBM, they write, is better, with compute time that scales linearly in terms of the number of bodies. But CNNs and RNNs can be even better, with their required compute time scaling as the square root of the number of bodies. Those properties "indicate a significant advantage in modeling volume-law entanglement scaling of deep-convolutional networks relative to competing veteran neural-network based approaches," they write. "Practically, overlapping-convolutional networks […] can support the entanglement of any 2D system of interest up to sizes 100 × 100, which are unattainable by competing intractable approaches." Source
  18. Shortages of Intel's CPUs are expected to worsen in the second quarter compared to the first as demand for Chromebooks, which are mostly equipped with Intel's entry-level processors, enters its best period. Bean counters at Digitimes Research have been adding up some numbers and dividing them by their shoe size and have reached the conclusion that Intel CPUs will see their supply gap shrink by three percent The shortage will be greater for the Core i3. Previously it has been far Core i5 as the series hit hardest by shortages. It all went tits up for Intel in August with major brands such as HP, Dell and Lenovo all experiencing supply gaps of over five percent at their worst. It had been widely believed that the shortages would get better. But the supply gap in the fourth quarter of 2018 still stayed at the same level as that in the third as HP launched a second wave of CPU inventory buildup during the last quarter of the year, prompting other vendors to follow suit. The shortage was particularly hard on Taiwan-based vendors which saw their supply gaps expand from a single digit percentage previously to over 10 per cent in the fourth quarter. With all the impacts, the notebook market continued suffering a four to fiveper cent supply gap in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Core i5 series for mainstream models, and the Atom, Celeron and Pentium series for entry level ones saw the most serious shortages in the second half of 2018. Within the Core i5 family, those based on Kaby Lake R architecture featuring a quad-core design instead of the traditional dual-core one had the worst shortfall as they were key products in Intel's promotional campaign in 2018 and increased the consumption of the company's already limited wafer capacity. Apollo Lake- and Gemini Lake-based processors for the entry-level segment were second worst in terms of shortages as Intel had shifted most of its capacity to make high-end processors that offered better profit. Lenovo, which primarily focuses on mid-range and entry-level models, had a supply gap of hundreds of thousands CPUs in the second half of the year. White-box players in China have even been denied any supply of Intel's entry-level processors since September 2018. One of the main beneficiaries of Intel’s cock up has been AMD which has seen its share in worldwide notebook shipments have also been picking up gradually from only 9.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 to 15.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2019. As more Chromebooks are expected to come with AMD processors in the second quarter and many vendors will begin mass shipping AMD-based entry-level notebooks, AMD's share is expected to rise to 18 per cent in the second quarter of 2018. Some analysts are saying that AMD will not be able to capitalise on the mess in the long term. Intel's newly established 14nm capacity to begin contributing shipments, the second quarter is expected to be the peak for AMD's share in worldwide notebook shipments in 2019. Intel is expected to have new 14nm capacity join production in the second half of 2019. Intel's existing 14nm fabs are mainly located in the US and Ireland and the newly expanded capacity in Arizona, the US is expected to begin volume production in July or August, to boost Intel's overall 14nm capacity by 25 per cent and completely resolve the shortage problem. View: Original Article.
  19. Researchers hide malware in Intel SGX enclaves Research team also publish proof-of-concept code for enclave malware on GitHub. A team of academics has found a way to abuse Intel SGX enclaves to hide malicious code from security software and to allow the creation of what researchers are calling "super-malware." Intel Software Guard eXtensions (SGX) is a feature found in all modern Intel CPUs that allow developers to isolate applications in secure "enclaves." The enclaves work in a hardware-isolated section of the CPU's processing memory where applications can run operations that deal with extremely sensitive details, such as encryption keys, passwords, user data, and more. Until today, the only known vulnerabilities impacting SGX enclaves had been side-channel attacks that leaked the data being processed inside an enclave, revealing an app's secrets. But in a research paper published today, security researchers showed that SGX enclaves could be used as a place to hide undetectable malware. This never-before-seen concept relies on attackers being able to install or trick a user into installing an app that sets up a malicious enclave. Creating and loading a malicious enclave isn't as easy as it sounds because Intel's SGX technology only accepts and launches enclaves that have been signed with a signature key found on an internal whitelist of approved keys. These keys are usually handed out to approved developers. But the research team says there are at least four methods in which a threat actor could get his hands on a signature key, and sign a malicious enclave. "In fact, we have a report from a student who independently of us found that it is easy to go through Intel's process to obtain such signing keys," researchers said. [We will not list all four methods, but they can be found on page two of the researchers' paper.] However, even if attackers manage to sign, implant, and then run a malicious enclave, that still doesn't mean the system has been infected because SGX enclaves also don't have full access to the same type of operations that the local OS has, being restricted to a few commands. But in their research paper, the academics went around this limitation by using an exploitation technique known as return-oriented programming (ROP) to piggy-back on Intel Transactional Synchronization eXtensions (TSX)to allow the malicious enclave access to a wider set of commands that it is normally entitled to. "Our SGX-ROP attack uses new TSX-based memory-disclosure primitive and a write-anything-anywhere primitive to construct a code-reuse attack from within an enclave which is then inadvertently executed by the host application," said the research team. "With SGX-ROP, we bypass ASLR, stack canaries, and address sanitizer," they added. "We demonstrate that instead of protecting users from harm, SGX currently poses a security threat, facilitating so-called super-malware with ready-to-hit exploits." The research team has published proof-of-concept code showing that attacks using enclave malware are now possible at a practical level. Since SGX enclaves are meant to work separately and be out of reach of the main operating system, any malicious enclave is theoretically impossible to detect by security products, and is the equivalent of a rootkit on steroids. "Intel is aware of this research which is based upon assumptions that are outside the threat model for Intel® SGX. The value of Intel SGX is to execute code in a protected enclave; however, Intel SGX does not guarantee that the code executed in the enclave is from a trusted source," an Intel spokesperson told us via email. "In all cases, we recommend utilizing programs, files, apps, and plugins from trusted sources. Protecting customers continues to be a critical priority for us and we would like to thank Michael Schwarz, Samuel Weiser, and Daniel Grus for their ongoing research and for working with Intel on coordinated vulnerability disclosure." More details are available in the research paper titled "Practical Enclave Malware with Intel SGX," available as a PDF download from here. This research is also not the first of its kind. A week before the publication of this paper, Intel security researcher Marion Marschalek also showed how malicious code could abuse SGX enclaves to infect systems. Video below. Source
  20. Intel releases its monstrous 28-core processor for $2,999 Unleash the Kraken After talking about its 28-core processor for what we feel like was forever, Intel is finally releasing the Xeon W-3175X. The new workstation processor packs 28-cores, 56-threads and a whopping $2,999 (about £2,280, AU$4,120) price tag. That’s quite the cost even compared to the most expensive HEDT chips, including the $1,979 (£1,919, AU$2,999) Intel Core i9-9980XE and $1,799 (£1,639, AU$2,679) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX Of course, this is a much hardier enterprise-level CPU designed to take on the biggest workloads, such as creating and rendering media, film editing and 3D graphics rendering. Not only will the Intel Xeon W-3175X do the work, it’ll work faster than other chips, thanks to its 3.1GHz base frequency, 4.3GHz single-core Turbo clock and 38.5MB of L3 cache. Likewise, this chip's supporting Intel C621 chipset is meant for production system builds. The chipset brings support for up to 68 PCIe lanes (44 PCie 3.0) and six-channel DDR4-2666 memory, which will allow users to pair this processor with up to a gargantuan 512GB of RAM. Source
  21. Intel Might Be Planning Its Own Surface Phone Running Windows 10 Foldable devices are the next big thing in the technology industry, and after several companies expressed their intentions to invest in this category, patents show that the number of manufacturers potentially looking at similar products is much bigger. Intel, for example, could be interested in developing its very own foldable device that looks, sounds, and feels a lot like Microsoft’s very own Surface Andromeda. A patent discovered by LetsGoDigitaland dating back to 2017 shows that Intel has envisioned a device not with just two screens, but with three of them. Like Microsoft’s Andromeda, the trifold Intel device would change its form factor to adapt to users’ needs depending on the orientation of the screens.Multiple form factorsFor example, when all the three displays are folded, the device becomes a fully-featured phone. Expand one of the screens and you get two functional displays that allow you to use it as a laptop. And last, if all the three displays are in a fully flat position, you get a tablet with insane screen estate. The device would run Windows 10 and would also support a stylus, so it could become just the perfect product for taking notes, drawing, or simply working at the office. Of course, the idea sounds a lot like Microsoft’s, only that for the time being, neither Intel’s nor the software giant’s projects are believed to be in a final development stage. Andromeda was reportedly pushed back to the drawing board last year because Microsoft’s leadership team wanted a little bit more from this innovative idea, and it’s being speculated that the company could even kill it off completely if work doesn’t advance as planned. For now, we’re still far away from the moment a foldable Windows device goes live, but if all these ideas reach the mass production, there’s no doubt both Intel and Microsoft would be part of the fun. Source
  22. Intel's New 15W Laptop Processor for Ultraportables Intel unveiled a new series of U-series laptop processors last year designed for ultraportables. We'll use the term “new” loosely here. These CPUs are codenamed Whiskey Lake, and they’re still 8th generation parts that are not radically different from the previous Kaby Lake Refresh chips that came before it. The main change is the move from Intel’s 14nm+ to their 14nm++ process node, which has allowed slightly higher clock speeds within the same power envelope. The basic design of these CPUs is unchanged which is probably why they are still being called 8th-gen parts, rather than 9th-gen to fit in with Intel’s current desktop line-up. There are only three SKUs: the Core i7-8565U and Core i5-8265U that are 4 core / 8 thread CPUs, while the Core i3-8145U is a dual-core part with 4 threads. All are 15W chips although the TDP can be configured anywhere from 10W to 25W depending on what the OEM wants. The focus of this review will be the Core i7-8565U, which is essentially the new flagship 15W CPU in Intel’s line-up. This is a little confusing as previously there was a Core i7-8650U, but the 8565U is actually clocked higher, at a single core turbo clock of 4.6 GHz (up from 4.2 GHz) and an all core turbo of 4.1 GHz, up from 3.9 GHz. The base clock is a little lower though, at 1.8 GHz compared to 1.9 GHz. And these clock speed increases are even more favorable when comparing the i7-8565U to the i7-8550U which is a more like-for-like comparison going on the naming scheme; comparing those two CPUs gives at least an 11% boost clock advantage to Whiskey Lake. It seems that a lot of OEMs weren’t super excited by Whiskey Lake because we didn’t see a lot of laptop refreshes in 2018 that decided to use these new parts. It wasn't until recently during CES 2019 that more vendors are jumping on board, and I suspect that’s due to modest clock speed increases, making it less of an urgent or necessary upgrade. In preparation for new 2019 laptop releases we’re going to be detailing how Whiskey Lake – specifically the Core i7-8565U – performs in comparison to a range of other laptop-class processors. This should give you a good idea of how this CPU stacks up, it won’t be a perfect reflection because laptop vendors can change a number of aspects including the cooler, memory configuration and TDPs which all impact performance, but what I’ll be showing today should be very close to what you’ll see in most laptop implementations. Crucially, we’ve tested the Core i7-8565U using the new Razer Blade Stealth which is an excellent test platform for a number of reasons. The new Blade Stealth uses the 25W maximum TDP configuration for this CPU, so we’ll see how this chip performs in devices that choose this configuration and have larger coolers. Dell, for example, tends to use 25W for their XPS line. Then, using Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility, we’ve also been able to set the CPU down to its regular 15W configuration, this is the most common configuration and reflects the majority of ultraportables that will use this CPU. Having both sets of data should give a pretty comprehensive look at how this processor performs. The Blade Stealth is also a good platform because it includes 16GB of dual-channel DDR4, again, a common configuration and dual-channel is key because the best performing laptops have dual-channel memory. On top of this, the laptop also has GeForce MX150 graphics, however for the purpose of our testing we've disabled the discrete graphics. Our full review of Razer Blade Stealth is coming up soon, where we'll test the actual performance of this laptop with its discrete GPU. A few other things we should mention about Whiskey Lake before the benchmark results... the GPU and cache configuration are unchanged compared to Kaby Lake Refresh. So we’re still looking at UHD 620 graphics at up to 1150 MHz in the Core i7-8565U, along with 8MB of L3 cache. Typical PL2 power limits also appear to be unchanged, so we’re still looking at short bursts using up to 44W with the 15W configuration, and 51W with the 25W configuration. Benchmarks Starting with Cinebench R15, the multi-threaded test is a relatively short benchmark but it has a decent mix of boost and steady state clock speed behavior. Despite higher boost clocks, the 8565U in its 15W configuration ends up only 3% faster than the 8550U in the multi-threaded test. The 25W configuration gets a healthier 11% boost, which is in line with the boost clock difference. Both configs are a fair bit faster in the single-threaded test though. To explain what’s going on here, it’s worth looking at a clock speed comparison during the Cinebench run. Both the 15W and 25W configurations start off at their maximum all core Turbo clock speed, which is 3.7 GHz for the 8550U, and 4.1 GHz for the 8565U. However when the CPU reverts to its PL1 state, so it’s no longer boosting any more, there is quite a difference in behavior. The 25W 8550U is sitting around the 2.6 to 2.7 GHz mark, however the 25W 8565U is up at 3.1 GHz, so that’s quite a healthy gain for the 8565U and contributes to the larger gain in performance. When looking at the 15W CPUs, the 8550U sits at 2.2 to 2.3 GHz compared to 2.3 to 2.4 GHz for the 8565U. There is a gain for the 8565U, but it’s not as large as you get at 25W. What’s apparent here is that the advantage that 14nm++ brings to Whiskey Lake isn't all that accessible with a tiny 15W power limit. You do get a decent jump in boost clock speeds, but when the CPU reverts to its long term PL1 power state, there’s not a lot to be gained from the 8565U. However at 25W, the taps are opened a bit more and Whiskey Lake can stretch its legs to provide a decent jump in performance. Looking at the Cinebench R15 performance chart again, it’s also impressive to see where the 25W configuration is sitting among the pack. The 25W 8565U is almost as fast as the Core i7-7700HQ in the multi-threaded test, and it smokes it in the single-threaded test. The 7700HQ is a 45W quad-core designed for gaming laptops, so it’s great to see that performance now available in ultraportable form factors. We see a similar situation in x264 encoding, the 25W 8565U is right up there with the 7700HQ, while the 15W configuration is providing up to an 8% gain over the 8550U. Handbrake x265 was a really interesting benchmark to run as it shows an even harsher reality for the 15W configuration of these CPUs. With this TDP limit, there was no difference in performance between the 8550U and 8565U, likely due to the use of AVX instructions that further limit what low-power CPUs can achieve. However with the 25W configurations, the 8565U is a good 17% faster, which is slightly above the difference in long term clock speeds. We also see that while the 8565U was close to the 7700HQ in previous tests, when AVX is required, the 7700HQ and other 45W CPUs begin to pull away. Adobe Premiere benefits strongly from GPU acceleration and the iGPU in these 15W CPUs is pretty weak. You can see that the top three CPUs that are paired with discrete-class graphics smoke the competition here. We also see the 15W 8565U fall slightly behind the 8550U, a strange result and the only benchmark where this was the case. That said, the 25W configuration is now 14% faster. Microsoft Excel is a workload that runs entirely within the PL2 boost state, so there is no difference in performance between the 25W and 15W configurations. The i7-8565U holds a small advantage over the 8550U, and both sit around the same mark as the 7700HQ, another impressive showing. MATLAB is another good result for the 8565U, with an 8% gain present with the 15W configuration over the 8550U, while the 25W config jumps that up to a 14% gain. Again in this short-burst, single-core workload there’s not a lot of difference between most of Intel’s recent CPUs, and considering it also thrives on memory bandwidth where there has been virtually no improvement, we’re left with a big clumping at the top of the chart. With 7-Zip we see small gen-on-gen improvements with Whiskey Lake again, mostly because this test is short and runs in the boost clock zone. Adobe Photoshop shows some of the largest gains between generations with the 15W SKU delivering 13% more performance and the 25W SKU showing gains of 26%, much higher than the average. It’s also worth looking at PCMark 10 where we see decent generational gains between each CPU again. The 15W SKU provides 12% more performance, which is in line with some of the single-threaded short burst workloads we’ve seen, and that’s largely what PCMark tests. Briefly touching on GPU performance, there’s not a lot to say considering there are no changes to the GPU in Whiskey Lake compared to Kaby Lake Refresh. Big gains are expected for the next generation, but we’re not getting anything here. Looking across our 3DMark workloads like Sky Diver, most of the gains you’re seeing are from higher CPU scores, while looking at pure GPU scores there is next to no improvement. In more GPU intensive workloads, Whiskey Lake still gets handily beaten by AMD’s Ryzen Mobile processors. Let's now look through some overall summaries of how the Core i7-8565U performs... On average, the 15W configuration of the 8565U is 8% faster than the 8550U, though these gains largely appear in either single-threaded workloads, short workloads, or some combination of the two. In longer workloads like encoding, you can expect less than a 5% performance improvement. When comparing 25W configurations, the gains are more significant. Here we’re up to a 15% improvement on average with quite a healthy gain in longer workloads. This is more in line with the clock speed differences between the two processors; the 8565U is simply clocked higher so you can expect it to perform better, especially with a higher power limit. The 25W Core i7-8565U is also now delivering performance in line with the 45W Core i7-7700HQ in some workloads; the 8565U is less than one percent behind on average. This means that in the space of roughly two years, Intel has been able to take gaming laptop level CPU performance and put that into ultraportable-type chassis. Sure, you need to use the upper-end 25W configuration to achieve this, but it’s impressive nonetheless. And finally comparing the 15W 8565U to even just the Core i7-7500U from a few years ago. It’s a no-contest. With double the core and thread count, the 8565U is on average 35% faster and that margin only increases when looking strictly at multi-core workloads. If you’re coming from a dual-core ultraportable to a quad-core Whiskey Lake system, expect to see significant performance improvements across all workloads, either from the doubling of cores or from large clock speed gains. Wrap Up There are a couple of ways to look at what Whiskey Lake brings to the table. On one hand, there’s not a lot to be gained in its 15W configuration. We’re looking at mostly single-digit improvements and sometimes for longer workloads, no improvements compared to Kaby Lake Refresh. Intel’s 14nm node is clearly limiting and the shift to 14nm++ can only do so much. The best you’ll get from Whiskey Lake is in its 25W configuration where performance improvements tend to match the clock speed gains more closely at around a 15% improvement. However it’s rare to find a 25W system. The 15W config is much more common, so for the majority of buyers looking at a Whiskey Lake system, there’s not a lot of incentive to upgrade from Kaby Lake Refresh or to buy a Whiskey Lake system if it costs more than a last-gen Kaby Lake-R machine. However it’s hard not to be impressed with what Intel has achieved over the last few years without significant advances to process technology. Sure, on the desktop 14nm+++ is now a bit of a joke and performance gains – outside of increased core counts – are anywhere from unimpressive to non-existent. But on the mobile side, within the same sorts of ultraportable laptop designs we’ve gone from two cores at modest clock speeds, to four cores at reasonably high clock speeds, on largely the same process node and architecture. Performance that used to be restricted to gaming laptops is now accessible in more portable form factors, which is very impressive. And while Whiskey Lake isn’t a huge step over Kaby Lake Refresh, it will be a massive improvement to anyone upgrading from a 7th-gen system or earlier. Typical laptop upgrade cycles are quite long. If you’re using a four year old laptop for example, you can expect huge improvements upgrading to something 8th-gen. That said, I’d still shop around because you don’t necessarily need Whiskey Lake to access those gains, Kaby Lake-R is also fine. There is still one lingering issue with Intel’s mobile processors, and that’s the GPU side. With basically zero improvement in this department for generations now, Intel is lagging way behind what is required for a modern ultraportable. AMD realized this as their beefy Vega GPU in their Ryzen Mobile APUs handily crush Intel’s integrated graphics. Lots of OEMs have also realized, and are starting to pair Nvidia’s MX150 discrete GPU with Intel’s 15W CPUs to get that extra GPU performance. It does seem like Whiskey Lake is a bit of a stop gap until Intel can get their 10nm CPUs out the door at the end of 2019, which will bring a much larger and competitive Gen11 integrated GPU. With only 5 to 15% performance gains on the CPU side, it’s all Intel could do at this point. OEMs are not exactly rushing out Whiskey Lake systems and we believe the small gains are a reflection of that. Source
  23. Intel addresses processor shortages, CEO hunt after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter results Intel heads into 2019 facing a number of challenges. Stealing a page from Apple’s recent earnings warning, Intel blamed a lack of demand in China as one of the reasons for reporting healthy fourth-quarter profits that were nevertheless less than Wall Street expected. Intel’s fourth quarter, traditionally the company’s strongest, capped what Intel said was a record-breaking year in terms of revenue. But Intel blamed China, weakness in cloud-computing customers, a weakened modem market, and an inability to manufacture enough processors as reasons the company’s revenues did not meet expectations. Intel’s manufacturing woes have been a source of questions since 2018, as has been when Intel will name a replacement for Brian Krzanich, Intel’s former chief executive, who unexpectedly stepped down about seven months ago. Interim CEO Bob Swan addressed both issues, at least in part. Swan predicted that Intel’s manufacturing problems, which caused a shortage of its CPUs, would be fixed by the end of the second quarter. And as for a new CEO, Swan said the board would name a replacement “very soon.” Intel’s fourth quarter, by the numbers Intel disappointed Wall Street by reporting $5.2 billion in profits, compared to $18.7 billion in revenue. (Analysts polled by Yahoo Finance had expected earnings per share of $1.22 on revenues of $19.01 billion.) They also expected Intel to forecast $17.37 billion in revenue for the first fiscal quarter, ending in March. Instead, Intel said it expected to book $16.0 billion in first-quarter 2019 sales. Intel blamed a number of factors, but China was a high-profile scapegoat. Apple had previously blamed for its own earnings warning. For the current quarter, Intel sad that a slowdown in China, weaker sales to cloud customers, a weakening NAND flash market, and weaker modem demand contributed to the lower fourth-quarter sales. Looking forward, Intel said it sees trade and “macro” concerns intensifying, especially in China. Intel’s Client Computing Group saw strong demand for its higher-performance products, including gaming. Intel’s PC-centric CCG grew 10 percent during the fourth quarter, to $9.8 billion overall. CCG still is Intel’s largest business, though Intel’s Data Center Group continues to climb: the unit reported $6.1 billion, up 9 percent year-over-year. PC volumes, though, fell by 2 percent, which Swan blamed on Intel’s inability to manufacture enough chips. “We expected a stronger finish” to 2018, Swan said. What Intel’s processor shortages mean for you Swan told analysts that part of Intel’s inability to meet expectations has come as the company has struggled to transition to the 10nm manufacturing node. Intel spent the recent CES in Las Vegas describing the company’s wholesale switch to 10nm, including Ice Lake, its next-generation processor, which is still on track to ship by the 2019 holiday season, Swan said. Source
  24. Intel’s first 1TB Optane drives are here – sort of Intel Optane storage was arguably too ahead of its time, with 3D XPoint memory that was incredibly fast but far too limited in storage capacity. Now, at CES 2019, Intel may have solved this bugbear with its latest Optane Memory H10 module. This seemingly normal M.2 SSD drive pictured combines a tiny amount of Intel Optane memory with a large dollop of QLC3D NAND storage. There are currently three models of Intel’s Optane Memory H10: 16GB (Optane) + 256GB (QLC); 32GB (Optane) +512GB (QLC); and 32GB (Optane) + 1TB (QLC). With this type of mash up, the Intel Optane Memory H10 module effectively gives you the best of both worlds, with extremely fast Optane memory having enough capacity for more than just your operating system. Intel tells us that, in most OEM prebuilt systems and laptops, the Intel Optane Memory H10 will be preconfigured to look like a single device. Builders, on the other hand, may see the unit as two distinct storage drives but, once enabled, the Intel Optane Memory driver and Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver will combine the two drives and present the Intel Optane Memory H10 as a single storage device in your PC. Unfortunately, that Optane Memory built into the drive doesn't also speed up spinning hard drives as standalone Optane Memory is designed to do. The 3D XPoint memory will only work in conjunction with the solid-state drive it's integrated with – which isn't too bad considering these drives can come with up to 1TB of storage. Source
  25. Intel looking to tackle Ryzen 3 with cheaper, GPU-less chips? With the launch of AMD's hotly-anticipated Ryzen 3rd Generation processors just around the corner – the new CPUs are expected to be officially unveiled this Wednesday, January 9 at AMD's CES 2019 conference – Intel has today used its CES event to finally announce it's adding six more 9th-gen Core processors, ranging from Core i3 to Core i9, set to release soon. The new processors join the company's three existing 'flagship' 9th-generation desktop chips, which launched in October last year – the Core i5-9600K, i7-9700K and i9-9900K – as well as the 9th-generation X-series for HEDT systems. Intel didn't officially announce full details of the new processors, but we've been able to dig up information on all six of them via some URL experimentation in Intel's ARK product database: Intel Core i3-9350KF: 4-cores, 4-threads, no integrated graphics, clocked at 4.0GHz to 4.6GHz Intel Core i5-9400: 6-cores, 6-threads, Intel UHD Graphics 630, clocked at 2.9GHz to 4.1GHz Intel Core i5-9400F: 6-cores, 6-threads, no integrated graphics, clocked at 2.9GHz to 4.1GHz Intel Core i5-9600KF: 6-cores, 6-threads, no integrated graphics, clocked at 3.7GHz to 4.1GHz Intel Core i7-9700KF: 8-cores, 8-threads, no integrated graphics, clocked at 3.6GHz to 4.9GHz Intel Core i9-9900KF: 8-cores, 16-threads, no integrated graphics, clocked at 3.6GHz to 5.0GHz What's perhaps most intriguing about them is that five of the six new chips appear to be part of a brand new F-series of processors, which have removed (or most likely disabled) the integrated graphics chip that almost every mainstream Intel processor now includes. That may be an attempt to reduce costs (as it will allow the chip-maker to sell CPUs with non-functional GPUs) but it will likely also mean these processors run cooler and use less power – and they could be better for overclocking as a result. Somewhat surprisingly, Intel didn't expressly mention the new F-series at its press conference. If these new GPU-less processors do come at a reduced price, they may also be aimed at tackling AMD's Ryzen family of processors, which largely offer better bang for buck than their Intel equivalents. With many mid-range and higher-end PCs still coming equipped with a dedicated graphics card, Intel's integrated chips often go to waste, so offering a range of cheaper, GPU-less processors may help Intel win back some of the value-oriented market segment that it's recently been losing to AMD. Source
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