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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Intel has announced the availability of its new Ethernet Adapter Complete Pack and network adapter drivers, namely version 23.5.1, which adds compatibility for X722-2 and X722-4 Ethernet Network Adapters on Windows Server platforms. Regarding compatible OSes, just like the previous Intel Ethernet drivers, this release is targeted at both 32- and 64-bit variants of Microsoft’s Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 operating systems, as well as the 64-bit architectures of Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016, and 2019. When it comes to installation, first of all, you should carefully read the description page of the appropriate download (OS and bit variant), and make sure that your Ethernet adapter is listed as a valid product. Not all models are supported by each package, so get the proper one. If all is OK and you have downloaded the executable, run it, and simply follow all instructions displayed on-screen for a complete and successful installation. Also, bear in mind that trying to apply the driver on other OSes than the one it is developed for might cause system malfunctions. In addition to that, once the upgrade has finished, it would be a good idea to perform a reboot so that all changes can take effect properly. If this isn’t requested automatically by the wizard, make sure to carry it out manually. That said, download Intel Network Adapter Driver 23.5.1, select the one targeted at your OS and bit variant, upgrade your network adapter, and constantly check our website to be aware when a newer version is available. Source
  16. At the CES 2019 here on Monday, Intel announced: "Nervana Neural Network Processor for Inference" (NNP-I). CES 2019: Intel, Facebook Working on Cheaper AI Chip (photo for representation) Intel and Facebook are working together on a new cheaper Artificial Intelligence (AI) chip that will help companies with high workload demands. At the CES 2019 here on Monday, Intel announced "Nervana Neural Network Processor for Inference" (NNP-I). "This new class of chip is dedicated to accelerating inference for companies with high workload demands and is expected to go into production this year," Intel said in a statement.Facebook is also one of Intel's development partners on the NNP-I. Navin Shenoy, Intel Executive Vice President in the Data Centre Group, announced that the NNP-I will go into production this year. The new "inference" AI chip would help Facebook and others deploy machine learning more efficiently and cheaply. Intel began its AI chip development after acquiring Nervana Systems in 2016. Intel also announced that with Alibaba, it is developing athlete tracking technology powered by AI that is aimed to be deployed at the Olympic Games 2020 and beyond. The technology uses existing and upcoming Intel hardware and Alibaba cloud computing technology to power a cutting-edge deep learning application that extracts 3D forms of athletes in training or competition."This technology has incredible potential as an athlete training tool and is expected to be a game-changer for the way fans experience the Games, creating an entirely new way for broadcasters to analyse, dissect and re-examine highlights during instant replays," explained Shenoy. Intel and Alibaba, together with partners, aim to deliver the first AI-powered 3D athlete tracking during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. "We are proud to partner with Intel on the first-ever AI-powered 3D athlete tracking technology where Alibaba contributes its best-in-class cloud computing capability and algorithmic design," said Chris Tung, CMO, Alibaba Group. Source
  17. Intel Ice Lake processor During their presentation today at CES 2019, Intel revealed the first of their 10nm PC processors, codenamed Ice Lake. Ice Lake processors will support Thunderbolt 3, DL Boost, and Wi-Fi 6, the new Wi-Fi standard that will improve battery life on devices, offer higher data rates, and support increased capacity. Intel’s new Ice Lake 10nm PC processors will also feature integration with Intel’s new Sunny Cove microarchitecture, Intel Gen11 graphics, and improved AI usage and graphics processing. Devices using the Ice Lake processor are promised to be released before the end of this year sometime in holiday-2019. Intel also announced that it would be expanding its 9th Gen Intel Core desktop processors to more desktop and laptop computers with the aim of providing a greater range of products for consumers, particularly gamers and creators, to choose from. These new 9th Gen Intel Core desktop processors will be made available later this month. Source
  18. This last year has been a bizarre one in the world of PC components. AMD, Intel and Nvidia have all launched major product lines that ruled their prospective portions of the market – at least for a little while. AMD launched its Ryzen and Threadripper 2nd Generation lineups, which brought about fantastic performance at a bargain price, while Nvidia launched Turing and the best graphics cards we’ve ever seen. And, Intel? Well, Intel released four different microarchitectures to varying degrees of success. But, what will 2019 look like? As all of these manufacturers mobilize to launch more efficient silicon than ever before, will we finally start seeing 7-nanometer (nm) processors in the mainstream? Or, will AMD launch a line of graphics cards that gives the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti a run for their money? What will the mid- and low-end Nvidia Turing cards look like? AMD in 2019 For years, AMD has been playing the underdog both in graphics cards and the best processors. However, now that AMD is selling twice as many processors as Intel, it’s heading into the new year as a dominant force in the market – even if it still needs to catch up to Nvidia. Ryzen 3rd Generation. The AMD Ryzen 3000 series processors are a sure thing in 2019, and while leaks have pointed to them being 16-core monstrosities with core speeds up to 4.7GHz, we think that’s a little bit pie-in-the-sky. Still, AMD is shrinking its manufacturing process to 7nm in 2019, according to leaked road maps from Informatica Cero, so we’ll likely see better efficiency and performance across the board – hopefully while keeping its stellar price-to-performance balance. Threadripper 3rd Generation. As is the norm over the last couple years, we’ll likely see a new line of Threadripper HEDT processors show up in Summer 2019. The leaked roadmap we mentioned earlier points to a “Castle Peak” architecture following AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation, likely based on the same Zen 2 process as Ryzen 3rd Generation. Similar to its mainstream Ryzen platform, we expect AMD’s next HEDT line to bring improved efficiency and performance. AMD Vega 7nm. AMD has a press conference at CES 2019, and we’re pretty sure that it’s going to announce 7nm Vega graphics cards for creatives and professionals. We’ve already seen AMD tease 7nm graphics cards for CES, and the AMD Vega II logo has been revealed in a trademark application. It’s a pretty safe bet that AMD Vega II will be revealed very soon. AMD Navi. But, what about consumer graphics cards? Ever since Nvidia launched Turing with, frankly, insane prices, we’ve been hoping AMD Navi would come out and give Team Green some much-needed competition. We’ve seen a leak that suggests that AMD will release an RX 3080, which would compete with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 for half the price. If this is true, 2019 is going to be an exciting year for graphics cards Intel in 2019 We know significantly less about what Intel is going to do in 2019. It’s known that the silicon giant is going to do something, but the specifics are a bit arcane at the moment. Between Cannon Lake, Sunny Cove and some HEDT chips, we’re sure following Intel is going to be a rollercoaster this year – like it is every year. Sunny Cove? Cannon Lake? Coffee Lake Refresh just came out a couple months ago, bringing extremely high core counts and clock speeds together for the first time – the Intel Core i9-9900K blows everything out of the water. It’s still a stopgap, though. We’ve been waiting for 10nm Cannon Lake processors for years now, so hopefully we’ll see some more efficient silicon in 2019 – even if it’s called Sunny Cove instead. More laptop processors. Even though Intel’s 9th generation of processors kicked off in October 2018 with Coffee Lake Refresh, we’re still seeing a ton of laptops with the 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors that launched all the way back in 2018. We expect Intel to refresh mainstream laptops next year, though we’d be happy if we saw more laptops with Whisky Lake chips. Intel graphics cards. Intel has been hinting at launching its own line of graphics cards for a while now, and we have to say: we’re intrigued. While Intel has come out and said that it’s on track to release graphics cards in 2020, not 2019, Intel will likely show off some of its new graphics architecture. Will they be consumer cards? Or – what we think is more likely – GPUs aimed at taking on Nvidia Voltaand AMD Vega in the professional space? We’ll just have to wait and see. Nvidia in 2019 Nvidia had a pretty action-packed 2018, so we’re not expecting anything groundbreaking from the graphics giant. It already launched Turing for consumers and Volta for data scientists and professionals, so we’ll likely see those lineups expand throughout the year. More Turing desktop graphics. We’ve started to see some leaks and speculation crop up about the Nvidia RTX 2060 start to surface. The Nvidia Turing lineup, as it exists today, is extremely expensive, so we’re hoping that whatever the RTX 2060 is capable of, it’ll be more affordable for mainstream consumers. Not everyone wants to drop a thousand bills on a graphics card. RTX Mobility. Sure, the best gaming PCs have had access to Nvidia Turing for a few months now, but what about gaming laptops? Well, word on the street is that Nvidia will announce RTX Mobility graphics for laptops at CES 2019. We’ll likely see the RTX 2070 Max-Q as the premiere mobile GPU, but we could see the RTX 2080 make its way to a laptop near you as well. source
  19. But no one has ever said that about Intel In a moment showing a complete lack of self-examination, Chipzilla is moaning to anyone who will listen that the chipmaker Qualcomm is an evil monopolist which is stifling competition. In an official statement, Intel called out Qualcomm for continuing to pursue its use of patent lawsuits and threatening lawsuits against its customers and competitors even as multiple antitrust agencies have found Qualcomm to be violating competition laws with these tactics. Steven Rodgers, Intel EVP and general counsel, said that despite Qualcomm being fined by multiple governments around the world over its abuse of patents against other companies, the company continues the same aggressive legal strategy against its partners and competitors. This, Intel said, will only lead to higher prices for consumers and less innovation. Intel pointed out that Qualcomm has been fined a billion dollars in China, $850 million in Korea, $1.2 billion in the European Union and $773 million in Taiwan over the company's anti-competitive practices. While this might be true, Intel is no stranger to those antitrust courts itself, and its actions against AMD over the years have been equally as nasty. US chipmaker Intel was hit with a fine of €1.06 billion euro after the European Commission found that the company had offered clients price rebates to use its computer chips in preference to those of its rival AMD. Historically Intel has been accused of similar antitrust activities. In 1998, the FTC found that Intel stopped providing important technical information about its products to Digital Equipment, Compaq Computer and Intergraph after the three companies took legal action against Intel to enforce microprocessor patents they held. Intel also threatened to stop selling microprocessors to those companies, the FTC said. In 2005 the Japanese FTC ruled that Intel violated Japanese antitrust laws and hurt competition in the country's processor market. In 2009 New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against Intel in the US District Court in Delaware, alleging that company engaged in a "systematic campaign" of illegal conduct to protect a monopoly. Cuomo alleged that Intel extracted exclusive agreements from large computer makers and threatened to punish those perceived to be working too closely with Intel competitors. In 2009 the US Federal Trade Commission filed antitrust lawsuit against Intel, alleging that Intel has waged a "systematic campaign" to cut off rivals' access to the marketplace and prevent adoption of superior products produced by competitors. "Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly," Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a statement. "It's been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits. The commission's action today seeks to remedy the damage that Intel has done to competition, innovation, and, ultimately, the American consumer." According to Intel, Qualcomm's goal is not to vindicate its IP rights, but to drive competition out of the market completely. For those who came in late, Intel is a rival of Qualcomm in the wireless modem space, said that it hopes the actions taken by global authorities against Qualcomm will preserve competition in the 5G market. source
  20. 2018 MacBook Air.CREDIT: APPLE The MacBook Pro and MacBook Air should benefit from Intel's chip makeover in 2019. Intel is slated to move to its Sunny Cove microarchitecture, the chipmaker said recently -- which would put 10-nanometer (nm) Intel processors in Macs for the first time. Intel in 2019: Intel has been stuck at 14nm since 2014 -- though it has made iterative improvements to that manufacturing process over the years as it announced new chips. Enter 10nm Sunny Cove, which is designed to increase performance per clock and improve power efficiency. But the more interesting upgrade will be Gen11 graphics that roughly doubles the performance of Gen9* graphics. Intel says Gen11 will break the 1 TFLOPS barrier, a big boost for gaming and media applications. The number of Gen11 execution cores -- or so-called execution units (EUs) -- will also see a big increase to 64 from 24. All of this -- including new AVX-512 instructions -- will be incorporated into the next generation of "Ice Lake" processors (based on Sunny Cove), according to Anandtech. The Next MacBook Pro: Current 2018 13-inch MacBook Pros with Touch Bar use Intel's mobile Coffee Lake U series processors released in the second quarter of 2018. The 15-inch uses six-core Coffee Lake H, also launched in Q2. If Apple follows past practice, a future 13-inch MacBook Pro will get Intel's top-of-the-line Gen11 graphics with revved up quad-core processors, while the 15-inch MBP will get updated to Intel's latest many-core mobile processors. The 13-inch MacBook Pro would benefit the most since it relies on Intel graphics. Current 13-inch MacBook Pros with Touch Bar, for example, rely solely on Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655. On the other hand, a future 15-inch MacBook Pro would not be as affected on the graphics side since it also comes equipped with AMD graphics (currently AMD Radeon Pro Vega). The Next MacBook Air: A 2019 MacBook Air update would use a follow-on to the very-low-power (7-watt) Y series dual-core Amber Lake — used in the current late-2018 MBA. In fact, very-low-power Y series processors** could reap the biggest rewards from the move to the smaller 10nm geometries that offer improved power-saving characteristics. Apple uses the Y series in its most power-sensitive and thinnest MacBooks (which includes the mid-2017 12-inch MacBook in addition to the new MacBook Air). Next, next MacBook: a big surprise or just a big 'maybe' The biggest change of all -- see this report from Bloomberg -- would be the switch to Apple's own processors, like the A12X Bionic chip inside the newest 12.9-inch iPad Pro. That Apple chip smokes even recent Intel Core i7 mobile processors. But reports prognosticating about Apple dumping Intel for its own CPU have been around since 2011 so I wouldn't hold your breath. Besides, the 2018 MacBook Air with Intel's latest power-efficient processor is up to the task (see notes at bottom). Or if you want the next best thing, the 2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro, combined with Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio, offers a good taste of a future iOS MacBook with an Apple CPU. ---- NOTES: *Intel, in effect, skipped Gen10, according to Anandtech. For more details see Anandtech on what it calls Intel's "failed 10nm Cannonlake chip." **I am currently using a late-2018 MacBook Air with an Amber Lake dual-core Y series processor. The 2018 MacBook Air is surprisingly fast and I have, so far, experienced no lag or performance issues. In fact, I see no difference -- doing everyday tasks -- between the 2018 MacBook Air and my quad-core mid-2017 MacBook Pro 15. However, I do see a remarkable difference in battery life: the MacBook Air outlasts the MacBook Pro by hours. (More on this in a coming review of the 2018 MacBook Air.) source
  21. Image Courtesy: Wccftech.com Back in November, Intel confirmed that it will begin pushing the Windows Modern Drivers to the supported devices. The old driver versions, which won’t be discontinued, will be considered legacy drivers. Intel says Windows Modern Driver provides optimizations aimed at UWP apps and the chipmaker would only ship this kind of drivers to its devices. The users are allowed to roll back to legacy versions but it’s not something you’re recommended to do. Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) or newer requires companies to release Modern Drivers. As a result, Intel has started focusing on its Universal Windows Driver (also known as Modern Driver). Intel has now released a new version of the Windows Modern Drivers. The chipmaker has released version 25.20.100.6471 of its Windows Modern Drivers for Windows 10 and it is available for download. The new driver version comes with the following features: Performance improvements and optimizations for Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden*, Monster Hunter World* and Battlefield V* on 6th Generation Intel® Core processors or higher. Improved support for 4K/1080p HDR video playback in Chrome* browser. Quality improvements in brightness and color when using HDR embedded panels. Performance Improvements in DX12 games and/or applications when running in Hybrid graphics systems. Enable VESA Display ID 2.0 providing improved support for HDR and higher resolutions. Enables HDR support on Daisy Chained Display Port Monitors. Improved performance and image quality when Conservative Morphological Anti- Aliasing (CMAA) is enabled for Games and 3D applications. Here’s a list of fixes included in this release: Intermittent crashes or hangs may occur in Battlefield V* (DX11), Call of Duty Black Ops IV*, Cinema4D. System may hang intermittently when resuming from sleep or hibernate mode while using Collage mode. Stability improvements in PowerDVD* Video Playback. “Microsoft is changing the way that hardware drivers work on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Windows 10 (and later), and Microsoft Windows Server 2019 (and later). Hardware running on these operating systems can use Windows Modern Drivers (also known as Universal Windows Drivers – UWDs). Intel will begin distributing Windows Modern Drivers for its products beginning in November 2018,” Intel said in a blog post. If you’re using the Intel Modern Drivers, you can grab the new update via Intel’s Automatic driver updater software or manually from their website here. source
  22. Drivers will be provided by your PC or card maker, although some support apps will be published on the Microsoft Store, too. Intel has published its first Modern Windows Driver for several of its modern integrated GPUs, representing a new way for graphics drivers to be pushed to your PC—and something to keep an eye on until the new driver infrastructure settles in. Modern Windows Drivers, also known as Universal Windows Drivers, are a new feature of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update that takes advantage of the UWP infrastructure within Windows 10. As Microsoft explains it, a Modern Windows Driver is a “single driver package that runs across multiple different device types, from embedded systems to tablets and desktop PCs.” The first Intel driver to take advantage of this is labeled UWD 25.20.100.6444. Microsoft doesn’t intend for you to do anything different to obtain the new Modern drivers. If you own a prebuilt PC, the PC maker will continue to be the first place you should check for updated drivers, according to an Intel FAQ. That’s because the universal driver includes a base driver, plus optional component packages and an optional hardware support app. The latter two are written by the system builder or OEM, while the former is written by the GPU maker itself. (AMD and Nvidia are expected to transition to Modern drivers, too.) With regards to Intel, you’ll be able to download them via Intel’s DownloadCenter and via Intel’s Driver and Support Assistant, or IDSA. Drivers may also be pushed by Windows 10’s Windows Update, while the support apps will be (or should be) published to the Microsoft Store app. What you need to be careful about Intel began publishing its first Modern Windows Drivers on November 28. The following chipsets are supported: Intel UHD Graphics 620/630 (formerly codenamed Coffee Lake) Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 (formerly codenamed Coffee Lake) Intel UHD Graphics 600/605 (formerly codenamed Gemini Lake) Intel HD Graphics 620/630 (formerly codenamed Kaby Lake) Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640/650 (formerly codenamed Kaby Lake) Intel HD Graphics 610/615 (formerly codenamed Gemini Lake) Intel HD Graphics 500/505 (formerly codenamed Apollo Lake) Intel HD Graphics 510/515/520/530 (formerly codenamed Skylake) Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580 (formerly codenamed Skylake) Intel Iris Graphics 540 (formerly codenamed Skylake) Here’s the catch. According to Intel, you can only use the executable installer provided by Intel or your PC maker. If you use the “INF/Have disk installation” or any other method of installing drivers, Intel warns that that could cause “minor to catastrophic issues or system instability.” That’s because it bypasses Intel’s own installation method. In addition, there’s very little leeway to roll back from a Modern Windows Driver to a legacy driver. It’s a “complex process that can result in system instability,” Intel writes. ‘We don’t recommend it.” If you absolutely must, contact Intel’s support. In other words, the Modern Windows Driver/Universal Windows Driver transition is a one-way street, and let's hope you don't have any issues with the new drivers. We've asked Intel some additional questions about the transition, and we'll update this story when we hear back. What this means to you: If you don’t have the Windows 10 October 2018 Update yet, there’s really nothing to do—you can manually request the October 2018 Update from Windows, but the rollout is proceeding slowly. (Microsoft hasn’t provided the update to the Microsoft Surface Book 2 I’m writing this on.) It’s not exactly clear whether Intel will provide this driver in a “legacy” format, either. That’s kind of important, given that the new driver provides some updates to Fallout 4, Far Cry 5, and other top games, according to Neowin. Source
  23. Trendforce says high growth is now off the cards Intel isn't getting its chips out to OEMs fast enough SHIPMENTS OF LAPTOPS are set to only increase a smidgen in 2018, according to tech market intelligence firm TrendForce, which has pointed blame and a lack of supply of Intel CPUs as the root of the decline. You'd think with snazzy news laptops like the Surface Laptop 2 and Huawei MateBook X Pro that the notebook segment of the PC world would be soaring. But TrendForce predicts it will only grow by 3.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q3 2018. That's down from the predicted growth of five to six per cent, though some 42 million units will still ship, which isn't exactly a small number of lappys. But thanks to Intel's struggle of late to get high volumes of its processors out into the market for hardware makers to plonk into their laptops, high growth in the notebook market looks off the cards. "Although notebook manufacturers are now at the end of their preparation for the year-end holiday season, they are still active in production planning in order to achieve the shipment goal this year," says Kou-Han Tseng, TrendForce notebook analyst. By that preparation is set to be borked by the lack of inventory for mainstream CPUs, despite Intel seemingly having all manner of chips to offer. And yeah, before you say it, we know AMD does laptop processors, but they aren't anywhere near as popular as Intel's silicon slices. The continued rise of Ryzen CPUs might change that, at least that's according to our crystal ball. Such a situation won't really upset the apple cart when it comes to the laptop makers, with HP, Lenovo, and Dell taking the first, second and third spots as the largest notebook floggers in the third quarter of 2018. No surprises there. Things look a tad rougher for the likes of Apple. While it adopted new processors for its latest iteration of the MacBook Pros, it failed to offer the performance bang for the buck customers would expect when shelling out a hefty wad of cash for a Cupertino designed laptop. Things could turn around with the release of the MacBook Air, but we'll have to wait and see. All in all, the laptop world looks to be simply ticking along and is arguably waiting for Intel to pull its finger out and get some 10-nanometre chips to the market. Source
  24. Six or nine months from now, AMD and Intel might be posting results and/or guidance that look very different from the numbers that the companies recently delivered. However, that's cold comfort for AMD investors who have seen the company's shares drop 22% over the two days following the release of its Q3 report. Or for that matter, anyone who was short Intel as its stock -- aided by the release of an upbeat Q3 report on Thursday afternoon -- rose nearly 8% during the same time. To recap, AMD posted mixed Q3 results on Wednesday afternoon -- revenue slightly missed, while EPS slightly beat -- and more importantly guided for Q4 revenue of $1.45 billion (plus or minus $50 million), below a pre-earnings consensus of $1.6 billion. A day later, Intel soundly beat Q3 estimates and guided for Q4 revenue of $19 billion and non-GAAP EPS of $1.22, above a consensus of $18.4 billion and $1.09. What's Behind AMD's Guidance On its earnings call, AMD partly attributed its sales guidance to softness in its PC GPU business following a plunge in demand from cryptocurrency miners. The company asserts this plunge has led channel partners (retailers, distributors, etc.) to hold elevated inventories of AMD GPUs that will take a while longer to fully burn off. The company also forecast that its game console processor sales -- AMD system-on-chips (SoCs) power both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One -- will see a larger-than-usual seasonal decline in Q4, due to the fact that the current console cycle is now long in the tooth. On the flip side, AMD expects its PC CPU sales will rise in what's normally a seasonally weaker quarter, and that its server CPU and GPU sales will also grow. Though both AMD and Nvidia have been hit this year by weaker crypto-related demand, AMD's exposure -- both as a percentage of its GPU revenue, and as a percentage of its total revenue -- appears to have been meaningfully higher. Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon, who expressed concern back in June about AMD's crypto exposure, estimates the company's GPU revenue was around $700 million in Q1. That figure is equal to over 40% of total Q1 revenue of $1.65 billion. In Q3, following an estimated $300 million sequential drop, Rasgon thinks GPU sales may have been roughly half of Q1 levels, due to both lower units and a drop in average selling prices (ASPs) caused by the fact that crypto miners were more likely to buy AMD's high-end Vega GPUs. AMD does forecast its GPU sales will rise sequentially in Q4, but attributes this "primarily" to an expected increase in server GPU sales. A somewhat tougher competitive environment could also be impacting AMD's revenue outlook a bit. Nvidia recently launched gaming GPUs based on its next-gen Turing architecture, and Intel just rolled out new high-end desktop and workstation CPUs that take aim at AMD's second-gen Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper CPUs. What's Behind Intel's Results and Guidance Intel's Q3 beat was fueled by stronger-than-expected sales for both its Client Computing Group , which supplies PC and to a lesser extent mobile chips, and its Data Center Group (DCG), which supplies chips for servers and to a lesser extent other data center hardware. Intel benefited from 50% and 30% increases, respectively, in DCG's sales to cloud and telecom service providers, and a major increase in iPhone modem shipments (Intel is the sole modem supplier for Apple's latest iPhones). It also didn't hurt that the PC market looks a little stronger right now than it did at the start of 2018, particularly on the high-end. Though AMD's Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper families have helped it gain some share in the PC and workstation markets, Intel's PC CPU volumes rose 6% in Q3, with notebook and desktop ASPs respectively rising 4% and 10%. And though the chip giant cautions that manufacturing constraints will limit potential upside to its Q4 outlook, it expects the good times to continue this quarter. Intel is trying to curtail the damage done by these constraints by slightly upping its 2018 capital spending and prioritizing sales of server and high-end PC CPUs relative to sales of low-end PC CPUs and IoT chips. How Things Could Change in 2019 As plenty of industry observers have noted, AMD's 2019 product roadmap, together with Intel's manufacturing process struggles, could allow AMD to take meaningful PC and server CPU share next year. And perhaps, in the process, change perceptions of the company among consumers and businesses who have historically viewed the company as the CPU world's red-headed stepchild. In 2019 (possibly in the first half of the year), AMD plans to launch PC and server CPUs that rely on a 7-nanometer (7nm) process that has performance, density and power efficiency advantages relative to the 14nm processes currently used to make Intel's most powerful chips. AMD's 7nm parts will also rely on a new CPU core architecture (known as Zen 2) that delivers performance improvements relative to the company's existing Zen architecture. Following numerous delays, Intel aims to start volume production next year for a 10nm process that's seen as competitive with the 7nm process used by AMD. However, the company is only forecasting PCs featuring 10nm CPUs will be available for the 2019 holiday season, and that 10nm server CPUs will ship at some point in 2020. That clearly spells an opening for AMD, which also has plans to launch 7nm GPUs. In addition to tougher competition from AMD, Intel's DCG unit might have to contend with softer cloud-related demand next year. As Intel was trumpeting its Q3 performance on Thursday, Western Digital was warning that it's seeing a "temporary slowdown" in demand for high-capacity hard drives from "large cloud service providers," and only forecast demand for such products would improve in the second half of 2019. Rasgon thinks the possibility of a cloud spending slowdown shouldn't be taken lightly, particularly since the chip industry at-large is entering a downturn and DCG will be seeing tougher annual comparisons next year. "[Cloud providers] tend to build and digest and build and digest," he noted. "And over the last four, five quarters, they've built a tremendous amount." Softer cloud capex would technically be a negative for AMD as well. However, since the company's server CPU share is currently a small fraction of Intel's -- it's aiming for a mid-single digit share for its Epyc server CPU family by the end of 2018 -- it could still grow its cloud-related sales strongly in such an environment. The Big Picture If one was bullish on AMD going into its Q3 report on a belief that its 7nm products can drive large share gains in 2019 and beyond, the company's Q4 guidance and commentary shouldn't do much to make one question that thesis. Likewise, if one was bearish on Intel ahead of its Q3 report due to worries about its 10nm issues and/or out of a belief that DCG's end-markets will slow, its results and guidance don't really put a dent into either thesis. Nonetheless, AMD plunged on news that near-term demand for some of its existing products will be weaker than expected. And Intel rallied on news that businesses that had already seen demand improve in 2018 had seen it improve some more. Perhaps the key lesson here for tech investors is to stay mindful of near-term business swings -- and how markets could react to them -- even if one is convinced that new products and technologies will have a big impact on a company's fortunes farther down the line. That might doubly hold in a risk-sensitive market environment like this one. Source
  25. Bob Swan, Intel’s CFO and interim CEO, on Friday issued an open letter to the company’s customers and partners addressing tight supply of some of the company’s products. The high-ranking executive admitted the issue and outlined the set of actions Intel is taking to tackle the problem. The head of Intel noted that demand for the company’s chips for PCs and servers has been significantly exceeding expectations throughout 2018. In the first half of 2018 the company’s datacenter business grew 23% year-over-year, whereas Intel’s cloud business grew 43% YoY. Besides, demand for client PCs also grew in the second quarter, increasing demand for Intel’s products. As a result, the company upped its revenue forecast for the year by $4.5 billion in July. The improved demand for processors has naturally increased pressure on Intel’s factory network, particularly because the company faced amplified demand for its high profile products, such as the Intel Xeon line, Core i9, or more recently as the modem in Apple's latest iPhone launch. From a manufacturing perspective, it is naturally more difficult to produce large dies for servers with up to 28 cores, because they physically larger than dual-core or quad-core chips for client PCs. On a given wafer, you can fit more smaller CPUs than a few big ones. Also, the number of wafers a fab can process per month is limited. To make things harder, the company’s enthusiast-class client CPUs now also feature more cores than the first generation 14nm parts, so they are eating more wafer space (i.e., fab capacity) than they did a year ago. In short, as a result of the market growth, physical increase of die sizes, and Intel’s capacity allocation, demand for Intel’s processors exceeded the number of wafers it can process at some point. As a result, Intel had to prioritize production of its high-margin large-die Core and Xeon processors over other products in the recent months, which is why supply of entry-level products made using 14 nm process technology is tight right now. In particular, the company had to develop 22-nm new version of its H310C chipset in a bid to free up its 14 nm capacity, according to Tom’s Hardware. Despite Intel's reassurances, there is a tight supply of even Intel’s Xeon processors, not just the company's entry-level CPUs or chipsets. In particular, we have seen stories claiming that its enterprise customers report concerns about supply, with HPE allegedly going to the extent of recommending AMD to fill stop-gaps. In a bid to increase production of its 14-nm chips the company is investing an additional $1 billion in its manufacturing sites in Oregon, Arizona, Ireland, and Israel that produce chips using on said node. Intel originally planned to spend $14 billion in CapEx this year, but then allocated another billion to boost production capacity of its 14 nm fabs. Intel naturally does not detail how it plans to upgrade the facilities, but $1 billion can buy you many step-and-scan systems to process wafers. One thing to note here is that fab investment is usually on the scale of months, so any investment now is unlikely to increase fab throughput until end of Q1 next year. In addition to installing new/additional scanners to produce more chips using its 14 nm manufacturing technologies, Intel continues to invest in its 10 nm fabrication process and appropriate capacities. 10 nm yields are improving and Intel expects its next-gen CPUs to be in volume production in 2019. Meanwhile, some of the capacities used to fab chips using Intel’s 14 nm technology today will be used to process wafers using its 10 nm tech next year (e.g., we believe that Intel’s Fab 28 in Israel can be used to make both 14 nm and 10 nm chips). Therefore, to increase its global output of CPUs when its 10 nm capacities come online next year, Intel will have to ensure that its yields are high enough and its die sizes are low enough. Intel deserves credit for being open about the ongoing short supply issues, though it is evident that the company simply could not ignore multiple reports about shortages, some of which were inaccurate. The chipmaker did acknowledge the issue and outlined solutions. What remains to be seen now is how Intel plans to meet demand for its Whiskey Lake CPUs during the holiday season and how the short supply of its processors in general affects plans of PC makers for late 2018. The full Intel news item is reposted below. Source: Intel Source
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