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  1. Intel Comet Lake-S prices have leaked, and it looks like AMD will win in price again Come on, Intel (Image credit: Intel) Historically speaking, the Intel vs AMD battle has typically played out like this: Intel was more expensive while offering top-end performance, while AMD processors were much more affordable. But, that's changed recently, with AMD providing better performance and prices, while Intel is just expensive – and it doesn't look like that's about to change. Renowned leaker @momomo_us spotted EU pricing for a pretty wide range of 10th-generation Intel Comet Lake processors from the low-end Celeron G5900 to the mid-range Intel Core i5-10600. And well, they're pretty expensive. This pricing leak places the Intel Core i5-10500 at €252 (about $270, £210, AU$412), which is far more expensive than even the Ryzen 5 3600X which is currently €225 (about $240, £190, AU$370) on German retailer CaseKing. Now it's very likely that Intel could pull out a single-core win over AMD's chips, but even with Hyperthreading, it probably won't win in multi-core workloads. That's not even considering the elephant in the room that is AMD Ryzen 4000. We still haven't seen Intel announce a release date for its Comet Lake processors, and it's very possible that they'll have to face up directly against AMD's Zen 3 processors. If that happens, AMD's refinement of its 7nm architecture could see IPC improvements that put Intel's chips to shame. It's very possible, however, that these leaked prices are simply wrong – keep in mind that Intel did absolutely slash prices on its 10th-generation Core X processors when it knew they wouldn't compete with Threadripper 3rd Generation. Either way, we won’t know what the actual prices for Intel’s 10th-generation processors will look like, we just hope they’ll be affordable and Intel won’t price itself out of relevance. Via PCGamesN Source: Intel Comet Lake-S prices have leaked, and it looks like AMD will win in price again (TechRadar)
  2. Intel's 10th-generation desktop processors might see the return of the F-Series Intel Comet Lake doesn't need an iGPU anyway An Intel desktop CPU (Image credit: Intel) We're still waiting for an official annoucnement of Intel Comet Lake processors for desktop PCs, but a new leak may indicate more of what's in store. There could be a whole new slew of F-series CPUs to round the product stack based on details in a leaked presentation slide reported on by Informática Cero and shared by Videocardz. The slide shows off six new CPUs split in half between unlocked and locked models. Here's a breakdown of the products listed: Intel Core i9 10900KF - 10-core/20-thread at 3.7GHz/4.8GHz all-core turbo Intel Core i7 10700KF - 6-core/16-thread at 3.8GHz/4.7GHz all-core turbo Intel Core i5 10600KF - 6-core/12-thread at 4.1GHz/4.5GHz all-core turbo Intel Core i9 10900F - 10-core/20-thread at 2.8GHz/4.5GHz all-core turbo Intel Core i7 10700F - 6-core/16-thread at 2.9GHz/4.6GHz all-core turbo Intel Core i5 10600F - 6-core/12-thread at 2.9GHz/4.0GHz all-core turbo As you can see, all six chips listed include the "F" in their name that typically indicates the omission of Intel's integrated graphics. This has generally resulted in a small price cut compared to the non-F versions without otherwise making significant changes to what the CPU itself could offer. The product stack lines up well enough with what we might expect from Intel, and even some recent leaks. An Intel Core i7-10700K benchmark leaked about a week ago and showed an 8-core/16-thread chip with a 3.8GHz base clock and 5.3GHz turbo boost. The base clock of the 10700K even lines up with the base clock of the 10700KF. The difference in the turbo boost clocks could be a result of an actual difference between the two chips aside from the disabled iGPU on the 10700KF. Good news for gamers Not everyone needs an integrated GPU like those found on many of Intel's processors. Gamers generally use dedicated GPUS anyways, as they're needed to run their favorite games, and that leaves the CPU's integrated graphics sitting mostly idle. It becomes wasted space while adding to the initial cost of the processor. If Intel is preparing a stack of Comet Lake-S desktop processors that include these F-series chips, gamers will have an easier time choosing what they want to get. The extra bit of price reduction Intel can offer on these chips will also help it compete against AMD, which has been an a winning streak with its Ryzen 3rd generation processors. Most of the Ryzen processors offer excellent value with incredible multi-core performance thanks to their high core counts – and most of these don't include integrated graphics, either. Of course, the Ryzen processors are already on sale. We still don't know when Intel will come out with desktop Comet Lake-S chips. It's already starting to feel like Intel may be running behind schedule since AMD's Ryzen 3rd generation has gone mostly unanswered for the better part of a year. It may just be the case the Intel is running late, as a product listing was recently posted for a CPU cooler compatible with the unannounced LGA 1200 socket that is expected for Comet Lake-S, PCGamesN reports. That could suggest the manufacturer was anticipating a launch date that Intel couldn't make. It certainly seems like Intel Comet Lake-S chips are on the way. The question is just whether Intel will launch them in time to compete with Ryzen 3000 or if it will have to face up against Ryzen 4000. Source: Intel's 10th-generation desktop processors might see the return of the F-Series (TechRadar)
  3. Intel may be taking the fight to AMD when it comes to high clock speeds with Comet Lake A lot of megahertz (Image credit: Intel) It's now well into 2020 and we still haven't seen an official announcement of 10th-generation Intel Comet Lake processors for desktop PCs – but we're at least getting more and more leaks. This time around, the leak in question is from the 3DMark Database. Spotted by renowned leaker TUM_APISAK, it points to the Intel Core i7-10700K as being an 8-core, 16-thread processor with a massive turbo boost of 5.3GHz. Now, if you notice, this is a huge improvement over 9th-generation Intel Coffee Lake Refresh which only had an 8-core processor without Hyperthreading as its Core i7 part. Intel is clearly feeling the heat from AMD, and that just means that multi-threading is back in fashion with Team Blue. Plus, we're expecting a 10-core Intel Core i9 part out of Comet Lake, too. However, it's not all sunshine and roses. Right now Intel Comet Lake processors are expected to be manufactured on the same 14nm process Intel has been using since Skylake back in 2017. With AMD Ryzen 3rd generation pushing IPC (instructions per clock) higher than Coffee Lake Refresh and with AMD Ryzen 4000 expected to do the same - a high boost clock might not be enough to give Intel the desktop boost it needs. Now, to be clear, we won't know what the specs of Intel's Comet Lake processors are going to be until the Santa Clara chip manufacturer is ready to share, but leaks like this give us an idea of what to expect. At this rate, we probably won't see these processors until Computex 2020, which is also when we're expecting to see AMD's next lineup. Needless to say, the Taipei tech show is going to be extremely exciting this year. Source: Intel may be taking the fight to AMD when it comes to high clock speeds with Comet Lake (TechRadar)
  4. Intel Core i9-10900K leak shows CPU has the upper hand vs AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3DMark results point to a powerful 10-core CPU (Image credit: Intel) Intel’s Core i9-10900K has had more benchmarks leaked, with new 3DMark processor scores indicating that the incoming 10-core flagship handily beating AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X. The benchmarks, spilled on Twitter by the ever-watchful TUM_APISAK, show the 10900K recording a score of 28,462 for Physics in Fire Strike Extreme, and a CPU result of 13,142 in Time Spy. AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X hits 27,137 and 12,624 respectively in those benchmarks as you can see in the tweet above, meaning that in this comparison, Intel’s Comet Lake-S desktop champion beats it out fairly comfortably, by almost 5% and 4% respectively. The tweet also indicates that the Core i9-10900K has a base clock of 3.7GHz, and boost to 5.1GHz as previously rumored. That won’t be all-core boost, of course, but just single-core – although the 10900K is set to boost higher than the AMD’s 3900X, which has a maximum boost of 4.6GHz, and all-core boost of closer to the 4GHz mark (although that will vary from chip to chip, as ever). Previous speculation contends that the 10900K will have all-core boost to 4.8GHz. Clocks not cores The 3900X sports a couple more cores, being a 12-core affair, but Intel has been playing the ‘clock speeds are more important than cores’ card of late, and these 3DMark results would seem to back that up. Although we have to bear in mind that leaked benchmarks should always be treated with caution, and of course you can only read so much into isolated pre-launch results. It does seem, though, that Intel is endeavoring to squeeze everything it can out of its existing 14nm process, and apparently succeeding to remain more than competitive with AMD’s new 7nm chips – although the Comet Lake price to pay will undoubtedly be a higher level of power usage, particularly in comparison to Ryzen. Indeed, there is speculation that the delay of the next-gen Comet Lake desktop CPUs is due to Intel struggling to get the power requirements of this flagship processor under control. At maximum load, we’ve heard whispers that the 10900K could demand 300W from the PC’s power supply. Intel’s top-end 9th-gen processors can be pretty power-hungry themselves, so again, that rumor isn’t really a surprise (although equally, we can’t assume that it’s true of course). There have been further rumors of the Comet Lake-S launch sliding, perhaps even to May, but the fact is Intel really needs to get the range out of the door as quickly as possible. Otherwise, these next-gen processors may end up coming too close to AMD’s launch of Ryzen 4000 desktop CPUs, which will be an entirely different performance ballgame (with perhaps up to a 20% performance increase on current Ryzen chips). The other area in which Intel can be competitive is with pricing, and we’ve heard chatter that the chip giant does intend to drop the asking prices of more of its CPUs, so could that potentially mean these Comet Lake products? That’s not clear by any means, but if it does happen, that will obviously be great news for consumers, as doubtless AMD will have to respond. Source: Intel Core i9-10900K leak shows CPU has the upper hand vs AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (TechRadar)
  5. (Reuters) - Intel Corp’s shares hit their highest in nearly two decades on Friday after cloud computing demand fired up the chipmaker’s data center business and allayed concerns of market share loss to rival AMD, lifting stocks across the sector. At least 15 brokerages raised their price targets on Intel’s stock, with J.P.Morgan making the most aggressive move by boosting its target by $12 to $80, well above the median price target of $65. Revenue at Intel’s data center business jumped 19% and sales to cloud computing providers surged 48% year-over-year in the fourth quarter. “We think Intel is benefiting from an improving macro economic climate versus company specific improvements at this time,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves said, adding that he expects strong results from data center rivals AMD and Nvidia . Shares of AMD, which will report earnings next week, rose 1% to a record high. Nvidia shares were also up 1%. European chipmakers ASML Holding NV and STMicroelectricals NV rose almost 2%. Intel's stock was up 8.6% at $68.75, a level it has not seen since the peak of the dotcom boom in 2000, propelling the broader Nasdaq .IXIC and the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index .SOX to record highs. Other major chipmakers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd and Texas Instruments have also given upbeat forecasts this month, cementing hopes of a rebound in the market that fell nearly 12% in 2019, according to research firm Gartner. However, Intel has struggled with delays in its 10nm chip technology, losing its lead to rival TSMC in the race to supply to the “new data economy”, which includes 5G, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. AMD has partnered with TSMC to launch several new products based on the smaller 7nm design. Intel said on Thursday it would release nine 10nm products this year and launch its lead 7nm product next year. “We continue to expect competitive headwinds to impact Intel’s server and PC CPU strongholds over the next few quarters, as AMD continues its onslaught on Intel’s hegemony,” Morningstar analysts said. Intel has also been facing a shortage of PC chips, and the company said it would boost its capacity to make such chips, in a sign that the manufacturing woes that plagued chipmakers over the past year were starting to ease. Source
  6. AMD has had Intel on the back foot now across both the consumer and server market, but the chip giant could be ready to throw money at maintaining market dominance. Intel is no doubt feeling the heat in both the consumer and server markets, as AMD manages to outmaneuver the chip behemoth at every turn. But Intel could have an ace up its sleeve, in the form of billions of dollars in cash that it can use to fund a price war. According to DigiTimes, Intel has a multi-phase plan in mind to help bolster market dominance. While most of the plan remains unknown, the first phase is reported to revolve around price cuts for OEM partners, which would trickle down the chain and -- hopefully -- result in cheaper laptops and desktops. Intel has vast, yet declining amounts of cash on hand -- just over $12 billion as of September 2019 -- so potentially has a massive war chest. AMD, on the other hand, is not so comfortable, with only $1.2 billion cash on hand during the same period. Intel is also no stranger to price cuts lately. The Core X line has seen significant price cuts, with the latest generation being about half the price of the previous-generation silicon. While Intel still commands a dominant market share -- over 80% for desktop and laptop PCs, and more than 90% of the server market -- AMD is growing fast, especially in the laptop and server markets. Some reports suggest that AMD is on track to hit 10% market share in the server market by the end of 2020. Small, but if Intel is considering a price war, it's clear that the company is worried about hemorrhaging any more market share. Source
  7. AMD won CES 2020 with Ryzen 4000 mobile, but can it beat Intel? Is AMD coming for the laptop space now? Yeah, we know, this is the most basic shot of a processor ever (Image credit: Future) At CES 2020, AMD spent a lot of time talking about how it had a big 2019, and it definitely has the right to gloat. AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors have essentially made Intel irrelevant, especially since Team Blue showed up at CES 2020 with no desktop silicon to its name. No matter how exciting AMD's takeover of the desktop space is, though, it has one giant roadblock before it can totally annihilate Intel in the consumer world: laptops. Now, AMD's presence in the best laptops is definitely growing and Team Red hopes to keep that momentum going into 2020. The company claims that it has 100 new laptop designs that will be coming to market in 2020, but we don't know how many of those will be worth writing home about. But either way, AMD's laptop game is about to expand in a big way. Intel does it too, though (Image credit: Intel) Let's chat about Intel Ice Lake real quick In the desktop world, raw performance is king. The people who build their own PCs care about raw horsepower above anything else, which is why AMD has been able to topple Intel's reign. However, laptops are a bit different. Performance is still definitely an important factor in the best laptops, but for most people what matters is efficiency. With Ice Lake, Intel has made great progress in reducing power consumption and increasing battery life through the use of AI. A big part of Intel's Project Athena, of which Ice Lake is a part, is the ability for your PC to learn how you use it over time, so it can prioritize performance when you personally need it, and saving power when you don't. This is definitely a hard thing to actually test, but it is a feature that is there. Intel has also worked in specific optimizations to quickly wake up your computer from sleep and can even enable unique features through its software integrations in programs like Photoshop. So, while performance hasn't increased in a way that a normal person would notice (Ice Lake is definitely faster than, say, Whiskey Lake), there are still new features being added that offer a lot of value for everyone who uses its laptops. It just happens to be way more subtle and not terribly exciting. Ok, everyone does it. (Image credit: AMD) AMD will likely win in speed It's important to note that AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile processors aren't available for testing yet, so we don't know what real-world performance is going to look like. All we can do is take a look at the specs and spec-ulate about how fast they might be. There's a whole range of AMD Ryzen 4000 processors for thin and light laptops, but it will be spearheaded by the Ryzen 7 4800U. This is a 15W chip with 8-cores, 16-threads and a 4.2GHz boost clock. Compared to the Intel Core i7-1065G7, which has the same 15W TDP but only 4-cores, 8-threads and a 3.8GHz boost clock, it's not looking too great for Intel. And, while we haven't had a chance to even touch a laptop with a Ryzen 4000 processor in it at CES 2020 (they were annoyingly behind a glass panel), we can just assume that AMD is going to absolutely thrash Intel Ice Lake in raw horsepower. Intel Tiger Lake is likely to follow in Ryzen 4000's footsteps and may even exceed it, but that's what happened with Ryzen 2nd Generation back in 2018, and we all know how that turned out. The way it might end up working out, at least in the short term, is that anyone looking for raw horsepower in their laptop is going to go with AMD, but there are too many quality-of-life features in Project Athena to write Intel off. Laptops are Intel's home turf and main money maker – don't expect Intel to lay down and take it in the same way it did with desktop. We just want AMD Ryzen in this thing. (Image credit: Future) The future is still in the future If AMD really wants to claim the laptop space in the same way, we don't think raw performance is going to be enough. Now, we did get a chance to talk to AMD about these new processors, and we were told that AMD is working with hardware vendors to make sure some of the quality-of-life improvements Intel users are used to are included. However, we're going to have to see what kind of software enhancements and, we hate to say it, AI integration AMD can work into its processors. From what we were being told at CES 2020, however, it seems like AMD's current goal is to show laptop manufacturers that it can consistently innovate and continue producing fast-performing processors. After all, in the laptop space a good processor is meaningless if it doesn't have the hardware partners to back it up. But since there are apparently 100 new AMD-powered laptops coming to market this year, it looks like that strategy is starting to pay off. One thing that might help Team Red claim mainstream affection, which will lead to more AMD laptops, is its new Athlon processors. We can geek out about all the flagships out there, but at the end of the day there are a ton of people that only have a few hundred dollars to toss at a laptop. AMD did announce two Athlon processors at CES 2020 that are built for those laptops, and it claims that they can provide a much better experience. AMD is also working with laptop manufacturers to bring features like Windows Hello to the bottom end of the laptop market, and we're huge fans of that idea. Or in this laptop. (Image credit: HP) The future is bright Right now, especially if you want the best laptop or Ultrabook out there, you're getting an Intel processor. Laptops like the Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre x360 and MacBook Pro are all rocking Intel silicon, with no trace of AMD. However, AMD is getting closer to this segment of the market every day with its mobile processors. Lenovo announced the Yoga 7 Slim, which isn't quite the top-end device in its wheelhouse, but it's definitely up there. And, of course, we can't forget the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, even if it ended up not being the greatest laptop out there. The way we look at it, if we can get to the point where users will be able to get the XPS 13 and choose between AMD and Intel we'll be extremely happy. Competition is coming to the high-end laptop space, and it's about damn time. Source: AMD won CES 2020 with Ryzen 4000 mobile, but can it beat Intel? (TechRadar)
  8. Leak shows Intel's DG1 Xe discrete GPU dev kits may be ready to be sampled soon At CES 2020, a couple of days ago, Intel demoed its upcoming 10nm+ Tiger Lake CPUs and also teased its Xe DG1 discrete graphics running Destiny 2. With the chip up and running, Intel appears ready to ship development kits of its Xe GPU according to this leaked press deck. The company appears to have named the kit a 'Software Development Vehicle' (SDV) and these will be sampling to independent software vendors (ISVs) worldwide. The design of the SDV is aesthetically pleasing with stylish grooves on the top and an Xe-branded backplate at the bottom. It is a single fan card with no apparent external power connector hinting at low power requirement for this particular design. It's been known since Supercomputing 2019 that Intel plans to scale its Xe architecture through the entire spectrum of the graphics market, from high end HPC needs down to low power(LP) mobile use cases, starting with Tiger Lake. Intel seems to have reiterated on that fact and has only added a nomenclature denoting each tier of performance. To sum up, Intel's plans with its Xe architecture seem grand as the company looks to take on two behemoths in the GPU market. With time, we will know how Intel has managed to measure up. via Videocardz Source: Leak shows Intel's DG1 Xe discrete GPU dev kits may be ready to be sampled soon (Neowin)
  9. Intel’s Horseshoe Bend concept is a look at the future of foldable PCs A sleek 17-inch OLED monster Earlier today, Lenovo announced the ThinkPad X1 Fold, a 13-inch tablet PC with a folding OLED screen and an Intel processor. But Intel doesn’t expect it to be a one-off. The chip giant has brought its own folding PC concept along to CES, with a view toward providing inspiration for an entirely new category of devices. The prototype is called Horseshoe Bend, and the biggest difference between it and the X1 Fold is, well, it’s much bigger. The OLED display is 4:3 and 17.3 inches diagonal when unfolded, which means it feels much closer to a traditional laptop size when you fold it at an angle and use it on a desk. There’s also a Surface-style kickstand so you can make use of the full display size when paired with a wireless keyboard. The most common mode of operation is likely to be somewhat like a laptop where content and UI exists under your fingers as well as in front of your face. Webpages feel like they scroll on forever; you can continue reading an article just by moving your hand away. Another use case demoed was video editing where you can manipulate the timeline directly where the keyboard would normally be. If you want to play a video full-screen, you can just turn the display around and use the kickstand. If the on-screen keyboard doesn’t do it for you, you can attach a wireless one to the bottom half of the display. Horseshoe Bend is built around Intel’s new 10nm Tiger Lake architecture, which is set to ship in laptops later this year. It allows for a 7mm-thick chassis with a 9W TDP and without any active cooling. The device we saw was running regular Windows 10, but Intel expects Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10X to be a good fit for the category later on. Compared to the X1 Fold, Horseshoe Bend obviously doesn’t have the fit and finish of a shipping device, but with its thinner bezels and slimmer profile, in some ways, it does feel sleeker. Of course, there’s also something to be said for putting a much bigger slice of OLED in front of you. Unfortunately, Intel wouldn’t let us fully fold the screen ourselves, so we can’t tell you all that much about how the Intel-designed hinge feels to actually use. What we can say is that Intel really does seem to be pushing this form factor, and it expects to be working with several manufacturers to help develop these devices in the not-too-distant future. Source: Intel’s Horseshoe Bend concept is a look at the future of foldable PCs (The Verge)
  10. Alleged Intel 10th-gen Comet Lake-S lineup leaked, up to 10 cores at over 5GHz The appearance of Intel's 400-series chipset motherboards in the EEC database, a few months ago, meant that some, if not all, of those motherboard models would be launched in a few months time to accompany the upcoming Comet Lake-S desktop CPU lineup. Today, it looks like that entire lineup of Comet Lake-S has allegedly been leaked by 'Informatica Cero', who apparently was able to get its hands on slides from Intel that detail the names and clocks of the 14nm Comet Lake-S desktop SKUs. Videocardz has also shared information on some more slides which were later removed by Informatica Cero. These outline the overall features of the Comet Lake-S lineup: Performance: Up to 4.8 GHz All-Core Turbo Up to 5.3 / 4.0 GHz Thermal Velocity Boost Singe / All-core Turbo Up to 5.2 GHz Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 Up to 10C and 20T Up to DDR4-2933 MHz dual-channel Enhanced Core & Memory Overclocking Active Core Group Tuning 10th-gen Intel Core Desktop (CML-S) Processor Diagram: NEW: Increased Performance (vs previous-gen) with up to 10 processor cores Media & display features for premium 4k content support NEW: enhanced core & memory overclocking NEW: Intel Wifi 6 (GIG+) support Intel Optane memory support Up to 30 PCH-H high speed I/O lanes with port flexibility Up to 40 PCIE 3.0 lanes (16 CPU/up to 24 PCH) Integrated USB 3.2 2×1 (10Gb/s) support NEW: Intel Rapid Store Technology (Intel RST) 17.X Programmable (Open FW SDK) Quad-core audio DSP C10 & S01X support for modern standby NEW and Featured Technologies: NEW: Up to 5.3 GHz with Intel Thermal Velocity Boost NEW: Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 NEW: Intel Hyperthreading Technology across 10th Gen Core i9 and i3 processors NEW: Up to 10 cores 20M Intel Smart Cache NEW: Up to DDR4-2933 support NEW: Enhanced Core and & Memory Overclocking NEW: Intel 400 Series Chipset NEW: 2.5G Intel Ethernet Connection i225 (Foxville) support NEW: Integrated WiFi 6(AX201) Gig+ support using CNBR As of now, it's not clear how the new "Thermal Velocity Boost" technology will function, though it might be similar to how AMD's eXtended Frequency Range (XFR) technology works. It is apparently present only on the Core i9 models. Roughly two months back, prolific leakster 'APISAK' managed to spot the Intel Core i3-10100 on the SiSoft Sandra benchmark database and the processor is also present on today's leaked slides. The exciting aspect of the Core i3-10100 is the presence of hyper-threading technology making it an eight-threaded processor. This was the first of such leaks, as a couple of other 10th gen models have also been spotted since. These include another i3 model dubbed Core i3-10300 as well as an i5 model dubbed Core i5-10600. The presence of hyper-threading on i3 means that Intel is looking to one up AMD's current Ryzen 3 lineup. Below is a summary of the the entire leaked lineup of desktop Intel Comet Lake-S: SKU Cores/ Threads Base Clock 1-Core Turbo All Core Turbo Max Turbo 3.0 Thermal Velocity Boost TDP i9-10900K 10C/20T 3.7GHz 5.1GHz 4.8GHz 5.2GHz 1-Core: 5.3GHz All Core: 4.9GHZ 125W i9-10900 10C/20T 2.8GHz 5.0GHz 4.5GHz 5.1GHz 1-Core: 5.1GHz All Core: 4.6GHz 65W i7-10700K 8C/16T 3.8GHz 5.0GHz 4.7GHz 5.1GHz N/A 125W i7-10700 8C/16T 2.9GHz 4.7GHz 4.6GHz 4.8GHz N/A 65W i5-10600K 6C/12T 4.1GHz 4.8GHz 4.5GHz N/A N/A 125W i5-10600 6C/12T 3.3GHz 4.8GHz 4.4GHz N/A N/A 65W i5-10500 6C/12T 3.1GHz 4.5GHz 4.2GHz N/A N/A 65W i5-10400 6C/12T 2.9GHz 4.3GHz 4.0GHz N/A N/A 65W i3-10320 4C/8T 3.8GHz 4.6GHz 4.4GHz N/A N/A 65W i3-10300 4C/8T 3.7GHz 4.4GHz 4.2GHz N/A N/A 65W i3-10100 4C/8T 3.6GHz 4.3GHz 4.1GHz N/A N/A 65W Although still on 14nm, It is rumored that the new Socket LGA 1200 will be introduced in order to provide more power to the Comet Lake-S processors due to the higher TDPs compared to Coffee Lake-S. No information on pricing and availability was present on the slides, though we could expect to hear more at CES 2020. Source and images: Cero Informatica via Videocardz Source: Alleged Intel 10th-gen Comet Lake-S lineup leaked, up to 10 cores at over 5GHz (Neowin)
  11. Intel in 2019: the year of the missing processors Intel has had a rough year (Image credit: Shutterstock) For anyone that's been following the computing industry over the last year, it's probably not too surprising or controversial to say that Intel hasn't had its best year ever. The Santa Clara chip manufacturer faced a number of challenges in 2019, from its own silicon shortages to recent developments in the ever-turning Intel vs AMD processor wars. But it wasn't all bad. Intel did release some very promising technology this year, mostly when it comes to its 10nm Ice Lake laptop chips that kick off a new age for Intel-based laptops that it's calling Project Athena. All of this leaves Intel in a pretty interesting spot this year, and makes us intensely curious what it will be doing at CES 2020 and beyond - those desktop chips have to be somewhere, right? Either way, because 2019 is finally over and 2020 is peeking from around the corner, we're going to dive into all the major breakthroughs and defeats that Intel experienced in 2019, along with what we predict for 2020. (Image credit: Intel Corporation) Kicking off Project Athena Because we knew that AMD would be releasing a slew of 7nm processors in 2019, we were expecting big 10nm moves from Intel in response. And, that's exactly what we got at CES 2019. Well, kind of. At the giant tech conference, Team Blue announced its new Sunny Cove architecture, built on a 10nm process, that would be behind the upcoming Ice Lake microarchitecture. What we didn't know at the time though, is that Sunny Cove would be almost entirely built for laptops, rather than desktops. Essentially, Intel was hinting at a mobile platform that wouldn't come out for months, along with Lakefield, a new hybrid CPU architecture meant to take on Qualcomm's increased competition with the likes of the new Qualcomm 8cx chipset found in the Surface Pro X. But, even though this was announced way back at CES 2019, we still haven't seen it materialize into an actual product. (Image credit: Future) In fact, we didn't hear more about Ice Lake until Computex 2019, which was a whole five months later. At the giant computing event in Taipei, Intel spilled more details on Ice Lake, and how it would in fact be shipping in 2019. Some clarification was also given on what Project Athena actually was - rather, is. Rather than a single product or CPU microarchitecture, it is a multi-year-long initiative that would see Team Blue pushing mobile computing further, improving AI and power efficiency to produce more accessible computing for everyone. When Ice Lake laptops started to hit the streets in September 2019, we noticed that a lot of them were more power efficient and mobile, but we've yet to see how Intel's AI focus will truly impact your average consumer. We've heard about how your computer would be able to learn what users need the most power for, and intelligently boosting performance around these personalized tasks, but there just isn't an excellent way to test that for ourselves quite yet. (Image credit: Future) Another mobile architecture Ice Lake wasn't the only mobile architecture on offer by Intel this year. Comet Lake also managed to power a lot of the best laptops this year, but there was a catch: it was still based on the same 14nm process as Intel's been stuck on for years. This meant that these chips weren't much of an improvement over 2018's Whiskey Lake. And for the most part it seems like there were far more laptops with Comet Lake than Ice Lake, perhaps because the new 10nm Sunny Cove architecture is in shorter supply. We just hope that in 2020, Intel can go all-in on 10nm. (Image credit: Future) A single mainstream desktop chip? Also at Computex 2019, Intel announced the Core i9-9900KS, a "special edition" of the Intel Core i9-9900K with an all-core boost clock of 5.0GHz. The only problem was that the Core i9-9900K really had no problem hitting that via overclocking, providing you had a halfway-decent cooling solution. When we finally got our hands on the Intel Core i9-9900KS for review, we found that it was only marginally faster than the original chip at stock settings, which was pretty disappointing. That alone wouldn't have been a huge deal, but 2019 marked the first year that Intel did not release a new desktop lineup of processors, leaving AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation to take over the desktop market completely unopposed. Intel fell behind AMD both in performance and market share, which was only exacerbated by some bizarre claims made by its marketing. This is definitely something that Intel needs to improve on in 2020 if it wants to remain competitive in the desktop space. Intel still has a leg-up when it comes to single-core performance (which is especially important in PC games), but that gap narrows with every single generation, and if Intel doesn't do something, AMD will absolutely come out on top in 2020 in that area, as well. (Image credit: Future) Those HEDT price cuts In 2018 Intel only just managed to pull ahead of Threadripper 2nd Generation, but with a higher price tag. We expected the same thing to happen this year as well, with Intel tackling Threadripper 3rd Generation directly. But reality, as always, is stranger than fiction. We heard that Cascade Lake-X processors would be coming out in November 2019, and that they'd be significantly cheaper than prior generations, to the tune of as much as 50%. And while we haven't had a chance to get a full review of the Intel Core i9-10980XE, our own internal testing points to a chip that's slower than AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X. Not only is that chip cheaper, but it's on the mainstream X570 platform which is also more affordable than the Intel X399 motherboard you'll need to actually use the 10980XE. Intel has essentially reached the limit of what it can do on the 14nm process, and it will absolutely need to move to 7nm across its desktop platforms to remain relevant in 2020. (Image credit: Intel) Intel in 2020 In a lot of ways, 2020 is going to be a make-or-break year for Intel: if it doesn't innovate in the desktop space, Team Blue is going to be all but irrelevant. Hopefully, CES 2020, which is right around the corner, will give us some hint as to what we can expect from the 10th-generation desktop lineup of processors, especially because Coffee Lake Refresh came out so long ago. We're also expecting the veil to be lifted from Intel Xe graphics cards, but we would expect those to be shown off at Computex 2019, as that show is all about breakthrough computing technology. Beyond that, we fully expect Project Athena to develop even more, delivering laptops that can truly last all day in chassis that we can easily toss in our bag without even noticing the weight difference. Tiger Lake is promising to be at least an interesting mobile platform, and the replacement for Ice Lake may even be the first glance we get of Xe graphics - sometimes things come in the weirdest packages. At the end of the day, we want nothing more than for Intel to remain competitive across the entire computing landscape. AMD is on top of the world right now, providing Intel with competition it hasn't faced in years. But, if Intel doesn't adapt and provide some meaningful improvements in the desktop space, we could see the processor market becoming stagnant again in a few years. 2020 will likely give us a pretty good idea of whether or not that will happen. Source: Intel in 2019: the year of the missing processors (TechRadar)
  12. Intel Tiger Lake-U 4 Core CPU With 4.3 GHz Boost Clock Tested – 15W Variant Up To 32% Faster Than Ice Lake & 28W Variant Up To 62% Faster With 2020 approaching soon, Intel's Tiger Lake 10nm++ CPUs have started getting various leaks. The latest leak comes from Chinese tech portal, Zhihu, where a user has posted the performance metrics of a Tiger Lake-U engineering sample along with its specifications, showing a big increase to the clock speeds compared to Intel's Ice Lake processors. Intel Tiger Lake 10nm++, 4 Core / 8 Thread CPU Engineering Sample With 4.3 GHz Allegedly Tested, Higher Clocks Than Ice Lake at 15W, Up To 64% Better Performance For 28W Variant The chip that has been tested is said to be a Tiger Lake-U part with ES2 marking. This is the second engineering revision of the Tiger Lake-U chips that are expected to roll out in 2020. The chip has a total of 4 cores and 8 threads and is said to feature a single-core boost 4.30 GHz and a multi-core boost of 4.00 GHz. There's no other information such as cache or iGPU mentioned for this, but the Tiger Lake-U CPU was compared against an Ice Lake-U processor. The Ice Lake-U part was a 15W, Core i7-1065G7, which we know is also a 4 core, 8 thread part with a base clock of 1.30 GHz, a single-core boost of 3.90 GHz and a multi-core boost clock of 3.50 GHz. The Tiger Lake-U engineering samples were tested at both 15W and 28W, leading to many different results. In SPEC Speed tests, the 15W Tiger Lake-U chip is around 17% faster than the Ice Lake-U processor. The 28W variant is around 31% faster than the Ice Lake-U chip and around 18% faster than the 15W configured Tiger Lake-U processor. In the SPEC Rate tests, the Tiger Lake-U 15W configuration is around 26% faster than the Ice Lake-U chip while the 28W variant is around 60% faster than the Ice Lake-U chip and around 30% faster than the 15W Tiger Lake-U chip. It is stated that the CPU has very high power efficiency compared to Ice Lake-U which is made possible through the second-gen 10nm node. We have seen several Intel Tiger Lake-U series chips leak out over the past couple of weeks. The latest leak showcased its performance in the Geekbench 5 database. The leak showcased a base clock of 1.20 GHz (base frequency). The Tiger Lake CPUs feature 3 MB L3 cache per core and 1.25 MB of L2 cache per core. This would mean that the Tiger Lake-U chips are featuring a total of 12 MB L3 cache and 5 MB of L2 cache on the quad-core configurations. So far, we haven't seen any 6 or 8 core CPU configurations for the Tiger Lake-U processor lineup but it is possible a 6 core variant may show up to tackle AMD's Renoir, Ryzen 4000 APU lineup which is expected to offer 8 cores and 8 threads in 15W packages. The H-series parts are even better with 8 core and 16 thread configs as mentioned in more detail here. Intel Tiger Lake processors are expected to arrive in 2020 and will feature some new changes to the architecture. First up, they will have the new Willow Cove cores replacing Sunny Cove cores which are currently featured on Ice Lake processors. Along with the new cores, we will get cache redesigns as stated above, new transistor-level optimizations and enhanced security features. Intel will also be featuring their Xe GPUs on Tiger Lake chips which would deliver a 2x increase in perf over the Gen 11 GPU featured currently on Ice Lake chips. That and coupled with the Xe GPU architecture, the 10nm++ node should also deliver increased clocks compared to the first iteration of the 10nm+ architecture. There have been recent rumors and talks regarding Intel backporting a 10nm++ product (Tiger Lake) to 14nm+++ (Rocket Lake). Substantial evidence has been found, but since the product is aiming for a 2021 launch, there's no official word from Intel on the matter. But, given that this roadmap talks about backporting, we may indeed see Rocket Lake CPUs featuring a backport of the Willow Cove cores that are to utilize a 10nm++ node on the mobility platform. Source: Intel Tiger Lake-U 4 Core CPU With 4.3 GHz Boost Clock Tested – 15W Variant Up To 32% Faster Than Ice Lake & 28W Variant Up To 62% Faster (Wccftech)
  13. Mysterious 6-core CPU leak prompts wild speculation about what Intel is up to SiSoft benchmark shows a chip with a different cache configuration (Image credit: Intel) A mysterious incoming six-core Intel processor has been spotted courtesy of a leaked benchmark, and interestingly, the amount of cache it carries seems to indicate that it’s a new architectural design from Intel. As to exactly what this chip might be – if anything, seeing as we can only put so much stock in a single benchmark which has turned up online, this one coming from the SiSoft database – that isn’t clear, although there’s a lot of guesswork going on around this. The leaked SiSoft result shows a six-core (12-thread) CPU, or rather a pair of these used in some manner of server or workstation configuration. As Tom’s Hardware points out, the key spec here is that the L2 cache is 1.25MB (per core), which doesn’t line up with any of Intel’s existing architectures (Coffee Lake chips have 256KB of L2, Ice Lake mobile 512KB, and HEDT Cascade Lake-X processors run with 1MB – so still less than this leaked chip). Really, this is all up-in-the-air speculation right now, but it seems that this processor is a new architecture on 10nm, and perhaps the most likely prospect is that it’s Tiger Lake, the successor to Ice Lake (and expected to debut in notebooks next year). That’s because previous spilled details on Tiger Lake indicate that it will indeed have 1.25MB of L2 cache, just as this leaked chip does. Again, that’s just a rumor though, and what also counts against it is we haven’t seen evidence that Tiger Lake will stretch its legs past quad-core. Rocket Lake? So the other possibility is that it’s Rocket Lake, which does have up to 8 cores, but that’s built on 14nm – which could indicate this is a back-ported 10nm core. Or there’s even the chance that this could be a server-targeted Ice Lake (Xeon) chip (although that seems very much an outside possibility). Whatever the case, this has certainly fired up a lot of speculation about where Intel might be headed with this one, but given that we’ve not got much to go on from this SiSoft benchmark, it really is impossible to draw anything but shaky conclusions. Ultimately, we’re just going to have to wait for more evidence to pop up as to what this might mean for Intel’s future CPUs. Meanwhile, what we do know is that Intel’s Comet Lake-S next-gen desktop processors are set to be released in the near future, possibly in April 2020 (although that might turn out to be perilously close to the release of Ryzen 4000). Source: Mysterious 6-core CPU leak prompts wild speculation about what Intel is up to (TechRadar)
  14. At least one major provider of hardware-level BIOS drivers is actively deleting old stuff it no longer supports, while old FTP sites where vintage drivers are often found are soon going to be harder to reach. You’ve never lived until you’ve had to download a driver from an archived forum post on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. You have no idea if it’s going to work, but it’s your only option. So you bite the bullet. I recently did this with a PCI-based SATA card I was attempting to flash to support a PowerPC-based Mac, and while it was a bit of a leap of faith, it actually ended up working. Score one for chance. But this, increasingly, feels like it may be a way of life for people trying to keep old hardware alive—despite the fact that all the drivers generally have to do is simply sit on the internet, available when they’re necessary. Apparently, that isn’t easy enough for Intel. Recently, the chipmaker took BIOS drivers, a boot-level firmware technology used for hardware initialization in earlier generations of PCs, for a number of its unsupported motherboards off its website, citing the fact that the programs have reached an “End of Life” status. While it reflects the fact that Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), a later generation of firmware technology used in PCs and Macs, is expected to ultimately replace BIOS entirely, it also leaves lots of users with old gadgets out in a lurch. And as Bleeping Computer has noted, it appears to be part of a broader trend to prevent downloads for unsupported hardware on the Intel website—things that have long lived past their current lives. After all, if something goes wrong, Intel can be sure it’s not liable if a 15-year-old BIOS update borks a system. In a comment to Motherboard, Intel characterized the approach to and timing of the removals as reflecting industry norms. "To provide customers with transparency on product support, Intel communicates guidance on specific products and software that are reaching end of support and end of life,” the company said in a statement. “These notifications are aligned with industry standards. Intel assesses the support needs and capabilities of our products on an ongoing basis. This assessment takes into account multiple considerations, including technical and practical limitations, and customer feedback." However, this is a problem for folks who take collecting or use of old technology seriously, such as those on the forum Vogons, which noticed the issue first, though it’s far from anything new. Technology companies come and go all the time, and as things like mergers and redesigns happen, often the software repository gets affected when the technology goes out of date. A Problem For Consumers & Collectors Jason Scott, the Internet Archive’s lead software curator, says that Intel's decision to no longer provide old drivers on its website reflects a tendency by hardware and software developers to ignore their legacies when possible—particularly in the case of consumer software, rather than in the enterprise, where companies’ willingness to pay for updates ensures that needed updates won’t simply sit on the shelf. “That goes, you know, back to phone companies having to do this to keep equipment running,” Scott explained in a phone interview. Driver repositories largely intended for consumers, like Intel’s, reflect an evolution in the way that companies would distribute updates to software packages, something originally done through the mail. By the late 80s, digital distribution options appeared—for example, bulletin boards such as Software Creations, which helped distribute updated versions of Doom. By the mid-90s, companies started to create FTP repositories to distribute software, which had the effect of changing the nature of updates: When the internet made distribution easier and both innovation and security risks grew more advanced, technology companies updated their apps far more often. FTP’s Pending Fadeout Many of those FTP servers are still around today, but the news cycle offers a separate, equally disappointing piece of information for those looking for vintage drivers: Major web browsers are planning to sunset support for the FTP protocol. Chrome plans to remove support for FTP sites by version 82, which is currently in the development cycle and will hit sometime next year. And Firefox makers Mozilla have made rumblings about doing the same thing. The reasons for doing so, often cited for similar removals of legacy features, come down to security. FTP is a legacy service that can’t be secured in much the same way that its successor, SFTP, can. While FTP applications like CyberDuck will likely exist for decades from now, the disconnect from the web browser will make these servers a lot harder to use. The reason goes back to the fact that the FTP protocol isn’t inherently searchable—but the best way to find information about it is with a web-based search engine … such as Google. FTP-based searching is a useful tactic outside of technology; some journalists use Google searches of FTP sites to uncover confidential files hiding on old servers. But vintage tech heads often can find important documents like technical specifications hiding on FTP servers that might not be so easy to find on websites. And drivers are no exception. Earlier this year, I was attempting to get a vintage webcam working, and while I was ultimately unable to get it to work, it wasn’t due to lack of software access. See, Logitech actually kept copies of Connectix’s old webcam software on its FTP site. This is software that hasn’t seen updates in more than 20 years; that only supports Windows 3.1, Windows NT, and Windows 95; and that wasn’t on Logitech’s website. One has to wonder how soon those links will disappear from Google searches once the two most popular desktop browsers remove easy access to those files. And there’s no guarantee that a company is going to keep a server online beyond that point. “It was just it was this weird experience that FTP sites, especially, could have an inertia of 15 to 20 years now, where they could be running all this time, untouched,” Scott added. “And just every time that, you know, if the machine dies, it goes away.” Can Archives Save the Day? Realizing that this would be an issue, Scott had the Archive Team save whatever they could from public FTP sites a few years back into a section of the Internet Archive called the FTP Site Boneyard—one FTP site getting the treatment was Intel’s, which has an archive dating to 2014. That’s great news for folks who have devices from before then, though it’s not exactly solace for what comes after. And the motivation for companies to make an effort to simply keep consumer drivers available may simply not be in a forward-thinking company’s DNA. “It'd be like trying to ask a company like how their tech product tastes,” Scott says. “They would be like, ‘What? I don’t know.’” The good news is that we do have archival outlets to find drivers, whether through the Internet Archive’s software collection or through its Wayback Machine. But even with that resource, it’s going to be a crapshoot—involving deep-sea forum diving; the luck of the draw that an old FTP site has been archived; and possibly even hitting a sketchy Russian download site, which is sketchy, but at least has the file you need. The steps needed to get your 15-year-old device to work are going to start feeling more and more like an adventure, as other companies follow Intel’s lead. Nonetheless, this all feels like an unnecessary step. Those old files weren’t doing anyone any harm. Source
  15. Intel has completed the sale of its smartphone modem business to Apple Earlier this year, Apple announced that it would be buying Intel's smartphone modem business for $1 billion. Today, Intel confirmed that the sale is now completed, meaning Intel is out of the game when it comes to developing cellular modems for smartphones, after providing Apple with modems for the iPhone for some time. The sale was originally announced after Apple and Qualcomm finally settled an ongoing legal dispute, with the Cupertino giant agreeing to use Qualcomm modems in its smartphones going forward. Losing one of its biggest customers forced Intel to drop development of 5G modems and then sell the entire business to Apple. More recently, it was announced that Intel-powered PCs with 5G will exist, but they will come with MediaTek modems, and they'll only arrive in a couple of years. Late last week, Intel released a statement accusing Qualcomm's anticompetitive business practices of forcing the company out of the modem business. Intel accused the rival company of creating "insurmountable barriers" to competition. The statements were made in light of a recent court ruling, which also blamed Qualcomm for strangling its competitors in the smartphone modem market. With Apple now owning Intel's modem business, it could potentially create a rival product that will help it avoid Qualcomm's products, but it could be some time before those products are ready. Meanwhile, since Intel PCs with 5G won't be out until 2021, Qualcomm is pretty much alone in the 5G modem market for computers, too. Source: Intel has completed the sale of its smartphone modem business to Apple (Neowin)
  16. Most Europeans now prefer AMD CPUs as sentiment turns against Intel Looking at the future purchase intentions of European tech enthusiasts (Image credit: Future) AMD’s CPUs are again winning big against Intel, not just in current sales, as we’ve previously seen, but also sentiment in terms of future processor purchases that consumers might make, at least according to a new report. The survey from the European Hardware Association (EHA) canvassed the opinions of tech enthusiasts across Europe (specifically folks who read EHA publications), and found that they “expressed a distinct preference when asked about the next desktop processor that they would buy, with over 60% choosing AMD”. Obviously that leaves 40% in the Intel camp. This is a big change from last year, when the picture was reversed, and 60% preferred Intel. It shows the major impact that Ryzen 3000 processors have had in 2019, grabbing a huge slice of the desktop enthusiast CPU pie as we’ve seen in various different stats and reports that have emerged throughout this year. Another way to look at this is that AMD has gained 50% more supporters in the last year, which is a huge leap, without a doubt. EHA chairman Koen Crijns noted: “The last three years has seen AMD gain a lot of momentum in the enthusiast segment. With the Ryzen series of CPUs, AMD has eliminated any lingering performance gaps, while offering a great price/performance ratio.” Of course, Intel has not only had to fight a battle in terms of that price/performance value proposition offered by AMD, but has also been plagued by production and supply issues with its Core family of CPUs. Talking graphics The EHA survey also found AMD had gained ground in the GPU arena, too, although as other reports have indicated, the company is still way behind Nvidia. Almost 23% are in favor of AMD’s graphics cards, which obviously still leaves Nvidia winning big, but AMD is at least making progress, considering that back in May, only 19% of those the EHA surveyed chose AMD over Nvidia. As ever, we have to be careful about exactly how much we read into just a single report, but it’s no real surprise that tech enthusiasts are starting to more heavily skew towards AMD when it comes to processors. Source: Most Europeans now prefer AMD CPUs as sentiment turns against Intel (TechRadar)
  17. Intel turns to Samsung for help keeping up with AMD, rumor claims Samsung to chip in with CPU production (Image credit: Intel) Intel has allegedly found a solution, or at least part of one, for its long-running supply issues with CPUs – which the firm admitted would be ongoing in a recent statement – and that solution is to enlist Samsung to help make more chips. This is according to Pulse News Korea (as highlighted by Tech Powerup), and as ever with rumors, we need to tread with caution – although in the aforementioned statement, Intel did specifically state that “we are increasing our use of foundries … to produce more Intel CPU products” (as well as Intel expanding its own manufacturing capacity). Rather than going to the likes of TSMC – which is used extensively by rival AMD, and apparently has little breathing room or capacity for taking on extra business right now – Intel has seemingly turned to Samsung’s fabs for help in making desktop processors, according to the report which cites the usual industry sources. Intel’s statement of last week, which apologized for the impact CPU shipment delays have had on PC manufacturers, appeared to pre-empt several complaints from major PC vendors that have emerged this week, including HP and Dell (along with Asus previously). As Anandtech reports, Jeffrey Clarke, COO of Dell, delivered the following rather sharp statement: “Intel CPU shortages have worsened quarter-over-quarter. The shortages are now impacting our commercial PC and premium consumer PC Q4 forecasted shipments.” Cause for concern While we’ve been hearing a lot in recent times about how AMD is dominating with its new Ryzen 3000 processors in the desktop arena, Intel is still firmly in control when you look at the overall CPU market, which includes the large number of laptops and business PCs that are still Intel-powered in the majority. However, if Intel is letting the major OEMs down to the point where they are coming out and making statements like the one from Dell above, which definitely aren’t beating around the bush – that’s obviously a cause for concern. Particularly now this situation has gone on for so long, with Intel’s issues in failing to produce enough 14nm processors going way back to last year (and all being tied in with the equally dire struggle to achieve viable yields in 10nm, in order to progress from 14nm). So this report has something of a ring of truth about it given the overall picture, and perhaps at this point, it’s unlikely Intel really cares how CPU production is upped – but just that it has to be ramped up, and quickly, before the confidence of big manufacturers really starts to ebb. Source: Intel turns to Samsung for help keeping up with AMD, rumor claims (TechRadar)
  18. Zombieload v2 impacts Intel CPUs released since 2013, if they support the Intel TSX instruction set. The Zombieload vulnerability disclosed earlier this year in May has a second variant that also works against more recent Intel processors, not just older ones, including Cascade Lake, Intel's latest line of high-end CPUs -- initially thought to have been unaffected. Intel is releasing microcode (CPU firmware) updates today to address this new Zombieload attack variant, as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday -- known as the Intel Platform Update (IPU) process. What is Zombieload Back in May, two teams of academics disclosed a new batch of vulnerabilities that impacted Intel CPUs. Collectively known as MDS attacks, these are security flaws in the same class as Meltdown, Spectre, and Foreshadow. The attacks rely on taking advantage of the speculative execution process, which is an optimization technique that Intel added to its CPUs to improve data processing speeds and performance. Vulnerabilities like Meltdown, Spectre, and Foreshadow, showed that the speculative execution process was riddled with security holes. Disclosed in May, MDS attacks were just the latest line of vulnerabilities impacting speculative execution. They were different from the original Meltdown, Spectre, and Foreshadow bugs disclosed in 2018 because they attacked different areas of a CPU's speculative execution process. While Meltdown, Spectre, and Foreshadow attacked data stored inside the L1 cache, MDS attacks went after a CPU's microarchitectural data structures -- hence, the name of Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) attacks. These microarchitectural data structures included the load, store, and line fill buffers, which the CPU uses for fast reads/writes of data being processed inside the CPU. The original MDS attacks disclosed in May targeted store buffers (CVE-2018-12126 aka Fallout), load buffers (CVE-2018-12127), line fill buffers (CVE-2018-12130, aka the Zombieload attack, or RIDL), and uncacheable memory (CVE-2019-11091). At the time, Zombieload was deemed the most dangerous of all four MDS attacks because it could retrieve more information than the others. Meet Zombieload v2 But unbeknownst to the world, there was a fifth MDS attack at the time, which researchers kept secret because Intel had yet to release a patch. Nicknamed Zombiload v2 (CVE-2019-11135), this is a variation of the Zombieload v1 vulnerability, but one that worked on Intel's newer line of CPUs, those which the company claimed had protections against speculative execution attacks baked in at the hardware level. According to an updated version of the Zombieload academic paper that ZDNet received this week, the Zombieload v2 attack exploits the Intel Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX) Asynchronous Abort operation that occurs when an attacker uses malicious code to create a conflict between read operations inside a CPU. This read conflict for TSX Asynchronous Abort (TAA) operations leaks data about what's being processed inside an Intel CPU. "The main advantage of this approach is that it also works on machines with hardware fixes for Meltdown, which we verified on an i9-9900K and Xeon Gold 5218," the research team explained in the revised version of their whitepaper. The only condition for a Zombieload v2 attack is that the targeted CPU supports the Intel TSX instruction-set extension, which the research team said is available by default in all Intel CPUs sold since 2013. The first Intel CPU series to have featured TSX support was the Haswell platform. Everything that came after is affected. Intel's Cascade Lake, which the company released in April this year, was supposed to be the company's first product that featured protections against side-channel and speculative execution attacks at the hardware level. Intel's response In an email to ZDNet, an Intel spokesperson wanted customers to know that microcode updates will be made available for Zombieload v2 on the company's website. Furthermore, the company added that the Zombieload v2 vulnerability (which Intel tracks as the "TAA attack" in its own documentation) is not as dangerous as it sounds. While all the MDS attacks can allow attackers to run malicious code against an Intel CPU, attackers can't control what data they can target and extract. MDS attacks, while very much possible, are inefficient when compared to other means of stealing data from a target, an opinion that other security experts have also expressed in the past. However, the fact that day-to-day malware gangs won't bother exploiting something as complex as an MDS attack, or Zombieload v2, that doesn't mean the vulnerabilities should be ignored. Applying these microcode updates should be a priority for everyone who manages critical infrastructure or cloud data centers. If users don't want to update and deal with a potential performance dip due to yet another patch for speculative execution attacks, Intel also recommending disabling the CPU's TSX support, if not used. More bad news But bad news never comes alone. The same research team who found Zombieload v1 and v2, also found an issue with Intel's original patches for the four MDS attacks disclosed in May. The VERW instruction set, which Intel claimed could be used to protect apps against MDS attacks that may attempt to extract data while being processed in the CPU, was incomplete and could be circumvented, the research team said. When we asked Intel about this issue, the CPU chipmaker acknowledged the problem and claimed that the VERW instruction set, along with the other MDS attack protections were meant to reduce the attack surface and make exploitation harder for attackers, and not as a complete patch for MDS attacks. A version of the revised Zombieload whitepaper will be made available on the Zombieload website later today. The research team will be presenting their revised findings tomorrow at the ACM CCS conference in London. Source
  19. Intel has allegedly revealed the codename of its upcoming discrete Xe graphics to the press. This update comes from folks over at Videocardz who claim to have got their hands on a presentation slide deck meant for a press briefing. Dubbed "Ponte Vecchio", the 7nm GPU is reportedly being designed as a major component of the "Project Aurora", which is intended to be the first exascale supercomputer in the US. Project Aurora will reportedly be powered by: TWO Intel Xeon Scalable Processors (Sapphire Rapids) SIX Intel Xe Ponte Vecchio GPUs Ultra-high cache High memory bandwidth (possibly HBM) Intel will reportedly share more details about the Project on November 17 with the final deployment planned for 2021. "Ponte Vecchio" is an old arch bridge in Florence, Italy and the name is apparently a reference to Intel's Compute Express Link (CXL) technology that will be used for interconnection among the components in Project Aurora. Intel will also be implementing its 'One API' initiative for easy integration of the hardware in the software ecosystem. The GPUs are also said to offer a high double-precision floating-point (FP64) throughput. According to one of the slides, Intel plans to use Ponte Vecchio in a wide variety of markets, like HPC/Exascale, DL/Training, workstation, and also for gaming. Source: Intel's 7nm Xe discrete graphics is reportedly codenamed "Ponte Vecchio" (via Neowin)
  20. Intel's tiny desktop PC gets 10th-gen Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processor upgrades. If you're looking for a tiny/budget desktop PC you can't go far wrong by choosing to buy an Intel NUC. It's worth holding off on purchasing one right now, though, as the next generation of NUCs just leaked. As Liliputing reports, the new Intel Frost Canyon NUC models are expected to be officially announced soon, but promotional images for the new tiny PCs have leaked via Chinese website Kgula. As the images reveal, it's hard to make the NUC look much different from previous generations. The key change for Frost Lake on the exterior is a USB Type-C port appearing on the front of the case as a replacement for one of the Type-A ports. It's inside where the most important change has happened, though. Intel is set to offer the short and tall NUC models again, with the short restricted to an M.2 SSD slot for storage, while the tall version adds the option of a 2.5-inch drive, be that an SSD or hard drive. Three processors will be offered in the form of the 10th generation Core i3-10110U, Core i5-10210U, and Core i7-10710U. The Core i3 offers two cores and four threads running at 2.1GHz (boosting to 4.1GHz), the Core i5 offers four cores and eight threads running at 1.6GHz (boosting to 4.2GHz), and the Core i7 offers six cores and 12 threads running at 1.1GHz (boosting to 4.7GHz). All three chips rely on Intel UHD Graphics rather than Intel Iris GPUs, which is a shame. The good news is, all three chips can be configured at either a 15W or 25W TDP, with 25W allowing for better performance. FanlessTech confirmed that these NUCs will be configured at 25W, so they should offer a noticeable performance benefit over the previous generation NUC line-up, with the one exception being the Bean Canyon NUC which used a 28W 8th-gen Coffee Lake Core i7 complete with Iris Graphics 655. It's unlikely this leak shows the complete line-up of Intel's next-gen NUCs. Don't forget we're already expecting an eight core Xeon Quartz Canyon NUC at some point. Source: Intel Frost Canyon NUC Details Leak (via PCMag)
  21. Mozilla has been heavily invested in WebAssembly with Firefox, and today, the organization teamed up with a few others to form the new Bytecode Alliance, which aims to create "new software foundations, building on standards such as WebAssembly and WebAssembly System Interface (WASI)". Mozilla has teamed up with Intel, Red Hat, and Fastly to found the alliance, but more members are likely to join over time. The goal of the Bytecode Alliance is to create a new runtime environment and language toolchains which are secure, efficient, and modular, while also being available on as many platforms and devices as possible. The technologies being developed by the Bytecode Alliance are based on WebAssembly and WASI, which have been seen as a potential replacement for JavaScript due to more efficient code compiling, and the expanded capabilities of being able to port C and C++ code to the web. To kick things off, the founding members have already contributed a number of open-source technologies to the Bytecode Alliance, including Wasmtime, a lightweight WebAssembly runtime; Lucet, an ahead-of-time compiler; WebAssembly Micro Runtime; and Cranelift. Mozilla's Luke Wagner, who helped create WebAssembly, commented on the formation and prupose of the Bytecode Alliance, expressing hope that the technology will move beyond browsers and offer a new level of security: You can learn more about the Bytecode Alliance here. Source: Mozilla, Intel, and more form the Bytecode Alliance to take WebAssembly beyond browsers (via Neowin)
  22. Interview: Intel’s Steve Long on Project Athena and the future of computing Moore's Law in not dead (Image credit: Future) The introduction of the Core series of processors was a new chapter in Intel’s history. Year after year, following a ‘tick-tock model’, Intel defined the benchmarks on how fast and efficient processors should be. But the last few years have taken some of that shine off- not only has Intel struggled to move to a smaller manufacturing process below 14nm but ARM-based processors that drive almost every single smartphone out there have become the most sought-after piece of silicon. Steve Long, Vice President & General Manager of Intel’s Sales and Marketing Group was recently in the UAE to promote the Intel Innovation Center in Dubai and TechRadar Middle East managed to get some time with him during his visit. Why has it taken Intel so much time to move to a manufacturing process below 14nm technology? Steve Long (Image credit: Intel) Driving innovation is our first and foremost priority, independent of processor technology. The focus should be on what you are bringing out and how you are making a difference, and how people use technology. Gone are the days where it was about the bits and bytes of it, now it’s about what people can do with it. Are you saying that Moore’s Law is dead? It is absolutely not. It’s alive and well. We continue to bring and drive innovation, and push things forward. We are ramping our 10th gen processors on 10nm technology. The 10nm is important as it allows us to bring new capabilities and differentiate our capabilities around better integration and graphics improvements. The new technology allows us to bring AI and deep learning inside the CPU where we can actually improve the user experience. When can we expect these 10nm processors for desktops? This is not what I would want to talk about right now but here’s what you should think about – what we do at Intel is we ramp technologies, and our 10th gen processor which we just announced will be the fastest ramp that we have ever executed. Over the next 3-4 months, you will see it will surpass any ramp. We have a phenomenal product in the works that’s coming out next year. Can you talk a little about Project Athena? Ultrabooks set a wave of innovation around thin and light form factors, and setting a certain level of expectations from a user delivery that lead us to where thin and light are pretty much mainstream. I think we are at the cusp of the next wave of innovation with Project Athena. With Project Athena, we went out and studied how people actually use technology. This is years of making- we are studying what we call a new class of consumers. We categorize them as ‘mobile go-getter’, somebody who is used to using multiple devices. They are used to a phone first experience but then go to the PC to get things done. And they have a higher expectation of what they want out of the PC. For Project Athena we studied how these mobile go-getters actually use technology, and we drove an experience-first innovation. We saw that they expect their device to be always ready, they come to the device and they want to focus, and they want their device to be adaptable. Those are the three things that a user wants out of it. There’s a ton we can talk about the engineering and technologies that makes those things possible. We are working with hundreds of ecosystem partners on creating components that can enable those three kind of things that the user cares about. Does the recently announced dual screen Microsoft Surface Neo fall under Project Athena? Our vision of devices continue to evolve and foldable form factors will absolutely and eventually fit into a category of Project Athena. Neo is the first foldable device which is powered by Intel, which we spent years co-engineering with Microsoft on that product. It doesn’t categorize as experiences that we are measuring for Project Athena, but it will eventually fit into the Project Athena form factors as we go forward. Microsoft's Surface launch event showcased hardware based around your competitors. Does that worry you? Competition brings out the best in everyone- it’s better for consumers. We are excited to compete with products that we have, with Microsoft and with all of the OEM partners. The Surface group, the devices that we have, and the form factor and the experience they are trying to drive, and their vision for the Surface products is one where Intel will continue to participate in. Their data center, Azure, are co-built together using our artificial intelligence, which is based on some of the capabilities of Intel technologies, so it’s still a great partnership and we are excited about what we can do with them. AMD is finally coming back and giving Intel some competition. How do you see that playing out in the next 2-3 years? Like I said, we continue to push the innovation envelop across the global scale and our differentiation is at a platform level. Very few companies can integrate different technologies and bring them to a market in a way that you can aggregate memory differentiation, you can aggregate Wi-Fi 6 where we have features that users care about. And when you look at the aggregate of all the different technologies that come together in a platform, we believe we are well positioned to continue to compete and take things forward. And we are going to take on markets – we are going to go after graphics, and take our game in places where we haven’t been before. We are very excited about what’s coming out. You are going to see us by the end of next year or the beginning of the following year getting into the discrete (graphics) side as well. We’d like to thank Intel and Steve Long for allocating their time to TechRadar and are excited to see the products that Intel releases over the next couple of years. Source: Interview: Intel’s Steve Long on Project Athena and the future of computing (TechRadar)
  23. Intel is currently in the midst of an existential crisis. The company is trying hard to redeem their sales; on the other hand, they are committing the same mistakes that led them to their current state. Not to mention, the products, especially their 10th generation of CPU lineup is confusing. The 10th generation originally was supposed to be their formal shift towards the new 10nm manufacturing node. However, they released the 14nm processors alongside the 10nm counterparts, and a typical consumer can’t differentiate between the two. Now, to further aggravate the problem, they have announced the “lowest end” Pentium and Celeron processors fabricated under the 14nm process. Anandtech spotted these chips and reports that these are likely binned chips since these do no fulfill Intel’s hierarchy criteria. Being U series processors, these are intended for mobile use only. Realistically speaking, we highly doubt their availability in Chromebooks, let alone Windows machines. The Celeron 5205U CPU comes with a dual-core processor without hyperthreading. It means users will only be getting two threads, and it will significantly limit the multitasking capabilities. It has a base clock speed of 1.9GHz and only 2MB of L3 cache. The boost clock speeds are not quoted here since the Pentium and Celeron processors do not support Intel’s turbo boost technology. The most crucial factor is the use of the PCIe Gen 2.0 interface, while the competition has shifted all of its lineups to the current PCIe 4.0 interface. It only supports DDR4 memory up to 2400MHz, so memory overclocking is out of the question. Lastly, the processor will hit your wallet at $107, in a world where a quad-core Ryzen 3 3200G costs only $99. The standing of the Celeron 5205U at $107 is questionable. The Pentium Gold 6405U supports hyperthreading on both of its cores. Everything else except the base clock speed, which is 2.4GHz in this case, is the same as what you will get from the Celeron 5205U processor. The processor has an MSRP of $161, which is again at the higher side. Source: Pentium 6405U And Celeron 5205U Announced, Budget Spectrum of the 10th Gen Intel Processors (via Appuals)
  24. Intel hits 10nm goals and signals a shift away from traditional CPUs Intel's 10nm fumble might be over—but its newer ventures are more interesting. Enlarge / Intel will begin producing 10nm products in its Chandler, Arizona, facility as well as the two current 10nm facilities in Oregon and Israel. Google Street View Intel's years-long struggle with the 10nm manufacturing process may finally be over. The company told investors last week that its 10nm yields are ahead of expectations for both client and data center products—and it's bringing a new 10nm production facility online, as well. Currently, all 10nm parts are produced in two of the company's plants: Hillsboro, Oregon, and Kiryat Gat, Israel. But beginning next quarter, Intel's fabrication facility in Chandler, Arizona, will also be producing 10nm parts. Enlarge / Intel claims 10nm yields are "ahead of expectations" even before bringing the 10nm fab in Arizona online. Intel Corporation What we find more interesting than the 10nm recovery is that Intel still seems to be very serious about pivoting away from being a CPU company. Since 1991, the iconic "Intel Inside" logo has referred to the CPU in your computer, but the company sees more potential in investments in storage, software, networking, AI, and the data center. This certainly doesn't mean Intel plans to exit the consumer and server CPU business, but it does herald a large shift in the company's overall focus. The company estimates the TAM—Total Addressable Market, or the maximum revenue if literally every potential customer bought an Intel product—of its traditional PC and server CPU line at $52 billion. However, it sees an additional $220 billion TAM potential in what it calls "Data-centric" products in data center, Internet of Things, and networking market segments. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. This means the company intends to continue making its heaviest bets in areas such as Optane storage, hardware Artificial Intelligence acceleration, 5G modems, data center networking, and more. The slide that really drives this commitment home comes from Q2's investor meeting that explicitly shows the company moving from a "protect and defend" strategy to a growth strategy. If this slide were in a sales meeting, it wouldn't say much—but delivered to the company's investors, it gains a bit of gravitas. Most of this was revealed nearly six months ago at the company's May 2019 investor's meeting, but the Q3 investor's meeting last week continues with and strengthens this story for Intel's future growth, with slides more focused on Optane, network, and IoT/Edge market growth than with the traditional PC and server market. The company shows its new "data-centric" market as having already caught up with its traditional PC-centric market, with almost 50% of its Q3 revenue derived from data-centric products. The majority of the operating income (roughly speaking, profit) returns from those products is outpacing the traditional market as well. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. We can confirm that Intel's change in focus seems sincere, based on what the company wants most to talk to Ars about. The company does still want to talk about CPUs, but there's an increasing pressure for coverage of its AI, networking, and even software efforts as the company shifts footing. We believe that this change in focus is likely a good one for consumers, assuming Intel finds the market growth it's looking for in new segments. With higher growth and margins in newer ventures, consumers can hope that Intel will make good on its stated intent to relax its protectionist stance in the CPU market along the way. Source: Intel hits 10nm goals and signals a shift away from traditional CPUs (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image galleries, please visit the above link)
  25. Samsung Developer Conference (SDC 2019) is underway today, and the firm announced two new laptops – the Galaxy Book Ion and Galaxy Book Flex. The Galaxy Book Ion is a traditional clamshell laptop, whereas the Galaxy Book Flex, as the name suggests, is a 2-in-1 convertible with a 360-degree hinge. Both devices come with 13 and 15-inch screen size options and sport QLED displays, something the company claims to be the world’s first on a laptop. The QLED screens can reach an impressive 600 nits in brightness in Outdoor Mode, making them suitable for use well, outdoors. While QLED is only slowly gaining adoption, the addition of this technology should enable richer, vibrant colors and aid in reducing battery consumption in comparison to LCDs. Samsung claims that these devices have long-lasting batteries owing to the “power-conserving displays”. Another noteworthy addition is the inclusion of the company’s Wireless PowerShare feature. This lets users charge their Qi wireless-compatible devices right off the trackpad. The Galaxy S10 and Note10 work in a similar manner, although the devices being charged need to placed on the backs of the handsets. However, the power output of this feature is not known. As for the internals, both devices come with Intel’s 10th gen Core processors. The 13 and 15-inch flavors of the Book Flex house the 10nm Ice Lake chips, while the Book Ion comes with 14nm Comet Lake chips. The exact processor specifications have not been announced yet. The laptops are also verified by Intel’s Project Athena – guaranteeing instant-on capabilities and improved connected standby, something that the latest 10th-gen Intel processors enable. The latest Surface devices – Laptop 3 (13-inch) and Pro 7 also come with these capabilities. The feature essentially ensures that the laptop does not go into hibernation and allows for the device to wake up instantly when the lid is opened, all while using very little power. The 13-inch versions of either laptop come with integrated graphics, while the 15-inch versions can also be had with 2GB of discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics. The devices can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM and a one terabyte SSD. Surprisingly, the Book Ion allows for expansion of memory and storage, as it comes additional slots for RAM and storage. Moving on to ports, the Book Flex does not come with USB-A. However, three USB Type-C ports can be found, two of which are Thunderbolt 3. The Book Ion, in contrast, comes with two USB 3.0 Type-A ports. It also adds an HDMI port to the mix. Both devices house 3.5 mm headphone jacks and a microSD slot. Both devices sport Windows Hello fingerprint authentication. The Galaxy Book Flex also comes with an S Pen that can be stored inside the device, similar to the Notebook 9 Pen. Like on the Note10, the S Pen supports gestures on the Book Flex, which is a neat addition for those who like it. From initial impressions, the Galaxy Book Ion and Book Flex look more like portable ultra-books and not some serious gaming/editing machines. The displays, though QLED, are limited to 1080p Full HD resolution on both devices, which might be a let-down. The laptops will be available starting in December in select markets. Exact processor specs and pricing are currently unknown. There still isn’t any news on the Qualcomm 8cx-powered Galaxy Book S, and it will be interesting to see if these devices are made available together. Gallery: Galaxy Book Ion and Book Flex Source: Samsung unveils Galaxy Book Ion and Flex laptops powered by 10th-gen Intel processors (via Neowin)
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