Category Archives: Intel

Intel plans to release its first discrete GPU in 2020

After Intel nabbed Raja Koduri last year from AMD, where he led Radeon development, it was only a matter of time until it entered the high-end GPU arena. That confirmation came in a short tweet today: Intel plans to release its first discrete GPU –…

Intel isn’t going to be launching a 28-core 5GHz processor this year after all

Enlarge / This is a 10-core Skylake-X processor. It uses the low core count (LCC) version of the Skylake-SP die. (credit: Fritzchens Fritz)

Earlier this week, Intel showed off a product coming in the fourth quarter of this year: an enthusiast-oriented 28-core processor running all cores at 5GHz. This combination of clock speed and core count would put it head and shoulders above any other processor on the market, so the demonstration was more than a little surprising.

It now turns out that Intel forgot to mention an important detail: the 5GHz processors were overclocked, a lot, using chilled water coolers capable of handling thermal loads of up to 1.77kW. The real chips that ship won’t be coming from the factory at 5GHz, and it’s going to take a lot more than a big heatsink and a couple of fans to get them running that fast.

Aside from the core count and release window, Intel has confirmed one other fact about these 28-core chips: they’re built on some variant of its 14nm process. They also use the enormous LGA3647 socket (that’s 3,647 pins) used by some Xeon processors, and they have six memory channels. We don’t know what platform/chipset this will use (though it’s likely to be a close relative to the comparable server platform). And we don’t know what its regular clock speed will be.

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PCs are actually exciting again

Last year's Computex showed us how the PC would evolve. This year, that evolution began to feel concrete. Hardware is getting better across the board, as you'd expect. But there's also a renewed focus on productivity — doing work that can't be done…

I wish I could buy Intel’s cute little E Ink dual-screen PC


Computex 2018 has been full of surprises. In addition to the usual array of processor news, updated laptops and fresh gaming hardware, we saw companies like ASUS and Lenovo show off intriguing dual-screen devices as well. Both those companies worked…

Watch Intel’s Computex keynote in under nine minutes

Intel had a surprising amount of news in store for Computex. The chip giant announced the special edition 8086K processor, which is its first desktop chip to reach 5GHz boost speed. It also formed a new partnership with Sprint to sell 5G PCs next y…

Intel will launch a 28-core 5GHz CPU by the end of the year

Intel's 18-core i9 CPU is still impressive, but that's last year's news. Today at Computex, Intel SVP Gregory Bryant demoed a 28-core processor running at 5GHz. It's the first time we've seen a single socket desktop CPU cram in that many cores, and i…

Lenovo’s new Yoga Book actually has dual screens

ASUS may be turning heads with its concept dual-screen laptop here at Computex 2018, but let's not forget that other companies have tried similar things before. (ZTE's Axon M, anyone?) Lenovo, for one, isn't going to let ASUS hog the spotlight, and u…

ARM promises laptop-level performance in 2019

Enlarge / Cortex-A76. (credit: ARM)

Chip design company ARM has unveiled its latest high performance processor design, the Cortex-A76. The company claims that the new design is 35 percent faster than the current Cortex-A75, making for performance that’s comparable with Intel’s Skylake i5 processors.

ARM licenses both chip designs and the instruction set that the chips use. Apple’s smartphones and tablets use the ARM instruction set with custom, in-house designs from Cupertino. Most other smartphones and tablets, however, use processors that are either unmodified ARM designs (for example, Mediatek does this), or lightly customized ARM designs (such as Qualcomm’s latest processors). Chips using the new design should hit the market in 2019.

The extra performance of the new design should help close the gap both with Apple’s custom designs—in most situations, they’re the fastest ARM chips on the market—and Intel’s x86 processors. Speaking to CNET, ARM’s lead processor architect Mike Filippo said that the new design would “do well” against Apple and roughly match the Intel Core i5-7300. That processor is a two-core, four-thread chip running at between 2.6 and 3.5 GHz using Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture. With more cache, Filippo says that even i7 parts should be within reach.

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The latest cover of ‘Time’ is composed of 958 Intel drones

Intel's latest drone trick is on the cover of Time. Err, it is the cover of Time. Allow me to explain. The magazine's most recent issue features special reports on UAVs, and rather than, say, featuring a photo of Intel's drone team on the cover, as P…

Intel at last announces Optane memory: DDR4 that never forgets

Enlarge / A stick of Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory. (credit: Intel)

Ever since Intel and Micron announced 3D XPoint memory in 2015, the world has been waiting for the companies to use it to build memory sticks.

3D XPoint blends the properties of flash storage and DRAM memory. Like flash, it’s persistent, retaining its value even when systems are powered down, and it’s dense, with about ten times the density of DRAM. Like DRAM, it supports low latency random access. Intel also claimed that its write endurance is substantially better than that of flash. This combination of features created the prospect of memory sticks that look like DIMMs and appear to the system as if they’re DDR4 RAM, but with much greater capacities, and with persistence: data written to “RAM” is retained permanently. Memory with these properties is exciting for a wide range of applications—for example, databases that no longer need to concern themselves with flushing data back to disk—and might one day provoke significant changes in the way operating systems and software are designed.

But while persistent memory was perhaps the most interesting application of 3D XPoint, the first products to hit the market were simply storage drives using “Optane” as their branding. There was a series of drives for enterprise customers, and some consumer-oriented M.2 sticks designed to be paired with a spinning disk to produce a high-speed hybrid. While 3D XPoint did offer some benefits over flash SSDs—in particular, the latency of the drives is significantly lower than that of comparable flash units, and the I/O performance is sustained even under heavy mixed read/write workloads—this wasn’t quite the revolution that we were hoping for.

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