Intel Announces Q3 2014: Mucho Dinero

Subject: Editorial | October 15, 2014 - 12:39 PM |
Tagged: revenue, Results, quarterly, Q3, Intel, haswell, Broadwell, arm, amd, 22nm, 2014, 14nm

Yesterday Intel released their latest quarterly numbers, and they were pretty spectacular.  Some serious milestones were reached last quarter, much to the dismay of Intel’s competitors.  Not everything is good with the results, but the overall quarter was a record one for Intel.  The company reported revenues of $14.55 billion dollars with a net income of $3.31 billion.  This is the highest revenue for a quarter in the history of Intel.  This also is the first quarter in which Intel has shipped 100 million processors.

The death of the PC has obviously been overstated as the PC group had revenue of around $9 billion.  The Data Center group also had a very strong quarter with revenues in the $3.7 billion range.  These two groups lean heavily on Intel’s 22 nm TriGate process, which is still industry leading.  The latest Haswell based processors are around 10% of shipping units so far.  The ramp up for these products has been pretty impressive.  Intel’s newest group, the Internet of Things, has revenues that shrank by around 2% quarter over quarter, but it has grown by around 14% year over year.

Intel-Swimming-in-Money.jpg

Not all news is good news though.  Intel is trying desperately to get into the tablet and handheld markets, and so far has had little traction.  The group reported revenues in the $1 million range.  Unfortunately, that $1 million is offset by about $1 billion in losses.  This year has seen an overall loss for mobile in the $3 billion range.  While Intel arguably has the best and most efficient process for mobile processors, it is having a hard time breaking into this ARM dominated area.  There are many factors involved here.  First off there are more than a handful of strong competitors working directly against Intel to keep them out of the market.  Secondly x86 processors do not have the software library or support that ARM has in this very dynamic and fast growing section.  We also must consider that while Intel has the best overall process, x86 processors are really only now achieving parity in power/performance ratios.  Intel still is considered a newcomer in this market with their 3D graphics support.

Intel is quite happy to take this loss as long as they can achieve some kind of foothold in this market.  Mobile is the future, and while there will always be the need for a PC (who does heavy duty photo editing, video editing, and immersive gaming on a mobile platform?) the mobile market will be driving revenues from here on out.  Intel absolutely needs to have a presence here if they wish to be a leader at driving technologies in this very important market.  Intel is essentially giving away their chips to get into phones and tablets, and eventually this will pave the way towards a greater adoption.  There are still hurdles involved, especially on the software side, but Intel is working hard with developers and Google to make sure support is there.  Intel is likely bracing themselves for a new generation of 20 nm and 16 nm FinFET ARM based products that will start showing up in the next nine months.  The past several years has seen Intel push mobile up to high priority in terms of process technology.  Previously these low power, low cost parts were relegated to an N+1 process technology from Intel, but with the strong competition from ARM licensees and pure-play foundries Intel can no longer afford that.  We will likely see 14 nm mobile parts from Intel sooner as opposed to later.

Intel has certainly shored up a lot of their weaknesses over the past few years.  Their integrated 3D/GPU support has improved in leaps and bounds over the years, their IPC and power consumption with CPUs is certainly industry leading, and they continue to pound out impressive quarterly reports.  Intel is certainly firing on all cylinders at this time and the rest of the industry is struggling to keep up.  It will be interesting to see if Intel will keep up with this pace, and it will be imperative for the company to continue to push into mobile markets.  I have never counted Intel out as they have a strong workforce, a solid engineering culture, and some really amazingly smart people (except Francois… he is just slightly above average- he is a GT-R aficionado after all).

Next quarter appears to be more of the same.  Intel is expecting revenue in the $14.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million.  This continues along with the strong sales of PC and server parts for Intel that helps buoy them to these impressive results.  Net income and margins again look to appear similar to what this past quarter brought to the table.  We will see the introduction of the latest 14 nm Broadwell processors, which is an important step for Intel.  14 nm development and production has taken longer than people expected, and Intel has had to lean on their very mature 22 nm process longer than they wanted to.  This has allowed a few extra quarters for the pure-play foundries to try to catch up.  Samsung, TSMC, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES are all producing 20 nm products with a fast transition to 16/14 nm FinFET by early next year.  This is not to say that these 16/14nm FinFET products will be on par with Intel’s 14 nm process, but it at least gets them closer.  In the near term though, these changes will have very little effect on Intel and their product offerings over the next nine months.

Source: Intel

IDF 2013: Intel Plans $100 Tablets and 22nm SoC Smartphones

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 10, 2013 - 01:38 PM |
Tagged: tablet, smartphone, LTE, Intel, idf 2013, idf, Bay Trail, 22nm

This year at the Intel Developer Forum, Intel is announcing a slew of new products. Among the fray is a sneak peek at some of the mobile devices that will be utilizing the company's Bay Trail Atom SoCs. 

The first device Intel showed off was a small Lenovo branded tablet that is likely the Intel-powered alternative to the current ARM-powered S5000 that was announced at IFA 2013 in Berlin. The Intel powered tablet is using a Bay Trail Atom SoC.

Intel Tablet.jpg

The mysteriously specc'd Lenovo tablet is not the only kit to use Bay Trail, however. Intel claims that there will be a number of new tablets on the way, including models that will be available for under $100 in time for this holiday season. Of course, beyond that specs were not announced.

Intel Smartphone.jpg

Intel also showed off a new prototype smartphone that is powered by a new 22nm SoC. Ryan speculates that the chip is an Intel Merrifield-based SoC which is a mobile architecure derived from Silvermont. The company claims that the move to a 22nm manufacturing process for these mobile chips results in a 50% battery life improvement. Impressive, if those numbers hold true!

Intel Smartphone with 22nm SoC.jpg

The smartphone further features an LTE radio, and Intel shared a speed test of the LTE modem during the conference. Today, the smartphone uses LTE for data and 3G for voice calls, but by the end of the year products will be able to use the LTE radio for both data and voice connections.

Intel LTE Speed Testing.jpg

Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more IDF good-ness as it develops!

Avoton arrives today

Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2013 - 02:08 PM |
Tagged: Avoton, Intel, atom, server, silvermont, 22nm

The new Silvermont based 22nm Avoton chips are officially available as of today as Intel attempts to outmaneuver ARM's attempts to enter the server market.  These chips are not the Atom you have grown to know and despise, this is a brand new architecture which Intel claims will be vastly superior in performance while using much less power.  They are billed as true SOCs and reflect the changing server market which is now more focused on modular systems of relatively low performance which can be networked together to provide just as much processing power as is needed.  The Register did not get any performance numbers yet, hopefully we will see these chips in action soon so we can judge for ourselves if they have what it takes to make it in the server room.

intel_avoton_launch_invite.jpg

"If you were expecting Chipzilla to keep its server-chip powder dry until its Intel Developer Forum next week, surprise! It looks like Intel is going to jump the gun and get its "Avoton" Atom server chips into the field this Wednesday, as you can see from this announcement preview that Intel sent out to press and analysts over the Labor Day holiday in the States."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: The Register

New Silvermont Atom Chips Will Use Pentium and Celeron Branding

Subject: Processors | June 2, 2013 - 11:32 PM |
Tagged: silvermont, pentium, Intel, haswell, celeron, atom, 22nm

In addition to the impending launch of Intel's desktop Haswell processors, the company is also working on new Atom-series chips based on Intel's Silvermont architecture. Ryan Shrout wrote about the upcoming Atom architecture a few weeks ago, and you can read up on it here. However, in short, Atoms using the Silvermont architecture are 22nm SoCs with a Hyper Threaded, dual-module quad core design that comes with burst-able clockspeeds and up to 2.5x the performance of chips using the previous generation Saltwell architecture. Intel is promising up to a 50% IPC (instructions per clock) increase, and 4.7x lower power versus previous generation Atom CPUs.

A block diagram of Intel's upcoming Silvermont architecture.

With that said, over the weekend I read an interesting article over at PC World that hinted at these new Silvermont-based Atom processors taking up the Pentium and Celeron branded CPU mantle. In speaking with Intel employee Kathy Gill, the site learned that Intel will be using the Silvermont architecture in code-named Bay Trail-M and Bay Trail-D processors for notebooks and desktops respectively. The Bay Trail code name isn't new, but Intel's use of the Pentium and Celeron branding for these Atom chips is. For the past few generations, Intel has re-purposed lower-tier or lower binned Core processors as Pentiums or Celerons by disabling features and/or clocking them lower. It seems that Intel finally believes that its Atom lineup is good enough to serve those low-end desktop and notebook CPU purposes under the budget brand families.

Intel Celeron Logo.jpg

Kathy Gill further stated that "we aren't ready to disclose additional details on Haswell plans at this time,” which does not rule out Haswell-based Celeron and Pentium chips. It does not confirm them either, however.

After a chat with PC Perspective's Josh Walrath on the issue, I'm not certain which direction Intel will take, but I do believe that Intel will (at least) favor the Atom chips for the Pentium and Celeron brands/lines because the company will see much better profit margins with the Silvermont-based chips compared to Haswell-based ones. On the other hand, Intel would lose out on the ability to re-brand low binning Core i3s as Pentium or Celeron CPUs. Further, going with both architectures would complicate matters and invite a good amount of brand confusion for many consumers in spite of allowing a mix of better profit margins and re-purposing chips that otherwise wouldn't make the cut (admittedly, Intel probably has to artificially limit some number of chips to keep up with the volume of Pentium and Celerons needed, it's difficult to say to what extent though).

Hopefully we will know more about Intel's Bay Trail CPUs and branding plans at Computex later this week.

What do you think of this move by Intel, and will the Silvermont-based Bay Trail chips be up to the task?

Source: PC World

Corsair's Neutron drives get even more dense

Subject: Storage | May 3, 2013 - 07:32 PM |
Tagged: LAMD, corsair, neutron, ssd, asynchronous NAND, 22nm

Still featuring the Link_A_Media Devices LM87800 controller but with all new 22nm SK Hynix Synchronous NAND the refreshed Corsair Neutron SSD series just arrived on [H]ard|OCP's test bench.  The refresh brings both good and bad attributes, while the 22nm NAND proves a little slower than the original 25nm it also brings a much lower price.  That lower price paired with a 5 year warranty should make this drive attractive to users that are holding off on picking up an SSD because of fears that the drive will stop functioning in a few years, or who have a hard time spending well over $1/GB for storage.

H_neutron.jpg

"Corsair keeps pace with continuing innovation in the NAND market by switching from 25nm IMFT NAND to the rarely seen 22nm SK Hynix NAND. This NAND provides a lower price point and extra capacity. Today we take a look to see if the Neutron Series performance remains and how this new SSD build stacks up to the competition."

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Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Intel Will Allegedly Release Three Ivy Bridge-E Processors Later This Year

Subject: General Tech | April 2, 2013 - 10:59 AM |
Tagged: lga 2011, Ivy Bridge-E, Intel, 22nm

Many enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting the next generation of Intel processors to use LGA 2011, which is supposed to be Ivy Bridge-E. Especially after seeing rumors of a 10 core Xeon E5-2600 V2  Ivy Bridge-EP CPU, I think many users expected at least an eight core Ivy Bridge-E part.

Unfortunately, if a slide posted by VR-Zone China is any indication, LGA 2011 users will not be getting an eight core processor any time soon. The slide suggests that Intel will release three new Ivy Bridge-E CPUs in the third quarter of this year (Q3'13). However, the top-end part is merely a six core CPU with slight improvements over the existing Sandy Bridge-E 3960X chip.

Ivy Bridge-E Lineup.jpg

Specifically, the slide alleges that the initial Intel release will include the Core i7 4820, Core i7 4930K, and the Core i7 4960X. An Ivy Bridge-E equivalent to the SB-E 3970X is noticeably absent from the lineup along with several of the other rumored (higher core count) chips.

Rumored Ivy Bridge-E chips:

  Clockspeed Core Count L3 Cache Manufacturing Process TDP
Core i7 4960X 3.6GHz (4GHz Turbo) 6 15MB 22nm 130W
Core i7 4930K 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) 6 12MB 22 130W
Core i7 4820K 3.7GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) 4 10MB 22 130W

Existing Sandy Bridge-E equivalents:

  Clockspeed Core Count L3 Cache Manufacturing Process TDP
Core i7 3960X 3.3GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) 6 15MB 32nm 130W
Core i7 3930K 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) 6 12MB 32nm 130W
Core i7 3820 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) 4 10MB 32nm 130W

All of the chips allegedly have 130W TDPs, 40 PCI-E 3.0 lanes, support for quad-channel DDR3-1866 memory, and are built on Intel's 22nm manufacturing process. The low end i7 4820 is a quad core chip clocked at 3.7 GHz base and 3.9 GHz turbo with 10MB L3 cache. The i7 4930K is an unlocked six core part with 12MB L3 cache and clockspeeds of 3.4 GHz base and 3.9 GHz turbo. Finally, the Core i7 4960X is rumored to be the highest-end chip Intel will release (at least, initially). It is also a six core part clocked at 3.6 GHz base and 4 GHz turbo. It has 15MB of L3 cache. These chips are the Ivy Bridge-E equivalents to the 3820, 3930K, and 3960X chips respectively. The new processors feature higher clockspeeds, and are based on 22nm 3D transistor technology instead of SB-E's 32nm manufacturing process. It seems that Intel has extended unlocking to the lower-tier LGA 2011 chip, as it is listed as the Core i7 4820K. Having an unlocked multiplier is nice to see at the low end (the low end of the enthusiast platform, anyway). Curiously, the TDP ratings are the same, however. That suggests that the move to 22nm did not net Intel much TDP headroom, and the higher clocks are bringing them up to similar TDP numbers. At least the TDP ratings are not higher than SB-E, such that you motherboard and HSF should have no problems accepting an IVB-E CPU upgrade (with a BIOS update, of course).

It will be interesting to see how the new Ivy Bridge-E chips stack up, especially considering Intel may also be unveiling the consumer-grade Haswell processor this year. On one hand, Ivy Bridge-E offers up a CPU upgrade path for existing systems, but on the other hand pricing and the performance of Haswell (and lack of higher core count Ivy Bridge-E chips like previous rumors suggested) may see enthusiasts instead opt for a motherboard+CPU overhaul instead of simply recycling the LGA 2011/X79 motherboard. At this point, if this new slide holds true it appears that Ivy Bridge E/LGA 2011 will become even more of a niche solely for workstations that need the extra PCI-E lanes and quad channel memory. I say this as someone running a Lynnfield system who is itching for an upgrade and torn on going for the enthusiast platform or waiting for Haswell.

What do you think about the rumored Ivy Bridge-E chips, are they what you expected? Do you think they will be worth a CPU upgrade for your LGA 2011-based system or are you leaning towards Haswell?

Read more about Ivy Bride-E at PC Perspective, including: Ivy Bridge-E after Haswell: I think I've gone cross-eyed.

The Atom ain't dead yet! New ultra low power Avoton chips for servers

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2012 - 07:48 PM |
Tagged: 32nm, 22nm, tri-gate, Intel, atom, Avoton

Intel's Atom S1200 line of chips are obviously designed to compete with ARM's upcoming 64bit chips in the server room.  The family of processors will all be under 10W TDP, with the top chip, the Atom S1260, which is a dual core 2GHz part that produces 8.5W.  The three chips they have released are on the older 32nm process but according to EETimes you can expect new models using the 22nm tri-gate processors in the near future.  From what The Register could find out Intel has not yet ruled out LGA models as well as the embedded chips you will be seeing first.  They did pin down some more stats, with the new Atoms supporting DDR3 1333MHz and support  eight lanes of PCI Express 2.0, what they will not be able to support on chip is network connectivity, these chips will still be at least partially dependent on other chips for some of their features so they are not truly an SoC, yet.

EET_intel2.jpg

"CHIPMAKER Intel has released its Atom S1200 series aimed at low power single socket servers.

Intel's race to meet ARM in the low power server market has seen the firm push its Atom branded chips into sub-10W territory while supporting 64-bit memory addressing and ECC memory. Now the firm has released three dual-core chips that make up its Atom S1200 series, all sporting sub-10W TDP."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: The Register

New 22nm Pentiums and Celerons for the new year

Subject: General Tech | November 29, 2012 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: pentium, celeron, Intel, 22nm, G2130, G2020, G2020T, G1620, G1610, G1610T, Ivy Bridge

There won't be any new Intel desktop processors for Christmas and even in the New Year it will be the entry level lineup that is first refreshed.  Six older Pentium and Celeron models will hit EOL and be replaced with new Ivy Bridge based 22nm models, likely with similar specs and reduced power consumption.  The news for mobile processors is a little better with the Core i7-3687, Core i5-3437U, Celeron 1037U, 1007U, 1020M and 1000M all slated for the first quarter of 2013.  DigiTime also mentions a new 20nm member of the 530 series of SSDs should be arriving at the same time.

i7.jpg

"Intel is set to upgrade its entry-level desktop Pentium and Celeron product lines in the first quarter of 2013 with the launch of Ivy Bridge-based 22nm Pentium G2130, G2020 and G2020T and Celeron G1620, G1610 and G1610T processors, while its existing Sandy Bridge-based 32nm Pentium G870, G645 and G645T as well as Celeron G555, G550 and G550T will be phased out of the market starting the end of 2012, according to sources from the upstream supply chain."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: DigiTimes

Intel Planning 10-core Xeon E5-2600 V2 Ivy Bridge-EP CPU

Subject: Processors | October 17, 2012 - 06:48 AM |
Tagged: xeon E5-2600 v2, lga 2011, Ivy Bridge-EP, Intel, 22nm

A recently leaked slide reveals one of Intel’s upcoming Xeon-branded server chips coming in Q3 2013. The Xeon E5-2600 V2 is an Ivy Bridge-EP processor and will be compatible with motherboards featuring the LGA 2011 socket.

Intel-Ivy-Bridge-EP-Launch-Roadmap.jpg

The Xeon E5-2600 V2 in particular has a 70W TDP (thermal design power) rating while the highest-end Ivy Bridge-EP CPUs will have TDPs of up to 130W. The E5-2600 V2 has 10 physical cores, and with HyperThreading it can handle a maximum of 20 threads. Each physical core has access to 256KB L2 cache and the chip has a total of 30MB L3 cache. Further, this (and other) Ivy Bridge-EP processor will support up to 1866MHz DDR3 system RAM.

Interestingly, the Xeon E5-2600 V2 is merely the middle of the road part for Intel. The company will be releasing processors that are even higher-end than this one. They will have up to 12 physical cores which means up to 24 threads. And paired with Intel's 22nm manufacturing process and 3D transistors, these chips will fit right into workstations and server rooms.

Source: Guru 3D

Dell is bringing Ivy Bridge to the server room

Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2012 - 12:34 PM |
Tagged: xeon e3, Ivy Bridge, E3-1200 v2, dell, 22nm

Dell's microserver family is undergoing a major change right now as their 5000 series is moving to the new generation of chips from Intel.  The current C5000 and C5125 uses Athlon II X2 and X4 and Phenom II X2 chips based on the customers preferences and will continue to do so for the near future but the C5220 will be using the not quite yet released yet Xeon E3-1200 v2.  That Ivy Bridge chip means that Dell expects to be selling 17W and 45W versions of the C5220 which gives Intel a nice lead in power efficiency and processing density.  As more new Xeons come out you will see models requiring more power and thus less physical servers in a rack.  Dell expects to fit a dozen of the lower powered models into a full rack mount chassis and eight of the higher wattage models.  Check out the specifics as well as hints as to the other members of the Ivy Bridge contingent of the Xeon family at The Register.

elreg_dell_poweredge_c5000_chassis.jpg

"Dell's PowerEdge server line is once again trying to get out in front of Intel, announcing that its PowerEdge-C family of microservers are revved up with the new Ivy Bridge Xeon E3 processors, which the chip giant is launching soon."

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Source: The Register