Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2013 - 10:52 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: MXC, Intel, idf, fiber optics, corning
Remember Intel's LightPeak, that optical interconnect which promised incredible throughput that Apple somehow managed to quash? Thunderbolt is interesting, though certainly expensive and offers only a part of what we were promised at what seems an exorbitant amount of money. At the upcoming IDF Intel promises to introduce an optical connector which is similar to what LightPeak was although it will be intended for server interconnects as opposed to removable devices. However at 1.6 Tbps MXC will be impressively fast and Corning's new ClearCurve LW fibre technology will prove to be rugged enough to survive through the bends and snarls which inevitably occur when two or more wires are put in close proximity. Check out the link to the abstract through ExtremeTech.
"Ahead of the Intel Developer Forum next month, Intel and Corning are teasing a new optical interconnect technology capable of 1.6 terabits per second. Dubbed MXC, the interconnect is designed to supercharge the interconnection of servers in data center environments, where current networking technologies are struggling to keep up with the massive growth of cloud computing."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Radeon samurai and Linksys bowman cross swords in battle of PC scrap art @ The Tech Report
- Xerox admits there's no fix yet for number-fudging copiers @ The Register
- Google: Cloud users have 'no legitimate expectation of privacy' @ The Register
In addition to Intel's announcement of new Xeon processors, the company is launching three new Atom-series processors for servers later this year. The new processor lineups include the Intel Atom S12x9 family for storage applications, Rangeley processors for networking gear, and Avoton SoCs for low-power micro-servers.
The Intel Atom S12x9 family takes the existing S1200 processors and makes a few tweaks to optimize the SoCs for storage servers and other storage appliances. For reference, the Intel Atom S1200 series of processors feature sub-9W TDPs, 1MB of cache, and two physical CPU cores clocked at up to 2GHz. However, Intel did not list the individual S12x9 SKUs or specifications, so it is unknown if they will also be clocked at up to 2GHz. The new Atom S12x9 processors will feature 40 PCI-E 2.0 lanes (26 Root Port and 16 Non-Transparent Bridge) to provide ample bandwidth between I/O and processor. The SoCs also feature hardware RAID acceleration, Native Dual-Casting, and Asynchronous DRAM Self-Refresh. Native Dual-Casting allows data to be read from one source and written to two memory locations simultaneously while Asynchronous DRAM Self-Refresh protects data during a power failure.
The new chips are available now to customers and will be available in OEM systems later this year. Vendors that plan to release systems with the S12x9 processors include Accusys, MacroSAN, Qnap, and Qsan.
Intel is also introducing a new series of processors --- codenamed Rangeley -- is intended to power future networking gear. The 22nm Atom SoC is slated to be available sometime in the second half of this year (2H'13). Intel is positioning the Rangeley processors at entry-level to mid-range routers, switches, and security appliances.
While S12x9 and Rangeley are targeted at specific tasks, the company is also releasing a general purpose Atom processor codenamed Avoton. The Avoton SoCs are aimed at low power micro-servers, and is Intel's answer to ARM chips in the server room. Avoton is Intel's second generation 64-bit Atom processor series. It uses the company's Silvermont architecture on a 22nm process. The major update with Avoton is the inclusion of an Ethernet controller built into the processor itself. According to Intel, building networking into the processor instead of as a chip on a separate add-on board results in "significant improvements in performance per watt." These chips are currently being sampled to partners, and should be available in Avoton-powered servers later this year (2H'13).
This year is certainly shaping up to be an interesting year for Atom processors. I'm excited to see how the battle unfolds between the ARM and Atom-based solutions in the data center.
Subject: General Tech | April 10, 2013 - 09:31 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Project Scorpio, Intel, idf 2013, idf, Avonton
Intel talked about their Project Scorpio at IDF, similar to HP's Project Moonshot which has just become available. Instead of a new Atom server being a complete system installed in a rack there will be a housing into which self contained server modules can be added and will communicate with the other modules via fabric switch. That way you can pick how many modules you need based on your usage and purchase only that many, with upgrades being as easy as sliding in another module and configuring it. Lego for admins!
They also showed off information on the new Avonton Atom as well as some information on the next family of Xeon processors which you can read more about at The Tech Report.
"Intel kicked off IDF Beijing with a keynote address that revealed a number of new server processors in the Atom and Xeon families. The chip maker also discussed its rack scale architecture, which aims to make next-generation servers more flexible and efficient through modular components."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mm.. you like RAID? Ooh, you want flash. Try this super-Hadooper @ The Register
- Intel hints at server processor plans for the rest of this year @ The Register
- Intel Xeon 2013 update - A bit later, but a bit better too @ VR-Zone
- Free Anti-Virus Comparison Review @ OCC
Subject: Mobile | April 10, 2013 - 05:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: zte, geek, Android, android 4.2, clover trail, Intel, idf, atom z2580
The ZTE Geek is not quite ready for release, but the internals are now official. Specifications include a dual core Intel Atom Z2580 processor clocked at 2GHz (HyperThreading allows 4 total threads), an integrated SGX 544MP2 GPU clocked at 533MHz, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. A 2300 mAh battery provides power for the device and can be recharged wirelessly in the ZTE Geek.
Engadget goes hands-on with the ZTE Geek at IDF in Beijing, China.
On the outside, The ZTE Geek features a 5" capacitive multi-touch screen with a resolution of 1280x720 and Gorilla Glass protection. There is a 1MP fixed focus webcam above the display, and an 8MP camera with auto-focus and LED flash on the rear of the device.
The Geek smartphone is compatible with the following wireless connections:
- GSM: 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
- UMTS: 900 / 2100 MHz
WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n at 2.4GHz
- DLNA, Wireles hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, and Wi-Fi Display
- Bluetooth 3.0 LE
- GPS (AGPS)
It also offers up an accelerometer, proximity, ambient light, compass, and gyro sensors. Engadget reports that the device on display at IDF is merely a prototype, and the glossy white finish and chassis material is subject to change. Naturally, there is no word yet on pricing, or when it will be released. The smartphone will likely not see an initial US release, however (if past Atom-powered phones are any indication).
What do you think about the ZTE Geek's design and specs? Personally, I'm still pining for the Lenovo K900 (another Clover Trail+ powered smartphone) to see a US release heh.
Subject: Storage | September 12, 2012 - 11:08 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: idf, idf 2012, western digital, wdc, 5mm, hybrid hdd
At the Technology Showcase yesterday during IDF I got see in person the new Western Digital hybrid hard drives that will combine a single platter spinning disk with a NAND flash for a hybrid solution at under 5mm thick.
You can see that is barely enough z-height for a standard installation screw and this will really help get larger amounts of storage into thinner devices. WD will have it available in 500GB and 1TB versions though the 1TB model will come in a slightly higher 7mm variety.
The WD Blue models will be spinning disk only while the WD Black will combine as much as 32GB of flash memory but it could vary based on the specific OEM request and considerations.
Another requirement of this new form factor is the need for a new connector, conveniently named SFF-8038, that handles both power and data.
We are still waiting for pricing information, but another wave of hybrid technology looks to be on its way!
Subject: Storage | September 11, 2012 - 06:48 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ocz, idf, idf 2012, vector, ssd, Indilinx, barefoot 3
While wandering around San Francisco today, I was stopped by a stranger on the corner of Market and 4th to show me something he found outside the convention hall. It LOOKS like an SSD PCB but what do you think?
What you have here is a the internals of a new OCZ Technology SSD brand called Vector that will sit ABOVE the Vertex 4 in the product stack. This SSD uses the as yet unreleased Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller.
The drive should be available sometime in Q4 of this year and it marks the first complete Indilinx controller design - no Marvell or other third party intellectual property to be found.
That's all we know for now but you can be sure we'll have the details as they are released!!
Ah, IDF – the Intel Developer Forum. Almost every year–while I sit in slightly uncomfortable chairs and stare at outdated and color washed projector screens–information is passed on about Intel's future architectures, products and technologies. Last year we learned the final details about Ivy Bridge, and this year we are getting the first details about Haswell, which is the first architecture designed by Intel from the ground up for servers, desktops, laptops, tablets and phones.
While Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge were really derivatives of prior designs and thought processes, the Haswell design is something completely different for the company. Yes, the microarchitecture of Haswell is still very similar to Sandy Bridge (SNB), but the differences are more philosophical rather than technological.
Intel's target is a converged core: a single design that is flexible enough to be utilized in mobility devices like tablets while also scaling to the performance levels required for workstations and servers. They retain the majority of the architecture design from Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge including the core design as well as the key features that make Intel's parts unique: HyperThreading, Intel Turbo Boost, and the ring interconnect.
The three pillars that Intel wanted to address with Haswell were performance, modularity, and power innovations. Each of these has its own key goals including improving performance of legacy code (existing), and having the ability to extract greater parallelism with less coding work for developers.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Processors | September 11, 2012 - 08:52 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Intel, idf, idf 2012, keynote
The Intel Developer Forum is one of the best places in the world to get information and insight on the future of technology directly from those that creat it. Join me as I live blog (Wi-Fi connection dependent as always!) the keynotes from all three days at http://pcper.com/live!!
Be sure to stop by our PC Perspective Live page at 9am PT on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday!!
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2011 - 04:23 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: sandy bridge, podcast, Ivy Bridge, idf 2011, idf, gpu, cpu, bulldozer, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #170 - 9/15/2011
Join us this week as we discuss AMD Bulldozer developments, the Windows 8 Developer Preview, News from IDF and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano
This Podcast is brought to you by
Sorry about audio problems due to Skype and Ryan having little bandwidth on the road
- 0:00:40 Introduction
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- Stay Tuned for a contest!!
- 0:01:30 ECS HDC-I Fusion Mini ITX Motherboard Review
- 0:02:36 Bulldozer First Release and the State of 32nm AMD Parts
- 0:10:15 AMD Bulldozer Processor hits 8.429 GHz - New World Record!
- 0:13:50 Oh joy the BIOS level trojan is finally here
- 0:17:50 Windows 8 Developer Preview Build Sees Public Release At BUILD Conference
- 0:23:45 This Podcast is brought to you by
, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
- 0:24:37 IDF 2011: Intel Haswell Architecture Offers 20x Lower Standby Power
- 0:27:08 IDF 2011: Intels Shows a PC Running on Solar Power
- 0:30:10 IDF 2011: New Ivy Bridge Details from Mooly Eden Keynote
- 0:35:27 SSD Update: 710 series
- 0:38:31 IDF 2011: ASUS UX21 Ultrabook Still Sexy, I Still Want It
- 0:39:34 Win a Free Drobo Storage Device at PC Perspective!!
- 0:40:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: Ultrabooks - I wants them
- Jeremy: Stop ruining many of the fond memories I have of my teenage years!
- Josh: gettin closer to that $1 per GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227552
- Allyn: mumble
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors, Shows and Expos | September 15, 2011 - 03:17 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ray tracing, knights ferry, idf 2011, idf
Very few things impress like a collection of 256 processor cores in a box. But that is exactly what we saw on our last visit to the floor at the Intel Developer Forum this year when I stopped by to visit friend-of-the-site Daniel Pohl to discuss updates to the ray tracing research he has been doing for many years now. This is what he showed us:
What you see there is a dual-Xeon server running a set of 8 (!!) Knights Ferry many-core processor discrete cards. Each card holds a chip with 32 Intel Architecture cores running at 1.2 GHz on it and each core can handle 4 threads for a total of 1024 threads in flight at any given time! Keep in mind these are all modified x86 cores with support for 16-bit wide vector processing so they are pumping through a LOT of FLOPS. Pohl did note that only 31-32 of the cores are actually doing ray tracing at any given time though as they reserve a couple for scheduling tasks, operating system interaction, etc.
Each of the the eight cards in the system is using a pair of 6-pin PCIe power connectors and they are jammed in there pretty tight. Pohl noted this was the only case they could find that would fit 8 dual-slot add-in cards into it so I'll take a note of that for when I build my own system around them. Of course there are no display outputs on the Knights Ferry cards as they were never really turned into GPUs in the traditional sense. They are essentially development and research for exascale computing and HPC workloads for servers though the plan is to bring the power to consumers eventually.
To run the demo the Knights Ferry ray tracing server was communicating over a Gigabit Ethernet connection to this workstation that was running game processing, interaction processing and more and passed off data about the movements of the camera and objects in the ray traced world to the server. The eight Knights Ferry cards then render the frame, the Xeon CPUs compress the image (8:1 using a standard Direct 3D format) and send the data across the network. All of this happens in real time with basically no latency issues when compared to direct PC gaming.
While the ray tracing game engine projects might seem a little less exciting since the demise of Larrabee, Pohl and his team have been spending a lot of time on learning how to take advantage of the x86 cores available. The Wolfenstein demo we have seen in past events has been improved to add things like HDR lighting, anti-aliasing and more.
Though these features have obviously been around in rasterization based solutions for quite a long time, the demo was meant to showcase the fact that ray tracing doesn't inherently have difficulty performing those kinds of tasks as long as the processing power is there and alotted to it.
I am glad to see the ray tracing research continuing at Intel as I think that in the long-term future, that is the route that gaming and other graphics-based applications will be rendering. And I am not alone - id Software founder and Doom/Quake creator John Carmack agreed in a recent interview we held with him.
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