The fast get faster
With all the news and excitement about the Sandy Bridge architecture, platform and processors from Intel since their launch in January, it is easy to overlook the Nehalem architecture that continues to sell and be integrated into the fastest consumer PCs available. Remember Nehalem and its three digit model numbers? You really have to stretch that memory as it was before the CPU/GPU combo of Sandy Bridge and even before the Clarkdale / Lynnfield processors that began the move towards lower cost dual-channel memory based processors.
It seems odd to think that today we are taking a step BACK in time to review the new Core i7-990X processor and a very nicely upgraded X58 motherboard from Intel in the form of the DX58SO2. The Core i7-990X is a Gulftown (6-core) processor that in many cases becomes the fastest consumer processor on the market and flagship CPU for Nehalem and the “Extreme Edition” suffix. Replacing the i7-980X, the 990X will fill that $999 processor segment for extreme enthusiasts and high end system builders.
Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2011 - 02:29 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: revenue, Intel, cagr
Intel held its annual Investor Meeting today, where the chip maker talked software, the state of the business, as well as new hardware and leveraging microarcitecture leadership. This installment focuses on the business growth and financial aspects.
With 43,905 United States employees and a rank of 62 on the 2010 Fortune 500 list, Intel is a huge company. And with an over $10 billion dollar Q1 2011, Intel is doing quite well.
During the investor meeting, Intel's CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Stacy Smith took the stage to talk about the company's financial performance and how the company is growing. One of the first points that he talked about was Intel's design and manufacturing advantages. Intel spends a great deal of it's capitol on R&D (research and development). and this investment in itself and the amount of research that is completed, allows the chip maker to maintain it's x86 market leadership. The company has also started acquiring other companies in an effort to differentiate itself from its competitors. For example, the recent McAfee acquisition has brought security and software engineers to Intel's portfolio, and will allow them to create security software solutions that can easily be paired with their hardware.
Intel also stated that it is growing, and expects to sell even more hardware thanks to emerging markets and the rise in "cloud computing" requiring larger and more numerous data centers. The chart above shows Intel's CAGR (compound annual growth rate), which is a number created by taking the nth root of the total percentage growth rate with "n" being the total number of years calculated. It is a way for companies to describe the rate of investment growth if it grew at a steady rate (which is unlikely to happen in real life due to a dynamic and constantly changing market). Including the company's projections for 2011, Intel is looking at a 12% CAGR for revenue and a 35% CAGR in EPS or earnings per share.
Paul S. Otellini, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Intel reaffirmed Intel's growth by stating that 74.5 quintillion transistors shipped in 2010. This rapid rise in growth can be attributed to cloud computing demands for more data centers, emerging markets adopting more computers, and Intel's interest in the mobile market.
The historic part of the graph above shows the rise in traditional servers from 1995 to its highesd point in 2010 as the Internet becomes further adopted and more and more applications execute server side. The right side of the graph; however, shows Intel's projections for the future from 2010 to 2015. They expect to see a massive increase in processor growth for data center market thanks to an influx of new cloud computing applications and networked storage. Intel also stated that the company's latest Xenon processors are no longer second to Itanium for mission critical applications, and thus Intel expects a rise in Core processors for mission critical servers. In 2010 alone, the company had $8.4B in revenue and $4.4B of operating profit. In 2013, Intel forecasts a 15% growth in revenue with operating margins at ~50% for the data center group.
From the PC Client Group, which encompasses both desktops and laptops, Intel had almost $7 million dollars for Q1 2011 revenue, which is at least $1 million more than Q1 2010. Further, their reported Q1 revenue for 2011 is the highest that it has ever been between Q1 2008 and Q1 2010. Their operating margins have also increased compared to 2008, with a 17% CAGR. Intel also revisited the issue of high R&D budgets, and showed that the overall cost across platform segments have declined since 2008. As research cost for new technologies increase, the cost to make wafers decreases. Intel forecasts that for the Performance, Mainstream, and Atom platforms, the costs will continue to decrease into 2011 and 2012 while the Value platform will see a slight increase in 2011 and remain stable into 2012.
Emerging markets are also responsible for the company's growth. Intel stated that "you will see a rapid increase in PC penetration rates in China, Latin America, and Eastern Europe." Both Brazil and Eastern Europe are projected to reach 80% PC penetration in 2015, for example. China is expected to attain a 40% penetration rate, while India will have 10%. Intel stated that this is possible thanks to falling prices in computers along with rising incomes worldwide. Once a country's incomes reach a level where 4 to 8 weeks is enough to purchase a PC, the penetration rate sees a rapid increase. Currently, Intel has determined 4.2 WOI (weeks of income) are necessary to purchase a PC worldwide, which is much lower than the 9.9 weeks of income necessary the previous year. In 2014, Intel projects that only 2.3 weeks of income will be necessary. Inside the worldwide WOI spectrum, North America has the lowest WOI each year, followed by Japan and Western Europe. India and China have historically had the highest WOI; however, Intel projects that by 2014, the countries will have greatly reduced their WOI at 10.3 and 2.6 respectively.
While data centers, emerging markets are responsible for the majority of Intel's projected growth, Intel also has both the embedded and software and services group. On the embedded side, Intel is expecting a 11% CAGR between 2010 and 2013. In 2010, the embedded group saw $1.5 billion dollars in revenue, and Intel projects almost $2 billion dollars in revenue in 2011. Intel has stated that they are "making significant investments in SoC, tablet, and smart phone R&D" and that they "expect market segment share gains and growing businesses in tablets, smart phones (application and base band processors), and connected CE (consumer electronics) devices."
The Software and Services Group also accounts for a small portion of Intel's revenue. The company's software acquisitions include McAfee, Wind River, and Havok among others. The group is a rapidly growing part of Intel, with a projected $3 billion dollars of revenue in 2013 compared to $330 million dollars in revenue in 2010. The group is an "upside opportunity as we embed additional security features into hardware and software," according to Intel.
Further, Intel showed a glimpse of it's NAND Solutions Group, and indicated that it forecasts a slightly increased operating profit for 2011 which coincides with Intel lowering the Cost/GB of NAND based devices (such as SSDs) compared to the industry leader.
As a company that diversifies it's products, leads the x86 markets, and invests heavily in itself with acquisitions and R&D, Intel is a profitable company that shows no signs of slowing it's growth.
Intel Talks Software And Demos Local File Syncing, Standby, And Hibernate Tech At Investor Meeting 2011
Intel held its annual Investor Meeting today, where the chip maker talked software, the state of the business, as well as new hardware and leveraging microarcitecture leadership. This installment focuses on the software side of things.
During the various keynotes that were held throughout the day for the Investor Meeting 2011, one ideal seemed to present itself in some form or another, and summarized the message Intel presented to the world. The idea was that of a consistent user experience across every computing platform accomplished by leveraging Intel software applications with Intel hardware advancements to deliver a productive and easy to use computing experience whether it is on a cell phone or a dual CPU production workstation. Intel is a market leader in micro-architecture and x86 processors, as well as in sold state drives and high performance computing. Soon, thanks to advancements in transistor technology, Intel will also have a large presence in the mobile market with low power x86 SoCs. Their dominance in desktop computing hardware, along with their good relations with many software developers allows the chip maker a great deal of influence in the technology industry. On the software side of things, Intel has a team of engineers who work inside Microsoft's closely with their software engineers to ensure that the popular operating system delivers a solid experience for x86, and specifically Intel, powered computers. Intel is also heavily invested in open source software and has helped in creating open source operating systems and applications. In the mobile market, Intel is still a proponent and developer of MeeGo, for instance.
This influence and investment in both hardware and software research and development has made Intel a leader in the technology industry. Intel plans to leverage this influence to deliver the most consistent user experience across all platforms, and the process has already begun. Intel has several software technologies that are capable of harnessing their architecture technology to make computers easier to use and more productive. They showed off three (new) pieces of such software during one of their keynotes, including PC Sync, and Fast Flash Standby which encompasses an active standby/sleep mode and fast recovery hibernation modes.
PC Sync is a program much akin to Dropbox in that it promises to keep all of the files that you select in sync between all of your different devices. David Perlmutter and a co-worker showed PC Sync working live as they synced files between two computers. The program differs from Dropbox; however, in the fact that it only works over your local network, and thus it is inherently more secure and faster than services that must first sync files to an Internet server before downloading to the target computer(s).
The other interesting software demonstrated was Intel's Fast Flash Standby technology. This software improves upon the traditional sleep and hibernation modes in Microsoft Windows. The standby mode will put the computer to sleep by saving the system state to RAM and entering a low power mode just like the standard Windows' affair; however, the software will also automatically wake up the system at periodic intervals to download updates such as email, tweets, and Facebook messages, and then will return the computer to its sleep state so that once the computer is woken, the system is already updated and ready to go. Intel has also improved upon the hibernation sleep mode by utilizing flash memory to greatly reduce the time necessary to enter hibernation and resume from the sleep mode. In the demo, the system state was saved to a fast flash drive, and not only did the computer quickly hibernate but it resumed from hibernation in 5 seconds.
Intel also talked about mobile software. Android and MeeGo are both software platforms that Intel is interested in powering with its mobile processors. The 7" tablet and concept smart phone they showed off were both running android. Intel's Senior Vice President and General Manager for its Software & Services Group, Renée J. James stated that Intel is well positioned to create an application ecosystem when it enters the mobile market, and that developers have stated that they plan to develop for them. Further, Renée stated that 90% of Android applications are a run-time and can easily be made to run on Intel's mobile devices.
Intel also addressed the shareholders' concerns of how Windows 8 on ARM would affect Intel. The Windows 8 SKU for ARM will be a ARM focused operating system, and will run ARM applications. The SKU will be well suited for ARM powered mobile devices where mobile and cloud applications can be used. On the other hand, there will also be a "full" Windows 8 with Windows 7 mode that will offer the full featured Windows experience, including backwards compatibility with legacy applications--which the ARM SKU will not offer. Because of this full featured Windows 8 operating system version is tailored for x86, Intel believes that it will have the "best of both worlds" for the consumers in being able to have the full fledged OS and ability to use existing Windows applications made for x86. Renée remained confident in Intel's continued position despite an OS version for ARM chips.
Further, Intel recognized its McAfee acquisition. The president of McAfee then took the stage to explain that the company was committed to delivering security products across the Intel line. He also stressed that with the ever increasing presence of malware on the Internet, the current method of security programs using "blacklisting" techniques was not sustainable. The cloud, he surmised, was both a security concern as well as a resource for security programs, and that he expects to have software that is backed by large Internet databases cataloging malware definitions to be the standard in the coming years until a technique stronger than blacklisting becomes usable.
For a hardware company, Intel has also delved heavily into software by working with developers and acquiring software companies. They recognize that it takes more than hardware to create a quality computing experience and only with the right balance of both hardware and software is a consistent user experience across all of their devices possible.
Intel Talks Mobile Hardware And Shows Off 32nm Medfield Android Smart Phone At Investor Meeting 2011
Intel held its annual Investor Meeting today, where the chip maker talked software, the state of the business, as well as new hardware and leveraging microarcitecture leadership. This installment focuses on the mobile hardware aspects.
Partway through the Intel Investor Meeting 2011, David Perlmutter stepped on stage for his keynote speech. As the Vice President and General Manager of the Intel Architecture Group, he delved into the advancements that Intel has made in smaller transistor manufacturing, and how those advancements will help Intel to break into the mobile and handheld computing market with low power and high performance SoCs (System on a Chip). During the meeting, Intel stated that it has always been known for performance, but not necessarily for being low power. With their recent advancements in moving to smaller manufacturing nodes; however, Intel has positioned itself to have power efficient processors that are low power and with power to deliver a fluid user experience in mobile devices. David explains that power efficency follows along with Moore's Law in that as the transistors get smaller (and with Intel's advancements such as 3D transistors), the chips become much more power efficient. With each successive shrink in manufacturing nodes, Intel has seen higher transistor switching speeds and lower current leakage compared to previous generations:
What as these new power efficent chips amount to, is Intel's new ability to break into the mobile market and become extremely competitive with the ARM architecture(s). David showed off two examples during the Investor Meeting 2011 in the form of an Android smart phone and 7" tablet powered by 32nm Medfield mobile chips.
The Medfield powered Android smart phone.
An Intel powered Android tablet that will be available to developers soon.
The phone is a hyper threaded, 32nm Intel Medfield mobile processor that runs the Android 2.x operating system and is poised to compete with the current dual core ARM powered smart phones. A dual core version of the mobile SoC is also planned in the future. When questioned if the rumored quad core ARM smart phones would pose a problem for Intel's planned single and dual core phones, David responded that the number of cores is only one aspect of performance, and is a measurement "much like megahertz was in the '90s" and hinted not to count Intel's processors out even when competing against quad core ARM processors.
The tablet did not recieve as much attention as the concept phone; however, we do know that it is capable of running Android Honeycomb, is 7", and will be powered by a very similar 32nm Medfield chip.
Intel projects that by 2015, not only will they have passed 14nm manufacturing nodes (which are planned for 2014) but the SoCs will have 10 times the graphics and computational power as their chips released this year.
From the keynotes at this year's meeting, Intel is both enthusiastic and confident in their ability to finally dive into the mobile market in force and become a heavywieght competitior to ARM. Their plans to bring the x86 instruction set and power sipping chips to the handset and netbook markets is a bold move, but if their projections hold true may result in a massive market share increase and further innovation in an even more competitive mobile market.
Podcast #154 - Intel Z68 Chipset release, Intel SRT SSD caching technogy, OCZ Agility 3 and Solid 3 and more!
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 12, 2011 - 11:30 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: z68, ssd, srt, solid, smart response technology, smart response, podcast, ocz, Intel, agility
PC Perspective Podcast #154 - 5/12/2011
This week we talk about the Intel Z68 Chipset release, Intel SRT SSD caching technogy, the OCZ Agility 3 and Solid 3, Viewer Questions 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: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
This Podcast is brought to you by MSI
Program length: 1:15:39
- 0:00:39 Introduction
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:02:10 Intel Z68 Chipset Review: dGPU and iGPU living together, SSD Caching and Overclocking
- 0:09:40 Intel Smart Response Technology: SSD Caching on Z68 Tested
- 0:30:40 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI
, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
- 0:31:24 Gigabyte Launches World's First Z68 Motherboards With Support for mSATA Intel SLC SSDs and Smart Response Tech
- 0:36:50 Discrete Graphics Card Shipments See Slight Increase Versus Previous Quarter
- 0:40:18 OCZ Technology Announces the Agility 3 and Solid 3 SATA III Solid State Drives
- 0:43:17 Intel Atom Processors Will Not Use Intel Graphics, PowerVR GPUs Planned
- 0:46:59 Rumors point to Apple moving to ARM processors for future notebooks
- 0:53:30 Email from TK about server memory
- 0:58:24 Email from Ralph about SRT and SSD sizes
- 1:01:26 Email from Jesse about hyperthreading
- 1:06:04 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 1:14:55 Closing
Subject: Processors | May 12, 2011 - 05:21 AM | John Davis
Tagged: software, sdk, linux, Intel, developer
Intel has just released an update to their OpenCL (Open Computing Language) SDK (Software Development Kit). With this update Intel has released a 64bit .rpm package, and previously only supported Windows. OpenCL is a huge jump in the future of heterogeneous computing, and the future of computers. Intel joins a host of manufacturers that now support OpenCL which includes AMD/ATI and nVidia.
OpenCL has many competitors in the heterogeneous computing realm which includes nVidia's CUDA and Microsoft's DirectCompute. All of this is one giant step forward in GPGPU. In the majority of computers that have dedicated GPU's or have an Intel processor with on-cpu graphics that are not in use, this is great news! Hopefully, future Linux distributions implement OpenCL similar to OS X did with Snow Leopard.
Subject: Motherboards | May 11, 2011 - 12:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: z68, ssd, srt, msi, Intel
The wait is finally over and we can talk about the high end Sandy Bridge chipset which goes by the moniker Z68. Finally you can use the GPU present in your Intel CPU and a discreet GPU at the same time and be able to overclock as well, which puts the H67 and P67 firmly back into the mid-range where they were intended to be. That is not the only thing that has had enthusiasts waiting, Intel's Smart Response Technology, aka SRT but mostly known as SSD caching which implements cached I/O in a new way. Check out [H]ard|OCP's full review to see what the impact of this technology has on your computing experience while you are waiting for the X79 to arrive.
"Cache I/O isn't a new advancement in storage technology but does play a large role in the future of storage on many Intel systems. Today we look at Intel's new Smart Response Technology and give our thoughts while keeping an eye on the future of consumer storage advances."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Z68 Express motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI @ The Tech Report
- Intel Z68 Chipset & Smart Response Technology (SSD Caching) @ AnandTech
- ASUS P8Z68-V PRO Review: Our First Z68 Motherboard @ AnandTech
- The Intel Z68 Chipset and What It Means To You @ Hardware Secrets
- GIGABYTE Z68X-UD7-B3: Z68 Chipset With Smart Response @ Bjorn3D
- Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 Motherboard Feature Preview @ Ninjalane
- ASRock Z68 Extreme4 @ Tweaktown
- Intel Z68 Chipset & Smart Response Technology @ Legit Reviews
- Intel Z68 Chipset Launch Review Featuring Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3 and ASUS P8Z68-V Pro @ HardwareHeaven
- Intel Z68 Review - The Sandy Bridge Platform Expands @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI Z68A-GD80 Review @ OCC
- Gigabyte Z68X UD5 B3 Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- ASUS P8Z68V PRO Intel Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS P8Z68-V PRO Z68 Sandy Bridge Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ASUS P8Z68-V Pro Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- MSI P67A-GD80 (B3) Review @ Neoseeker
- Gigabyte G1.Assassin Socket 1366 Motherboard @ Pro-Clockers
Z68 is what we wanted all along
In reality, this is what we wanted all along. When the Intel P67 chipset launched in conjunction with the Intel Sandy Bridge desktop processors, the combination of the new architecture of the x86 processing cores and the newly revamped overclocking capability (courtesy of the enhanced Intel Turbo Boost technology) made for a lethal configuration. Without a doubt it was the highest performing platform for enthusiasts and gamers and put even more pressure on the AMD CPU division to step up its game. Intel asserted itself again as the dominant CPU vendor.
The other key feature addition to Sandy Bridge was the inclusion of some fairly high performing integrated processor graphics on the CPU die itself, NOT on the chipset. The Intel HD Graphics 3000 / 2000 far exceeds the horsepower of the integrated graphics on the Clarkdale processors but that really wasn't hard to achieve. Along with that added graphical performance was the inclusion of a very interesting feature called Intel Quick Sync that allowed specific applications to take advantage of fixed function hardware on the CPU for incredibly fast video transcoding times.
The problem was that even mainstream users that decided to use a discrete graphics card in their computer rather than depend SOLELY on the integrated graphics of the Sandy Bridge architecture, lost out on the Quick Sync feature all together. Why? The P67 chipset that supported overclocking and other "high-end" features didn't include video output support. The H67 chipset that DOES support video output does not offer overclocking functionality. And since the Quick Sync technology was only available when the integrated graphics were initialized, most of our readers that really wanted to game and use a discrete GPU from NVIDIA or AMD were out of luck.
Today's reveal of the Intel Z68 chipset finally presents a solution that combines the features of the H67 chipset with those of the P67 chipset to create the best option for Sandy Bridge system builders.
For the past few months, we've seen rumors upon rumors of a hybrid combination of the H67 and P67 chipsets into a 'Z' series. As the storage editor, I don't normally focus on a chipset update unless there is a corresponding increase in SATA bus speeds and/or ports available on the newer product.
This time things were different. While the Z series had the same SATA bandwidth specs as its older brothers, there was an extra feature that was rather huge in the storage world: Smart Response Technology.
Subject: Motherboards | May 10, 2011 - 11:47 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: z68, sandy bridge, preview, lga1155, Intel
We here at PC Perspective are not big fans of the preview, as seeing a board without any accompanying benchmarks does not really provide us with the level information we crave. However the wait for this high end Sandy Bridge chipset has been long and painful, as we want to see what the i7 2600K can do when it has a board that can really utilize its abilities. To that end we take you to VR-Zone who have some pictures of Gigabyte's upcoming GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3. Now to hope for someone to accidentally release some SSD cache benchmarks!
Click for a bigger view.
"There has been some "concern" from Gigabyte's competitors that the company wasn't going to offer any Z68 motherboards with display connectivity, in fact, some of its competitors have been so "concerned" that they've sent out material stating this to media in certain parts of the world. Well, it turns out that it couldn't be further from the truth and yesterday you saw the GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 and today we have a few hands on pictures of the GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 for your ogling pleasure."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- GIGABYTE Z68X-UD3H and Z68X-UD7 (Intel Z68) Taiwan Preview @ Tweaktown
- Gigabyte Z68X UD5 B3 @ OC3D
- Gigabyte Z68X UD5 B3 Motherboard Preview @ eTeknix
- MSI Z68A-GD80 (Intel Z68) Motherboard Preview @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra @ Phoronix
- Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra @ Tweaktown
- Gigabyte P67A-UD7 Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4-B3 @ techPowerUp
- P67 $190 Part 2: MSI, ASRock and ECS @ AnandTech
- Asus P8P67 Pro Revision 3 Review @ OverclockersHQ
- ASUS Sabertooth TUF Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- ECS H67H2-M & H67H2-I Review @ OCC
- Asrock H61M/USB3 Motherboard @ Rbmods
- Gigabyte X58A-OC Review: By Overclockers, For Overclockers @ Overclockers.com
- Zotac Mini ITX M880G @ XSReviews
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