Following what was expected, yet still surprising launch of AMD RYZEN, and lackluster performance from its broken “Tick-Tock-Tock-Tock…” cadence refresh called “Kaby Lake”, Intel started to pull multiple moves in the background to react to the threats to their core business. Just like the rise of GPU was met with a multi-billion acquisition of Altera, whose combined x86-FPGA processors are still nowhere near the market launch, upcoming End of Life / Termination notice for Xeon Phi and rushed multi-billion acquisition of Mobileye… the reactions are starting to look chaotic and unplanned. Reliable sources report that Intel brought forward the launch of their 2017/18 platforms: two month
AMD Ships One Million Ryzen Processors for the Launch
During the official launch event in San Francisco, AMD revealed / confirmed rumors about their upcoming Ryzen family of processors. Focus seems to be on what seems to be “Intel-beating” Ryzen 7, their new top of the line processors. Ryzen 7 line-up consists solely out of 8 cores, 16 threads processors. A trio of fastest Ryzen models will launch globally on March 2, and according to Digitimes, the company prepared no less than one million processors for the launch itself. That one million is essentially consisted out of three models, plus the upcoming Ryzen 3 and 5 Series. In all fairness, it is weird to
Intel Can’t Hide Strategical Mistakes, AMD to Pounce?
If you would align your wristwatch to the sound of Intel’s tick tock, you would miss your important meeting. The launch of a new generation of processors represents a symbolic beginning of a new cycle and for Intel, “Kaby Lake” launch was everything but normal. First launching the Ultra-low Voltage parts (the U series), then the Desktop line-up and finally the mainstream notebook designs, with troublesome rumors about its enterprise, Xeon-branded counterpart. Kaby Lake is perhaps too focused on the processor power task rather than processor performance. A lullaby. The same story for the last six years continues. Admittedly, for the past 18 months there were whispers
Gigabyte: Lock and Load for Intel’s Kaby Lake
On April 19, 1965, in anniversary issue of Electronics magazine, director of research and development at Fairchild Semiconductor, Gordon E. Moore had a short article named “Cramming more components onto integrated circuits”. There he has presented his views on the future of semiconductor components industry. In essence, an observation expressed in this article was later popularized as “Moore’s Law” (Number of transistors on a microprocessor chip will double approximately every two years). Moore’s Law has held the line for many years and only in 2015 Intel stated that the pace of advancement has slowed. Now a second, much less quoted Moore’s law, comes to the
Five Days Later: A Hard Look at New Apple Macs
Apple’s event took place on Thursday, October 27th, 2016. We were on the live stream to see the first new hardware presented and were left wondering is the spirit of Apple, company which sparked a lot of emotions from the second return of Steve Jobs to his untimely departure. The new MacBook Pro, available in Silver and Space Gray configurations, refreshed for the first time since May 2015. It’s available with either a 13- or 15-inch display featuring a touch bar, simply called Touch Bar, replacing the row of function keys. The Touch Bar was initially evidenced by a set of product photos leaked by Apple itself ahead
Microsoft Pulls an Apple with the New Surface Products
At the annual Surface event, this time dubbed as the Windows 10 event, Microsoft showed us its new, really good looking and innovative devices, as well as software tidbits that we are really happy to see. The company showcased Windows 10 Creators Update, a new update that is expected to become available in April 2017. Windows 10 Creator’s Edition features Paint 3D, better gaming (including 4K and in-game broadcasting) features, a new photo and video sharing feature, as well as Augmented Reality (HoloLens) and Virtual Reality (Windows VR) updates. This is the update that was formerly known as “Redstone 2”, with Insiders Preview to follow later this
Microsoft Windows 10 Holographic Edition to Run on 2017 PCs
Following the troublesome release of Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, which “bricked” tens of millions of webcams around the world, Microsoft is turning its attention to “Windows 10 Holographic Edition”. Unlike the HoloLens stand-alone computer, Holographic Edition will run on PCs, targeting discrete VR HMDs such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and a numerous upcoming headsets based on OSVR and Intel’s own Project Alloy. However, we would not advise you to expect rosy marketing statements to come true, promising Windows 10 Holographic Edition to run: “on an inexpensive and tiny Intel NUC at 90 fps.” Because that ‘tiny and inexpensive’ NUC is a 600 dollar Skylake-S based NUC6i7KYK, and secondly –
Intel to Buy Imagination Technologies or AMD’s RTG?
This week started with a milestone announcement of Japanese SoftBank moving in to acquire ARM Holdings for a record $32 billion. Many analysts lamented that the takeover was a result of Brexit, even though everyone in their right minds should know that negotiations of this magnitude take years and typically are made in complete silence for 6-18 months (due dilligence and all that jazz). However, this might not be the only acquisition in the modest pool of British semiconductor players. As we reported on multiple occasions, Intel is reorganizing, i.e. restructuring the company. As a part of that reorganization, the company performed no less than three rounds
Future 2016 and 2017 Intel Processors Benchmarks Leaked
Over the course of 2016 and 2017, Intel will introduce two new architectures for the desktop platform – Broadwell-E and Kaby Lake. Broadwell-E will succeed the venerable Haswell-E as a drop-in replacement for the X99 platform. On the other side, Kaby Lake is Intel’s third (and last?) processor architecture that uses 14nm FinFET process. First to launch will be Broadwell-E processors in six-, eight- and ten-core versions (sexa-, octa-, deca-core). Branded as Core i7-6800 and i7-6900 Extreme Edition series, these processors represent the best Intel can offer to the market. The company adopted a two-fold approach; i7-6850K, a six-core processor for ultimate overclockers clocked at
Tick-Tock is Dead: Intel Confirms New Processor Cadence
Several months ago, we exclusively disclosed the new architectural cadence for Intel processors. After a decade of manufacturing processors in an bi-annual cycle (Tick – new architecture, old process; Tock – new process and ‘old’ architecture), Intel’s SEC 10-K filing (PDF download) officially killed the Tick-Tock cadence, moving to a three-fold product line-up for a single manufacturing process. Approximately four years ago, Tick-Tock encountered a first significant hiccup with Ivy Bridge being a 22nm version of Sandy Bridge. Ivy Bridge was the first processor from Intel that we could call APU, instead of a CPU – as 40% of the die was allocated for new graphics architecture. The
End of the Tick-Tock Strategy for Intel?
Given the slow disintegration or refocusing of its competitors, we were not all too surprised when Intel started to slow down its famous “Tick-Tock” manufacturing cadence. Originally introduced in 2006 with the “Conroe”, Core 2 Duo processors, Tick-Tock was mixed between a new microarchitecture and current manufacturing process (Tock), and a new process, die-shrink processor with some architectural optimizations (Tick). Further separation in Tick-Tock was a cadence between mainstream parts (desktop, mobile) and high-end parts (gaming, workstations) – Tick or Tock would always debut as mainstream parts, followed by high-end 6-12 months after. High end would typically mean Intel Xeon and Core i7 ‘X’ line-up.