Showing posts with label Intel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Intel. Show all posts

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Intel debuts its Xeon Scalable platform - Part 2

Intel described the launch of its Xeon Scalable Platform as the biggest data centre announcement in the past 10 years. Wall Street's reaction was fairly muted, perhaps because Intel has already captured nearly the entire market for server CPUs and there was not much to suggest that any innovations in the chip architecture would significantly expand the overall market or the company's margins. However, a broad ecosystem of cloud providers, telecom carriers, server vendors, network equipment suppliers, storage specialists and systems integrators were lined-up for the big Xeon unveiling with press releases of their own. As an industry milestone, it is certain that the next wave of cloud data centre infrastructure will be built on Xeon Scalable processors.

Highlights of Intel's Xeon ecosystem momentum

Amazon Web Services

AWS has listed Intel as a strategic partner for over a decade. It is certainly a major customer. It’s been claimed that every day AWS enough servers to power a Fortune 500 enterprise. AWS launched a C5 instance family in November 2016 powered by a custom version of the Xeon Scalable Platform with hardware acceleration capability. Amazon EC2 C5 instances based on Xeon Scalable processors with AVX-512 now offer up to 72 vCPUs - twice that of previous generation compute-optimised instances - and 144 GB of memory. AWS also said it is working with Intel to optimise deep learning engines. AWS reports over a 100x boost in inference performance and is also using the new Xeon for high performance computing (HPC) clusters supporting thousands or tens of thousands of EC2 instances. AWS provided a video testimonial for the launch event.

It should also be noted that AWS is now offering NVIDIA GPU instances. Like the other cloud giants, AWS will also build its own data centre gear whenever this is the fastest or cheapest path to deployment. This includes routers based on custom Broadcom silicon and bespoke network interface cards based on an in-house Annapurna ASIC. At its scale, AWS would surely consider all silicon options for its core platform. Intel and AWS seem to be working well together.

AT&T

The guest of honour at the Xeon launch event was John Donovan, AT&T's chief strategy officer and group president, technology and operations. ‎AT&T has been running the new Xeon processors for several months in its production network. Donovan reported a 25% boost in performance - good but maybe not overwhelmingly so. Still, AT&T is moving all its network functions into a cloud based on X86. AT&T said it has a strong collaborative relationship with Intel. Total cost of ownership for the entire network improves with each generation of Xeons.

Google

The first public cloud to deploy the new Xeon Scalable Platform processors is Google. End customers are reporting consistent performance improvements, in some cases of 30 to 50%. When the applications are tuned for the AVX-512 instructions, customers are reporting more than a 100% performance improvement.

Microsoft

The new Intel Xeon Scalable Platform processors will be the base for Microsoft Azure. Earlier this year at the Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit in San Jose, Microsoft announced Project Olympus, a next generation hyperscale cloud hardware design and a new model for open source hardware development with the OCP community. Rather than contributing a fully-completed design to OCP, with this new approach Microsoft will contribute its next generation cloud hardware designs when they are approximately 50% complete. The building blocks that Project Olympus will contribute consist of a new universal motherboard, high-availability power supply with included batteries, 1U/2U server chassis, high-density storage expansion, a new universal rack power distribution unit (PDU) for global data centre interoperability, and a standards compliant rack management card.

Although some saw this announcement as a potential opening for ARM processors in Azure, in a customer testimonial video this week Microsoft confirmed that Project Olympus is based on Xeon Scalable Platform processors and Intel FPGAs. Microsoft said this combination of Xeon processors, FPGAs and high-performance storage will be a powerful solution for AI. In fact, Azure anticipates the world's largest deployment of FPGAs to power the largest neural network to date.

Telefónica

In Spain, Intel has been collaborating with Telefónica since 2008. One big focus of development is network functions virtualisation (NFV) to simplify its network. Telefonica expects the Intel Xeon Scalable Platform processors will play a key role in its 5G network. This means that Telefónica is fully committed to x86 for the basis of its infrastructure. The new processors, which are currently in Telefónica’s labs, have been delivering a performance boost of approximately 67% over the previous Xeon E5 2600 chips.

6WIND

6WIND reports that its software running on Xeon Scalable Processors delivers a significant boost for IPsec. Specifically, 6WIND Turbo IPsec performance tests on Xeon Platinum servers demonstrate a 50% increase in processing power for common applications such as multi-site VPNs and backhaul security gateways.

Accton

Accton announced a combination server-switch hardware appliance based on dual-socket Intel Xeon Scalable processors, supporting up to 28 cores (56 threads) per socket. The switch system includes 48 SFP28 (25 GbE) and 6 QSFP28 (100 GbE) network ports, all contained within a single 1RU chassis form-factor. Accton said its Intel Xeon Purley platform increases CPU capacity and performance for virtual machine consolidation and density, as well as boosting memory bandwidth (six channels).

Advantech

Advantech has introduced two new platforms: a 2U dual socket network appliance and a single socket, short depth 1U server, both based on the new Intel Xeon Scalable Processors. The scalability of the dual socket appliance increases significantly, with up to 12 more cores per CPU than on the previous generation appliance. The company noted performance advances in the throughput of encrypted packets using the latest Intel QuickAssist Technology, now available in the chipset, to perform IPsec encryption and decryption. During tests at Intel Labs, a server configured with an Intel Xeon Platinum Processor 8160 showed an increase of up to 1.32 times higher performance, demonstrating what both platforms will be able to deliver to help meet demands for higher encrypted data throughput and VPN density while freeing up slots for more I/O and offload.

Cisco

Cisco launched a new generation of servers and software based on Intel's latest Xeon Scalable Platform processors and a unique Cisco system-level vision for the future of IT. The Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) M5 generation seeks to extend the power and simplicity of unified computing for data-intensive workloads, applications at the edge, and the next generation of distributed application architectures. The latest UCS Director 6.5 management software allows data centre professionals to complete 80% of operational tasks from a single console. A Workload Optimization Manager, powered by Turbonomic and which is deeply integrated into the UCS hardware, uses intent-based analytics to continuously match workload demand to infrastructure supply across on premise and multi-cloud environments. The company says the Cisco UCS can reduce administration and management costs by up to 63% while accelerating the delivery of new application services by up to 83%.

Dell EMC

Dell EMC launched the 14th generation of its PowerEdge servers featuring the new processors and a cyber-resilient architecture with a deep root of trust, including cryptographically trusted booting.

Ericsson

Highlighting the new Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Ericsson published a whitepaper 'Industrialising Network Functions Virtualisation with Software-Defined Infrastructure'. Topics discussed include Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), which is a set of software libraries for accelerating packet processing workloads on commodity off-the-shelf hardware platforms.

The Fast Data Project

FD.io or Fido, a collaborative open source project that aims to establish a high-performance IO services framework for dynamic computing environments, announced significant performance gains reaching terabit levels at multimillion route scale. Architectural improvement increases in latest Xeon Scalable processors - such as increased PCIe bandwidth - allow FD.io to double its performance at scale without modification to the software. FD.io said it is the only vSwitch for which performance scaling is IO bound rather than CPU bound.

Fujitsu

Fujitsu launched a multi-node server that combines the density of blade-like servers with the simplicity of rack-based systems. The newly-refreshed range of dual- and quad-socket PRIMERGY servers and octo-socket PRIMEQUEST business critical server systems are designed for the new Xeon Scalable processors. Technical features include enhanced DDR4 memory modules and up to 6 TB capacity in quad socket PRIMERGY server. Fujitsu said its PRIMEQUEST server pushes the performance envelope of SAP HANA up to 12 TB of the in-memory database.

Nokia

Nokia introduced a refreshed AirFrame Data Center solution based on the Xeon Scalable Processors. Nokia said it has worked closely with Intel over the past year during the Intel Xeon Scalable processor development process and has just completed its own benchmarking of the new design. The results show a performance improvement over the previous generation Intel Xeon processor E5-26xxv4, with an average gain of 40% in processor rate performance.

Radisys

Radisys announced support for the new Xeon Scalable processors in its DCEngine, which helps communication service providers to transform their central offices into hyperscale SDN-enabled virtualised data centres. Radisys said its DCEngine’s management software suite, delivered with Intel Rack Scale Design, simplifies data centre resource management by enabling an open management framework with dynamic resource allocation, intelligent policy profiling and real-time, granular insight into compute, storage and network resources. The company estimates that CSPs leveraging DCEngine in data centres can expect significant improvements in total cost of ownership through reduced real estate footprint by 55%, which can result in up to 35% cost savings over a period of three years, as well as substantial reduction in costs associated with power consumption, hardware and software support.

ZTE

ZTE has launched a 2-socket cloud application rack server R5300 G4, 4-socket high-reliability rack server R8500 G4, hyperconverged blade server E9000 and software-defined storage KS10000.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Intel Debuts its Xeon Scalable Platform

In what it called its “biggest data center launch in a decade”, Intel officially unveiled its Xeon Scalable platform, a new line of server CPUs based codenamed Skylake and specifically designed for evolving data center and network infrastructure.

The new silicon, which Intel has been refining for the past five years, promises the highest core and system-level performance averaging 1.65x higher performance over the prior generation.  First shipments went out several months ago and are now in commercial use at over 30 customers worldwide, including AT&T, Amazon Web Services and Google.  Intel says every aspect of Xeon has been improved or redesigned: brand new core, cache, on-die interconnects, memory controller and hardware accelerators.

Intel’s new processors scale up to 28 cores and will be offered in four classes: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The design boasts six memory channels versus four memory channels of previous generation for memory-intensive workloads. Up to three Intel Ultra Path Interconnect (Intel UPI) channels provide increase scalability of the platform to as many as eight sockets.

Intel claims 4.2X greater VM capacity than its previous generation and a 65% lower total cost of ownership over a 4-year old server.  Potentially you might need only one quarter of the number of servers. For communication service providers, the claim is that the new Xeon Gold will deliver a 2.7X performance boost for DPDK L3 forwarding applications over a 4-year old server.



Key innovations in Xeon Scalable Platform

  • Intel Mesh on-chip interconnect topology provides direct data paths with lower latency and high bandwidth among additional cores, memory, and I/O controllers. The Mesh architecture, which replaces a previous ring interconnect design, aligns cores, on-chip cache banks, memory controllers, and I/O controllers, which are organized in rows and columns, with wires and switches connecting them at each intersection to allow for turns. Intel said this new design yields improved performance and greater energy efficiency.

    More specifically, in a 28-core Intel Xeon Scalable processor, the Last Level Cache (LLC), six memory channels, and 48 PCIe channels are shared among all the cores, giving access to large resources across the entire die a
  • Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel AVX-512), which delivers ultra-wide vector processing capabilities to boost specific workload performance, now offers double the flops per clock cycle compared to the previous generation.  Intel AVX2,6 Intel AVX-512 boosts performance and throughput for computational tasks such as modeling and simulation, data analytics and machine learning, data compression, visualization, and digital content creation.
  • Intel Omni-Path Architecture (Intel OPA) is the high-bandwidth and low-latency fabric that Intel has been talking about for some time. It optimizes HPC clusters, and is available as an integrated extension for the Intel Xeon Scalable platform. Intel said Omni-Path now scales to tens of thousands of nodes. The processors can also be matched with the new Intel Optane SSDs.
  • Intel QuickAssist Technology (Intel QAT) provides hardware acceleration for compute-intensive workloads, such as cryptography and data compression, by offloading the functions to a specialized logic engine (integrated into the chipset). This frees the processor for other workload operations. Encryption can be applied to data at rest, in-flight, or data in use.  Intel claims that performance is degraded by under 1 percent when encryption is turned on. This function used to be off-chip.
  • Enhanced Intel Run Sure Technology, which aims to reduce server downtime, includes reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features. New capabilities include Local Machine Check Exception based Recovery (or Enhanced Machine Check Architecture Recovery Gen 3) for protecting critical data.

Aiming for the megatrends

In a webcast presentation, Navin Shenoy, Exec Vice President & General Manager, Intel’s Data Center Group, said that as traditional industries turn to technology to reinvent themselves, there are three megatrends that Intel is pursuing: Cloud, AI & Analytics, and 5G.  The new Xeon Scalable Platform addresses the performance, security and agility challenges for each of these megatrends.

AT&T’s John Donovan testifies, performance boost about 30%

During the big Xeon Scalable unveiling, Intel invited AT&T’s John Donovan on stage to talk about the new processors/ AT&T gained access to the new processors a few months ago and has already deployed Xeon Scalable servers which are carrying production traffic.  Donovan reported about at 30% performance boost for its applications over the previous Xeon generation. The net effect he said should be a 25% reduction in the number of servers it will need to deploy.  Intel has been seeding the process with other top customers as well.

This 30% performance boost is certainly good, but it is probably a stretch to call this upgrade “the biggest data center announcement in a decade.” For other applications, perhaps the claim is better justified. One such area is machine learning, which Intel identifies as one of the key megatrends for the industry. There are some interesting developments for Xeons in this domain.

A strong market position

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is the first public cloud to put the Intel Xeon Scalable Platform into commercial operation. A partnership between Google and Intel was announced earlier this year at a Google event where the companies said they are collaborating in other areas as well, including hybrid cloud orchestration, security, machine and deep learning, and IoT edge-to-cloud solutions. Intel is also a backer of Google’s Tensor Flow and Kubernetes open source initiatives.

In May 2016, Google announced the development of a custom ASIC for Tensor Flow processing. These TPUs are already in service in Google data centres where they "deliver an order of magnitude better-optimized performance per watt for machine learning." For Intel, this poses a long-term strategic threat.  With this announcement, Intel said Xeon’s onboard advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel AVX-512) can increase machine learning inference performance by over 100x – a huge boost for AI developers.

The data centre server market is currently dominated by Intel.  Over the years, there have been several attempts by ARM to gain at least a toe-hold of market share in data centre servers, but so far, the impact has been very limited.  AMD recently announced its EPYC processor for data centre servers, but no shipment date has been stated and the current market position is zero. NVIDIA has been gaining traction in AI applications as well as in public cloud acceleration for GPU intensive applications – but these are specialized use cases.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Time to Register for IEEE Women in Engineering Leadership Conference



We often have the skills to be makers of innovative products, to teach or inspire our kids, but often we have trouble getting started.

In this video, Natalia Baklitskaya, CAD Infrastructure Software Engineer at Intel's Programmable Solutions Group, talks about her upcoming workshop at the the IEEE Women in Engineering Leadership Conference, which will be held May 22-23, 2017 at the San Jose Convention Center.

Join your industry colleagues and reserve your spot, register here: http://bit.ly/2r3v8RU

Can't attend the full 2017 WIE ILC event? Register to attend Tuesday s Career Fair or Networking Reception Monday evening here: http://bit.ly/2qmOOTP


Monday, April 17, 2017

Intel Developer Forum 2017 is Cancelled

Intel has canceled its annual Intel Developer Forum, which was scheduled for August in San Francisco.

In comments to Anandtech, Intel said the event had simply grown too large especially given its move into autonomous driving and artificial intelligence.

IDF has been held annually since 1997.  A spring IDF 2017 in China was also canceled.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/intel-developer-forum-idf/san-francisco/2017/idf-2017-san-francisco.html

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Intel Appoints Aicha Evans as Chief Strategy Officer

Intel appointed Aicha S. Evans as chief strategy officer, responsible for long-term strategy to transform from a PC-centric company to a data-centric company, as well as leading rapid decision making and company-wide execution of the strategy.

Evans is an Intel senior vice president and has been responsible for wireless communications for the past nine years. Most recently, she was the general manager of the Communication and Devices Group. Evans joined Intel in 2006 and is based in Santa Clara, California.

http://www.intel.com

Friday, March 24, 2017

Intel Adds Two to its Board of Directors

Intel announced the election of Omar Ishrak and Greg Smith to its board of directors.

Ishrak, 61, is the chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology.  Smith, 50, is the chief financial officer and executive vice president of corporate development and strategy at Boeing.

http://www.intel.com

Monday, March 13, 2017

Intel to Acquire Mobileye for $15.3 Billion - Automated Driving

Intel agreed to acquire Mobileye, a developer of machine vision systems for automated driving, for $63.54 per share in cash, representing a fully-diluted equity value of approximately $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion. The acquisition will couple the best-in-class technologies from both companies, including Intel’s high-performance computing and connectivity expertise and Mobileye’s leading computer vision expertise to create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the car.

Mobileye, which is based in Israel, claims the leading market position in computer vision for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Its portfolio includes surround vision, sensor fusion, mapping, and driving policy products. Mobileye's EyeQ chips are already installed in ~16M vehicles as of 2016. Its upcoming EyeQ4 and EyeQ5 chips for Level 3/4 autonomous driving programs go into production in 2018 and 2020 respectively. Mobileye currently has OEM relationships with GM, VW, Honda, BMW, PSA, Audi, Kia, Nissan, Volvo, Ford, Renault, Chrysler, SAIC and Hyundai. Mobileye reported 2016 revenue of $358 million and gross margin of 76%.  The company has approximately 660 employees.

Intel said the merger will accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.  Intel estimates the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be up to $70 billion by 2030.

“This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car’s path and making real-time driving decisions. Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers. Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers."

Intel also noted that it expects by 2020 autonomous vehicles will generate 4,000 GB of data per day.

http://intelandmobileye.transactionannouncement.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Intel-to-Acquire-Mobileye-.pdf

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Alibaba Looks to Intel FPGAs for Cloud Acceleration Service

Alibaba Cloud (Aliyun), is kicking off a pilot program with Intel for a cloud-based FPGA (field programmable gate array) acceleration service.

Specifically, Aliyun will use Intel Arria 10 FPGAs, Intel Xeon processor-based servers and software development tools for application acceleration as a ready-to-go preconfigured infrastructure.  The Aliyun service offers systems designers cloud-based workload acceleration as an alternative to investing in on-premises FPGA infrastructure.

“At Alibaba Cloud, we offer customers access to a number of services in the cloud, and adding an FPGA-based acceleration offering means they can access that powerful computing without the cost or requirement of building out their own infrastructure,” said Jin Li, senior director, Alibaba Cloud. “This service greatly adds to our value as a leading provider of highly scalable cloud computing and data management services that provide businesses with flexible, reliable connectivity.”

“Intel FPGAs are enabling exciting new business models such as Alibaba’s approach of using FPGAs to accelerate diverse workloads via cloud services,” said Dan McNamara, corporate vice president and general manager, Intel Programmable Solutions Group. “In addition, Intel offers customers scalable solutions for accelerated computing with its data center leadership in Intel Xeon processors, FPGAs, optimized tools and software, and a global partner ecosystem across the spectrum of deployment models.”

http://www.intel.com

Monday, February 13, 2017

Intel: Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky

IT professionals are gaining trust in public cloud services, according to the second annual cloud security report from Intel Security, which surveyed more than 2,000 participants. The finding validates an overall perception that confidence in public cloud services continues to improve year over year. Those who trust public clouds now outnumber those who distrust public clouds by more than 2-to-1.

“The ‘Cloud First’ strategy is now well and truly ensconced into the architecture of many organizations across the world,” said Raj Samani, EMEA chief technology officer, Intel Security. “The desire to move quickly toward cloud computing appears to be on the agenda for most organizations. This year, the average time before respondents thought their IT budgets would be 80 percent cloud-based was 15 months, indicating that Cloud First for many companies is progressing and remains the objective.”

Some key findings:

  • Shadow IT - due to the ease of procurement, almost 40 percent of cloud services are now commissioned without the involvement of IT
  • Visibility of these Shadow IT services has dropped from about 50 percent last year to just under 47 percent this year. As a result, 65 percent of IT professionals think this phenomenon is interfering with their ability to keep the cloud safe and secure. 
  • The number of organizations using private cloud only has dropped from 51 percent to 24 percent over the past year, while hybrid cloud use has increased from 19 percent to 57 percent. 
  • On average, 52 percent of an organization’s data center servers are virtualized, 80 percent are using containers and most expect to have the conversion to a fully software-defined data center completed within two years.
  • User credentials, especially for administrators, will be the most likely form of attack. Organizations need to ensure they are using authentication best practices, such as distinct passwords, multi-factor authentication and even biometrics where available.
  • Security technologies such as data loss prevention, encryption and cloud access security brokers (CASBs) remain underutilized. Integrating these tools with an existing security system increases visibility, enables discovery of shadow services, and provides options for automatic protection of sensitive data at rest and in motion throughout any type of environment.
  • Organizations need to evolve toward a risk management and mitigation approach to information security. They should consider adopting a Cloud First strategy to encourage adoption of cloud services to reduce costs and increase flexibility, and put security operations in a proactive position instead of a reactive one.

http://www.mcafee.com/cloudsecurityreport

Intel Previews Cyclone FPGAs

Intel introduced its Cyclone 10 family of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) aimed at automotive, industrial automation, pro audio visual and vision systems applications.

The company said the new Cyclone 10 GX is unique among other low-cost FPGAs as it can support 10G transceivers and hard floating point DSP (digital signal processing). It offers 2-times the performance increase over the previous generation of Cyclone. The architectural innovation in the implementation of IEEE 754 single-precision hardened floating-point DSP blocks can enable processing rates up to 134 GFLOPs (giga floating-point operations per second). This is important for engineers needing higher performance using the FPGA for applications such as motion or motor control systems.

The Cyclone 10 FPGA family will be available in the second half of 2017, along with evaluation kits and boards, and the latest version of Quartus, the Intel FPGA programming software.

http://www.intel.com


  • Intel completed its acquisition of Altera in January 2016. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Intel’s $7 Billion Fab 42 Targets 7nm Manufacturing

Intel announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42 in Chandler, Arizona.

Fab 42 is expected to be the most advanced semiconductor factory in the world with its targeted 7 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process within the next 3 to 4 years.

“Intel’s business continues to grow and investment in manufacturing capacity and R&D ensures that the pace of Moore’s law continues to march on, fueling technology innovations the world loves and depends on,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel's CEO. “This factory will help the U.S. maintain its position as the global leader in the semiconductor industry.”

http://www.intel.com

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Intel Sends Swarm of 300 Shooting Star Drones to Super Bowl

During the Super Bowl Halftime Show, three hundred Intel Shooting Star drones performed a choreographed aerial show. The sequence, which was pre-recorded, was the first time drones were used to complement an entertainment act at this scale.

All 300 drones were be controlled by one computer and one drone pilot. The FAA granted special permission for the fleet to fly up to 700 feet. Intel also received an additional special waiver to fly
the drones in the more restrictive class B airspace.

Intel said its software automated "the animation creation process by using a reference image, quickly calculating the number of drones needed, determining where drones should be placed, and formulating the fastest path to create the image in the sky.

https://newsroom.intel.com/news-releases/intel-drones-light-lady-gaga-performance-pepsi-zero-sugar-super-bowl-li-halftime/


Monday, January 30, 2017

Intel Promotes Aicha Evans

Intel has promoted Aicha S. Evans from corporate vice president to senior vice president. She is general manager of the Communication and Devices Group at Intel and is responsible for driving wireless communications for all Intel platforms. Evans joined Intel in 2006, was elected to corporate vice president in 2014, and is based in Santa Clara, California.

Intel also announced the promotion of Steven R. Rodgers from senior vice president to executive vice president. He is general counsel of Intel and leads Intel’s Law and Policy Group. Rodgers joined Intel in 2000, was elected senior vice president in 2015, and is based in Santa Clara, Calif.

In addition, Leslie S. Culbertson was promoted from corporate vice president and director of finance to senior vice president and director of human resources. She will oversee all of Intel’s human resource functions and policies. Culbertson joined Intel in 1979, was elected to corporate vice president and director of finance in 2003, and is based in Hillsboro, Oregon.

http://www.intelcom

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Intel Announces Global 5G Modem

Intel will begin sampling a 5G modem in the second half of 2017. The device will be capable of delivering 5G in both sub-6 GHz bands and mmWave spectrum in regions worldwide – including the United States, Europe, Korea and Japan

The modem’s baseband chip pairs with a new 5G transceiver that enables both sub-6 Ghz and mmWave capabilities. The chipset incorporates key 3GPP 5G NR (new radio) technology – including low latency frame structures, advanced channel coding and massive MIMO – to deliver faster connectivity and ultra-responsiveness.

Intel said its goal is to support both early trials and to lay a foundation enabling accelerated development of products that will support the 3GPP NR specification and help drive global adoption of the 3GPP 5G standard.

https://newsroom.intel.com/editorials/intel-accelerates-the-future-with-first-global-5g-modem/

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Intel and HERE Work on HD Mapping with Centimeter Precision

Intel will acquire a 15 percent ownership stake in HERE, a developer of digital maps and location-based services based in the Netherlands. HERE is a private company, which is indirectly wholly owned by AUDI AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG.

Intel and HERE will collaborate on the research and development of a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving. Additionally, the two companies plan to jointly explore strategic opportunities that result from enriching edge-computing devices with location data.

Intel will also work with AUDI AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG to test the architecture. Intel and HERE envision making the architecture broadly available across the automotive industry as a seamlessly integrated offering that simplifies and shortens time of development for automakers.

The companies said future HD mapping will support vehicle localization to within centimeters, enabling vehicles precisely position themselves on the roadway to enable reliable autonomous driving functionality.

“Cars are rapidly becoming some of the world’s most intelligent, connected devices,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “We look forward to working with HERE and its automotive partners to deliver an important technology foundation for smart and connected cars of the future.”

“A real-time, self-healing and high-definition representation of the physical world is critical for autonomous driving, and achieving this will require significantly more powerful and capable in-vehicle compute platforms,” said Edzard Overbeek, HERE CEO. “As a premier silicon provider, Intel can help accelerate HERE’s ambitions in this area by supporting the creation of a universal, always up-to-date digital location platform that spans the vehicle, the cloud and everything else connected.”

http://www.intel.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

McAfee Labs Finds 93% of Security Ops Managers Overwhelmed by Alerts

Security Operations Managers are finding it difficult to triage cyber threats due increasing volume of activity and growing complexity, according to a primary research study commissioned by Intel Security.  The newly released McAfee Labs Threats Report details key 2016 developments in ransomware, and illustrates how attackers are creating difficult-to-detect malware by infecting legitimate code with Trojans and leveraging that legitimacy to remain hidden as long as possible.

“One of the harder problems in the security industry is identifying the malicious actions of code that was designed to behave like legitimate software, with low false positives,” said Vincent Weafer, vice president of Intel Security’s McAfee Labs. “The more authentic a piece of code appears, the more likely it is to be overlooked. Just as 2016 saw more ransomware become sandbox-aware, the need to conceal malicious activity is driving a trend toward ‘Trojanizing’ legitimate applications. Such developments place an ever greater workload on an organization’s SOC – where success requires an ability to quickly detect, hunt down, and eradicate attacks in progress.”

Some highlights:

  • Alert overload. On average, organizations are unable to sufficiently investigate 25 percent of their security alerts, with no significant variation by country or company size.
  • Triage trouble. While most respondents acknowledged being overwhelmed by security alerts, as many as 93 percent are unable to triage all potential threats.
  • Incidents on the rise. Whether from an increase in attacks or better monitoring capabilities, 67 percent of respondents reported an increase in security incidents.
  • Cause of the rise. Of the respondents reporting an increase in incidents, 57 percent report they are being attacked more often, while 73 percent believe they are able to better spot attacks.
  • Threat signals. The most common threat detection signals for a majority of organizations (64 percent) come from traditional security control points, such as antimalware, firewall and intrusion prevention systems.
  • Proactive vs. reactive. The majority of respondents claim to be progressing toward the goal of a proactive and optimized security operation, but 26 percent still operate in reactive mode, with ad hoc approaches to security operations, threat hunting and incident response.
  • Adversaries. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of investigations in 2015 involved a specific entity, either as a targeted external attack or an insider threat.
  • Causes for investigation. The respondents reported that generic malware led the list of incidents (30 percent) leading to security investigations, followed by targeted malware-based attacks (17 percent), targeted network-based attacks (15 percent), accidental insider incidents resulting in potential threats or data loss (12 percent), malicious insider threats (10 percent), direct nation-state attacks (7 percent), and indirect or hacktivist nation-state attacks (7 percent).

In the third quarter of 2016, McAfee Labs’ Global Threat Intelligence network registered notable surges in ransomware, mobile malware and macro malware:
  • Ransomware. The count of total ransomware grew by 18 percent in Q3 2016 and 80 percent since the beginning of the year.
  • Mac OS malware. New Mac OS malware skyrocketed by 637 percent in Q3, but the increase was due primarily to a single adware family, Bundlore. Total Mac OS malware remains quite low in comparison to other platforms.
  • New Malware. The growth of new unique malware dropped 21 percent in Q3.
  • Mobile malware. We cataloged more than 2 million new mobile malware threats in Q3. Infection rates in Africa and Asia each dropped by 1.5 percent, while Australia increased by 2 percent in Q3.
  • Macro malware. New Microsoft Office (primarily Word) macro malware continued the increase first seen in Q2.
  • Spam botnets. The Necurs botnet multiplied its Q2 volume by nearly seven times, becoming the highest-volume spam botnet of Q3. We also measured a sharp drop in spamming by Kelihos, which resulted in the first decline in quarterly volume we have observed in 2016.
  • Worldwide botnet prevalence. Wapomi, which delivers worms and downloaders, remained No. 1 in Q3, declining from 45 percent in Q2. CryptXXX ransomware served by botnets jumped into second place; it was responsible for only 2 percent of traffic last quarter.
http://www.intelsecurity.com/

Monday, December 5, 2016

AT&T Delivers 5G to Intel's Austin Office

AT&T has initiated its first customer trial of 5G service.  The carrier is now delivering a 5G connection to Intel's office in Austin, Texas, using using millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum and equipment from Ericsson.

AT&T said the connection delivers more than 1 Gbps of bandwidth for testing multiple, enterprise proof-of-concept use cases, including Internet access, VPN, Unified Communications applications and 4K video streams.

“This trial is a significant step forward. We’re leaving the lab and heading into the field with a real-world business customer,” said Rick Hubbard, senior vice president – Networking Product Management, AT&T. “We expect mmWave technology to be an important part of 5G. The trial will help accelerate our 5G work by shedding new light on how the technology acts in a business environment.”

http://about.att.com/story/att_launches_first_5g_business_customer_trial_with_intel_and_ericsson.html

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Intel Nervana Aims for AI

Intel introduced its "Nervana" platform and outlined its broad for artificial intelligence (AI), encompassing a range of new products, technologies and investments from the edge to the data center.

Intel currently powers 97 percent of data center servers running AI workloads on its existing Intel Xeon processors and Intel Xeon Phi processors, along with more workload-optimized accelerators, including FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays).

Intel said the breakthrough technology acquired from Nervana earlier this summer will be integrated into its product roadmap. Intel will test first silicon (code-named “Lake Crest”) in the first half of 2017 and will make it available to key customers later in the year. In addition, Intel announced a new product (code-named “Knights Crest”) on the roadmap that tightly integrates best-in-class Intel Xeon processors with the technology from Nervana. Lake Crest is optimized specifically for neural networks to deliver the highest performance for deep learning and offers unprecedented compute density with a high-bandwidth interconnect.

“We expect the Intel Nervana platform to produce breakthrough performance and dramatic reductions in the time to train complex neural networks,” said Diane Bryant, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel. “Before the end of the decade, Intel will deliver a 100-fold increase in performance that will turbocharge the pace of innovation in the emerging deep learning space.”

Bryant also announced that Intel expects the next generation of Intel Xeon Phi processors (code-named “Knights Mill”) will deliver up to 4x better performance1 than the previous generation for deep learning and will be available in 2017.

In addition, Intel announced it is shipping a preliminary version of the next generation of Intel Xeon processors (code-named “Skylake”) to select cloud service providers. With AVX-512, an integrated acceleration advancement, these Intel Xeon processors will significantly boost the performance of inference for machine learning workloads. Additional capabilities and configurations will be available when the platform family launches in mid-2017 to meet the full breadth of customer segments and requirements.

Intel also highlighted its Saffron Technology, which leverages memory-based reasoning techniques and transparent analysis of heterogeneous data.

https://newsroom.intel.com/editorials/krzanich-ai-day/

Intel to Acquire Nervana for AI

Intel agreed to acquire Nervana Systems, a start-up based in San Diego, California, for their work in machine learning. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nervana, which was founded in 2014, developed a software and hardware stack for deep learning.

Intel said the Nervana technology would help optimize the Intel Math Kernel Library and its integration into industry standard frameworks, advancing the deep learning performance and TCO of the Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors.

http://www.intel.com

Intel and Google Alliance Looks to Multi-Cloud Enterprise IT

Intel and Google announced a strategic alliance to help enterprise IT deliver an open, flexible and secure multi-cloud infrastructure for their businesses. The companies agreed to collaborate on Kubernetes (containers), machine learning, security and IoT.

One area of focus is the optimization of the open source TensorFlowOpens in a new window library to benefit from the performance of Intel architecture. The companies said their "joint work will provide software developers an optimized machine learning library to drive the next wave of AI innovation across a range of models including convolutional and recurrent neural networks."

Intel and Google are also working on the Kubernetes open source container management platform in multicloud environments. The goal is to drive optimizations to Kubernetes to take full advantage of Intel architecture including performance optimizations, improved infrastructure management, and further enhanced security for enterprise workloads.

http://itpeernetwork.intel.com/intel-announces-strategic-alliance-google-accelerate-multi-cloud-adoption-democratize-ai/

Google Builds a Custom ASIC for Machine Learning


Google has developed a custom ASIC for machine learning and artificial intelligence. The Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) is tailored for TensorFlow, which is an open source software library for machine learning that was developed at Google. In a blog posting,  Norm Jouppi, Distinguished Hardware Engineer at Google, discloses that the TPUs have already been in deployment in Google data centers for over a year, where they "deliver an order of magnitud

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Intel Cites Gains with its Omni-Path Architecture Systems

Intel cited growing momentum in the nine months since Intel Omni-Path Architecture (Intel OPA) began shipping, The company said OPA is becoming the standard fabric for 100 gigabit (Gb) systems, as it is now featured in 28 of the top 500 most powerfulsupercomputers in the world announced at Supercomputing 2016.  Intel believes OPA now has 66 percent of the 100Gb market. This acceptance is twice the number of InfiniBand EDR systems.

Top500 designs include Oakforest-PACS, MIT Lincoln Lab and CINECA. The Intel OPA systems on the list add up to total floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) of 43.7 petaflops (Rmax), or 2.5 times the FLOPS of all InfiniBand* EDR systems.

Intel OPA is an end-to-end fabric solution that improves HPC workloads for clusters of all sizes, achieving up to 9 percent higher application performance and up to 37 percent lower fabric costs on average compared to InfiniBand EDR.

https://newsroom.intel.com/newsroom/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2016/11/supercomputing-2016-fact-sheet.pdf

See also