Sunday, November 24, 2013

Intel: From Silicon to Platforms

"If it computes, it does it best with Intel" -- this statement underscores Intel's mission, said company CEO Brian Krzanich, speaking at the Intel Investor's Day conference in Santa Clara, California. Intel is dedicated to "a new pragmatism" that will make the company much more market driven, said Krzanich, with a the goal of capturing significant inroads in the data center and mobile computing. Among the changes to the way the company does business is that decision to open its foundry to any company able to utilize its silicon and the decision to create platforms for the data center, not just server and switching silicon.

Some highlights taken from half-dozen executive presentations (now available on the company's website).

Data Center

  • Intel sees a 15% CAGR for data center products through 2016.
  • Intel's data center business spans Enterprise, Telco, HPC, Work stations and Cloud.  The company will move from delivering just silicon to complete solutions for each of these segments.
  • Intel believes the Telco market will transition to common server platforms for many workloads, including signal processing at the edge, control plane processing, application processing and data plane processing.  This is a major transition and will help offset Service Provider CAPEX/OPEX.
  • AT&T's Supplier Domain 2.0 program is an example of the move to open software and hardware solutions.
  • The move to SDN and NFV will also drive the move to Intel architectures. Over 15 major telcos worldwide are in the process of qualifying new systems based on Intel systems.
  • Proprietary network appliances are being virtualized and migrated on open servers based on Intel.
  • Intel currently estimates that it has about 5% of the overall network equipment compute market, compared with 94% of the enterprise server compute market.  The company believes the performance gains of its Xeon processors will enable it to challenge the ASIC-based systems currently used in many networking platforms.
  • Intel estimates that every 400 new Connected Devices sold leads to the sale of 1 new server. Every new 20 Digital Signs leads to 1 new server.
  • Internet of Things will drive faster change: a metro area smart traffic deployment will require 30K cameras, 10K gates, 2.5K servers, 650 network switches, 250 storage systems -- based on a real project in China.
  • 6 of 7 top data center customers bought “higher bin” CPUs vs. prior year.
  • Intel delivers unique server processors for eBay (liquid cooled), Facebook (cold storage server), and Nuance (optimized for voice processing)
  • Intel is delivering its new open rack-scale architecture to the Open Compute project and a similar "Scorpion" initiative in China.
  • In terms of connecting systems in a rack, copper will be challenged >25Gbps.
  • Current optical interconnect products are challenged >100m, >25Gbps.
  • Intel's Silicon Photonics has demonstrated 800m reach at 25Gbps.  This will enter production in Q1 2014.
  • Intel currently holds No.1 market share in enterprise SSDs.  Upcoming technologies will redefine the boundary between memory and storage.
Mobility and PC

  • About 1.5 billion smartphones and tablets will ship in 2014 (overall market).
  • Intel believes the PC market is stabilizing, although still declining at single digit rates.
  • In 2014 aims for 40 million tablets sold -- a 4X gain over expected 2013 Intel tablet shipments.
  • Intel seeks to change the "PC experience" by pushing 2-in-1 convertible and detachable PC/Tablet devices, with prices under $300.
  • Look for Intel-powered tablets on the market for under $100.
  • The first LTE chipset (XMM7160) is shipping and the LTE-Advanced chipset (XMM7260) will be out next year.
  • The forthcoming Broxton chip (next gen Atom) will offer a unique design that will allow it to be quickly adapted for specialized devices. Target date is mid-2015.
  • A new SoFIA chipset will provide integrated global LTE multi-comm connectivity with Intel Atom inside.  Initially it will be built in an external foundry for market pragmatics, but brought back inside with a move to 14nm.
  • Intel believes "perceptual computing" will be a big trend - using voice and motion sensors to make computing a 3D experience.
  • Intel's 10nm process technology will be ready in 2015.
  • Opening the foundry means focusing on a much wider range of customers.
  • Initial foundry customers include achronix, Altera, Microsemi, Netronome and Tabula.

Archived materials are here:


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