Intel Demos 3D XPoint at IDF Shenzhen

First unveiled mid last year, 3D XPoint has been hailed as the next step for memory. Created in cooperation between Intel and Micron, the new memory technology is expected to serve as both a DRAM and NAND replacement in the future. While we all knew it would be crazy fast compared to NAND, we got the first glimpse of its true speed this week during Intel’s demo at IDF Shenzhen.

Unlike NAND flash which has to be written in pages and erases in blocks, 3D XPoint is addressable on the byte level. This gives much lower overhead and allows for higher speeds, especially in random performance. During the demo, the Optane device was able to reach 1.9GB/s in sequential performance. Furthermore, even when conducting random operations, the drive was able to hit 464,300 4K random IOPS. That’s about 1.9 GB/s as well, something current NAND-based SSDs, even NVMe ones, can’t reach. 3D XPoint seems almost symmetrical when it comes to read/writes and sequential/random performance.

Even with all the demos out, both Intel and Micron have been mum about a specific timeline for 3D XPoint to finally reach market. So far, all we know is that there will be 3D XPoint based SSDs set to arrive sometime this year. Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later.

Intel Projects 100TB+ SSDs by 2019

Intel IDF 2015 is the gift that just keeps on giving. We’re still going through all the information Intel released during the event and now we have a prediction on the future of SSDs. As many of you know, Intel is quite active in the SSD market, with their enterprise and consumer drives. Intel also has a stake in IMFT, a joint venture with Micron to produce NAND. Given this, Intel is projecting that SSDs will be over 30TB by 2018 and surpass 100TB in 2019. Compared to Toshiba’s expectations, these are pretty conservative.

In order to drive demand for such huge drives, Intel is expecting datacentres and the enterprise segment to adopt more and more flash storage. Right now, SSDs are generally only used to cache “hot” data, with the majority of storage still being hard drives. As workloads change, Intel is expecting SSDs to be used more and more as speed and latency become more important and replace hard drives for data storage. Another aspect is that as NVMe gains traction, the reduced overhead and better speeds/latency will further exaggerate the differences between SSDs and HDDs.

With the arrival of 3D Xpoint and faster 3D NAND technologies, it looks like Intel is planning on moving SSDs to both replace some of what DRAM does while also replacing hard drives. With SSDs taking the consumer and enterprise segments by storm, hard disk drive manufacturers should probably hurry with their HAMR developments. Even if SSDs are wildly successful, I don’t see hard drives disappearing just yet as long as they can compete on price. You can find Intel’s full presentation here.

Intel Prepping 5×5 Mini PC with LGA Socket

Users have long been chiming for a smaller form factor smaller than the current mini-ITX. Intel does have the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) and other vendors have their solutions. Most of these are quite limited in upgradeability and tend to have few if any expansion slots, limiting functionality. In response to this Intel is launching an all new form factor, dubbed “5×5”.

Revealed at IDF, the 5×5 will measure 140mm x 148mm, which is 5.5”×5.8”, making the 5×5 more of a 6×6 really. Being 30% smaller than mini-ITX, the 5×5 will also feature a fixed CPU position and more importantly, support LGA CPUs. Intel is planning to support i3, i5 and i7 CPUs right from the start with integrated graphics. The 5×5 will have uniform CPU and board mounting holes and will support CPUs from 35 to 65W TDP. The platform can probably go lower, but Intel probably doesn’t have plans for a sub 35W LGA chip.

Despite being more flexible than the NUC, discrete graphics won’t be supported as the z-height is targeting 39mm. There is a lot of other I/O though with 2 SO-DIMM slots, a M.2 SSD connector, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card port, a SATA port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 HDMI outputs and Gigabit Ethernet. While the boards will likely be sold standalone, Intel is hoping the chassis and the board will match up, providing a good combo for placing the heatsinks and 2.5″ drives.

Intel has not released any information yet about the expected launch for 5×5, but it probably isn’t far off. While integrated graphics can be limiting, a Skylake LGA chip with GT4 graphics and 128MB of eDRAM will make for a pretty strong small factor gaming rig. If Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 are supported in the future, external graphics might also be possible. Hopefully, Intel can get buy-in from motherboard makers. It will also be interesting to see if AMD will try to get into the game by offering their own 5×5 boards with APUs.

Images courtesy of Intel and hardware.hdblog.it

Intel Skylake μArch Analysis from IDF 2015

Despite launching the i7 6700K and i5 6600K based off the Skylake μArch earlier this month, Intel has kept the wraps on the μArch till IDF [Intel Developer Forum] 2015 today. We finally know what improvement and tweaks Intel has done to make Skylake a tad bit faster than Haswell.

While Intel extracted more efficiency and added more execution units to Haswell, most of the information released from IDF so far points to improving efficiency rather than increasing the brute force power of the chip. First of all, the front end received a number of improvements, with the Out-of-order Window increased to 224 from 192, the In-flight Stores from 42 to 56, Scheduler Entries grew to 97 from 60, the Allocation Queue from 56 to 64 and the Integer Register File from 168 to 180. All of these small improvements should help feed the cores better and improve efficiency, leading to lower power consumption and better IPC. Specific instructions like AES-GCM and AES-CBC also improved by 17% and 33% respectively.

Improvements were also made to other sections, with an improved ring bus, Last Level Cache and Hyper-Threading. These changes should help drive better multi-core efficiency, something that we’ve seen strong improvement in for multi-threaded tasks. This has been helped along with a better branch predictor, improved cache and buffer latency and bandwidth to feed the cores. Of course, the IMC is improved with support for DDR4 and the chipset is connected by the faster and wider DMI 3.0. As expected, power consumption also improved with better power gating of units in the cores, which should help reduce load temps if not all execution units are being used.

While Intel already has a very wide core with Haswell, with 8 execution ports, Skylake reportedly increases that number as well. No information about that has yet been released though we will probably get more information as Skylake specific presentations roll out through the rest of IDF 2015. We’ll bring you more information about Skylake as they come. It’s interesting though that despite all these improvements, IPC has only increased by a few percent over Haswell. You can find the full set of day 1 Skylake slides here.

Rumors Suggest AMD Zen Instruction Set Parity with Haswell/Broadwell

While AMD has released some details about Zen at their Financial Analyst Day earlier this year, details have still been a bit scant. What we already know is that Zen will have a 40% IPC increase compared to Excavator, bringing AMD’s IPC much closer to Intel’s in one jump. Zen will also support a version of Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) to support 2 logical processors per core. This will all be bundled on the AM4 platform with DDR4 support and use a FinFET process. Most critically, the CMT or cluster-based threading will be gone and each core will have 2 256bit FPUs and a good number of Integer ALUs.

Today though, we have a rumour that suggests that Zen will bring AMD to instruction set parity with Intel’s Haswell/Broadwell CPUs. With Excavator that launched earlier this year, AMD already caught up partially with AVX 2 which brings 256bit support to integer work, BMI2 and RDRAND for pseudo-random number generation. If Zen is to catch up to Haswell, it will probably add hardware acceleration support to CRC, SHA-256 and RSA algorithms and RDSEED for more pseudo-random number generation. interestingly, there is also suggestions that AMD’s SMT implementation will be compatible with the Intel’s meaning OS’s may not need to be patched, like they did with Bulldozer, to fully support the extra logical processor.

AMD may also support some of the new Skylake instructions like AVX 512 though we will have to wait and see. Part of this is due to the fact that Intel is yet to fully reveal what Skylake supports till IDF later this month. With Intel slipping in a refresh with Kaby Lake in 2016, AMD really has a good chance at a comeback if Zen performs well.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with the information

More Reports Point to Intel i7-6700K Arrival in Q3 2015

Earlier we brought you a report on Intel’s planned launch for unlocked Skylake at Gamescom in August. Now another source is pointing to a Q3 2015 launch as well, making it seem very likely that the chips will arrive then. According to the source, Intel will probably release i7-6700K before IDF 2015 which starts August 18th, solidifying a launch date at Gamescom two weeks prior. Given that Broadwell just launched last month, Intel ahs a tight schedule for CPUs coming out.

As reported earlier the i7-6700K will feature a core clock of 4Ghz stock with a relatively small turbo to 4.2Ghz. The Skylake chip will also use DDR4 or DDR3L and the standard 8MB cache used by most mainstream i7s. As shown in leaked images, there will be no Crystalwell eDRAM cache, no solder but most importantly, the VRM will be moved back to the LGA 1151 motherboard. The VRM change alone will be worth moving to a new socket for overclockers. We also know that the chip will not come with a stock cooler which isn’t much of a loss given that it can’t handle any overclocking. Hopefully, Intel will pass on the savings for removing the cooler.

Given that rumours are suggesting plenty of 10nm delays, the i7 6700K will likely be a long-lasting chip. It’s hard to tell at this point if the rumoured Kaby Lake refresh in 2016 will include a replacement for the i7 -6700K though given potential competition from AMD’s Zen, Intel probably has one planned. With the chip se to arrive in little over a month, stay tuned for more information as we’ll be sure to bring it to you.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Intel Revealed new Tiny Long-Range RealSense Camera for Smartphones

Intel’s RealSense camera has found its way on PCs, Laptops, tablets and even drones. The company’s technology uses the power of gestures and 3D scanning to improve user interactions.

Smartphones have been a bit tricky to fit with Intel’s tech, but the company finally managed to do it in the end. Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, revealed the latest addition at IDF in Shenzen, emphasising that the new module is significantly smaller and slimmer than the previous version, has a lower thermal output, and claims to have a longer detection range as well.

Intel has also taken advantage of the opportunity to announce a partnership with Chinese online retail giant JD in an attempt to help improve its warehouse management. The company displayed how a tablet with integrated RealSense depth camera can quickly measure the required box sizes for products of all shapes, and consequently summing up the space needed for shipment or storage.

The new RealSense integration has not been given any detailed specs or an availability date just yet, but Intel is bound to release some information soon.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

G.SKILL Demo Extreme DDR4 at IDF 2014

G.SKILL are one of the leading names in the industry for high performance memory products; something the company has been keen to demonstrate at this years IDF exhibition, where they are pushing the limits of two extremely high-end DDR4 kits.

G.SKILL are demonstrating their flagship 3333MHz 32GB (4GB x 8) and 3200MHz 32GB (8GB x 4) memory kits at the Intel Developer Forum 2014 (IDF 2014). The demo rigs are equipped with equally high-end components, including the newest Intel i7-5960X CPU and ASUS Rampage V Extreme X99 and X99-Deluxe motherboards.

“It’s very exciting to show the world what we can do with the new DDR4 memory standard for the latest Intel X99 platform. There is no doubt that breaking the 3000MHz memory barrier with ease is the next big thing in desktop performance, effectively doubling bandwidth throughput compared to the previous DDR3 memory standard,” says Frank Hung, Product Marketing at G.SKILL.

DDR4 is already making big waves in the industry and these new kits certainly are looking impressive. After G.SKILL’s demonstration, we’re certain more people are going to want to get their hands on a set of their new DDR4 Ripjaws 4 series. If you are eager to get your hands on a kit, you can head over to Overclockers who have a range of G.SKILL DDR4 kits to order.

Thank you G.SKILL for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of G.SKILL.

First Intel Core M-5Y70 Benchmarks Surfaced

Intel has generously allowed the brand new Core M-5Y70 to be benchmarked during the 14th annual Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco. Intel brought the new 14 nm SoC chip along in a 12.5 inch sized tablet, that was naturally running Windows 8.1 as operating system.

The new Core M-5Y70 is a hyper-threaded dual core CPU, meaning that it has 4 threads in total. The base clock is only 1.1 GHz, but it can speed all the way up to 2600 MHz when the extra power is needed. The GPU is utilising the HD5300 iGPU with a base clock of 100 MHz and it can boost up to 850 MHz on turbo. The chip has 4 MB L3 cache and supports 1600 MHz DDR3 memory. It does all that at a barely mentionable 4.5 watt power draw.

The new Intel M CPU did an amazing job in Cinebench, taking on rivals such as the AMD A10 6700T or Atom Z3770 without any trouble with a score of 2.48. The OpenGL test also shows impressive results of 16.98 fps.

The Core M also shines in the 3DMark Ice Storm test, where it got 50.985 in the unlimited test, aimed at mobile devices. The Core M crushes this test completely and is unrivalled by any other Intel, AMD or ARM mobile chip. Intel claims it to be twice the power of the Qualcomm Xiaolong 800 series and it’s also beating their own previous generation with 50% more performance and 40% more graphics power.

The SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark results, made in Internet Explorer, are beyond what many desktop computers can do and something Intel can be proud of. To give a comparison to the 142.8 ms this tablet achieved, my workstation A10 APU did the test in 209.6 ms. Okay, I had many other tabs open, but it still shows the power of this tiny chip.

Intel have never really had any trouble with the performance of their mobile processors, but they have had some trouble with the power consumption. It looks like the new Core M series has fixed this last thing for Intel and I’m sure many people out there are eager to get their hands on the future devices powered by this chip.

Thank you MyDrivers for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of MyDrivers

Israeli Defense Force Recently Hacked By The Syrian Electronic Army

The official Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Twitter account was recently hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), saying there was a possible nuclear leak.

It’s a clever tactic to try to embarrass the IDF, but this latest round was more of a headache and annoyance than anything else. Not surprisingly, the Tweets were quickly deleted, but included messages such as:

“#WARNING: Possible nuclear leak in the region after 2 rockets hit Dimona nuclear facility.”

The SEA confirmed its actions:

SEA and other hacker groups that target IDF – and official Western social media accounts – like to try to spread panic or mock the hacking victims. The IDF pledged to fight cyberterrorism, but may find it difficult if hackers are not within reach of criminal prosecution.

Recently, the IDF conducted coordinated airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip, targeting militants following the kidnapping and murder of three young Israelis.

Thank you to RT for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of SEA

Intel Will Demo “SSD Overclocking” At IDF 2013

According to a report by X-Bit Labs it could soon be possible to overclock your SSD. Apparently Intel will reveal such a technology at their IDF 2013 event. Of course you do not “overclock” the SSD per-sé but instead you overclock its controller. An SSD controller, from most SSD vendors, is merely an ARM processor which controls data rates and data flow as well as instruction sets like TRIM. At IDF 2013 Intel will reveal the Xtreme Tuning Utility (XTU) that will allow users to overclock Intel branded SSDs.

Options to overclock SSDs were discovered in Intel’s XTU unified software package. What the XTU would allow Intel SSD users to do include:

  • Change the frequency of the SSD controller
  • Alter the NAND Flash bus-speed

Of course in most cases an SSD is limited not by itself but by the SATA III 6Gbps interface. Overclocking the current generation of SSDs hardly makes sense but when the new SATA Express standard is rolled out we could see demand for this kind of SSD overclocking. SATA Express will support 8Gbps and 16Gbps transfer rates. It goes without saying that overclocking current-generation SSDs will cause stability issues on some SSDs.

Intel’s IDF 2013 event takes place in San Francisco, California, from September 10th to September 12th at the Moscone Convention Center. More details about SSD overclocking will be revealed then

Image courtesy of Intel

Rumour: Intel To Fire Entire PR Team

A report coming from TechEye.net suggests that Intel will fire its entire PR team. Their source is apparently an insider at Intel who TechEye call an impeccable source. Their new CEO Brian Krzanich is apparently taking the move to improve the company’s public image as the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) looms.

TechEye’s insider source stated that:

“Tightening up the budget is the motto on the marketing side. The old timers are all gone and we are on track to get back our mojo on mobile. The head of PR will be changed, and then it will ‘waterfall’. Brian wants ‘open books’.”

The insider also added that:

“We changed. Bill Siu, Albert Yu, Louis Burns and Paul Otellini have all gone.”

Sadly Intel haven’t been able to respond to TechEye because in the UK it is currently a bank holiday today (and yes I am sadly working on a bank holiday!). Hopefully Intel will be able to give an official comment tomorrow to a story that could have significant implications for the entire technology industry and its media.

Image courtesy of Intel

Intel Haswell To Allow For Base Clock Overclocking On Non-K Models

Ever since Sandy Bridge came to market Intel’s processors had been limited in overclocking terms, for overclockers the only way to achieve an overclock was via multiplier changes and a default base clock speed of 100MHz. In most cases the base clock would only budge 1-3MHz meaning overclocking via the baseclock was near-impossible. This was a drastic change over previous Intel processors where most of the overclocking was done via the base clock and unlocked multiplier processors only went up to 40X (like the i5 655K for example). It looks like Intel is trying to bring some of that base clock flexibility back and this is good news for everyone because it means overclocking on non-K models should now be possible again.

Haswell will be similar to the Core i7 3820 of Sandy Bridge-E, and similar to the Sandy Bridge-E platform in general, as it will allow both traditional multiplier based overclocking and base clock overclocking when multipliers are locked in. You will be able to tweak your baseclock by 5-7% at three different presents – 100MHz, 125MHz and 167MHz. The reason why Intel quotes only 5-7% variance at those presets is because too much BCLK changing can cause instability in the PCI-Express and DMI-PLL.

 

Another unique feature of Haswell is its integrated voltage regulation iVR which means that the ability to tweak voltages and power options is inherently present on the CPU. Power delivery and VRM options will still vary by motherboard but the way in which you access and tweak them is now standardised.

The rest of the voltage options are described well by TPU:

“The iVR design ensures that motherboards feed processors with just two power domains, vCCIN, and vDDQ. iVR takes input from vCCIN, and regulates it to vCORE (feeds CPU cores), vRING (feeds the ring-bus that interconnects everything on the processor), vSA/vIOA/vIOD (feed system agent or integrated-northbridge, and certain other uncore components), and vGT (feeds the integrated graphics processor). Ranges for these domains are detailed in the slide below.”

What are your thoughts on Intel changing the overclocking game on Haswell? Are you excited about being able to overclock non-K models?

Source

 

Hon Hai Electronics’ Sees 19% Profit Decline Due To Weak iPhone Demand


Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. saw a disappointing and unexpected decline for the Apple’s iPhone in the first quarter of 2013. The reports show that there’s a 19% decline of iPhone sales in comparison with Q1 2012. Hon Hai’s 60-70% revenue is depended on iPhone and iPad’s sales. There if Apple, Inc. cannot push or introduce their product to bring their demand of their products back to how it was before, Hon Hai and Apple, Inc. will be facing huge profit decline on a quarterly basis.

Its also reported by IDC that iPad shipments will be down to 46% in 2013, in comparison with 51% as on 2012.

The demand for Apple iPhone and iPad are declining in the smartphone and tablet market because of Android’s popularity and demand. It is reported that in the tablet market, Android devices are currently enjoying a share of 49% in 2013, in comparison with 42% share in 2012.

Apple, Inc. is having a hard time to maintain its consistency of sales and even that reflected on company’s shares as the prices fell down from $102.10 in September to $426.98 at the time of writing. Apple, Inc is facing a lot of competition  from Samsung alone as the Korean giant is not only pushing its android powered devices, but also Samsung is set to compete with Apple in Wearable device race.

It should be noted that Microsoft is desperately trolling Google’s Android using the “Scroogle” ad campaign, however at this point its uncertain if it will work for Microsoft or not.

Hon Hai posted their sales earning of ($1 = 30.0010 Taiwan dollars) T$808.87 Billion for Q1 2013, which is a significant drop from their Q4 2012 reports which indicated that the company earned T$988.34 Billion and a decline of T$1 Trillion in comparison with Q1 2012.

What would Apple, Inc. do to pull their consumers attention?

Source: Daily Tech