Intel’s mobexit is gathering traction with Inteldeciding to slash its Android development.
While the outfit is still claiming that it is chums with Google, it is now saying that its Android development for tablets is the latest thing it is not interested in.
Intel has been cutting back on its Android upgrades for tablet hardware which suggests it is not interested. Instead it is working on 2-in-1s, which run mostly on Windows.
Intel’s x86 version of Android was mainly for devices with Atom processors, which the chip maker is phasing out. The replacement is Apollo Lake which will run Windows, but it is unclear if it will ever support Android.
The last Android which worked on Intel gear was Android 5.1.1, Lollipop, Intel-based mobile devices mostly run Android 5.0 or older versions.
What might keep Intel in Android might not be its own commitment to Android, but the fact that Google is keen to make its OS work with x86 chips. Google has said that Android 7.0 Nougat, will be compatible with x86 machines which will keep Intel in the game – if it wants to be.
PC World has suggested that Intel could offload development to the independent Android-x86 Project last month delivered the Android-x86 6.0 Release Candidate 1.
Intel is still a lead partner in Google’s Brillo. This is an embedded IoT OS with the dash of Android under the bonnet. Brillo works on Intel’s Edison development board, which can be used to make wearables, robots, smart home devices and other IoT gadgets.
But it is pretty clear that Intel is not interested in some of Google’s VR projects like DayDream which are based on Android.
Facebook Inc announced that it began testing end-to-end encryption on its popular Messenger application to prevent snooping on digital conversations.
The limited testing on Messenger, which has more than 900 million users, comes three months after Facebook rolled out end-to-end encryption to its more popular WhatsApp, a messaging application with over 1 billion users that it acquired in October 2014.
The move comes amid widespread global debate over the extent to which technology companies should help law enforcement snoop on digital communications.
End-to-end encryption is also offered on Apple Inc’s iMessage platform as well as apps including LINE, Signal, Viber, Telegram and Wickr.
Facebook Messenger uses the same encryption technology as WhatsApp, which uses a protocol known as Signal that was developed by privately held Open Whisper Systems.
“It seems well designed,” said Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins University cryptologist who helped review an early version of the protocol for Facebook.
While WhatsApp messages are encrypted by default, Facebook Messenger users must turn on the feature to get the extra additional security protection, which scrambles communications so they can only be read on devices at either end of a conversation.
Facebook said that it was requiring users to opt in to encryption because the extra security is not compatible with some widely used Messenger features.
“Many people want Messenger to work when you switch between devices, such as a tablet, desktop computer or phone,” the company said in an announcement on its website. “Secret conversations can only be read on one device and we recognize that experience may not be right for everyone.”
Facebook also said that Messenger users cannot send videos or make payments in encrypted conversations.
Nvidia might have scored a few wins by touting its GPU’s in the HPC market, but it is starting to lose ground to the co-processor, according to Intel’s Diane Bryant.
In an IDC interview Intel’s data center boss said that Nvidia gained an early lead in the market for accelerated HPC workloads when it positioned its GPUs for that task several years ago. However there is a perception that processors used for machine learning today are GPUs like those from Nvidia and AMD.
Bryant was a bit miffed when she was asked how Intel can compete in this market without a GPU. She said that the general purpose GPU, or GPGPU was just another type of accelerator and not one that’s uniquely suited to machine learning.
It is better to look at Knights Landing which is a coprocessor, but it’s an accelerator for floating point operations, and that’s what a GPGPU too.
She said that since the release of the first Xeon Phi in 2014, Intel now clawed back 33 percent of the market for HPC workloads that use a floating point accelerator.
“So we’ve won share against Nvidia, and we’ll continue to win share,” she said.
She said that Intel’s share of the machine learning business may be much smaller, but the market is still young.
“Less than one percent of all the servers that shipped last year were applied to machine learning, so to hear Nvidia is beating us in a market that barely exists yet makes me a little crazy,” she says.
Intel will continue to evolve Xeon Phi to make it better at machine learning tasks. She said that there are two aspects to machine learning – training the algorithmic models, and applying those models to the real world in front-end applications. Intel’s FPGAs and its Xeon processors mean Intel has both sides of the equation covered.
But Nvidia’s GPUs are harder for programmers to work with which could give Intel an edge as ordinary businesses need to adopt machine learning. Knights Landing is “self-booting,” which means customers don’t need to pair it with a regular Xeon to boot an OS.
However Intel’s newest Xeon Phi has a floating point performance of about 3 teraflops, which is a little slow compared to the five teraflops for Nvidia’s new GP100.
Intel’s restructuring axe seems to be falling on its PC client division and software areas with more than 12000 jobs to go.
Our well-placed sources are confident that the PC group will be the hardest hit. This is all because the PC market has stopped growing and Intel has to find its way to new markets to supplement loss of this business.
Latest research data from IDC indicates that in 2016 PC market will decline from 275.8 million units in 2015 to 260.8 million units in 2016 and the current projections for 2017 show the PC market slightly decreasing to 257.9 million units. At its peak PC market was at 364.0 million units, but this was in 2011 when things were rosier, kids were polite to their parents, and rock stars played decent music. These times are clearly behind us and Intel knows it.
The PC group downsize is being supervised by Dr. Venkata “Murthy” Renduchintala who is Intel’s number two. He is the bloke who was paid $25 million dollars to defect from Qualcomm. Murthy has already done a high level clean up at PC client group and is believed to be thinking about dusting the top of the corporate bookshelf next.
Another team which will be pummeled is Rene James’s old software outfit. People from software services and the security division formerly known as McAfee are expected to mostly go the same way as the artist formerly known as Prince.
Murthy’s also wants to get Intel to the right course with IoT market. Marketing for that area is expected to grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020. Intel wants the piece of that cake, and perhaps a few tea and biscuits to go with it and it will be interesting to look the fight in this promising land market.
There is still no killer app to help the IoT market which defines it. IoT right now is nothing and everything.
It is looking incredibly unlikely that mobile phone use is giving anyone cancer. A long term study into the incidence of brain cancer in the Australian population between 1982 to 2013 shows no marked increase.
The study, summarized on the Conversation site looked at the prevalence of mobile phones among the population against brain cancer rates, using data from national cancer registration.
The results showed a very slight increase in brain cancer rates among males, but a stable level among females. There were significant increases in over-70s, but this problem started before 1982.
The figures should have even been higher as Computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and related techniques, introduced in Australia in the late 1970s can spot brain tumors which could have otherwise remained undiagnosed.
The data matches up with other studies conducted in other countries, but in Australia all diagnosed cases of cancer have to be legally registered and this creates consistent data.
The argument that mobile phones cause cancer has been running ever since the phones first arrived. In fact the radiation levels on phones has dropped significantly over the years, just to be safe rather than sorry. However it looks like phones have had little impact on cancer statistics – at least in Australia.
Samsung is closing in on Intel in the semiconductor sector as its market share increased by 0.9 percent when compared to a year earlier.
According to beancounters at IBS, the news comes on the heels of an announcement that the three-month average of the global market for semiconductors ending in February fell 6.2 percent compared with the same figure in 2015, down from a 5.8 percent decline in January.
IBS chief executive Handel Jones said:
“Based on talking to customers about buying patterns, we see softness,” said. “Smartphone sales are slowing, and the composition of the market is changing with about half all chips bought by companies in China who want low-end devices In addition, over the past year memory prices have fallen by nearly half both for DRAMs and NAND-based solid-state drives as vendors try to buy market share, said Jones. “It’s more of a price issue because volumes are up.”
Jones expects softness in the PC market will continue through this year. Demand for chips is rising in automotive and for the emerging Internet of Things, but so far both sectors are relatively small, he added.
Data shows that the gap between the market share of these Intel and Samsung firms is narrowing. In 2012, the gap between Intel and Samsung was 5.3 percent. This narrowed to 4.2 percent in 2013, and is now 3.2 percent in 2015. SK Hynix, which now stands as the third largest semiconductor brand in the world, beat Qualcomm with a market share of 4.8 percent.
Comments Off on Is Tesla Poaching nVidia’s Engineers?
Tesla Motors,’ which has been poaching engineers from Apple and AMD, could be causing a few headaches for Nvidia.
MKM analyst Ian Ing pointed out that Nvidia and Tesla have partnered in machine-learning which is the key to autonomous driving. Nvidia’s own automotive segment grew 80 per cent to $320 million in revenue.
It had been known that Tesla is swiping Apple and AMD engineers, but the difficulty is that it also needs staff from its old chum Nvidia. Ing said that Apple and AMD staff are not as steeped in graphics processing units and machine learning as Nvidia’s staff.
“Although there are widely reportedly headlines that Tesla has been hiring chip architects from Apple and AMD, we note that expertise has been focused more on multi-purpose application processors vs. the GPU accelerators necessary for machine learning,” Ing wrote.
This could either pressure Nvidia to work more closely with Tesla, or it too might lose staff to the carmarker. However that might be a small headache for Nvidia which is doing obscenely well, according to Ing. He is suggesting everyone should buy Nvidia shares.
Comments Off on Will Intel’s Xeon Broadwell-EP Hit The Market Soon?
An Intel press slide has been leaked on the web which means we should be seeing a workstation-grade Xeon “Broadwell-EP” processor in the shops soon.
The slide appeared on the anandtech forums and shows the chip will be branded under the Xeon E5-2600 V4 series and will have at least “20 per cent more cores and last-level cache” than Haswell-EP. It should be shipping on March 31st.
This CPU is started for an HP workstation, called the HP Z640, which succeeds the Z620.
The Xeon Broadwell-E uses Intel’ s14nm process which means 10-core chips will be available at the price of an 8-core chip from the previous generation.
The slide said that the Broadwell-E will deliver 18 per cent average performance increase over Haswell-EP, as well as support up to 2400MHz DDR4 memory for greater I/O throughput.
This slide follows the news that an 18-core Xeon Broadwell-EP CPU was spotted on eBay, carrying a price tag of $999 US. Dubbed Xeon E5-2600 v4, the chip was listed to feature a base clock speed of 2.2GHz and Turbo frequency of 3GHz, as well as a TDP of 145W, 2.5MB of L3 cache per core, with 45MB LLC cache in total.
Comments Off on Intel Processors Will Support Vulcan API
Intel is releasing graphics drivers that support the Vulkan 1.0 API for chips running Windows 7, 8 and 10 PCs.
According to Intel the drivers provide beta support for the Vulkan 1.0 API for 6th Generation Intel Core and related processors.
Vulkan 1.0 was introduced last month by industry consortium Khronos Group and is supposed to replace the OpenGL, which was first introduced in 1991 by Silicon Graphics. Vulkan is supposed to exploit powerful GPUs and multicore CPUs, but it is still a long way behind Direct X 12 – at least in its beta condition.
With Intel’s drivers developers will be able to exploit features on Intel GPUs, like the Iris Pro, that are integrated in chips alongside CPUs. Intel’s rival AMD has already released Vulkan drivers for Radeon graphics processors.
Vulkan 1.0 APIs will also work with Linux-based PCs like Steam Machines. Intel has made available open-source Vulkan drivers for Linux PCs running on chips code-named Broadwell and Skylake.
General Motors the acquisition Cruise Automation for Cruise’s deep software talent and rapid development capability — a move designed to further accelerate GM’s development of autonomous vehicle technology.
Over the past two months, GM has entered into a $500 million alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft; formed Maven — its personal mobility brand for car-sharing fleets in many U.S. cities — and established a separate unit for autonomous vehicle development.
“This acquisition announcement clearly shows that GM is serious about developing the technology and controlling its own path to self-driving and driverless vehicles,” said Egil Juliussen, research director for IHS Automotive.
While GM did not disclose the financial details of the Cruise acquisition, reports estimated the purchase to be in the $1 billion range.
Founded in 2013, Cruise sells an aftermarket product that is positioned as a highway autopilot, according to IHS Automotive.
Vehicles using Cruise’s software cannot automatically changes lanes, but the technology does work at low speed and highway speed, meaning it’s classified between Level 2 and Level 3 in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s levels of autonomous driving.
The NHTSA’s Level 3 includes limited self-driving automation and allows a driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions; Level 4 indicates a fully autonomous vehicle.
Cruise’s software was initially offered by Audi in its A4 and S4 vehicles as a $10,000 option that required installation work by Cruise. The product consisted of a sensor unit on top of the car and a computer in the trunk.
GM’s purchase of Cruise is likely to spur other carmakers “to react and determine what their strategy should be,” Juliussen said.
Other carmakers are likely to seek to become partners with Google and license Google’s self-driving and driverless software technology. Multiple manufacturers are likely to opt for a Google partnership, IHS said.