Intel is reportedly going to release its first 10nm processor family in 2017, expected to be the first of three generations of processors that will be fabbed on the 10nm process.
Guru 3D found a slide which suggest that Chipzilla will not be sticking to its traditional “tick-tock model.” To be fair Intel has been using the 14nm node for two generations so far – Broadwell and Skylake. Kaby Lake processor architecture that is due later this year, will also use 14nm .
The slide tells us pretty much what we expected. The first processor family to be manufactured on a 10nm node will be Cannonlake, expected to launch in the year 2017. The following year, Intel will reportedly launch Icelake processors, again using the same 10nm node. Icelake will be succeeded by Tigerlake in 2019, the third generation of Intel processors using a 10nm silicon fab process. The codename for Tigerlake’s successor is unknown. When it comes out in 2020 it will use 5nm.
|architecture||CPU series||Tick or Tock||Fab node||Year Released|
|Presler/Cedar Mill||Pentium 4 / D||Tick||65 nm||2006|
|Conroe/Merom||Core 2 Duo/Quad||Tock||65 nm||2006|
|Penryn||Core 2 Duo/Quad||Tick||45 nm||2007|
|Nehalem||Core i||Tock||45 nm||2008|
|Westmere||Core i||Tick||32 nm||2010|
|Sandy Bridge||Core i 2xxx||Tock||32 nm||2011|
|Ivy Bridge||Core i 3xxx||Tick||22 nm||2012|
|Haswell||Core i 4xxx||Tock||22 nm||2013|
|Broadwell||Core i 5xxx||Tick||14 nm||2014 & 2015 for desktops|
|Skylake||Core i 6xxx||Tock||14 nm||2015|
|Kaby lake||Core i 7xxx||Tock||14 nm||2016|
|Cannonlake||Core i 8xxx?||Tick||10 nm||2017|
|Ice Lake||Core i 8xxx?||Tock||10 nm||2018|
|Tigerlake||Core i 9xxx?||Tock||10 nm||2019|
Worldwide PC shipments dropped 8.3 percent in the fourth quarter which was the worst sales have been since 2008,, beancounters at Gartner Group said.
PC manufacturers shipped 75.7 million machines in the fourth quarter compared with about 82.6 million a year earlier. Sales sank 3.1 per cent in the US to 16.9 million in the quarter.
Gartner forecasts a fall of a percent in 2016 with the potential of a soft recovery later in the year.
Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner said that the fourth quarter of 2015 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide PC shipment decline. Holiday sales did not boost the overall PC shipments, hinting at changes to consumers’ PC purchase behavior.
Lenovo retained its leadership of the PC market with 20 percent of the global market in the fourth quarter. Its shipments dropped 4.2 percent. HP was the No. 2 global PC maker, increased its market share slightly to almost 19 percent. The company maintained its top position in the U.S., with 27 percent of the market, despite a decline of 8.4 percent in fourth-quarter shipments. Del increased its global market share to 13.5 percent from 13.1 percent and ranked third.
IDC released similar figures saying that it was all the fault of the strong US dollar hampered overseas sales. It thinks that the decline in PC sales may slow in 2016, with IDC projecting a fall of 3.1 percent compared with 10 percent drop in 2015. Greater commercial adoption of Microsoft Windows 10 operating system may help stabilize sales.
Intel has created a new smartphone with a 3D RealSense camera that can recognize objects and detect motion and gestures, much like a Kinect camera.
The smartphone is being made available as a reference device for anyone interested in discovering new uses for 3D cameras in handsets. The 3D camera is a smaller and more advanced version of the RealSense cameras in PCs and tablets.
For $399, users will get an Android smartphone with a 6-inch screen that can display images at a 2560 x 1440-pixel resolution. The RealSense ZR300 depth camera, which is placed at the edge of the phone, can capture 10 million points per second. The phone also has a 2-megapixel front camera and 8-megapixel rear camera.
The phone isn’t for daily use, but more for capturing 3D images, taking cool selfies and experimenting with the RealSense camera. It has only 3G connectivity, so aside from the camera features it isn’t very useful beyond making basic phone calls. It has an Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor, which is in Microsoft’s Surface 3, so don’t expect long battery life. It has 64GB of storage, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and an HDMI port.
Users can reserve the smartphone; Intel did not provide a shipping date. It will only ship to U.S. customers.
Comments Off on Smartphone Buyer Fatigue Hampering Growth
Apple and Samsung dominate global smartphone markets with several new flagship handsets unveiled each year.
But after years of fantastic growth in smartphone sales, the pace of growth is slowing overall, including for the two smartphone giants. Market research firm IDC recently said that 2016 will be the first year that overall smartphone growth will slow to below 10%.
There is even talk among analysts that the latest models don’t have enough compelling new features to lure customers to a competitor’s device. Others say smartphone buyer’s fatigue has set in.
Buyer’s fatigue is a concern in the U.S. and other developed countries where the smartphone market is viewed as a “replacement” market because the market is already saturated: Nearly everyone already owns a smartphone. A focus on emerging countries by Apple and Samsung still requires them to find low-cost alternatives to compete with the likes of Huawei and others.
“Consumers are fatigued about new phone features that they can’t easily relate to any improvement in their personal use cases,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moore Insights & Strategy. “Samsung has been one of the worst offenders of this in the last few years. If consumers can’t relate, then they need to be educated.”
Most recently, reports that Samsung would add a pressure-sensitive displayand high-speed charging port to its Galaxy S7 phone drew a few yawns. That’s because Apple added the pressure-sensitive display to the iPhone 6S last summer, and a new USB Type-C fast charging port is already available in LG and Huawei smartphones.
While it is to Samsung’s advantage to keep up with Apple and others rivals, analysts disagree over whether these latest improvements will provoke an iPhone user to switch to a Galaxy.
Facebook has unveiled its next-generation GPU-based systems for training neural networks, Open Rack-compatible hardware code-named “Big Sur” which it plans to open source.
The social media giant’s latest machine learning system has been designed for artificial intelligence (AI) computing at a large scale, and in most part has been crafted with Nvidia hardware.
Big Sur comprises eight high-performance GPUs of up to 300 watts each, with the flexibility to configure between multiple PCI-e topologies. It makes use of Nvidia’s Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform, and as a result is twice as fast as Facebook’s previous generation rack.
“This means we can train twice as fast and explore networks twice as large,” said the firm in its engineering blog. “And distributing training across eight GPUs allows us to scale the size and speed of our networks by another factor of two.”
Facebook claims that as well as better performance, Big Sur is also far more versatile and efficient than the off-the-shelf solutions in its previous generation.
“While many high-performance computing systems require special cooling and other unique infrastructure to operate, we have optimised these new servers for thermal and power efficiency, allowing us to operate them even in our own free-air cooled, Open Compute standard data centres,” explained the company.
We spoke to Nvidia’s senior product manager for GPU Computing, Will Ramey, ahead of the launch, who has been working on the Big Sur project alongside Facebook for some time.
“The project is the first time that a complete computing system that is designed for machine learning and AI will be released as an open source solution,” said Ramey. “By taking the purpose-built design spec that Facebook has designed for their own machine learning apps and open sourcing them, people will benefit from and contribute to the project so it can move the entire industry forward.”
While Big Sur was built with Nvidia’s new Tesla M40 hyperscale accelerator in mind, it can actually support a wide range of PCI-e cards in what Facebook believes could make for better efficiencies in production and manufacturing to get more computational power for every penny that it invests.
“Servers can also require maintenance and hefty operational resources, so, like the other hardware in our data centres, Big Sur was designed around operational efficiency and serviceability,” Facebook said. “We’ve removed the components that don’t get used very much, and components that fail relatively frequently – such as hard drives and DIMMs – can now be removed and replaced in a few seconds.”
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Big Sur announcement is Facebook’s plans to open-source it and submit the design materials to the Open Compute Project. This is a bid to make it easier for AI researchers to share techniques and technologies.
“As with all hardware systems that are released into the open, it’s our hope that others will be able to work with us to improve it,” Facebook said, adding that it believes open collaboration will help foster innovation for future designs, and put us closer to building complex AI systems that will probably take over the world and kill us all.
Nvidia released its end-to-end hyperscale data centre platform last month claiming that it will let web services companies accelerate their machine learning workloads and power advanced artificial intelligence applications.
Consisting of two accelerators, Nvidia’s latest hyperscale line aims to let researchers design new deep neural networks more quickly for the increasing number of applications they want to power with AI. It also is designed to deploy these networks across the data centre. The line also includes a suite of GPU-accelerated libraries.
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The IDC claims that the decline of tablets will harm Android but prop up the windows operating system
While large tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and its expensive Apple knock-off the Apple iPad Pro, IDC thinks that tablet shipments will continue to decline this quarter.
But IDC also predicts a change in trends, with the market transitioning from standalone tablets over to detachable hybrids.
Users are demanding that tablets actually do something and the boundaries between laptops and tablets with keyboards are starting to blur. Once just keyboardless netbooks, tablets are becoming netbooks with touchscreens.
IDC predicts that hybrids will be the tablets of the future and that this segment will grow by as much as 75 per cent in 2016 compared to this year.
These devices will be used more and more for productivity purposes more than just consumption. This productivity trend also has an impact on which tablets sizes and platforms will dominate the market.
Tablets are useless for this and these will start to die out. Sizes between 9 and 13 inches are almost perfect, while 13 to 16 inches, though unwieldy, will also more than double its share, IDC said.
IDC predicts Windows will snatch a bigger market share by 2019, almost 20 per cent. These growths will come at the expense of Android, however, who will continue to see a decline in its market share in the next few years.
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The PC will make a comeback, but the so-called Tablet revolution is history, according to the Chipmaker who missed out on it.
Kirk Skaugen, GM of Intel’s client computing group told the Intel Global Capital Summit that there are more than a billion PCs that are more than three years old and a third of a billion that are over five years old. People are coming back to the PC and refreshing their systems.
It used to be that people upgraded every two years or so, but in the last five years silicon has got so powerful that no one saw the need. The problem is that they still don’t and Skaugen hopes that two-in-one detachable-screen systems, will be a major growth driver.
Sales of two-in-one systems are up 150 per cent, he claimed, and are leading to people wanting to refresh their PCs up to 18 months earlier than they would have. Mini computers are another growth market.
Without the growth in two-in-ones, the laptop market in the US would have shown 4 per cent negative growth, Skaugen said. However the new forms created a one per cent growth. He thinks the new hardware that such systems are starting to carry, particularly 3D cameras are going to have people rushing back to laptops.
The big loser in all of this is going to be the tablet market. Intel had got the growth in tablets wrong, he said, and is now revising its forecasts.
“18 months ago many people thought that tablet sales were going to cross over PCs in 2014. Now we’re sure they won’t ever. Intel has taken a billion units out of our forecasts in the last year,” he said.
That is just as well because Intel never made a sustainable dent into the tablet market, but it also fulfilled our predictions that the technology never solved any problems. It was still the same toy that Microsoft had been attempting to sell without success for years and they never had a use.
Big Blue Researchers have discovered a way to replace silicon semiconductors with carbon nanotube transistors and think that the development will push the industry past Moore’s law limits.
IBM said its researchers successfully shrunk transistor contacts in a way that didn’t limit the power of carbon nanotube devices. The chips could be smaller and faster and significantly surpass what’s possible with today’s silicon semiconductors.
The chips are made from carbon nanotubes consist of single atomic sheets of carbon in rolled-up tubes. This means that high-performance computers may well be capable of analysing big data faster, and battery life and the power of mobile and connected devices will be better. The advance may enable cloud-based data centres to provide more efficient services, IBM claims.
Moore’s law, which has for years governed the ability of the semiconductor industry to double the processing power of chips every 24 months is starting to reach the limits of physics when it comes to doubling the power of silicon chips. This could mean a slowing of significant computing performance boosts unless someone comes up with something fast.
IBM researchers claim to have proved that carbon nanotube transistors can work as switches at widths of 10,000 times thinner than a human hair, and less than half the size of the most advanced silicon technology.
The latest research has overcome “the other major hurdle in incorporating carbon nanotubes into semiconductor devices which could result in smaller chips with greater performance and lower power consumption,” IBM said.
Electrons found in carbon transistors move more efficiently than those that are silicon-based, even as the extremely thin bodies of carbon nanotubes offer more advantages at the atomic scale, IBM says.
The new research is jump-starting the move to a post-silicon future, and paying off on $3 billion in chip research and development investment IBM announced in 2014.
Comments Off on Did Intel Deliberately Slow PC Sales?
Intel might have caused slow PC sales at the beginning of the year to boost the price of its Skylake chips later.
A recent study shows that the slump in PC sales in the first half was deliberately made to help Skylake sell better since August. Initially analysts believed that sales of the Skylake are hindered by existing stocks of previous Haswells, but it turns out this was untrue.
Tech Trader Daily has found that Intel significantly reduced shipments of its central processing units in the first half of the year, to leave PC maker inventories drained and empty.
This is normal practice since Intel needed to have all its PC makers and retailers with empty enough stocks in order to fill them up quickly with new Skylake models in August. But this year the plan worked too well. The Skylake stocks quickly evaporated and the first supply aps appeared between the months of August and September, with Intel quickly assuring its customers that new Skylake batches will return in stores as fast as possible.
Normally Chipzilla has a cycle of unit buildups in the first half of a financial year and then a controlled drain of units in the second half. This helps PC makers and retailers build systems in the first half and then sell them bundled without being compromised by stand-alone units selling alongside them at a higher pace in the second.
This time Intel launched the Skylake in the second half of the year, August onwards, so the cycle was stuffed up. Now it seems that this will mean a low supply of Skylakes in the first half of 2016. If you can find them, you might need to stock up now.
Intel is making piles from this. PC makers mainly build their systems on Skylakes and since the supply is low the price is high. Intel does not have to discount to shift the technology, the suppliers have to buy it at any price. Particularly as Intel’s only real x86 market, AMD, is having a bit of a snooze.
A full transition to Skylake will probably happen in winter, but the ongoing process at the moment gives Intel the much-needed money to financially buffer a slowdown in sales next spring. All this gives a warning about what will happen if AMD goes under and Intel takes total control.
Two-factor authentication is widely regarded as a best practice for security in the online world, but Dropbox has announced a new feature that’s designed to make it even more secure.
Whereas two-step verification most commonly involves the user’s phone for the second authentication method, Dropbox’s new U2F support adds a new means of authenticating the user via Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) security keys instead.
What that means is that users can now use a USB key as an additional means to prove who they are.
“This is a very good advancement and adds extra security over mobile notifications for two-factor authentication,” said Rich Mogull, Securosis CEO.
“Basically, you can’t trick a user into typing in credentials,” Mogull explained. “The attacker has to compromise the exact machine the user is on.”
For most users, phone-based, two-factor authentication is “totally fine,” he said. “But this is a better option in high-security environments and is a good example of where the FIDO standard is headed.”
Security keys provide stronger defense against credential-theft attacks like phishing, Dropbox said.
“Even if you’re using two-step verification with your phone, some sophisticated attackers can still use fake Dropbox websites to lure you into entering your password and verification code,” the company explained in a blog post. “They can then use this information to access your account.”
Security keys, on the other hand, use cryptographic communication and will only work when the user is signing in to the legitimate Dropbox website.
Dropbox users who want to use the new feature will need a security key that follows the FIDO Alliance’s Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) standard. That U2F key can then be set up with the user’s Dropbox account along with any other U2F-enabled services, such as Google.