Archive for the ‘Intel’ Category

Tesla’s main self-driving rival isn’t Google—it’s Intel’s Mobileye

January 13th, 2021
A man at a podium smiles while holding up a palm-sized computer component.

Enlarge / Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua shows off a silicon photonics lidar chip slated for introduction in 2025. (credit: Mobileye)

One of the most underrated companies in the self-driving technology sector is Mobileye, an Israeli company that Intel purchased for $15 billion in 2017. Mobileye is the largest supplier of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that ship with today's cars. In a Monday interview at the virtual CES conference, Mobileye explained its strategy to stay on top as the industry shifts to fully self-driving vehicles.

Mobileye's self-driving strategy has a number of things in common with that of Tesla, the world's most valuable automaker. Like Tesla, Mobileye is aiming to gradually evolve its current driver-assistance technology into a fully self-driving system. So far, neither company has shipped products with the expensive lidar sensors used in many self-driving prototypes.

And like Tesla, Mobileye has access to a wealth of real-world driving data from its customers' cars. Tesla harvests data directly from Tesla customers. Mobileye has data-sharing agreements with six car companies—including Volkswagen, BMW, and Nissan—that ship Mobileye's cameras, chips, and software.

Read 28 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Amnon Shashua, autopilot, cars, Intel, lidar, Mobileye, Tesla | Comments (0)

After corporate blunders and setbacks, Intel ousts CEO Bob Swan

January 13th, 2021
Intel Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan during an Intel press event for CES 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 6, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Enlarge / Intel Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan during an Intel press event for CES 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 6, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (credit: Getty Images)

Intel is replacing its chief executive Bob Swan after a series of manufacturing setbacks and competitive blunders that lost the veteran Silicon Valley company its crown as the top US chipmaker.

Swan, its former finance chief who held the top job for just over two years, will be succeeded on February 15 by former Intel veteran Pat Gelsinger, who is currently chief executive of VMware, the infrastructure software group.

The company made the move just days before Mr. Swan was expected to unveil Intel’s new manufacturing strategy, together with the company’s latest earnings.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Bob Swan, CPU, Intel, Tech, x86 | Comments (0)

Intel at CES: Alder Lake looks a lot like M1, plus new chips for gaming laptops

January 12th, 2021

The Consumer Electronics Show this week was never going to be where Intel would venture into extreme detail on major new 12th-generation CPUs, but nonetheless, the company hosted a press conference this morning that laid out a few new evolutions of the 11th-gen CPUs it has already been shipping, plus an early look at what to expect from the 12th-generation Alder Lake.

Using an improved version of the 10nm SuperFin process, Alder Lake will take on Apple's ARM instruction set-based M1 chip and its ilk with a somewhat similar architecture. Namely, that means a hybrid architecture of high-performance (Golden Lake) and high-efficiency (Gracemont) cores similar in spirit to ARM's BIG.little design and to Lakefield. Intel says these are desktop and laptop CPUs and that they'll reach consumers in the second half of 2021, but details are otherwise pretty sparse.

More than anything, it looks like Intel is trying to get ahead of the narrative that the company is facing some serious challenges ahead as Macs with M1 CPUs delivered much better price-to-performance ratios than what Intel is currently putting in competing devices—especially in the face of Intel's delays.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Alder Lake, CES 2021, CES2021, CPU, Intel, Intel Core i9 11900K, Rocket Lake-S, Tech | Comments (0)

Activist hedge fund advises Intel to outsource CPU manufacturing

December 31st, 2020
Activist hedge fund advises Intel to outsource CPU manufacturing

(credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Activist hedge fund Third Point has taken a stake of nearly $1 billion in Intel and called on the chipmaker to consider shedding its manufacturing operations, throwing a core part of its strategy into question.

The firm with $15 billion in assets run by Daniel Loeb made a number of demands in a letter sent to Intel’s chairman Omar Ishrak on Tuesday and seen by the Financial Times.

In the letter, Mr Loeb said that Intel was “once the gold standard for innovative microprocessor manufacturing” but had fallen behind manufacturing competitors in East Asia such as TSMC and Samsung.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Biz & IT, chip fab, CPUs, Intel, Tech, x86 | Comments (0)

Apple is full-steam ahead on replacing Qualcomm modems with its own

December 11th, 2020
A blue iPhone 12 lying flat on a table

Enlarge / The iPhone 12. (credit: Samuel Axon)

As rumored many months ago, Apple's silicon ambitions don't end with replacing Intel CPUs with its own in Macs—it plans to ditch Qualcomm modems in favor of its own custom-designed chips for iPhones, according to Apple hardware tech lead Johny Srouji.

Srouji confirmed the company's plans when speaking to employees during an internal town hall meeting, as reported by Bloomberg today. Apple acquired Intel's 5G smartphone modem business last summer. That acquisition of Intel's intellectual property and resources was key for Apple's new efforts.

Quoted in the Bloomberg story, Srouji told Apple employees:

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in 5G, apple, Bloomberg, Intel, iphone, Johny Srouji, modems, Qualcomm, san diego, Tech, wireless | Comments (0)

AMD laptops have a hidden 10-second performance delay. Here’s why

November 23rd, 2020
Stylized illustration of computer component.

Enlarge / When it's on battery, your new Ryzen 4000 series laptop doesn't deliver its true performance until about 10 seconds into a full-throttle workload. (credit: Aurich Lawson / AMD)

In an embargoed presentation Friday morning, Intel's Chief Performance Strategist Ryan Shrout walked a group of tech journalists through a presentation aimed at taking AMD's Zen 2 (Ryzen 4000 series) laptop CPUs down a peg.

Intel's newest laptop CPU design, Tiger Lake, is a genuinely compelling release—but it comes on the heels of some crushing upsets in that space, leaving Intel looking for an angle to prevent hemorrhaging market share to its rival. Early Tiger Lake systems performed incredibly well—but they were configured for a 28W cTDP, instead of the far more common 15W TDP seen in production laptop systems—and reviewers were barred from testing battery life.

This left reviewers like yours truly comparing Intel's i7-1185G7 at 28W cTDP to AMD Ryzen 7 systems at half the power consumption—and although Tiger Lake did come out generally on top, the power discrepancy kept it from being a conclusive or crushing blow to AMD's increasing market share with the OEM vendors who are actually buying laptop CPUs in the first place.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in AMD, Intel, laptop performance, on-battery performance, Ryzen 4000, Tech, tiger lake | Comments (0)

“We are giddy”—interviewing Apple about its Mac silicon revolution

November 20th, 2020
The graphic representing the Apple M1 chip, as presented by Apple at an event earlier this month.

The graphic representing the Apple M1 chip, as presented by Apple at an event earlier this month.

Some time ago, in an Apple campus building, a group of engineers got together. Isolated from others in the company, they took the guts of old MacBook Air laptops and connected them to their own prototype boards with the goal of building the very first machines that would run macOS on Apple's own, custom-designed, ARM-based silicon.

To hear Apple's Craig Federighi tell the story, it sounds a bit like a callback to Steve Wozniak in a Silicon Valley garage so many years ago. And this week, Apple finally took the big step that those engineers were preparing for: the company released the first Macs running on Apple Silicon, beginning a transition of the Mac product line away from Intel's CPUs, which have been industry-standard for desktop and laptop computers for decades.

In a conversation shortly after the M1 announcement with Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, SVP of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak, and SVP of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji, we learned that—unsurprisingly—Apple has been planning this change for many, many years.

Read 60 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in apple, Apple M1, Apple silicon, ARM, Craig Federighi, Features, Greg Joswiak, Intel, Interview, Johny Srouji, Mac, MacOS, Tech | Comments (0)

Mac mini and Apple Silicon M1 review: Not so crazy after all

November 19th, 2020

Apple is crazy, right? The Mac just had its best year of sales ever, and Cupertino is hitting the platform with a shock like it hasn’t had in nearly 15 years—back in a time when the Mac was not having such a good year. Apple is beginning the process of replacing industry-standard Intel chips with its own, custom-designed silicon.

In a way, we're not just reviewing the new Mac mini—a Mac mini is always a Mac mini, right? We're reviewing an ARM-based Mac for the first time. And this is not exactly the same story as all the other ARM machines we've looked at before, like Windows 10 on ARM—a respectable option with some serious tradeoffs.

Sure, longer battery life and quick waking from sleep are already out there on other ARM computers. But as you may have seen in our hands-on earlier this week, what we're encountering here is also a performance leap—and as you'll also see in this review, a remarkable success at making this new architecture compatible with a large library of what could now, suddenly, be called legacy Mac software.

Read 84 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in apple, Apple silicon, big sur, CPU, desktop, Features, Gadgetology, GPU, Intel, M1, Mac, Mac mini, MacOS, macOS Big Sur, Tech | Comments (0)

A history of Intel vs. AMD desktop performance, with CPU charts galore

November 17th, 2020
A tortoise and a hare are on a racetrack.

Enlarge / Spoiler: When it comes to performance over the years, Intel is the slow and steady tortoise to AMD's speedy-but-intermittent hare. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

The comment wars between Intel and AMD fans have been hot for the last few release cycles, with a lot of digital ink spilled about which company has—or has not—improved significantly over the years. There's been no shortage of opinions about the current raw performance of each company's fastest processors, either. We thought it would be interesting to dive into archived performance benchmarks of the fastest desktop/enthusiast CPUs for each company to get a good overview of how each has really done over the years—and perhaps to even see if there are patterns to be gleaned or to make some bets about the future.

Before we dive into charts, let's start out with some tables—that way, you can see which CPUs we're using as milestones for each year. While we're at it, there are a couple of irregularities in the data; we'll discuss those also and talk about the things that a simple chart won't show you.

Twenty years of enthusiast computing

Year Intel Model AMD Model Notes
2001 Pentium 4 2.0GHz (1c/1t) Athlon XP 1900+ (1c/1t)
2002 Pentium 4 2.8GHz (1c/2t) Athlon XP 2800+ (1c/1t) Intel introduces hyperthreading
2003 Pentium 4 Extreme 3.2GHz (1c/2t) Athlon XP 3200+ (1c/1t)
2004 Pentium 4 3.4GHz (1c/2t) Athlon 64 FX-55 (1c/1t)
2005 Pentium 4 3.8GHz (1c/2t) Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (2c/2t)
2006 Pentium Extreme 965 (2c/4t) Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2c/2t) Intel takes the undisputed performance lead here—and keeps it for a decade straight.
2007 Core 2 Extreme QX6800 (4c/4t) Phenom X4 9600 (4c/4t) Intel and AMD both launch the first true quad-core desktop CPUs
2008 Core 2 Extreme X9650 (4c/4t) Phenom X4 9950 (4c/4t)
2009 Core i7-960 (4c/8t) Phenom II X4 965 (4c/4t)
2010 Core i7-980X (6c/12t) Phenom II X6 1100T (6c/6t) Intel and AMD both introduce hex-core desktop CPUs
2011 Core i7-990X (6c/12t) FX-8150 (8c/8t)
2012 Core i7-3770K (4c/8t) FX-8350 (8c/8t) Intel abandons hex-core desktop CPUs—but few miss them, due to large single-threaded gains
2013 Core i7-4770K (4c/8t) FX-9590 (8c/8t) AMD's underwhelming FX-9590 launches—and it's Team Red's last enthusiast CPU for four long years
2014 Core i7-4790K (4c/8t) FX-9590 (8c/8t) Intel's 5th generation Core dies stillborn. AMD releases low-power APUs, but no successor to FX-9590
2015 Core i7-6700K (4c/8t) FX-9590 (8c/8t)
2016 Core i7-7700K (4c/8t) FX-9590 (8c/8t) Strictly speaking, 2016 was an Intel whiff—Kaby Lake didn't actually launch until January 2017
2017 Core i7-8700K (6c/12t) Ryzen 7 1800X (8c/16t) Launch of AMD's Zen architecture, return of the Intel hex-core desktop CPU
2018 Core i9-9900K (8c/16t) Ryzen 7 2700X (8c/16t)
2019 Core i9-9900KS (8c/16t) Ryzen 9 3950X (16c/32t) AMD's Zen 2 architecture launches, Intel whiffs hard in the performance segment
2020 Core i9-10900K (10c/20t) Ryzen 9 5950X (16c/32t) AMD's Zen 3 finally crushes Intel's long-held single-threaded performance record

Although both Intel and AMD obviously launch a wide array of processors for different price points and target markets each year, we're limiting ourselves to the fastest desktop or "enthusiast" processor from each year. That means no server processors and no High-End Desktop (HEDT) processors either—so we won't be looking at either Threadrippers or the late model XE series Intel parts.

Read 38 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in AMD, AMD vs. Intel, CPU, CPU performance, desktop CPU, Features, gaming CPU, Intel, Tech | Comments (0)

Hackers can use just-fixed Intel bugs to install malicious firmware on PCs

November 14th, 2020
Hackers can use just-fixed Intel bugs to install malicious firmware on PCs

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

As the amount of sensitive data stored on computers has exploded over the past decade, hardware and software makers have invested increasing amounts of resources into securing devices against physical attacks in the event that they’re lost, stolen, or confiscated. Earlier this week, Intel fixed a series of bugs that made it possible for attackers to install malicious firmware on millions of computers that use its CPUs.

The vulnerabilities allowed hackers with physical access to override a protection Intel built into modern CPUs that prevents unauthorized firmware from running during the boot process. Known as Boot Guard, the measure is designed to anchor a chain of trust directly into the silicon to ensure that all firmware that loads is digitally signed by the computer manufacturer. Boot Guard protects against the possibility of someone tampering with the SPI-connected flash chip that stores the UEFI, which is a complex piece of firmware that bridges a PC’s device firmware with its operating system.

Hardware-enforced security

These types of hacks typically happen when attackers attach hardware to the insides of a computer and use Dediprog or similar chip programming tools to replace authorized firmware with malicious firmware.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Biz & IT, boot guard, Intel, management engine, physical attacks, Tech | Comments (0)