Intel Core-X Series Desktop CPUs Unveiled, Including New Core i9 Chips

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X will be based on the new Basin Falls platform
  • Sklylake-X series will eventually have a 18 core variant in the future
  • Intel X299 chipset will use a new LGA 2066 socket

At the ongoing Computex 2017 trade show in Taipei, Intel has introduced a brand new Core-X series of high-end desktop CPUs along with a brand new X299 chipset to go along with it. Of note, is the new Intel Core i9 series, and the 18-core Core i9 Extreme Edition. Typically, Intel’s high-end desktop CPUs have always been a generation behind their mainstream counterparts. For instance, Broadwell-E was launched at a time when Skylake was mainstream but this time, Intel has brought its high-end SKUs on par with today’s mainstream architectures with Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs. Availability and exact pricing for India should be known in the coming months.

Intel Core-X Series Desktop CPUs Unveiled, Including New Core i9 Chips

We begin with Kaby Lake-X, which will initially launch with two SKUs – a Core i7-7740X and a Core i5-7640X. The Core i7-7740X is a quad-core CPU running at 4.3GHz and a boost clock of 4.5GHz, supports HyperThreading, 8MB of L3 cache and supports 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. The Core i5 variant will run at a slightly lower 4GHz with a boost clock of 4.2GHz and does not support HyperThreading. The L3 cache is also a bit lower at 6MB but it does support the same number of PCIe lanes. Both CPUs will support dual channel DDR4 memory at up to 2666MHz and have the same TDP of 112W. Kaby Lake-X CPUs won’t support Intel’s Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology.

Skylake-X CPUs will support Intel’s Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology (except for the Core i7-7800X) along with higher core counts (up to 18 cores), more than double the PCIe lanes and support for quad-channel DDR4 memory. Intel has so far announced three SKUs for the Skylake-X CPUs, starting with the Core i7-7800X. This CPU runs at 3.5GHz with boost clock set to 4GHz and features six cores with HyperThreading. The slightly faster Core i7-7820X CPU runs at slightly higher clock speed but also packs in eight cores with 11MB of L3 cache and 28 PCIe lanes.

Intel Corei9 story intel core i9

In order to differentiate the extreme edition SKUs, Intel has introduced a brand new Core i9 series and right now, we only have details about the Core i9-7900X. The base and boost clock speeds are lower compared to the other Core-i7 models in the line up but this CPU has 10 cores with HyperThreading, 13.75MB of L3 cache and a massive 44 PCIe lanes. Intel has listed the names of future Core i9 CPUs but haven’t revealed finer details of clock speeds, cache, etc, yet. This includes the 12-core Core i9-7920X; 14-core Core i9-7940X; 16-core Core i9-7960X and the insane 18-core Core i9-7980XE.

All CPUs from the Core-X family will be using Intel’s new X299 chipset, which uses a new LGA 2066 socket. The new chipset introduced features like DMI 3.0 link which should help improve throughput times and support for Intel Optane memory. It also brings I/O capabilities like support for up to 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes, up to eight SATA 3.0 ports and up to 10 USB 3.0 ports. We can expect to see new motherboards from Intel’s board partners showing up in the months to come.

Speaking on the launch, Gregory Bryant, Corporate Vice President and General Manager Client Computing Group said in a blog post, “The Intel Core X-series processor family introduces a series of firsts that reflect the extreme performance we are delivering. This family includes Intel’s first teraflop desktop CPUs, a prime example of just how much raw compute these processors can handle. We’re also introducing the entirely new Intel Core i9 processor, representing the highest performance for advanced gaming, VR and content creation. At the top of the lineup is the new Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition processor – the first consumer desktop CPU with 18 cores and 36 threads.”

WWDC 2017: New iMac Models With Intel Kaby Lake Announced; iMac Pro Unveiled

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New iMac models announced at starting price of $1,099
  • New iMac models available from Monday
  • Apple gave sneak peek of the iMac Pro

Apple at its WWDC 2017 keynote, as expected, announced an update to its iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air lineup of devices. The company also teased its all-new iMac Pro – the most powerful Mac ever – which will be available starting December this year.

WWDC 2017: New iMac Models With Intel Kaby Lake Announced; iMac Pro Unveiled

John Ternus, Apple’s Vice President of Hardware Engineering, announced the latest generation of iMac models with prices starting at $1,099 for the 21.5-inch iMac, 21.5-inch iMac Retina 4K at $1,099, while iMac Retina 5K 27-inch starts at $1,799. The new iMac lineup will be available with macOS High Sierra coming this fall. Apple has announced that the new iMac will be available to order starting Monday via apple.com, and will be available to buy in Apple Stores starting on Wednesday.

The Cupertino-based giant announced that the new iMac will sport the “best Mac display ever” which is 43 percent brighter at 500 nits and with support for one billion colours. Ternus also confirmed that the entire lineup will ship with Intel’s seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors.

The updated iMac features Kaby Lake processors up to 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz and supports up to twice the memory as the previous generation. Fusion Drives are now standard on all 27-inch configurations and the top-end 21.5-inch iMac. Ternus added that the SSD storage options are now up to 50 percent faster, and iMac comes with Thunderbolt 3.

The new iMac lineup will have two USB Type-C connectors with Thunderbolt. Apple also confirmed that the entry level iMac models will have the Intel Iris Plus Graphics which is up to 80 percent faster graphics than the previous generation.

The new 21.5-inch iMac Retina 4K will come with AMD Radeon Pro 555 and Radeon Pro 560 graphics. Ternus claimed that the new system is up to 3 times faster than the previous generation in terms of graphics, while the 27-inch will be 50 percent faster.

The company also announced an update to its 27-inch iMac models which Apple said is the “most popular desktop for pro customers.”

“Today iMac gets a huge graphics performance increase, faster CPU performance, Thunderbolt 3 and a brighter Retina display with support for 1 billion colors,” said Ternus.

new 2017 imac pro dark grey front apple

The company also offered a sneak peek at the iMac Pro which is marketed as new “workstation-class product line designed for pro users with the most demanding workflows.” Apple is calling it the most power Mac ever. The all-new iMac Pro sports 27-inch Retina 5K display with up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation. The all-new iMac Pro will come in new Space Grey enclosure.

The iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in December starting at $4,999 in the US. The company also detailed a new thermal architecture that is said to give it 80 percent more cooling capacity in the regular iMac design. It ships with the new AMD Radeon Pro Vega GPU with 16GB of HBM2 memory. It supports up to 4TB SSD, 128GB ECC RAM, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and 10Gb Ethernet – a first for Mac.

Giving a sneak peek of the new iMac Pro, Ternus said, “We’re thrilled to give developers and customers a sneak peek at iMac Pro. This will be our fastest and most powerful Mac ever, which brings workstation-class computing to iMac for the first time. We reengineered the whole system and designed an entirely new thermal architecture to pack extraordinary performance into the elegant, quiet iMac enclosure our customers love iMac Pro is a huge step forward and there’s never been anything like it.”

Intel researches quantum computing and neuromorphic chips for future PCs

Intel realizes there will be a post-Moore’s Law era and is already investing in technologies to drive computing beyond today’s PCs and servers.0853 as 26

The chipmaker is “investing heavily” in quantum and neuromorphic computing, said Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, during a question-and-answer session at the company’s investor day on Thursday.

“We are investing in those edge type things that are way out there,” Krzanich said.

To give an idea of how far out these technologies are, Krzanich said his daughter would perhaps be running the company by then.

Researching in these technologies, which are still in their infancy, is something Intel has to do to survive for many more decades. Shrinking silicon chips and cramming more features into them is becoming difficult, and Intel is already having trouble in manufacturing smaller chips.

Smartphones, PCs, and other devices are getting smaller, faster and more power efficient thanks to Moore’s Law, a 1965 observation loosely stating that the number of transistors in a die area would double every two years, causing performance to double while driving down the cost of making chips.

Intel has been using Moore’s Law as a guiding star to make faster and smaller chips and reducing the price of devices. However, it is widely agreed that Moore’s Law is slowly dying, and Intel’s manufacturing struggles are growing.

For decades, Intel’s business has been heavily reliant on its ability to make and deliver chips. But the process is slowing down. Intel used to advance manufacturing processes every two years, and that has now changed to three to four years.

One way to resolve that crisis—which all chipmakers face—is to completely change the current computing model in PCs, smartphones, and servers. The current model—known as the Von Neumann approach—involves data being pushed to a processor, calculated, and sent back to memory. But storage and memory are becoming bottlenecks.

The answer is to adopt new models of computing, which is where quantum computers and neuromorphic chips fit in. Quantum computers have the potential to be powerful computers harnessing the unique quality of a large number of qubits to perform multiple calculations in parallel. Neuromorphic chips are modeled after the human brain, which could help computers make decisions based on patterns and associations.

Intel has made some advances in quantum computing and neuromorphic chips. But Krzanich’s comments lend more credibility to the company’s push to look at a future beyond today’s computing models.

Some short-term answers can resolve the bottlenecks based on Von Neumann model, including Optane, Intel’s new form of super-fast memory and storage. It could unite SSDs and DRAM in systems, cutting one bottleneck. Intel is also embracing silicon photonics, which could resolve throughput issues in data centers. Both technologies have researched for more than a decade and are now practical.

The chipmaker has lived off the PC industry for decades but is now looking to grow in markets like data centers, the internet of things, automotive and high-performance computing. The new focus is bringing a gradual change to the way Intel makes chips. It’s similar to the 1970s, when different types of chips like vector processors and floating point arrays were crammed together for complex calculations.

For example, Intel is slapping together two separate functional blocks for applications like machine learning and autonomous cars. Intel envisions FPGAs combining with CPUs in autonomous cars. Later this year, the company will release a chip called Lake Crest, which combines a Xeon server CPU with deep-learning chip technology it picked up through its Nervana Systems acquisition. Intel is also merging an FPGA inside an Intel Xeon chip to carry out machine learning tasks.

Intel is expecting a lot of data to be generated by sources like autonomous cars, which will need edge processing for tasks like image recognition, analysis, and map updates. Intel is pushing its wide roster of co-processors to the edge, and that is where the quantum and neuromorphic chips may fit.

Quantum computer research is also being done by other companies. D-Wave recently released a 2,000-qubit quantum computer based on quantum annealing, while IBM has a 5-bit quantum computer accessible via the cloud. IBM is also playing with brain-like chips and has benchmarked its TrueNorth chip, which has a million neurons and 256 million synapses.

Academic institutions like the University of Heidelberg in Germany, Stanford University, and the University of Manchester in the U.K. are also working on neuromorphic chips. HPE has shown a computer that emulates the human brain, and it intends to adapt ideas from that for servers.

Intel, McAfee dispute heads for settlement talks

A dispute between Intel and security expert John McAfee over the use of his name for another company is headed for settlement talks, according to court records.0853 as 26

The move comes shortly after the federal court refused John McAfee and MGT Capital Investments, the company to be renamed, a preliminary injunction on Intel’s transfer of marks and related assets containing the word McAfee, as part of a proposed spin-out by the chipmaker of its security business as a separate company that would be called McAfee.

The chip company said in September it had signed the agreement with TPG to set up a cybersecurity company in which Intel shareholders would hold 49 percent of the equity with the balance held by the investment firm.

The two sides have now informed District Judge J. Paul Oetken of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that they consent to a settlement conference before Magistrate Judge Kevin Fox.

MGT announced in May last year it was teaming with John McAfee to set up a security company that would be named “John McAfee Global Technologies, Inc,” and would have him as the CEO and executive chairman.

Intel acquired McAfee Inc. in 2011 and uses the McAfee mark for security products, services, and publications for consumers and businesses. It countered in a letter in June that John McAfee does not have the right to use the McAfee name for security related goods and services.

The letter prompted John McAfee and MGT to file a suit to seek a judgment that “their use of or reference to the personal name of John McAfee and/or McAfee in their business,” including in the renaming of MGT, does not infringe on Intel’s trademark rights or breach any agreement between the parties.

John McAfee claims he entered in 1991 into an agreement with McAfee Associates, a precursor to McAfee Inc., to transfer certain assets to it in exchange for stock and a promissory note.

The maverick entrepreneur has argued in court that he had at no point in the agreement assigned rights to his personal name through an assignment of trademark or otherwise, or agreed to restrict his right to do business using his own name.

The settlement talks do not necessarily mean that the two sides will come to an agreement.