Intel showcases next era of computing at CES

At CES 2019, Intel has made several announcements spanning PCs and new devices to diverse growth segments, including artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and autonomous driving (AD).

The Intel leaders present also discussed the innovation necessary across the data centre, cloud, network and edge to enable the new user experiences and form factors of the future. Gregory Bryant  (senior vice president, Client Computing Group), Navin Shenoy (executive vice president, Data Center Group) and Professor Amnon Shashua (president and CEO of Mobileye, an Intel company) – took to the stage to explain the company’s commitment to continuously improve the computing and communications foundation that will advance the way people experience the world and expand human potential.

Key announcements (the relevant ones for you, hopefully!):

• Intel showcased numerous CCG developments including its latest Intel® Xeon® Scalable products with advanced AI and memory capabilities and 9th Gen Intel® Core™ desktop products
• Intel announced new 10nm products for PCs, servers and 5G wireless access base stations, the future of new chip designs based on its 3D packaging technology (Foveros)
• Mobileye is working with Ordnance Survey to bring us closer to the realisation of smart cities and safer roads.

Anyone can claim leadership in an isolated use case, but at Intel our aim is broader,” said Gregory Bryant. “The next era of computing demands innovation at an entirely different level – one that encompasses the entire ecosystem and spans every facet of computing, connectivity and more. We won’t settle for anything less.

The changing face of computing

Intel has been a leading light in the computing industry for decades, continuing to drive innovation across the PC industry.

The depth of experience and the broad set of technologies under one roof means that the corporation’s Client Computing Group is uniquely positioned to innovate across the industry, enabling Intel to advance the PC and deliver the data-centric foundation for the increasingly digital future.

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• New mobile PC platform with “Ice Lake”

Intel assert that the vision for tomorrow’s mobile PC platform is firmly aligned with the corporation’s upcoming first volume 10nm PC processor, code-named “Ice Lake”.

Ice Lake, according to Intel, will bring a new level of integration with the corporation’s new Sunny Cove microarchitecture —  which will accelerate AI usage and a graphics engine — and Intel Gen11 graphics to improve graphics performance for richer gaming and content creation experiences.

Intel’s OEM partners are expected to have new devices with Ice Lake on shelves by holiday 2019, according to the announcement.

• Project Athena

Intel also announced Project Athena at CES last night, an innovation program developed to help usher in a new class of advanced laptops, which are designed to enable new experiences and capitalise on next-generation technologies, including 5G and artificial intelligence.

The corporation delivered the first PC with integrated Wi-Fi in the Intel® Centrino® platform and helped drive super thin and light designs, touchscreens, and 2 in 1 form factors with Ultrabook™ into the mainstream.

Consequently, Intel believes it is uniquely positioned to be the catalyst in delivering the next-gen PC experience. Combining world-class performance, battery life and connectivity in sleek, beautiful designs, the first Project Athena devices are expected to be available in the second half of this year.

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• “Lakefield” preview

Intel announced that it is accelerating client innovation by taking new approaches to hybrid CPU architecture and packaging technologies.

At CES 2019, Intel provided a preview of a new client platform, called “Lakefield” (water seems to be a running theme here), featuring the first iteration of its Foveros 3D packaging technology — the technology set to transform the manufacturing industry.

According to Intel, this hybrid CPU architecture enables combining different pieces of IP that might have previously been discrete into a single product (with a smaller motherboard footprint), which allows OEMs more flexibility for thin and light form factor design. Lakefield is expected to be in production this year.

• Expanding 9th Gen Intel® Core™ desktop family

Intel introduced new additions to the 9th Gen Intel Core processors, creating a broader range of desktop products.

These processors, according to Intel, will ‘deliver world-class performance to unlock incredible new capabilities and experiences for content creators and gamers at all levels’. The first of the new 9th Gen Intel Core desktop processors is expected to be available starting this month.

Powering the data-first world

The following range of announcements concern harnessing the power of the massive amounts of untapped data in the cloud, network and edge.

• Advancing AI

Intel, last night, also announced the Intel® Nervana™ Neural Network Processor for Inference, or NNP-I (Facebook is one of Intel’s development partners on this).

This new class of chip was built to accelerate the end product for companies with high workload demands. It is expected to go into production this year. Additionally, Intel is expected to have a Neural Network Processor for Training, called “Spring Crest”, available later this year.

• 10nm server processor preview

Intel demonstrated its future Intel Xeon Scalable processor based on 10nm — Ice Lake. Compatible with the upcoming 14nm Cooper Lake, Ice Lake processors targeting servers are expected to deliver performance improvements, new hardware-enhanced security features and more, with shipments targeted for 2020.

• Expanding 5G with 10nm SoCs

Intel revealed that it is expanding its decade long investment in network infrastructure with new 10nm-based network system on chip (SoC), named “Snow Ridge”. It has been developed specifically for 5G wireless access and edge computing.

According to Intel, this network SoC will bring Intel architecture into wireless access base stations and allow more computing functions to be distributed out at the edge of the network. Snow Ridge is expected to be available in the second half of this year.

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• Shipping next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors

Finally (relieved?), Intel has started revenue shipments of its next-gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, code-named “Cascade Lake”.

Cascade Lake will support Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory and Intel® DL Boost, which is designed to accelerate AI deep learning. The product is expected to be broadly available in the first half of this year.

The product, innovation and partnership announcements we’re making today highlight that Intel’s strategy is working,” said Navin Shenoy. “We are making excellent progress in pursuing a massive $300 billion data-driven market opportunity spanning the most important workloads – such as AI, 5G and autonomous driving. And on a scale unmatched by others.

Engineering for human experience

There were three announcements concerning engineering the human experience, and while all were interesting, I felt this was the most relevant to you and your business.

When technologies work seamlessly together across the entire spectrum of computing — from device to cloud and across the network to the edge — they will deliver new, immersive experiences.

Mobileye — an Intel company — announced an agreement with UK mapping agency Ordnance Survey to expand the impact of automotive data.

This partnership will bring together high-precision location data to improve operations between businesses and cities, and close the gap on the smart city vision.

The announcement reads: ‘Ordnance Survey’s world-leading geospatial and technology expertise will be paired with Mobileye’s automotive camera-based mapping capabilities to offer a new, highly accurate and customisable location information service to Ordnance Survey customers across energy, infrastructure and other sectors. The new service will also support 5G, intelligent mobility and additional digital services, enabling a fully connected, digital Britain.’

Right, there’s a lot to digest here — take your time!

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...