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Vendor News

Intel Unveils 8th Generation Core Chips

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Intel Unveils 8th Generation Core Chips

The solar eclipse taking place over N. America brings about the launch of the 8th generation Intel Core chips, starting with mobile processors promising a 40% performance boost over the previous generation.

Designed for notebooks and hybrid devices, the "U-series" consists of 4 processors featuring a thermal design power (TDP) of 15W. Intel says the new Core i5 and i7 processors can lead to notebooks and tablets with up to 10 hours of battery life, as well as the aforementioned performance boost.

All the revealed processors are quad-core, with support for 8 threads and updated UHD 620 graphics. This makes them more suited for games, 4K video playback, VR and video editing. The Core i7-8650U and i7-8550U have 1.9 and 1.8GHz base clock speeds respectively (up to 4.2 and 4.0GHz in boost mode) and also include 8mb of L3 cache.

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Qualcomm Buys into AI With Scyfer

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Qualcomm Buys into AI With Scyfer

Qualcomm announces the acquisition of Scyfer, a machine learning startup based in the Netherlands, in order to bolster its artificial intelligence capabilities.

“We started fundamental research a decade ago, and our current products now support many AI use cases from computer vision and natural language processing to malware detection on a variety of devices-- such as smartphones and cars-- and we are researching broader topics, such as AI for wireless connectivity, power management and photography,” Qualcomm says.

The company adds its research in AI covers fields including neural network techniques for semi-supervised and unsupervised training such as generative adversarial networks (GANs), distributed learning and privacy protection, network optimisation for on-device applications (including compression, inter-layer optimisations and sparsity optimisations) and specialised hardware architectures to accelerate machine learning tasks.

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Intel Readies for the Future With Ice Lake

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Intel Readies for the Future With Ice Lake

Intel might still have to officially the 8th generation of Core architecture, code named Coffee Lake, but it has already revealed details of the next generation-- Ice Lake.

Described as the "successor the 8th generation Intel Core processor family," Ice Lake processors will be built using a 10nm+ process. This is perhaps an odd move, since Chipzilla is still to officially detail the first 10nm Core architecture, Cannon Lake. It also throws a spanner in what is a confusing naming convention, what with Kaby Lake (14nm+), Coffee Lake (14nm++),  Cannon Lake (10mm) and now Ice Lake (10nm+).

Chipzilla originally hoped to move to a 10nm process by the end of 2016, 2 years after the launch of the 14nm process. However the technology proved more challenging than expected, probably due to a yield rate not high enough for the company. According to Anandtech, the process also depends on die size, with the first products using it being designed for smaller mobile applications (since yields for smaller parts are better than larger parts at the same defect rate).

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Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs Get Launch Date

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Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs Get Launch Date

Intel announces the date, time and place for the unveiling of the 8th generation Core processor family, known as Coffee Lake-- 21 August 2017, the same date as "the Great American Solar Eclipse."

"Amazing things happen when all things align," the press invitation excitedly states. Attendance is not limited to the press though, as Chipzilla will livestream the event on its Newsroom microsite and Facebook page.

Intel fails the give new information on the upcoming Coffee Lake CPUs, outside of marketing speech. As such, the announcement promises "blazing fast performance," "immersive experience" and "amazing systems designs." Such claims will be verified during the event, as Intel execs, VR creators and imaging pros should take the stage to use Coffee Lake-powered systems.

In addition, the event provides an excuse to view the solar eclipse making its way from Oregon in the West across the US.

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Intel Claims Record Q2 Results

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Intel Claims Record Q2 Results

Intel reports better than expected (at least by the analysts) revenues and income for Q2 2017, with revenues growing by 9% Y-o-Y to $14.8 billion while net income is up by 23% Y-o-Y to $3.5bn.

“Q2 was an outstanding quarter with revenue and profits growing double digits over last year,” CEO Brian Krzanich says. “We also launched new Intel Core, Xeon and memory products that reset the bar for performance leadership, and we’re gaining customer momentum in areas like AI and autonomous driving. With industry-leading products and strong H1 2017 results, we’re on a clear path to another record year."

However, despite such results the Financial Times says Intel is now the second-biggest chipmaker by revenues, as it has lost the crown to no other than the S. Korean giant, Samsung.

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Ryzen Boosts Q2 AMD Results

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Ryzen Boosts Q2 AMD Results

AMD publishes its Q2 2017 financial results-- overall revenues are up by 19% Y-o-Y to $1.22 billion while profit totals $25 million, even if the company remains in the red with losses reaching $16m.

The company is divided in 2 major segments, Computing and Graphics, and Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom. This quarter Computing and Graphics is the star, with revenues growing by 51% Y-o-Y to $659m thanks to demand for graphics and Ryzen desktop processors. The operating income for the segment is $7m, an improvement over the $81m loss of Q2 2016 thanks to what AMD describes as an "improved product mix."

Since Q2 2017 is the first full quarter of Ryzen processor shipments, it also sees an increase in desktop processor ASPs. GPU ASPs are also on the up, the result of a short supply (and growing demand) for desirable gaming-targeted graphics cards.

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Apple Builds Second Danish Datacentre

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Apple Builds Second Danish Datacentre

Apple confirms to Reuters it is spending $921 million (or 6 billion Danish crowns) to build a second datacentre in Denmark, one running entirely on renewable energy.

The facility is based in Aabenraa in southern Denmark, near the German border. It is set to start operations on Q2 2019, and will power Apple online services such as the iTunes, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for European customers. The aforementioned renewable energy powering the datacentre comes from a combination of wind and biomass energy.

"We're thrilled to be expanding our datacentre operations in Denmark, and investing in new sources of clean power," the company says. "The planned facility in Aabenraa, like all of our data centers, will run on 100% renewable energy from day one, thanks to new clean energy sources we're adding."

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