Impressions Intel

Impressions from Intel’s Tiger Lake laptop CPU launch event – Ars Technica

laptop wars fight fight fight —

Intel wants people to stop thinking “CPU” and start thinking “experience.”

Intel shows off its platform work on motherboard miniaturization—which is key to modern, sleek, ultrathin designs that won't allow stacking components on <em>top</em> of the board anymore.” src=”×444.png”></img><figcaption>
<p><a data-height=Enlarge / Intel shows off its platform work on motherboard miniaturization—which is key to modern, sleek, ultrathin designs that won’t allow stacking components on top of the board anymore.


Intel held a launch event today for its next-generation laptop CPU family, codenamed Tiger Lake. There wasn’t much new information about Tiger Lake itself, though—if you followed our coverage of Intel Architecture Day last month, you already know most of the technical detail covered at today’s event.

Intel’s story on the raw performance of Tiger Lake today holds constant with both what the company announced at Architecture Day, and what the leaked i7-1185G7 benchmarks implied—significantly higher performance from the i7-1185G7 than from AMD’s Ryzen 7 4800U, in both CPU and GPU performance.

Taking direct aim at Renoir

  • Intel took very specific aim at a clearly named target today: the Ryzen 7 4800U.


  • Intel took great pains to declare large-margin victories over the Ryzen 7 4800U on tests run on a wide array of real-world applications.


  • The most compelling presentations showed split screen video with a Ryzen 4800U powered laptop on the left, and an Intel i7-1185G7 on the right. 4K video playback in Premiere stuttered badly on the Ryzen side.


  • A streaming presentation in which a creator gave an Adobe Lightroom tutorial on Ryzen 4800U (left) vs i7-1185G7 (right) showed a lot of spinning wait circles on the Ryzen side, and none on the Intel side.


We did see considerably more direct discussion of that competitive performance, however, with some pretty compelling side-by-side video of gaming, Adobe Premiere, and other tasks to back up Intel’s claims of market performance leadership with the upcoming parts. Of course, Intel has more angles to play here than raw hardware performance—the company has software partnerships with vendors like Adobe to make certain that its proprietary “value-added” features like Deep Learning Boost (aka AVX-512) are leveraged by those vendors.

In particular, the Adobe Premier, Photoshop, and Lightroom demonstrations leaned on AI-powered features using the Intel OpenVINO platform to perform inference workloads, taking advantage of Intel AVX-512 instructions. On the one hand, this is “unfair” to AMD—on the other hand, we’re not so certain that matters much to someone whose workload is largely Adobe Premier or other applications where Intel has gotten a software partnership foothold with the vendor.

Faster is faster, and slower is slower—as Intel manages to get the utilization of features like AVX-512 out into the wider application market, AMD will need to figure out a strategy to adapt and compete.

Deep marketing focus on Project Athena

  • Intel’s new “Evo” branding requires an Intel i5 or i7 CPU—but it also requires a lot of directly user-facing “experience” features.


  • Half the launch event was about the Athena/Evo platform branding, not Tiger Lake itself. Much of that revolved around the market research Intel did to try to understand how users use their machines, and what they really want.


  • Project Athena itself is about user experience metrics, such as battery life, slim design, and fast wake. These platform planks are the underlying hardware challenges that must be overcome to enable those user “experiences.”


  • Intel’s market research focused on four user verticals when deciding what needs and use cases Project Athena needed to guarantee answers for.


Apart from the side-by-side video demonstrating Tiger Lake’s high performance, the most interesting part of the launch event wasn’t really about Tiger Lake at all—it was about Intel’s Project Athena laptop certification and verification platform, and its newest branding “Evo.” A full half of the all-day presentation was devoted entirely to Athena and Evo, with very little mention of the actual hardware underneath. Instead, Intel wanted to convey a message of researching, listening to, and adapting to how end customers use their laptops.

Athena and its subset Evo aim to create a guaranteed, branded level of user experience—with minimum values for targets, such as long battery life, light-weight screen brightness, rapid wake time, and so forth. Although you can’t call a non-Intel laptop “Evo”—the specification requires a Core i5 or Core i7 CPU—Intel’s marketing works hard to frame Tiger Lake as more of a way to achieve the whole-system user experience that Athena and Evo guarantee than as a fully fledged product in its own right.


We’re hesitant to make any firm proclamations about hardware we’ve only seen a few limited videos of—Intel has had a very rough couple of years, its marketing hasn’t always been the most accurate, and it desperately needs a win here. Its side-by-side “against the competition”—meaning Ryzen 4800U—videos are quite compelling, but we’ll need direct third-party testing to see just how much of the advantage shown might require an artificially narrow workload.

What we are pretty confident about is that Tiger Lake looks like a much more meaningful competitor for AMD than Intel has been able to field for the last few cycles. Intel credits its underlying SuperFIN technology for the majority of the improvements, and that technology will apply to new desktop CPU designs as well—so if Tiger Lake pans out well, we can expect to see a similar renaissance in Intel’s desktop CPUs in 2021.

We hope to get our hands on one or more Tiger Lake-powered laptops for independent testing and review in N

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Intel Xe-HPC

Intel Xe-HPC GPU Status Update: 4 Process Nodes Make 1 Chip – AnandTech

Continuing today’s GPU news from Intel’s Architecture Day presentation, on top of the Xe-LP architecture briefing and Xe-HPG reveal, the company has also offered a brief roadmap update for their flagship sever-level part, Xe-HPC.

Better known by its codename of Ponte Vecchio, much to do has been made about Xe-HPC. The most complex of the Xe parts planned, it is also the cornerstone of the Intel-powered Aurora supercomputer. Xe-HPC is pulling out all of the stops for performance, and to get there Intel is employing every trick in the book, including their new-generation advanced packaging technologies.

The big revelation here is that we finally have some more concrete insight into what manufacturing processes the various tiles will use. The base tile of the GPU will be on Intel’s new 10nm SuperFin process, and the Rambo Cache will be a generation newer still, using Intel’s future 10nm Enhanced SuperFin process. Meanwhile it’s now confirmed that the Xe Link I/O tile, which will be used as part of Intel’s fabric to link together multiple Xe-HPC GPUs, will be built by an external fab.

That leaves the matter of the compute tile, the most performance-critical of the GPU’s parts. With Intel’s 7nm process delayed by at least six months, the company has previously disclosed that they were going to take a “pragmatic” approach and potentially use third-party fabs. And as of their Architecture Day update, they still seem to be undecided about – or at least unwilling to disclose – just what they plan on doing. Instead, the compute die is labeled as “Intel Next Gen & External”.

It’s an unusual disclosure, to say the least, as we’d otherwise expect the compute die to be made on a single process. But with no further commentary from Intel offered, make of that what you will. Perhaps they’re being straightforward, and they will actually use two very different process nodes for the compute die?

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acquires Intel

Intel acquires Rivet Networks, the maker of ‘Killer’ WiFi cards – Engadget

Once upon a time Bigfoot Networks was just a startup promising to lower latency with a “network gaming accelerator,” before delivering its tech under the Killer wireless brand. Its aftermarket NIC measurably outperformed onboard Ethernet ports, and increased anticipation for upcoming wireless hardware as gamers distanced themselves from the routers.

Qualcomm bought the company in 2011, then later spun it off as Rivet Networks, and continued to deliver Killer networking hardware that popped up in a lot of Dell/Alienware gaming laptops, among others, promising tweaks that might improve wireless connections, speed and responsiveness. Its focus is bandwidth utilization, as well as prioritizing things like gaming or high-bandwidth tasks like video streaming. However, occasionally its driver optimizations and drivers could cause issues too, with preinstalled SmartByte software causing an issue that could severely limit a user’s internet connection

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