Intel’s big news this week at CES is that more 9th-generation processors are coming later this year. But lurking in the company’s booth are a couple of wheelchairs you can control with facial expressions.
Tagged With intel
The elephant in the room has been, for a very long time, Moore’s Law, or really its eventual end game. Intel co-founder Gordon Moore predicted in a 1965 paper that the number of transistors on a chip would double each year. More transistors mean more speed, and that steady increase has fuelled decades of computer progress. It is the traditional way CPU makers make their CPUs faster. But those advances in transistors are showing signs of slowing down. “That’s running out of steam,” said Natalie Jerger, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Toronto.
Intel’s had a rough year, with major departures, security disasters, dwindling sales compared to its competitor, and the general appearance of a company trailing the competition technologically speaking. But in the twilight days of 2018 Intel’s laid out a plan of action to remind us all of exactly why Intel first crushed the competition to begin with, and it just gave us a peek behind the curtain about what’s to come.
The product categories in the CPU marketplace are rapidly eroding. Intel and AMD have spent the last year and a half furiously releasing new products and tweaking their lines to take on the competition. In some cases, prices have been slashed. In others, it’s meant CPUs have had more cores or threads packed in. The result is a murky marketplace with no clear winners or losers, just a lot of CPUs that go real fast.
It was only four years ago that tiny PCs capable of running Windows looked, oddly, like something from the 80s. Now, in 2018, you'll soon be able to get the likes of Hardkernel's ODROID-H2 — a 110mm² motherboard packing a full, x86-64 Intel CPU that can not only run Windows 10, but power two 4K displays.
OK, so Spectre — and its associated vulnerability Meltdown — were identified and some aspects of dealt with by CPU microcode and OS patches. Unfortunately, in the case of Spectre, these fixes resulted in a loss of system performance. The good news is for Windows 10 users, an upcoming update will reduce the impact to "noise-level" (a few percentage points).
The launch of a new CPU, particularly a gaming-centric one, is supposed to be a flashy event. And when Intel unveiled their 9th generation desktop CPUs, including what they termed as "the best gaming processor ever", that was undoubtedly the plan.
But instead of flashy headlines and discussion about its gap over the competition, Intel has found itself in a scandal related to benchmarks, third-party firms, and the role the press plays in validating and refuting hype.
ARM, after strongly hinting at a move into the notebook market with its "laptop class" Cortex-A76 CPU, has this week released a roadmap detailing how it plans to take on the likes on Intel and AMD, with two new, high-performance chips — 7nm and 5nm respectively — slated for 2019 and 2020.
I won’t lie, when AMD’s new 16-core monster CPU, the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X, arrived, I ran around the office showing off it and its accompanying air cooler to anyone who would make eye contact with me. The thing is enormous—easily twice as large as a standard desktop CPU from Intel. The air cooler, saddled with the goofy name Wraith Ripper and festooned with LED lighting, is larger than most power supplies, and if dropped, it could do damage to floors, feet, and small woodland creatures. Even people who know nothing about computers were suitably impressed by these enormous pieces of PC. Then they’d ask how much the Threadripper 2950X cost.
And that’s where I’d lose them.
After being long overdue for an update to new CPUs, last week Apple announced refreshed 2018 MacBook Pros with 8th-gen Coffee Lake chips from Intel, including the company's top-of-the-line consumer laptop processor, the six-core 2.9GHz Core i9-8950HK CPU. And in theory, this option seemed like a great addition to the MBP lineup by giving high-level video editors and graphics artists a little extra performance without any added bulk.
Intel's extremely limited edition i7-8086K processor is a six-core, 4GHz (5GHz turbo) chip, of which only 8086 exist. What's the fascination with the number 8086? Well, Intel is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first CPU based on the 8086 architecture and what better way to drive the point home than to overclock the dickens out of it?