Are you falling behind the latest technology developments? Don’t feel bad — keeping pace isn’t easy. But don’t feel complacent, either. Your customers expect you to be knowledgeable about the latest, greatest tech. If they think another tech provider could deliver with more intelligence, your business with them could be toast.
The solution? Training, and the credentials training can bring.
Intel is doing its part with Intel Partner University. This online facility offers literally hundreds of training courses on Intel and related technology.
To learn more about this training resource, we spoke recently with Harrison Li, partner training manager for global scale and partners in Intel’s sales and marketing group (pictured below). Here are highlights from our talk.
Why is it so important for tech providers to strengthen their credentials now? What’s changed?
It’s become clear that education is an important part of the value proposition. This industry has grown because people, companies and ecosystems have worked together to make sure we have an educated salesforce and workforce. With an educated workforce, everyone wins.
Yet the industry has become highly fragmented, and there are many specializations. You can’t be an expert in everything.
So the ability to gain new, specific knowledge in an area that pertains to your job function or the business problems you need to solve, that’s more important now than ever. And for those who have been out of the formal education process for a while, the best way to continue their education is to focus on the things they really care about and whatever their job requires.
Training is changing, too, isn’t it?
Yes, and in three big ways.
One, the shelf life of knowledge is getting shorter. What used to be 12, 18 or even 24 months of shelf life has trickled down to just 6 months. Because companies are coming up with new technologies, the life cycle of new products is coming faster and faster. If you don’t keep up, you’re going to fall behind quickly. Ask any engineer who graduated 10 years ago; much of what they learned in school is no longer relevant.
Two, technology is getting more complex. As a result, partners need a broader set of knowledge. They need to bring together various pieces to create a cohesive solution. Also, this is not just an Intel conversation. All members of our ecosystem have a role in this. We at Intel have a set of technologies, but there are also other partners and vendors that you need to learn about, too.
Three, attention spans are getting shorter. Yet for some of these complex solutions, it takes 20 minutes just to lay the groundwork of the problem and its implications. So we have to balance a more complex set of technology with shorter attention spans. People are busy. How do you balance that out?
How is Intel responding to these changes?
First, we’re responding with more content, more frequently. With our Competencies, there’s a 12- to 18-month cycle during which we want people to refresh and renew. As soon as new technology and new products are available, we’ll launch new content. This allows people to take our updated courses to then refresh and renew their Badges. It’s also a way for them to build up their continuing-education credits, renew their Badges, extend their reach in the marketplace, and keep up to date.
Second, we at Intel are working more closely with our ecosystem partners to combine our content and make it more cohesive. We want to stitch it together in advance, so partners don’t have to do it later.
Third, we’re looking to “chapterize” content so partners can digest smaller, easier bits of information in one sitting. Our idea is to build these chapters into a Competency. While there’s 4 to 6 hours of material, it’s digestible in 20-minute chunks. That way, you can work it into your schedule.
Is Intel training best for companies or individuals?
Both. Our Competency Badges give both individuals and companies a way to market themselves, to differentiate themselves from others. That level of accreditation will be reflected in the quality of work and capability.
In today’s labor market, workers have more power. We’re seeing the “great resignation.” One thing companies can do is show their employees that they value them, that they care. And one way to do this is to dedicate time to getting employees skilled up. Essentially, you’re saying, “Training is important to your career, and we’re going to give you time off to get it.”
Training is also good for your company. If a company can invest the time and resources to get their employees trained and knowledgeable, they’ll see greater employee satisfaction, greater productivity, and greater customer satisfaction. You’ll have the capability to solve your customers’ problems. Investing in employee training is good for the business.
Build your credentials:
> Browse the Competencies: client computing, storage & memory, data center and cloud, FPGA, IoT
> Check out these other 2022 Blueprint for Success posts:
Intel Partner University assets are free for members of Intel Partner Alliance. Not yet a member? Learn more about IPA and register to join today.
Looking to build your Device as a Service business with small and midsize business (SMB) customers? Eager to learn more about endpoint security with the latest Intel vPro processors?
If so, then mark your calendar to join 2 webinars this month sponsored by Intel Partner Alliance.
These webinars are open to all. If you’re an Intel Partner Alliance member, you’ll also receive 7 training credits for viewing each webinar live, or 5 credits for viewing on demand.
Attend live, and you’ll also be entered in a random drawing to win an Intel-branded prize pack.
Here are the 2 Intel webinars coming this month:
Cybercrime is growing at a rapid rate. What technologies are you using to manage and protect your customers in today’s dynamic hybrid-work environment?
Intel technologies on the new 12th Gen Intel vPro Platform can help you scale your remote-management capabilities. Join this interactive webinar to learn more.
SPEAKER: Eric Townsend, director of SMB and MSP marketing, Intel
WHEN: Thurs., March 17, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET
The momentum of the "As-a-Service" IT consumption model is growing quickly. Many of Intel's partners are taking advantage of this to grow their businesses.
Attend this Intel Partner Alliance webinar to hear about real-life partners and their best practices for deploying profitable as-a-service offerings. You’ll learn how to understand, manage and protect your SMB customers' IT environments like never before.
SPEAKER: Eric Townsend, director of SMB and MSP marketing, Intel
WHEN: Thurs., March 24, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET
Not yet a member of Intel Partner Alliance? Learn more and register now.
Looking for help marketing the products you sell or build with Intel technology?
If so, Intel is here to help with resources that include ready-to-use marketing assets and campaigns.
All that and more are offered by Intel Partner Marketing Studio. To learn more about this resource, we spoke recently with two Intel executives: Ian Freitas, global sales channels marketing director; and Alan Winscott, channels marketing enablement manager. Here’s an edited version of our conversation.
Intel marketing execs Ian Freitas (left) and Alan Winscott (right)
What are the main benefits a partner will get from using Intel Partner Marketing Studio?
Alan Winscott: Think of Studio as a marketing engine. It’s for partners who either lack marketing resources or simply want to dedicate more time to sales. Studio enables them to leverage the content Intel has created, put their brand on it, and send it to prospective customers.
Ian Freitas: And Studio offers full campaigns. Partners can get resources including digital banners, email templates, videos, sales resources and more. That’s everything you’ll need to talk with customers, create sales and create a strong path to market.
How much does using Studio cost?
Alan: Studio is available to all members of Intel Partner Alliance, and for them, accessing these resources is free. We currently have approximately 17,000 individual users on Studio, of whom about 8,100 are highly active, downloading an average of 7 assets a month.
Ian: There’s a huge investment behind these resources, a big commitment from Intel. For example, we have a Studio road map to make sure the marketing content is up to date with our latest products.
We know that timing is critical. When a new Intel product is launched, we have content ready. That way, when the product is launched, partners will be ready to sell. For example, we already have assets for the latest 12th gen Intel Core processors and Intel Evo platform laptops. Partners know there’s always going to be content they can leverage to have a conversation with their customers, to sell more, and to sell better.
When partners go to Studio, what sorts of marketing assets will they find?
Ian: We currently have more than 3,800 assets. As for asset types, you can find audience-focused campaigns with building-block content and messaging guidance to simplify deployment. These are richly designed, ready-to-use assets to speed your time to market. There’s a mix of both digital and print assets, too. These includes videos, posters, and printed “leave-behinds.”
We have assets for a wide range of Intel products. That includes Intel processors, OEM products, cloud services, Optane technology, SSD storage and NUC Mini PCs.
You’ll also find a comprehensive selection of marketing tools. These can help you drive Intel preference and sales conversions throughout the journey.
Alan: We’ve always had what we call “through partner” assets, and now we’re adding more “to partner” assets. The first group, “through partner,” are traditional marketing assets that partners can add their logo to, then send directly to a potential end customer.
By contrast, the “to partner” assets are informational. They’re designed to help partners understand how new Intel technologies fit in with the overall portfolio, as well as how they can sell them. For example, when Intel introduced the Compute Stick, Studio added informational assets showing partners how these devices could be used for digital signage.
How does Intel determine which types of marketing assets partners need?
Ian: At Studio, we’re customer-obsessed, so we gather a lot of feedback from our partners, then make improvements based on what they tell us. We make sure there are always open channels.
Alan: For example, we do a monthly measure of our Net Promoter Score (NPS), a metric for overall customer satisfaction. It asks questions such as, “How likely would you be to recommend this service to a colleague?”
Ian: About two years ago, we completely rebuilt the Studio platform from scratch. That was based on partner feedback. The new platform is built around what our partners asked for. We keep listening to them, and that shows in our very positive NPS scores.
Alan: We also work closely with the Intel business units. We have their product road maps, so we know when we need to create new marketing content. We also monitor asset downloads, so we can tell the business units what’s popular as well as what could possibly be retired.
In addition to adding their logo, are there other ways partners can customize the Studio assets?
Ian: Studio is made for a global audience, so you can also set the local language. We currently offer 17 languages, including Chinese, French, German and Japanese.
Boost your own marketing efforts:
> Visit Intel Partner Marketing Studio
> Studio assets are a benefit of membership in Intel Partner Alliance. Not yet a member? Learn more about IPA and register to join today.
> Check out these other 2022 Blueprint for Success posts:
Intel Partner Alliance held its second quarterly webinar today, complete with a live Q&A session. Here are your 5 top takeaways:
1. Partner support: Partners have asked for more consistent updates from Intel and its executives, and these webinars are part of the company’s response. They’ll be held quarterly, with the next webinar scheduled for June.
In addition, Owen Deleon, GM of Intel’s programmable solutions group, told today’s attendees that Intel plans to expand partner support in 4 main areas (see chart below):
2. Strategic vision: Invigorated by CEO Pat Gelsinger, Intel believes insatiable demand for compute will double the overall market opportunity to $1 trillion by 2030. What’s more, Intel intends to regain leadership in every market it competes in.
Intel has also committed itself to working closely with the open source community. And through its IDM 2.0 initiative, Intel will both sell components to other companies and buy some from others. Intel is building its new fabs modularly — that is, in sections rather than as one big facility. This will allow select portions of a fab to open sooner than others, meaning Intel will be able to ship some product faster.
3. Graphics cards: New client GPU cards should be coming from Intel in the April to June timeframe. They’ll be sold by third-party board vendors. “We’ll be fighting back for market share,” Deleon told attendees.
4. NUC supply: During the Q&A period, several partners complained of long lead times for Intel NUC Mini PCs. One partner was told by their distributor that high-end NUCs were on back order for up to 10 months.
Gina Merjanian, GM of U.S. inside sales at Intel, acknowledged the issue, but said at least some of the blame goes to third-party suppliers of boards and other NUC components. “Lead times should improve,” she told attendees, “but 2022 will still be tight.”
5. What’s coming: Today’s attendees were told about forthcoming Intel products that include: Sapphire Rapids, a next-gen Xeon processor for servers, coming in this year’s first half; Raptor Lake, a new desktop processor coming in the second half; and Meteor Lake, another client processor, due in 2023.
> Watch this webinar on demand via Intel Partner University. (Intel Partner Alliance members who view the webinar on demand will receive 5 training credits.)
> Not yet an Intel Partner Alliance member? Learn about IPA’s benefits and join now.
For your client-side customers who need the latest, greatest processors, Acer and Lenovo both recently introduced PCs powered by 12th gen Intel Core processors.
These processors were introduced by Intel in January, starting with the H-series for enthusiast laptops. Then, in February, Intel enlarged the 12th gen Core family with the P-series for high-performance thin and light laptops and the U-series for modern thin and light laptops.
The announcements come at a good time for the PC business, especially for those tech providers who serve business (as opposed to consumer) customers. In last year’s fourth quarter, revenue from commercial PC sales in the U.S. rose 13%, topping $9 billion, according to Canalys.
So here’s a look at the new Acer and Lenovo PCs with 12th gen Intel Core processors.
Acer has updated its Swift line of thin and light notebooks with two new models:
> Acer Swift 5: It’s a premium 14-in. laptop for executives and mobile professionals. Under the hood you’ll find a 12th gen Intel Core processor (up to 12 cores) with Intel Xe graphics; 16GB of LPDDR5 memory; and up to 2TB of PCIe 4 SSD storage.
It’s a good-looking device, thanks to an aerospace-grade aluminum case. That also keeps the weight down to 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg).
Acer Swift 5 laptop: powered by 12th gen Intel Core CPU
This laptop is Intel Evo-certified, which here means instant wake from sleep, 10 hours of battery life, and the ability to add 4 hours of battery life with just 30 minutes of charging. What’s more, the laptop’s keypad is “green,” made from ocean-bound plastic waste.
North American shipments are set to begin in June, with retail prices starting at just under $1,500.
> Acer Swift 3: Also a 14-inch laptop, this one is designed for what Acer calls the “pick up and go” lifestyle. Like the Swift 5, it’s powered by a 12th gen Intel Core processor. You’ll also get the same 2TB maximum of SSD storage.
One innovation is a dual-fan design. Acer says it delivers a 65% cooling improvement over having just one fan.
North American shipments are set for June, with retail prices starting at just under $850.
Lenovo doesn’t do things by half-measures. The company just introduced a long list of new computing devices, many of them powered by the latest Intel processors. Here’s just some of what’s new from Lenovo:
> ThinkBook 14s Yoga Gen 2 and ThinkBook 13s Gen 4 i: These two new ThinkBook laptops have a lot in common. That includes 12th gen Intel Core processors, support for Windows 11 Pro, fast SSD storage, Intel Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and an AI-powered meeting manager.
Lenovo ThinkPad 14s Yoga Gen 2
The differences? There are a few. As the names imply, the 14s has a 14-inch display, while the 13s has a slightly smaller display of 13.3 inches.
Memory is another difference: The 14s maxes out at 40GB, compared with 32GB for the 13s.
Also, the 14s can take an optional second SSD, giving it a total storage capacity of 2TB. The 13s takes only one SSD for maximum storage of 1TB.
Both of these ThinkBooks are set to ship in June. Starting retail prices have been set at €899 (approx. $1,000) for the 14s, and €749 (approx. $832) for the 13s.
> ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5: As the name suggests, this is a heavy-duty performer designed for highly demanding tasks.
Able to run under Windows 11 Pro, this 16-inch laptop’s key components include a 12th gen Intel Core vPro processor (up to the i9 H-series); Nvidia GeForce RTX laptop GPU; up to 64GB of DDR5 memory; and an optional dual-drive SSD storing up to 8TB.
Heavy-duty performance comes at a price. This device weighs more than 4 pounds. And its retail price will start at €2,749 (approx. $3,053) when shipments begin in June.
Own a 5G smartphone? Plan to fly soon? If so, you could be affected by the dispute between 5G cell service and air travel.
When it comes to 5G vs. aircraft, the most likely scenario is mainly a matter of inconvenience — you’ll experience either a delayed flight or delayed data. Both can be annoying, but neither is life-threatening.
C is for “Culprit”
This whole debacle comes down to an argument over what’s known as C-band radio frequencies — specifically, those between 3.7 and 3.98 GHz. These frequencies are now used by some 5G cellular towers.
The issue is, the C-band is too close for comfort to the frequencies used by aircraft altimeters. These important devices, used in most modern aircraft, operate primarily in the slightly higher 4.2 to 4.4 GHz range. But there’s enough crossover with the nearby C-range to worry the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The FAA has been very clear: Don’t mess with radio altimeters. These devices feed as many as 17 vital aircraft systems, including the engines, terrain avoidance, collision avoidance and speed brakes.
Altimeter (upper right) of a Boeing 737 jet
Perhaps most important, radio altimeters help pilots land their heavy aircraft when visibility is low, such as during pelting rain, thick fog or heavy snow. That’s also when an aircraft is close enough to the ground for the signal from a terrestrial 5G antenna to cause interference.
Need for speed
Okay, but couldn’t we just go about our lives without 5G service operating in the C-band? Sure we could. But we don’t want to.
That’s because C-band (aka mid-band) is the sweet spot. It sits right in the middle of the spectrum, offering the best combination of speed and coverage.
The low-, mid- and high-band of the 5G spectrum
By comparison, low-band frequencies (600 to 850 MHz) offer better dispersion over large geographical areas. But the data down there can be thin on the ground. In fact, low-band data streaming speeds are not much faster than those of older 4G.
At the other end of the spectrum is the high-band (24 to 47 GHz), also known as the millimeter-wave frequency. Here, data travels so fast, it feels like you’re streaming over a Wi-Fi connection. With a solid millimeter wave connection, you can download HD movies in seconds and play the latest AAA games without latency or drop-outs.
But millimeter-wave has an Achilles heel: It cannot travel over long distances or through walls. Until these issues are overcome by wireless companies such as Verizon and AT&T, high-band streaming in all but the most favorable of physical locations will remain a dream of the near future.
For now, C-band offers the best of both worlds. On the one hand, you’ve got an operating area almost as wide as low-band. On the other, you get data speeds that, while not as fast as high-band, still stream up to 10 times faster than older 4G.
Just a Band-Aid?
The industry’s main response to the C-band dilemma has been to strike an uneasy compromise. The FAA is now approving the use of various radio altimeters — but only when airlines and manufacturers can prove the device is all but infallible when operated near a C-band-using 5G cell tower.
Also, the FAA’s approval process is slow. While many radio altimeter-equipped aircraft have been officially cleared for a safe landing, there have also been many exceptions.
To date, about 20% of the U.S. commercial fleet is still sitting in hangars due to the altimeter/C-band issue. Of particular note is the grounding of the country’s most prolific wide-body, long-haul jet, the Boeing 777.
Wireless carriers are helping, too. They’ve agreed to keep their C-band-emitting cell towers at least 2 miles away from most major U.S. airport runways, at least until a better resolution comes along.
It’s not yet clear how the 5G story will end. But chances are we’ll find out soon.
Organizations on both sides of this issue include some of the country’s wealthiest, most powerful companies. They want this issue resolved, and they have the resources to make it happen.
On one side is the beleaguered aviation industry. It’s had a rough time since the onset of the global pandemic. With thousands of flights canceled daily during the worst days of the pandemic, the airlines, aircraft manufacturers and pilots’ unions are looking for a way to stop the red ink from bleeding them dry.
On the other side are the wireless carriers — Verizon, AT&T, et al. They’ve already spent well over $81 million buying the rights to use certain parts of the radio spectrum, including C-band frequencies. Now the carriers want to transform that investment into a lucrative return.
Apple iPhone 13: Full 5G C-band connectivity? Yes, please
But don’t forget hardware designers like Apple and Samsung. They’ve been shipping 5G handsets since 2019. Last year, phone makers shipped nearly 90 million 5G devices in the U.S. alone.
All that boils down to a group of highly motivated multibillionaires on the warpath to resolution.
When and how the 5G issue gets resolved is anyone’s guess. For now, the best thing to do before traveling is to draw up a contingency plan in case your flight gets canceled.
Or, ya know, take the train.
Can tech providers become trusted advisers on an advanced, complicated technology such as artificial intelligence?
Yes, and here’s why: If your customers are using the right processors, AI is just another workload. And your customers already know how to add a new workload.
More specifically, if your customers are running servers based on the latest Intel Xeon Scalable processors, they’re essentially ready to roll with AI.
That’s because Intel has enhanced those CPUs with a built-in engine that can accelerate AI with most popular software. For your users, AI is just another workload.
Plus, your customers already know that Intel Xeon processors work well when running multiple workloads. In fact, most AI workloads (especially inferencing) are already broadly deployed on Intel Xeon processors.
A big, fast-growing market
Why care? Because the AI market is big and growing fast. It’s a rising tide that could truly lift your boat.
How big? This year, worldwide revenue for AI hardware, software and services should approach $433 billion, predicts market watcher IDC.
Looking ahead to 2023, IDC foresees AI sales topping $500 billion worldwide. That would mark annual growth of nearly 20%.
That leads IDC researcher Ritu Jyoti to call AI technology “the next major wave of innovation.”
Is that a wave you’d like to catch? If so, Intel wants to help.
What about GPUs?
Among the first questions you may hear from a customer getting into AI are: “Don’t we need GPUs or special accelerators? And aren’t these costly?”
Here’s your answer: Yes, GPUs can be costly, but no, you don’t always need them. In fact, if you’re now using Intel Xeon Scalable processors, you can already run many AI workloads right out of the box. For certain AI workloads, these Intel CPUs can actually outperform a GPU.
That includes cases where AI is built into a workload. For example, an enterprise application that does some data pre-processing.
Your customers can also use Intel Xeon CPUs when AI is a standalone workload that resides on the same infrastructure as many other workloads. For example, this could include off-peak batch inference or distributed training.
To be sure, there are times when GPUs and accelerators truly are needed. That might be the case for large-scale deep learning, dedicated training or latency-critical inferencing.
But that affects a relatively small number of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and, for that matter, even larger enterprises. That’s because these types of AI workloads are more commonly in the scope of super-large enterprises — think Facebook, Google, et al.
Intel isn’t opposed to GPUs or in general AI accelerators. After all, Intel is getting ready to introduce AI accelerators, including its Ponte Vecchio, this year. But Intel also knows that while many SMBs want to run AI, they can’t afford to make big investments in AI-specific hardware.
AI on a CPU?
At this point, you might wonder whether general-purpose server CPUs can really do AI.
Intel says they certainly can. As the company points out, across a variety of real-world end-to-end AI workload scenarios, using popular machine- and deep-learning libraries and frameworks, Intel Xeon Scalable processors can either match or even outperform the competition.
Also, Intel Xeon processors can be more cost-effective than GPUs. They’re more widely available, and your customers probably have many of them installed today. And they can run other workloads when not being used for AI. For these reasons and more, doing AI work on Intel Xeon-powered servers can be a major cost-saver.
If your customers already have Intel Xeon CPUs powering their servers, tell them they’re also ready to start running AI. And if they don’t yet have Intel Xeon processors? That’s your cue to do some tech advising.
Become an AI trusted adviser:
> Get training with these 2 Intel Partner University Competencies:
Not yet a member of Intel Partner Alliance? Join now.
The Intel Xeon D processors are system-on-chip (SoC) devices designed specifically for software-defined networks and the edge.
New features include integrated AI and cryptography acceleration, built-in Ethernet, support for Intel Time Coordinated Computing and Time Sensitive Networking.
On beyond the data center
It’s all about extending compute beyond the data center — and making networks more open, flexible and scalable. “The network,” Nick McKeown, general manager of Intel’s Network and Edge Group (NEX), said during today’s presentation, “is moving to software and programmable platforms.”
To back this up, Intel points to Gartner’s forecast that fully half of all data will be created and processed outside traditional data centers by as soon as 2025 — that’s less than 3 years off.
Intel further expects the global market for network and edge infrastructure to reach an impressive and lucrative $77 billion by 2026.
Under the hood
The new Xeon processors feature industrial-class reliability, multiple hardware-based security capabilities and up to 56 high-speed PCIe lanes to support high-bandwidth networks with up to 100Gb Ethernet.
The Intel Xeon D-1700 is scalable from 4 to 10 cores. And the Intel Xeon D-2700 is scalable from 4 to 20 cores. Cache capacities range from 5 MB to 30 MB. And the processors’ maximum Turbo frequencies range from 1.7 GHz to 3.4 GHz.
Performance improvements over previous-generation processors are pretty impressive. Here are a few, courtesy of Intel:
> Up to 2.4x improvement for visual processing inference
> Up to 1.7x for complex networking workloads
> Up to 1.5x for SD-WAN, SASE and edge use cases with IPSec
> Up to 1.8x for application delivery controller, and security appliance use cases with TLS
> Up to 1.56x for communication appliances
As part of Intel’s shift to a more open approach, the company is working with several partners on Intel Xeon D processor designs. These partners include Cisco, Juniper Networks and Rakuten.
Intel had a big day. The company also announced what officials there are calling the biggest upgrade to the OpenVINO since the toolkit’s introduction.
Called OpenVINO 2022.1, it features an updated and simplified API; broadened model coverage; and a new automatic optimization capability.
Intel also made some pre-announcements regarding its next-generation Intel Xeon scalable processor, code-named Sapphire Rapids. These new Xeon CPUs, Intel says, will offer new features that include 5G-specific signal-processing instruction enhancements and optimizations for vRAN (virtualized radio access network) workloads.
Intel is already working with several partners on Sapphire Rapids implementations. These partners include Samsung, Ericsson and Rakuten.
The company even has a new, edgy tagline: “Where there’s 5G, there’s Intel.”
Get on edge:
> Read a blog post: Intel Xeon D processors: Built for the Edge, by Jennifer Panhorst
The Intel NUC 12 Extreme Mini PC and NUC 12 Extreme Compute are the newest members of Intel’s NUC family. Like the line’s other Mini PCs and modular kits, the 12 Extremes are small but also powerful.
And they’re designed for high-performance applications. That includes enthusiast gaming, content creation and media streaming.
Intel NUC 12 Extreme Mini PC - front & back
Both new NUCs are powered by the latest 12th gen Intel Core processors. They also can take full-size 12-inch graphics cards, including PCIe x16 gen 5. And they offer a range of ports, including Thunderbolt 4.
Yet these NUCs are small. The Mini PC measures approximately 7 inches high, 5 inches wide, and 14 inches deep.
The modular Compute Element gives you the ability to customize graphics, memory, storage and OS — your choice of Windows 10, Windows Server or various Linux distros.
Both the Mini PC and Compute Element offer a choice of either a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 (up to 4.9GHz) or i9 processor (up to 5.1GHz). System memory maxes out at 64GB of dual-channel DDR4. And storage options include Intel Optane SSD and Intel Optane memory M10, H10 and H20.
Intel NUC 12 Extreme Compute Element
Wi-Fi 6 connectivity is built in, as are 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports — one on the rear, the other on the front. There are also ports for HDMI 2.0 and Mini DisplayPort 1.4.
Shipments of the Intel NUC 12 Extreme Mini PC and Compute Element are set to begin sometime in the second quarter. Starting retail prices will range from $1,150 for a device powered by a Core i7 processor to $1,450 for one powered by a Core i9. The new devices are also backed by Intel’s 3-year warranty.
> Get more specs from the Intel NUC 12 Extreme product brief.
Intel today introduced two new members of its 12th gen Intel Core processor family: the P-series for high-performance thin and light laptops, and the U-series for what Intel calls “modern” thin and light laptops.
These join the 12th gen Intel Core H-series processors announced by Intel in January, which are designed for enthusiast laptops.
One way to understand the difference is in the power requirements. The H-series is rated at 45 watts, the P-series at 28W, and the U-series at 15W and 9W. This range, Intel says, provides a scalable architecture for all laptop segments.
Intel says the first devices using the new P-series and U-series processors will ship next month. By year’s end, the company adds, more than 250 devices will be available with the new processors, and they’ll be offered by leading hardware makers including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and others.
P-series at a glance
The 12th gen Intel Core P-series processors offer up to 14 cores, a mix of up to 6 P-cores (for performance) and 8 E-cores (for efficiency). This is Intel’s new Core architecture, introduced with the earlier H-series.
The new P-series processors run up to 70% faster than the previous generation, Intel says. And up to 30% faster for productivity applications such as web browsing and photo editing.
The latest connectivity tech is built-in, including Intel Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4. Also built-in is Intel Xe graphics and imaging with Intel image processing, image quality and enhanced videoconferencing.
The new P-series processors are available in a total of 6 SKUs.
U-series at a glance
The U-series offers a choice of two form factors, each with a different power requirement. There’s the larger 50x25x1.3 mm package, rated at 15W base power. And the smaller 28.5x19x1.1 package rated at just 9W base power.
These CPUs also include Intel Wi-Fi 6E, Thunderbolt 4, Intel Xe graphics and Intel image processing.
The U-series is available in 14 SKUs.
Evo 3rd edition
Today Intel also introduced the third edition of its Evo laptop specification.
One big change will be a higher bar for videoconferencing. The new spec also raise requirements for general responsiveness, instant wake, and battery life and charging times.
Currently, more than 100 laptop designs from over 150 partners adhere to the Intel Evo spec. More devices are expected to join Evo this year, including laptops with 5G connectivity, visual sensing and multi-device capabilities.