Intel’s new CEO, Pat Gelsinger, was among a group of U.S. corporate leaders who met yesterday with President Biden to address the chip shortage.
Shortly after the meeting, Gelsinger was interviewed by CNBC TechCheck. Here are his top 5 takeaways:
1) Government funding for the “Chips Act” (short for Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) is essential. “We’ve seen the motivation,” Gelsinger said. “Now it’s time to get that funded.”
2) More chipmakers are needed, and in more countries. “We have to start building more capacity across the world,” Gelsinger said. “We’ve become way too dependent on a too small of a footprint in Asia. We need a more balanced supply chain globally.”
3) The U.S. government should provide incentives for American companies to build fab plants in the U.S. “We want to have the R&D, the research, the ownership of the technology — and not just the manufacturing — by American companies on American soil," he said. "That’s what we mean by a more balanced footprint across the world.”
4) The global pandemic has accelerated the centrality of tech. “Leadership in semiconductors is foundational for the digital lives that we’re all experiencing,” Gelsinger said. “We were on this path where more of our lives are becoming digital, and COVID just accelerated that dramatically."
5) The U.S. urgently needs to change course. “Twenty-plus years ago, the U.S. was at 37% of global [chip] supply. Today we’re at 12% — and headed to less than 10%. This is the most critical technology, and we’re going to lose control? We must act now….Our ‘moon shot’ should be that a third of semiconductors should be back on American soil, by American companies.”
The latest 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, announced earlier this month, are delivering support for the PCIe 4.0 interfaces. To bolster severs based on the new Xeon Scalable processors, Intel has announced a new Ethernet network adapter.
Known as the Intel Ethernet Network Adapter E810-2CQDA2, the new adapter delivers up to 200 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bandwidth in a PCIe 4.0-compliant server. Each QSFP28 port supports up to 100Gbps, providing the throughput and functionality of two 100Gbps adapters in a single PCIe 4.0 slot.
Intel set out to match the bus (PCIe 4.0) with the bandwidth (Ethernet network speed). This new adapter, by taking advantage of the increased bandwidth, balances platform performance and helps ensure the network isn’t a bottleneck. It’s all about getting a balanced platform.
PCIe for speed
Support for PCIe 4.0 is important. This latest iteration of the PCIe interface basically doubles overall throughput, when compared with 3.0.
Your data-center customers need that bandwidth to support today’s data-centric computing use cases. These include accelerated network storage, cloud, communications and high-performance computing (HPC).
Intel’s new network adapter is available from tech distributors, resellers and other channel partners. Also, several hardware OEMs are bringing to market servers based on the 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Some of these OEMs plan to support as many as 6 of the new Intel network adapters in a single server, bringing a physical server’s maximum throughput to 1,200 Gbps.
From the perspective of both the server OS and the user, the Intel Ethernet Network Adapter E810-2CQDA2 appears as 8 physical network adapters. That also means it can handle 8 separate networks.
800 Series support
Like other members of the Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapter family, the new E810-2CQDA2 supports several key technologies from Intel. These include:
> Application Device Queues: For predictability at scale, ADQ enables application-specific data steering, signaling, and rate limiting using an optimized application thread to the device data path. This increases performance, reduces latency and improves throughput.
> Ethernet Port Configuration Tool: EPCT lets the user program each port to act as a separate physical adapter. There are many possible configurations, including 2 x 100Gb, 4 x 50Gb, and 8 x 25Gb.
> Dynamic Device Personalization: DDP improves packet-processing efficiency. The Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapter firmware loads an enhanced DDP profile with many workload-specific protocols at driver initialization for greater flexibility.
> Remote Direct Memory Access: RDMA enables 2 machines on the same network to exchange memory without involving the operating system or the processor, further reducing latency. Both iWARP and RoCE v2 are supported simultaneously.
Security is provided using several methods. These include Zero Trust, which essentially means every server request, whether from inside or outside the network, must be verified to determine whether access should be granted.
Also, all Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapter components comply with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. Basically, this means that hardware-based security features protect the firmware and critical device settings.
These features include corruption detection and automated device recovery. If a device is attacked or corrupted, these features enable it to return to its originally programmed state.
Tell your data-center customers about Intel’s latest server processors and network adapters. Together, these components are powering the new generation of servers your customers need today.
You already know about the Intel NUC — but do you know this mini-PC is supported by a slew of third-party solutions?
Well, it is. Intel operates what it calls the Intel NUC Ecosystem Partner Solutions. It’s basically a set of products developed by third-party partners for Intel NUC products.
These products are sold, serviced, and supported exclusively by the ecosystem partners. In other words, Intel’s warranties do not apply.
That said, there’s a wealth of goodies to choose from. Intel has arranged them into 3 main categories: Element U, Element H, and Mini PC.
Here’s a brief description and sampling of all 3 categories:
Intel NUC Element U
This group features third-party ecosystem products including all-in-ones (AIO), mini PCs, notebooks and Open Pluggable Specification (OPS).Offering suppliers in this category include:
Catch the Bleu Jour Wave
> Loop: This hardware designer and manufacturer offers the LP-238, a modular all-in-one PC based on an Intel NUC compute element.
> Shenzhen MADIGI: This Chinese designer and manufacturer offers the MPC33, a PC based on the Intel NUC compute element; MOP02, a compute element based on OPS; the N133D, a 2-in-1 convertible laptop; and the N141H, a clamshell laptop.
Intel NUC Element H
These are third-party products based on NUC chassis and graphics cards. Offering suppliers in this category include:
> AsusTek Computer: You know ASUS for their PCs. But the company also offers for Intel NUC a Dual GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Mini graphics card, GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, and 1660 Super Mini graphics card.
> Cooler Master: As the name implies, this company makes PC coolers. For the Intel NUC, Cooler Master offers the Mastercase NC100, a small-form-factor enclosure with two 92mm fans; it’s compatible with the Intel NUC 9 Extreme compute element.
Cooler Master Mastercases for Intel NUC
> SilverStone Technology: This Taiwanese company, founded in 2003, offers enclosures for Intel NUC compute elements. Current NUC offerings include the Vital 3 (model no. SST-VT03) and Vital 4 (SST-VT04).
Intel NUC Mini PC
In this category, you’ll find third-party ecosystem products including NUC chassis, accessories and add-ons.
> EWC Technologies: This company specializes in providing Intel NUC services. That includes Power over Ethernet (PoE) versions of the Intel mini-PCs.
> GORITE: Get nitty-gritty with this supplier’s cabling solutions for customizing Intel NUC mini-PCs.
> Simply NUC: A NUC specialist, this company is now featuring the Porcoolpine, a mini-PC that uses fins instead of fans to stay cool. Here's a look:
Get more NUC:
Today, when Intel announced its latest 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor, company officers pointed out that the new CPU is not just a component. Instead, they said, it’s part of Intel’s newly reimagined edge-to-cloud portfolio.
The new processor was announced as part of a one-hour livestream entitled “Solve for X.” In this case, X can be whatever world-changing technology your customers are developing.
Navin Shenoy, GM of Intel’s data platform, was among the speakers, and he pointed to 4 inflection points Intel says necessitate a new kind of data-center CPU: hybrid cloud, AI, 5G and edge computing. These changes, he added, are leading to the “fastest, biggest computing build-out in history.”
New platform for new computing
The new 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors have been designed for the cloud, high-speed networks and the edge, Shenoy added.
That includes built-in AI, cryptographic acceleration, hardware-based security, and support for both Intel’s Optane SSDs and Optane Persistent Memory.
Intel says the new Xeon Scalable processors deliver an average performance improvement on popular data-center workloads of 46%. That’s compared with the previous, 2nd gen.
Virtually all the top cloud service providers plan to offer solutions based on the new Xeon Scalable processors soon, Shenoy said. Today’s livestream included presentations from officers of Microsoft, Oracle and Verizon.
As explained by the second main speaker, Lisa Spelman, Intel’s GM of Xeon and memory, the new Xeon processors support 1, 2, 4 and 8-socket configurations. Up to 40 cores are possible, and up to 64 lanes of the PCIe 4.0, the latest version.
AI is provided, in part, by Intel’s Deep Learning Boost. And hardware-based security is coming from Intel Software Guard Extension (SGX).
Spelman also said a new version, Xeon D, is now sampling. It’s designed for what she called “form-factor-constrained environments.”
The new Intel Xeon Scalable processors are also being supported by Intel’s 2 solutions programs: Market Ready Solutions and Intel Select Solutions. Intel says these programs now offer more than 500 ready-to-deploy solutions for IoT that are supported by the new CPUs.
The morning’s third speaker was Intel’s new CEO, Pat Gelsinger. He was careful to spell out that Intel is now focused on providing solutions that matter.
“We are no longer just the CPU company,” he insisted.
Gelsinger also introduced a new series of “innovation events” called Intel On. The first event in the series, he added, will be held in San Francisco in October.
Intel’s new CEO, Pat Gelsinger, has presented a bold new vision for the company’s future. If you’d like to hear that vision firsthand, you won’t want to miss an upcoming Intel event.
Called “How Wonderful Gets Done 2021,” this online event will offer expert insights from Intel and its ecosystem partners. The event is happening on Tuesday, April 6, starting at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET.
Intel has also said that it will use the April 6 “Wonderful” event to introduce the new 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, code-named Ice Lake. Other new products set for announcement that day include hardware and software for data centers, 5G networks and intelligent edge infrastructures.
Featured Intel speakers at the April 6 event will include CEO Gelsinger; Navin Shenoy, GM of the data platforms group; and Lisa Spelman, GM of the Xeon and memory group.
The day will also include technical sessions on AI, IoT, 5G networking, high performance computing (HPC), and cloud infrastructure. These sessions will be led by Intel subject-matter experts.
All in all, it should be an exciting and informative event, and one that Intel partners will want to attend.
Learn more about the How Wonderful Gets Done 2021 event, and plan to join Intel’s tech elite on Tuesday, April 6 at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET.
One important aspect of the new Intel Partner Alliance is what’s known as roles.
Every member of Intel Partner Alliance will be assigned a role based on their business competency. Each role has its own set of requirements and benefits. The new roles are also designed to unite partners in a program designed to meet their business needs and spur innovation.
Which role fits your company? Here’s a complete list of the 9 new Intel Partner Alliance roles, along with their official definitions:
> FPGA design services: Offers engineering services related to Intel field-programmable gate array products. These include RTL design, design optimization, IP integration, feasibility studies, testing and verification, and FPGA board design.
> Cloud service provider (CSP): Offers as-a-Service cloud offerings that include software (SaaS), infrastructure (IaaS), and platform (PaaS).
> Independent software vendor (ISV): Develops, sells and supports both branded and non-branded software and applications.
> Distributor: Sells the latest Intel processors, SSDs, server products and other components, all sourced directly from Intel.
> Manufacturer: Builds systems and subsystems (including motherboards) for both compute and IoT. These companies then provide these products to other partners (such as OEMs) in the value chain.
> OEM: Designs and brands their own products. Some have their own manufacturing, assembly and configuration operations. Others purchase from manufacturers and then resell under their own brand.
> Solution provider: Resells OEM systems and software, and providers of IT services. They provide solutions directly to customers, through channel networks and via storefront retail.
> Service integrator: Architects and implements business-process transformation and solution integrations. Also offer consulting by connecting and integrating software, hardware and cloud solutions.
> Guest: None of the above.
Intel will determine your role based on information you provide, information from Intel field staff, and information from public sources.
Most likely, you’ll qualify for just one role. But if multiple roles are appropriate, or if you believe you’ve been assigned an incorrect role, get in touch with your Intel field rep or customer-support person.
Intel Partner Alliance offers some powerful benefits. Make sure you’ve activated your account. And start enjoying your new partnership role.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to Friday. Here are some fun facts to help you and other tech providers wrap up the work week and get ready for the weekend.
AI backpack for the blind
An Intel developer has created an AI-powered backpack designed to help the visually impaired walk around safely.
The developer, Jagadesh Mahendran, says the backpack can detect traffic signs, hanging obstacles, moving objects, even changing elevations. Learn more.
Citi: Zoom-free Fridays
Who says bankers are uptight? Citibank CEO Jan Fraser this week launched Zoom-Free Fridays. She says they're aimed at giving Citi employees a break from Zoom fatigue.
Okay, Citi is a bit uptight. The bank also said that Friday calls with clients and regulators may still be done on Zoom. The new easing applies only to internal calls. But still. Check out the memo.
Bad news for cryptocurrency fans: Fraud-prevention company Bolster finds that the number of cryptocurrency-related scams nearly doubled last year.
This year, Bolster expects, suspicious activity around cryptocurrency will increase by an estimated 75%. Read more…
To remain competitive during these challenging times, tech providers need to enhance their skills. One way to do this is with training.
And one way to get trained is with the Competencies on Intel Partner University (IPU). Competencies are deeper training curriculums that can help you build expertise in a specific product, technology or business segment.
At least, that’s the theory. How about in practice?
To find out, we spoke recently with Jas Batra. He’s VP of New Technologies at MJP Technologies, an IT services provider in Ventura, Calif. Jas is a good person to ask; he recently completed over a half-dozen IPU Competencies. What follows is an edited version of our conversation.
Jas Batra, VP of new technologies, MJP Technologies
What’s been the main benefit you’ve received from training with IPU Competencies?
The Intel trainings are short and sweet. That’s great. They go directly to what we need. For each technology, there are a half-dozen or so training modules—it varies by competency—they cover everything you need to know. You do it, you learn it, you take the test, and you’re done.
The Competencies are highly focused, and they get straight to the nitty-gritty. They avoid the basic stuff we covered years ago and don’t need to hear again. I hate sitting through an all-day class when I need just one component that they’re not going to cover until the end of the day.
With so many people now working from home, how do IPU Competencies fit in?
That’s another great thing about the short modules. When do you have time? I’m working from home, I’ve got so many things going on, and I can’t sit for an hour straight. Especially with a kid in the house. Shorter modules make that so much more convenient. Yet you’re still getting all the information you need.
Do Competencies help you serve your customers? If so, how?
Absolutely. I’m going to easily turn around the technology into something we can sell to our customers. Our customers don’t speak technology. They speak ROI. They want to know, “What’s it going to do for my business?”
Also, because the modules are so short—some are just 10 minutes—the information is easy to retain. When you have a two-hour class, it can be hard to remember the first 30 minutes, especially if some parts aren’t relevant to your needs. But with these short and to-the-point modules, retaining the information is easy.
For example, I took the Gaming Systems Competency training and was pleased to see that a course addressed overclocking some of Intel’s high-end processors with details on how to get the best tuning, rather than by trial and error. That’s exactly what I need to know.
How detailed are the IPU Competency trainings?
In the technical competencies, they get quite detailed. For example, in the Intel Optane Technology Data Center Technical competency, they have you go through the command-line details. That’s to make sure you understand which commands you have to run, and what the command will do. These are the details we’ll need to actually implement.
Can you give an example of how information from an IPU Competency training helped you serve or influence a customer?
Sure. I completed the Intel Optane Technology Data Center Solution and Technology Competencies, and I earned the badges. Then I realized that with VMware vSAN—we do a lot of VMware-based solutions—one customer’s implementation would actually be much different when using Intel Optane technology.
Compared with a regular 3D NAND, this would give the customer higher IOPS [input-output operations/sec.] with fewer drives. Their cost would be about the same, maybe even a little less. But the main benefit would be the speed with which they could get the VMs fired up. So now that I understand Intel Optane technology, I can offer not only this customer a better solution, but other customers as well, both now and in the future.
That also helped with the customer’s VMware vSAN solution, which we’re basing on Intel Optane technology. There were a couple commands in the training that we were able to use with the customer, too. Given how quick the modules are, they cover a lot of detail, which was a pleasant surprise.
For this customer, what’s been the main benefit?
We actually did a proof-of-concept for them. It was completed a few weeks ago, and now we’re waiting for the customer’s approval. We’re going with Intel Optane DC SSDs, rather than with 3D NAND SSDs as we’d have done in the past.
This customer serves K-12 students, and they have a VMware environment. So we used the same exact hardware; all we did was swap out the drives. When they saw how much faster things would fire up and respond with Intel Optane DC SSDs, they realized this solution could deliver results in a lot less time.
Also, we’ve done the testing, and we’ve had some calls with our Intel sales rep and technology leads to validate the solution. We wouldn’t have done that without the Intel Optane DC Technology training.
How important to customers are the Competency badges?
With new customers, someone you’re presenting to for the first time, it’s important. New customers want to know your background, your competencies, your areas of experience. This is where the badges really make a difference.
Have other MJP employees taken the trainings?
Yes, a few others have. Within just minutes, they had ideas about something new we could offer our customers. It’s a good use of our time, as it produces a return that’s almost immediate.
Intel’s newest server family has a split personality. And that’s a good thing.
On the one hand, the new servers—called the Intel Server System M70KLP family—are designed to run mainstream workloads. On the other, unlike most mainstream devices, Intel’s newest servers also provide extremely high levels of compute and memory density.
The Intel Server System M70KLP family can do this, in part, because it’s the first line of servers to support the 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors with up to 6 Ultra Path Interconnects (UPIs). It also offers the highest available memory capacity of any Intel server.
As a result, these new servers can handle compute- and memory-intensive workloads. That includes analytics, CRM, database, data mart/warehouse, ERP, OLTP, in-memory database and virtual-machine consolidation.
Yet these new servers can also reduce your customers’ total cost of ownership (TCO). They do this by consolidating workloads, in turn lowering costs for power, space, software licenses, networking components and management.
The Intel Server System M70KLP family offers a line of 4-socket servers, all in a 2U form factor. Four sockets provide some pretty impressive compute power. With each server able to take up to 4 CPUs, and each CPU offering up to 28 cores, that gives you a total maximum count of 112 cores per server.
And not just any CPU, but the 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. They offer up to 40% higher performance than their predecessors.
That gives the Intel Server System M70KLP enough oomph for both enterprise private clouds and “next wave” cloud applications. Within the 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor line, the new servers can handle both the Platinum 83xx and Gold 63xx SKUs. Both are air-cooled.
Memory capacity for the new servers goes up to a max of 15TB per server. This enables larger datasets for in-memory databases. Some of this is achieved with support for the new Intel Optane 200 Series persistent memory (in App Direct mode), which has been optimized to work with the 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
Storage options are robust, too. The Intel Server System M70KLP supports both Intel Optane SSD and Intel 3D NAND SSD drives. In a single server, you can configure up to 24 drive bays.
The new servers are also certified to work with a wide range of third-party OSes and software. These include Windows Server, Oracle Linux, Ubuntu, VMware, SAP HANA (coming soon), SLES and RHEL.
AI, speed, I/O
This isn’t your father’s server. The new Intel servers boast some other, quite modern features.
That includes built-in AI acceleration. It comes from Intel Deep Learning Boost with VNNI, and the new BFloat16. Both can speed both AI training and inferencing on the server’s general-purpose CPUs.
Another modern feature on board is Intel Speed Select Technology. It lets users dial in Turbo Boost Tech frequencies, on CPU cores they select.
Yet another is an increase in Ultra Path Interconnects for I/O-intensive workloads. Each server can now have up to 6 UPIs, double the previous generation for greater inter-CPU bandwidth.
To keep the new Intel Server System M70KLP family safe and secure, Intel is also packing in hardware-enhanced security features. These help protect against malicious exploits and accelerate data encryption, yet also maintain workload integrity by reducing the server’s performance overhead.
Familiar look & feel
If you’ve already worked with other members of the Intel Server System portfolio, the new Intel Server System M70KLP servers should look and feel familiar. They use the same tools and utilities as the other family members, making your work easier and faster.
Enterprise-class server management tools are included, too. They’re designed to simplify deployment, monitoring, updating and debugging.
Do you have customers looking for servers that can handle just about anything today’s modern workloads can throw at them? Then tell them about the new Intel Server System M70KLP family.
“Together, moving the world forward” is the theme for this year’s Intel Partner Connect.
This partner event will be held virtually on April 22 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. PT / 11 a.m. to 4:30 pm ET. You're invited to attend.
Join this year’s Virtual Intel Partner Connect, and you’ll connect with the industry’s premier ecosystem to create innovative solutions, grow your business faster, and take advantage of new opportunities.
You’ll also learn about the latest tech trends, hear Intel’s product priorities, and discover how the new Intel Partner Alliance can help you grow your business.
The agenda for Intel Partner Connect 2021 features regional sessions, breakouts, and sponsor sessions. This year’s sponsors include Accenture, Dell, HP, Microsoft and VMware.
Technical sessions will cover Intel’s data center portfolio, cloud computing, memory tech, intelligent edge, SmartNICs, and Intel’s Optane PMem and Optane SSD solutions,
Several of these sessions will be hosted by Intel executives. They’ll include John Kalvin, Intel’s new GM of the global scale and partner organization; Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s new CEO; and Julie Malloy, Intel’s GM of global partner marketing.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger will be among the day's speakers
The day’s guest speaker will be Simon Sinek, a TED Talk celebrity and author of five books, including the bestseller, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Simon will be interviewed by Intel’s John Kalvin in a session entitled “Better Together.”
Mark your calendar for April 22. Register to attend. And connect, innovate and grow at Intel Partner Connect 2021.