Today marks 100 days since Pat Gelsinger took over as Intel’s chief executive officer.
Since Gelsinger assumed his new role on Feb. 15, the mood and talk at Intel has changed. But what has the new CEO actually accomplished? Here are 5 top takeaways:
1) Announced Intel’s IDM 2.0 strategy: In late March, CEO Gelsinger announced two big changes to Intel’s integrated device manufacturing model. First, Intel will invest $20 billion to build two new factories in Arizona, creating 3,000 permanent jobs. Second, Intel will for the first time become a foundry provider to other companies. Gelsinger also said Intel may rely on other companies for components required for its coming generation of 7nm chips.
2) Set new business goals for Intel: On his second day as CEO, Gelsinger sent a memo to all Intel employees that outlined 4 new priorities for Intel: lead in every category in which the company competes, execute flawlessly, innovate with boldness and speed, and attract and retain the world’s best engineers and technologists.
3) Working with Washington: Gelsinger in April joined Biden administration officials and other industry leaders to discuss ways to overcome the global semiconductor shortage. The move is important because the shortage is probably too big and complicated for either industry or government to solve alone.
4) Reinforced Intel’s social responsibility goals: Earlier this month, Gelsinger listed ambitious targets for Intel’s coming year. These include: increase the representation of women in Intel leadership roles to 40%; work with ecosystem partners to adopt responsible minerals-sourcing practices; and expand efforts to support the U.N. sustainable-development goals.
5) Moderated Intel’s stock price: Fairly or not, CEOs get judged by how much they raise their companies’ stock price. Gelsinger’s record here is mixed, but he has at least halted the stock’s fall. As of this morning, Intel was trading at about $57 a share; that’s above the 52-week low of $43.61, but below the recent high of $68.49.
If you still think artificial intelligence is a specialized niche application for scientists, it’s time to update your thinking.
The new reality is that AI is “becoming ubiquitous across all functional areas of a business,” says Rity Jyoti, head of AI research at market watcher IDC.
As Jyoti explains, AI is no longer just a high-end tool for scientists. It’s now used to power a wide range of important business applications, including IT process optimization, predictions and recommendations, and improving the customer and employee experience.
All that leads IDC to predict that the worldwide market for AI software, hardware and services will top $327 billion this year, a year-on-year rise of 16%. Looking ahead, the growth is expected to continue. IDC’s expects global AI sales will top $500 billion by 2024.
Optimized for AI
No surprise, then, that Intel’s general-purpose processors for data-center servers are optimized for AI. The latest 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors offer built-in AI acceleration, and they’re built to work with the most popular AI frameworks.
What’s more, the 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors are the only data-center CPUs with these AI accelerations, hardware-enhanced security and software optimizations built into the silicon.
Powered by the open oneAPI standard, 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors make it easier and faster for your customers to build and deploy smarter models. This API-CPU combo can also simplify how your customers move from AI proof-of-concepts to full production.
With these new processors, your customers can choose from a broad selection of pre-integrated and verified enterprise solutions for data analytics and AI. That includes both enterprise databases and a broad range of applications.
Don’t just take my word for it. Consider just 3 of the many real-world users now powering mainstream business applications with AI on Intel Xeon Scalable-based servers:
> Burger King: The home of the Whopper uses AI deep learning to create a fast-food recommender system aimed at improving both the customer experience and sales. The system correlates what customers order with the weather, time and location.
This recommender system integrates data processing with Apache Spark, an open-source analytics engine, with training via distributed MXNet, an open-source deep learning framework, all on a single Intel Xeon processor cluster.
> SK Telecom: South Korea’s largest mobile operator worked with Intel to build an end-to-end AI pipeline to analyze data from more than 400,000 cell towers. This pipeline now includes Spark; Analytics Zoo, Intel’s unified analytics and AI platform; and TensorFlow, a math software library. It runs on a server cluster based on Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 and Intel Deep Learning Boost.
> HYHY: Huiyi Huiying Medical Technology, a Chinese company that develops computer-vision and deep-learning tech, has created a medical-imaging system to help healthcare practitioners diagnose dozens of diseases, including COVID-19.
The system runs on Intel technology, including servers powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors with Intel Deep Learning Boost; Intel’s distribution of the OpenVino toolkit, designed for developing applications that use computer vision, natural language processing, speech recognition and more; and Intel’s distribution of the Python programming language.
Tech giants including Dell and HP are pushing for greater workforce diversity. Intel has announced its 11th gen Core H-series mobile processors. And IT leaders are worried about employees suffering from pandemic burnout.
These are the top tech news stories discussed in our latest “In the Zone” podcast. As always, the podcast features Ed Hannan, senior digital content manager at The Channel Co., and me, Peter Krass, editor of Tech Provider Zone.
Get in the zone. Watch our new video podcast now:
Leading OEMs are now shipping the latest Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters integrated into their branded servers. For your data-center customers, that makes buying the latest Intel technology easier than ever.
The latest Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters are compatible with the 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor platforms. That brings all of the Intel Ethernet 800 Series feature set to Intel’s new server CPU platform.
Among the most important capabilities is support for the latest PCIe 4.0 interface. The Intel adapters have supported PCIe 4.0 since their introduction, and the latest 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable platforms are the company’s first to do so, as well. What’s more, these adapters are also compatible with previous-generation servers based on Intel Xeon platforms.
First up: HPE
HPE is the first major OEM to ship and integrate the Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters into their servers from their factory. The company has branded the adapter the HPE Gen10 Plus Ethernet Adapters. HPE says the Intel networking device is compatible with its HPE Gen10 Plus servers, which are powered by 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
In addition, Intel says other major OEMs—including Dell, Cisco and Lenovo—will offer the Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters for their servers soon.
The functionality of these various versions will be nearly identical, with the main difference being their firmware. That also means the adapters are customized for each OEM. For example, an HPE adapter will integrate with its integrated lights-out (iLO) management agent. If, instead, your customer wants a server from Lenovo, they’ll also need Lenovo’s version of the Ethernet adapter. For customers that want the same adapter firmware across all of their servers, the Intel-branded version of the adapter is also available through the authorized Intel distributors.
3 hero features
You may be aware that this line of Intel Ethernet adapters supports networking speeds up to 200 Gbps per slot. That’s enough to handle your data-center customers’ most demanding cloud, communications and storage workloads.
Also, with its Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters, Intel has added 3 important networking features:
> ADQ: Application Device Queue technology, built into the Intel Ethernet 800 Series, makes application response times up to 50% more predictable, reduces latency by up to 45%, and dramatically improves throughput. Intel says ADQ is especially helpful for cloud-based workloads.
> DDP: Dynamic Device Personalization enhances communications workloads by making packet processing more efficient and reducing CPU overhead.
> RDMA: Remote Memory Direct Access empowers servers to share data without involving their operating systems’ data buffers for high-throughput, low-latency networking. Intel implements RDMA supporting both the iWARP and RoCE 2 protocols.
Get ‘em while they’re hot
The Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters are still available in the channel, if your customers want to buy them separately. But having the adapter integrated into an OEM server makes buying them so much easier.
For your customers, this development gives them a single point of support, namely, their server OEMs.
Do you have data-center customers who could benefit from the latest Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters technology? Check with your OEM server vendors for availability.
The new 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, announced in April, are now shipping to OEMs. That means you and your customers can now purchase data-center servers powered by Intel’s latest CPUs.
These new processors offer your customers improvements in performance, security and more. They’re designed to support key workloads across cloud, AI, high-performance computing (HPC), networking and IoT.
The 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors are based on the company’s 10nm process technology, and supported on the Whitley Platform for 1 and 2 socket solutions. They’re the only data-center CPUs with built-in AI acceleration. And the first Intel processors to support the new PCIe 4.0 standard.
In addition, the new processors have been designed to work optimally with the new Intel Optane Persistent Memory 200 Series, available in sizes ranging from 128 to 512 GB.
The 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors also support Intel Select Solutions, a catalog of ISV-certified, OEM-validated solutions verified by Intel. The new processors are supported by solutions for AI, analytics, cloud, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), network, HPC and security.
Here are some of the key value propositions that the new 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors offer your data-center customers:
> Optimization for AI, cloud, enterprise, HPC, network, security and Internet of Things (IoT) workloads.
> The only data-center CPU with built-in AI acceleration, end-to-end data science tools, and an ecosystem of smart solutions supporting app and service deployments from the edge to the cloud.
> Optimization and engineering for the demanding requirements of cloud workloads to support a wide range of XaaS environments.
> Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX) to protect data and application code while in use from the edge to the data center. It also enables new protection for multitenant public-cloud collaboration, yet without compromising privacy.
> Intel Crypto Acceleration to increase the performance of encryption-intense workloads while reducing the performance impacts of pervasive encryption.
As previously announced, the new 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors offer up to 1.46x general compute performance gain over the 2nd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
That’s the case even though 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors’ frequency—up to 3.7GHz for single-core Turbo—is actually lower than that of the 2nd gen Xeon Scalables.
For that, you can thank a new architecture. This architecture also features:
> Up to 40 cores (vs. 28 max in 2nd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor)
> Up to 6TB system memory per socket
> Up to 8 channels of DDR4-3200 2DPC per socket
> Up to 2.6x memory capacity over 2nd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor
> Up to 64 lanes of PCIe 4.0 per socket
Security gets an upgrade in the new processors, too. That includes Intel SGX, Intel Platform Firmware Resilience, Intel Total Memory Encryption, and Intel Crypto Acceleration.
AI acceleration is another key new feature. That comes courtesy of Intel Deep Learning Boost, Intel AVX-512, VBMI and DIDO. AI packages are also available via Intel Select Solutions.
SKUs for the new 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors are available in Silver, Gold and Platinum. Re pricing, Intel says the new CPUs will be offered at the same or lower price points than 2nd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
Do your data-center customers need new servers for today’s new wave of advanced workloads? Tell them about the new 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
What does Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger’s take on the global chip shortage have in common with third-party gear for NUC mini-PCs and jam-session software for musicians?
They’re all discussed in the latest In the Zone podcast by Ed Hannan, senior digital content manager at The Channel Co., and me, the editor of Tech Provider Zone.
In this new podcast, Ed and I discuss the 5 top takeaways from a recent interview with Intel CEO Gelsinger, air-cooled chassis and other innovative ecosystem solutions for the Intel NUC, and the 3 leading collaboration tools for musicians eager to jam, but stuck at home.
Catch up on the IT channel with Tech Provider Zone. Watch our new In the Zone video now:
Intel has just introduced two new lines of microprocessors the company says bring the power of a desktop to laptops and mobile workstations.
The two lines are the 11th Gen Intel Core H-series mobile processors (codenamed Tiger Lake H) and 11th gen Intel vPro H-series processors.
Based on Intel’s 10nm SuperFin process technology, the new processors are aimed at gamers, content creators and business professionals.
Intel says more than 80 laptops will feature the new H-series processors this year. The company has already shipped more than 1 million 11th gen H-series processors to OEMs that include HP and Lenovo.
11th Gen Intel Core H-series mobile processors
This new generation of H-series CPUs comes with up to 8 cores and 16 threads, and a top speed of 5.0GHz.
This CPU can directly access high-speed GDDR6 memory attached to the graphics card. This enables gamers to enjoy high frame rates with low latency, and also load large textures quickly.
Connectivity support includes Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4 at 40 Gbps.
Immersive graphics come when you connect the CPU with a high-end GPU with PCIe 4.0 for 4k resolutions.
Advanced overclocking is enabled with more than 140 controls for processor clocks, memory timings, voltage settings and more.
There’s also support for Intel Optane Memory H20, a high-capacity NAND.
11th Gen Intel vPro H-series processors
As you probably know, Intel vPro is a platform for business PCs. Among its features are hardware-based security and advanced remote management.
The new generation includes Intel Hardware Shield, hardware-based security for business; Intel Active Management Technology and Endpoint Management Assistant for remote management; and Total Memory Encryption for protecting data in memory from cold-boot attacks.
The new CPUs also work with Intel Xe graphics, Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6, Intel Optane memory H20 with SSD, and Intel Deep Learning Boost, which improves AI performance.
Early OEM devices: Lenovo and HP
Not wasting any time, Lenovo and HP today announced laptops and mobile workstations powered by the new 11th gen Intel processors.
Lenovo introduced three Windows 10 laptops for gamers and content creators: The Lenovo Legion 7i, Legion 5i Pro, and Lenovo Legion 5i.
Shipments are set to begin in June and July. Starting retail prices range from $970 for the 5i to $1,770 for the 7i.
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro
HP’s new mobile workstations are the ZBook G8, ZBook Fury, ZBook Power. The G8 will be powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors.
The Fury will come with your choice of Core or vPro. And the 5i with Core only.
Shipments are set to begin in June and July. HP hasn’t announced prices yet.
HP ZBook Studio G8
Dig in deeper:
> Product brief: Introducing the 11th Gen Intel Core H-series processors
> Platform brief: The Intel vPro Platform
Diversity and inclusion are increasingly important priorities for the tech industry. Historically, the industry has been led by straight white men, but that’s changing. The CEO of Google parent Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, is Indian-American. The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, is openly gay. Black-owned tech startups are now a thing.
Still, there’s plenty of room for progress. Nearly three-quarters of women in tech (72%) say they’re regularly outnumbered by men in business meetings by at least 2:1, finds a recent survey of 450 women tech professionals conducted by TrustRadius. And at more than two-thirds of tech companies, Black employees make up less than 5% of the workforce, according to BeamJobs.
What are tech giants doing to become more diverse and inclusive? Here’s your tech provider’s look at some of the many programs now underway.
Intel has been actively pursuing diversity for years. In 2018, the company achieved what’s known as “full workforce representation,” meaning the percentage of women and minorities the company employs corresponds with their representation in the general population.
Then, in 2019, Intel achieved gender pay equity worldwide, meaning everyone holding a similar job is paid similarly, regardless of their sex or ethnicity.
And in the company’s 2019-2020 corporate responsibility report, Intel said it had spent $1 billion buying from diverse-owned suppliers, including $200 million with women-owned suppliers.
Intel is still dominated by men, but that’s changing too. As of Dec. 2019, 27.5% of Intel’s total staff were women, as were about 19% of its senior leaders, 20% of its executives, and 25% of its technical workers.
Last month Intel appointed Dawn Jones as its chief diversity and inclusion officer (CDIO). A 24-year Intel veteran, Jones had been acting in the role since January. Her duties will reportedly include initiatives for the company’s RISE strategy — that’s short for responsible, inclusive, sustainable and enabling.
The company likes to say it is “reinventing ratios.” That includes a 46% rise in women and 54% rise in minorities on its board of directors; a 62% increase in the number of U.S. new hires who are women, minorities, vets and people with disabilities; and a 10% rise in the number of women in leadership (that is, directors and above) since 2015.
Looking ahead, HP has committed to doubling the number of its Black and African-American executives by 2025.
“We continue to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion,” wrote CEO Enrique Lores in a 2019 letter.
Dell says diversity and inclusion are in its DNA. The numbers show that’s still a work in progress. As of last year, women represented less than a third of the company’s global workforce (31%), and just a fifth (20%) of its technical staff. Blacks represented just 5% of its U.S. workforce, and Hispanics, only 8%.
But looking ahead, Dell has ambitiously committed itself to having women represent fully 50% of its global workforce and 40% of its global leaders by 2030. Dell also has committed to having Blacks and Hispanics represent 25% of its U.S. workforce and 15% of its U.S. leadership, also by 2030.
Dell also runs several initiatives for minorities. One of these, called Project Immersion, aims to create educational programs for minorities. Project Immersion works with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to offer tech classes, workshops and seminars. These schools have included such well-known HBCUs as Spelman College, Morehouse College and Howard University.
A lot of progress in diversity can happen with smaller projects. For example, Apple has partnered with Huston-Tillotson University, an HBCU, to launch what’s called the African American Male Teacher Initiative.
The multiyear partnership aims to overturn a distressing stat: Only 2% of all U.S. teachers are Black men. To help change that, the program is providing scholarships for students, as well as IT hardware, software and courses.
Earlier this year, Apple also sponsored an Entrepreneur Camp for Black founders and developers, and more than a dozen app companies participated. The idea was to help Black developers turn their technical skills into profitable businesses. It’s part of Apple’s $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, which aims to expand opportunities for communities of color.
Robot orders are up. Leaders of data analytics also lead digital transformation. IT leaders hope to ease worker burnout with more tech. And the pandemic has consumers changing their buying habits.
That’s the latest from leading market watchers and researchers. Here’s your tech provider’s roundup.
Robot orders surge
Orders for robot systems are doing very well during the pandemic. The number of robot units ordered by North American companies during this year’s first quarter was up 20% over the same period last year, according to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3).
Among non-automotive companies, the order increase was an even higher 28%. Dig into specific verticals, and some of the increases were even more dramatic. For example, robot orders from the metals industry in Q1 were up 86%, and from pharma/biomed, up 72%.
In all, North American companies ordered nearly 9,100 units of robot systems during this year’s first quarter, A3 says. These robots had a total value of $466 million.
“Every industry recognizes that robotics and automation can help them compete globally,” says A3 president Jeff Burnstein. “COVID didn’t create the move toward automation, but it certainly accelerated trends that were already underway.”
Data + analytics = digital transformation
More companies now understand the synergy between building a data-driven business and leading digital transformation.
Among leaders of data and analytics, nearly three quarters (72%) are either leading or heavily involved with their organizations’ digital transformation. That’s according to analyst firm Gartner’s sixth annual survey of chief data officers (CDOs).
The survey garnered responses from nearly 470 CDOs, chief analytics officers and other high-level data and analytics leaders. They work in 16 industries at locations around the world.
About half (48%) the CDOs surveyed say they’re heavily involved with digital transformation. And about a quarter (24%) say they’re actually leading.
“Data and analytics have a primary role in digital business strategy,” says Gartner research VP Debra Logan. “It affects everything the organization does.”
Pandemic burnout? IT tries collaboration tech
The pandemic has been tough on workers. Plenty of people are feeling burnt out, over-zoomed and unproductive.
To help, nearly 60% of IT leaders now plan to invest in collaboration tech, finds a survey conducted by Wrike, a Citrix unit that offers collaborative work-management platforms.
The survey reached 300+ IT leaders including CIOs, VPs of IT and directors in the North America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions. All the survey respondents work for large companies with at least 1,000 employees.
What’s keeping them up at night? These IT leaders say their top employee concerns are worker engagement (cited by 56%), burnout (53%) and reduced productivity (52%).
To address their concerns, these execs plan to enable more secure collaboration (cited by 51%), power seamless external collaboration (46%), and provide greater visibility into ownership across the organization (45%).
“The pandemic put CIOs in the hot seat,” says Andrew Filev, senior VP at Wrike. “That’s forcing IT departments to accelerate digital strategies that quickly support remote work and keep their organizations running.”
Consumers’ changing payments
Another thing the pandemic has changed is the way consumers make payments.
In a new survey, 86% of consumers say their payment habits have changed since the pandemic started, and 59% say they’ve tried new payment methods for the first time. In most cases, this means more digital payments. No surprise, then, that among younger consumers — those 18 to 24 years old — a considerably larger percentage (77%) say they’ve tried the new payment methods.
That’s according to a survey of 8,000 consumers in seven countries in Europe and North America. The survey was conducted recently by Paysafe Ltd., a UK-based provider of payments platforms.
The key drivers for this new behavior? Number one was the inability to make in-person payments, cited by a third (33%) of all consumers surveyed. Other top reasons include a desire to track spending more closely (cited by 26%) and the threat of fraud (25%).
Device as a Service (DaaS) is hot, and Intel’s new program for partners with expertise in this area delivers valuable benefits.
The Intel Partner Alliance Device as a Service Specialty rewards partners who have the deepest expertise in the DaaS subscription service market featuring the Intel client platform with Intel Core processors.
For these partners, Intel is offering exclusive resources. These can help you plan, implement and deliver device-management services.
The new 2021 Intel Device as a Service Specialty Partner Guide is your key reference. This short document lists the program’s qualifications and spells out the benefits. Those benefits can include marketing development funds, Intel promotions of your company, and earning Intel incentive points.
Get your copy of Intel’s 2021 Device as a Service Specialty Partner Guide now. Download the PDF by clicking on the link below.