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Intel invests in the next wave of computing

By Catherine Knowles
Wed 1 Jun 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Technologies being developed today are having a transformational impact on industries around the world. Billions of smart and connected devices, new data-rich services and cloud applications fuelled by the Internet of Things (IoT) are bringing new experiences to the world and ushering in the next wave of computing. 

According to Intel, this next wave is defined by a virtuous cycle of growth where people and businesses derive value from solutions that capitalise on the edge device, as well as the network, and the cloud.

Working to stay at the forefront of technological advancements, Intel is investing in visual cloud and machine learning, PC innovation, connected things and 5G.

Last month, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich discussed how the company is evolving from a PC company to one that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices.

Unlocking the visual cloud and machine learning

As video approaches 80% of all internet traffic, delivering visual content quickly and efficiently via the cloud is a top priority for service providers, according to Intel.

To accelerate video and enable secure, remote delivery of graphic-intensive applications, Intel has introduced the Intel Xeon processor E3-1500 v5 product family. This combines the performance of Intel Xeon processors with the graphics power of Intel Iris Pro graphics P580. As Intel’s most advanced graphic processor, the product family enables service providers to pack more video streams into a single server or appliance for a minimised data center footprint and reduced power consumption. 

Furthermore, according to Intel, the machine learning revolution is expanding insights across every form of computing - from autonomous driving to media to health - and to address this opportunity, Intel is creating a full portfolio for machine learning workloads.

More recently, Intel began shipping pilot systems of Intel Xeon E5-2600v4 with integrated FPGA for machine learning applications, and is rolling out the upcoming Intel Xeon Phi family that will provide good performance per watt per dollar for deep learning customers, according to the company.

Boosting PC innovation in a new era of computing

Intel is aiming to drive innovation in the PC market across 2 in 1s, gaming, and entry segments as the industry enters a new era defined by immersive experiences, high-end gaming and content creation.

The vendor announced the Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition, the most powerful desktop processor ever by the company, and the new Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition family, designed for ‘mega-tasking’ gamers and content creators.

It features Intel’s first 10 core desktop processor with up to 20 threads for handling many compute-intensive workloads simultaneously, platform scalability with 40 PCIe lanes for system expansion with graphics cards and SSDs, and new levels of performance with the new Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 and quad-channel memory support.

In the second half of 2016, Intel will be rolling out its 7th Gen Intel Core processors (code named Kaby Lake) for the first time, with advancements in performance, battery and media capabilities.

Beyond powering PCs, from 2 in 1s to gaming desktops, Intel is also extending Intel Core to the IoT space for solutions in retail, signage, industrial IoT and medical, the company says.

Tapping into the world of the Internet of Things

The many ‘things’ that make up today’s PC business and IoT industry are made more valuable by their connection to the cloud, whether they are found in the home, car, business or anywhere else, according to Intel.

Recognising this, Intel announced the AnyWAN GRX 750 system-on-a-chip (SoC) family and the Intel XWAY WAV500 Wi-Fi chipset - Intel’s new 5th Generation 11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi family of products for home gateways.

The Intel platform enables local and cloud-based services, media creation and content sharing for tools ranging from next generation ultra-high-definition devices to ‘things’ in a person’s home.

According to the company, these connectivity products provide a foundation to support the increasing number of ‘connected’ things and Internet-based cloud services for the home and small businesses. Intel is enabling more than a dozen OEMs and ODMs to deliver home gateways and Wi-Fi Access points for the retail market, the company says.

For the transportation segment, Intel announced a collaboration with Taiwan-based Chunghwa Telecom and SanJet Technology Corp to create a connected telematics service using a low-cost Intel Atom x3 processor for IoT (formerly known as SoFIA). The device will provide drivers with a customised insurance policy based on driving behaviour and car usage.

Intel continues to expand Intel Atom x3 processor-based solutions for products like point-of-sale systems, healthcare tablets and industrial devices within the IoT. 

Empowering devices and people with 5G

While 4G was about moving data faster, 5G will bring more powerful wireless networks that connect ‘things’ to each other, to people and to the cloud, according to Intel.

Furthermore, 5G will help to deliver a smart and connected society with smart cities, self-driving cars and new industrial efficiencies. For this to happen, networks must become faster, smarter and more agile to handle the unprecedented increase in volume and complexity of data traffic as more devices become connected and new digital services are offered, Intel says.

In order to help build today’s communications infrastructure and the foundation for 5G, Intel is teaming up with Foxconn to collaborate on the development of network infrastructure technologies.

The companies will collaborate on proof of concepts and pilot programs for technologies like Mobile Edge Computing, Cloud Radio Access Network (CloudRAN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) that will enable more intelligent, efficient and flexible networks.

Through these efforts, Intel and Foxconn aim to make it easier for communications service providers and their solution providers to re-architect their networks now and start preparing for 5G. 

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