Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Intel updates data center silicon roadmap

AI from the cloud to the network and to the edge was the persistent theme in an investor webinar hosted by Intel and focused on the company’s Data Center and Artificial Intelligence business unit. 

The top order of business was to outline the Xeon roadmap for the next few years, its key product line in a total available market (TAM) that Intel now believes with top $110 billion over the next five years.

Xeon highlights:

Current: 4th Gen Xeon systems are now shipping with all major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs), as well as with the top 10 global cloud service providers. Intel claims its 48-core 4th Gen Xeon can deliver a 4X performance gain going head-to-head with a 48-core 4th Gen AMD Epyc CPU on a broad set of deep-learning workloads.

Q4 2023: 5th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Emerald Rapids is Intel’s next Performance-core (P-core) product. The CPU is already sampling to customers. Volume validation is underway.

First-half 2024: Intel Xeon Processor code-named Sierra Forest, the first Efficient-core (E-core) Xeon processor, will boast 144 cores per socket. The first CPU based on the upcoming Intel 3 process, Sierra Forest hit power-on earlier this quarter with multiple OSes booting in record time (less than a day). It’s on schedule with the first samples already out the door.

A Fast Follow: Intel Xeon Processor code-named Granite Rapids, will arrive hot on the heels of Sierra Forest in 2024. Though a specific launch date has yet to be disclosed, its time-to-market will benefit from sharing a platform with Sierra Forest. Shared IP and technology minimize development and design time. 

Some additional highlights:

  • Intel invented and is leading the ecosystem in developing a new type of DIMM called Multiplexer Combined Rank (MCR) that lets can achieve speeds of 8,800 mega transfers per second, based on DDR5.
  • The Habana Gaudi3 AI accelerator has taped in. Performance details haven’t been shared yet, but Habana Gaudi2 is in the environment and offering 1.8x advantage in throughput-per-watt over a comparable A100 server when running a popular computer vision workload.
  • There are 15 new FPGA products scheduled to go through the production release qualification (PRQ) process this year – that’s more new product introductions than ever before in Intel’s FPGA business.
  • Intel has made contributions to SYCL, an open C++-based programming model, and acquired Codeplay Software (a leader in the SYCL language and community). SYCL is now included in oneAPI so customers can program and compile across CPUs, GPUs and accelerators from multiple vendors.

“When we talk about compute demand, we often look at the TAM through the lens of CPU units. However, counting sockets does not fully reflect how silicon innovations deliver value to the market. Today, innovations are delivered in several ways, including increased CPU core density, the use of accelerators built into the silicon and the use of discrete accelerators,” stated Sandra Rivera, Intel Executive VP and GM of the Data Center and Artificial Intelligence business unit.

Synopsis debuts AI-powered EDA suite for chipmakers

Synopsys launched a suite of AI-driven solutions for the design, verification, testing and manufacturing of the most advanced digital and analog chips. 

The company said its new toolset lets engineers use AI at every stage of chip design, from system architecture to design and manufacturing, and access the solutions in the cloud. 

Renesas, a leader in the automotive space, is already using to shave weeks off product development times with enhanced silicon performance and cost reduction.

The EDA suite includes AI-driven solutions:

  • Digital design space optimization to achieve power, performance and area (PPA) targets, and boost productivity (used in 100 production tape-outs by January 2023).
  • Analog design automation for rapid migration of analog designs across process nodes.
  • Verification coverage closure and regression analysis for faster functional testing closure, higher coverage and predictive bug detection.
  • Automated test generation resulting in fewer, optimized test patterns for silicon defect coverage and faster time to results.
  • Manufacturing solutions to accelerate development of lithography models with high accuracy to achieve the highest yield.

"Increased complexity, engineering resource constraints and tighter delivery windows were challenges crying out for a full AI-driven EDA software stack from architectural exploration to design and manufacturing – and we've delivered it," said Shankar Krishnamoorthy, GM of Synopsys EDA Group. "With solutions, our customers' ability to search design solution spaces across multiple domains is in hyperdrive. They're finding optimal results far faster as the .ai learns run-to-run, and it's transforming their ability to meet and beat tough design and productivity targets."

Cyxtera automates provisioning on its global data center platform

Cyxtera has added self-service capabilities that allow organizations to evaluate, order, and deploy services from its global data center platform.

The new capabilities enable customers to shop for and provision on-demand infrastructure, space, power, connectivity, and other services in Cyxtera’s data centers with or without an existing contract in place or the need to engage in a lengthy sales process.

“Our new self-service capabilities give customers everything they like about cloud – the ability to select and provision on-demand services quickly – with the cost predictability, performance, and control they get from running dedicated infrastructure in a data center,” said Mitch Fonseca, Cyxtera’s Chief Development Officer.

“Many organizations are reevaluating their workload placement to optimize efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and scalability,” Fonseca continued. “While public cloud is a great match for early experimentation, DevOps, and many seasonal workloads that burst up or down, it is not typically ideal for steady-state, resource-intensive enterprise workloads and can be very expensive for these use cases.”

With Cyxtera’s Digital Exchange data center network fabric and Enterprise Bare Metal offering, organizations can choose on-demand services from a variety of leading enterprise vendors, including Dell, HPE, and NVIDIA. They can also provision Cyxtera SmartCabs if they wish to use their own hardware. With either configuration, organizations can leverage Cyxtera IP Connect to instantly provision internet access.

Corning opens new optical cable factory in North Carolina

Corning inaugurated its newest optical cable manufacturing campus in Hickory, North Carolina. 

Corning has manufactured optical fiber and cable in North Carolina for more than 40 years. With the opening of the Trivium campus, Corning will manufacture optical cable at two sites in Hickory and at sites in Newton and Winston-Salem. The company manufactures optical fiber in Concord and Wilmington. Charlotte is home to Corning’s Optical Communications headquarters.

The new campus is part of a series of investments by Corning totaling more than $500 million since 2020, helping to meet growing fiber and cable demand and strong customer commitments.

The company says its new manufacturing facilities will add hundreds of jobs to its existing North Carolina workforce of more than 5,000. 

"High-speed internet is critical for North Carolinians to work, learn, get health care online, and connect with one another," North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. "Manufacturers like Corning know our strong workforce and economy make North Carolina the best place to do business, and we’re glad to partner with them to create more good paying jobs in Hickory."

“With this new manufacturing campus, we’re creating local jobs, we’re helping our workforce build important skills, we’re cultivating our next generation of talent right here in North Carolina, and we’re thrilled to continue addressing demand for the fiber and cable that are so vital to moving the world forward,” said Corning Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wendell P. Weeks. “We appreciate the support of federal, state, local officials, and industry organizations as we come together to help connect the unconnected and to make ‘Internet for All’ a reality.”

Corning recently launched a strategic supply collaboration with NTCA to support rural network buildouts, providing NTCA members with a specially reserved supply of cable and connectivity solutions.

Lockheed's Crescent Space to offer lunar communications

Crescent Space Services, a new commercial company launched by Lockheed Martin, aims to provide infrastructure-as-a-service for lunar missions.

Crescent's first product, named Parsec, is a cislunar communications and navigation network. Parsec uses a constellation of small lunar satellites that will collectively work to provide continuous connection between Earth and the people and assets in lunar orbit, as well as on the surface of the Moon. In addition to communications, Parsec will also provide critical position, timing and navigation services for lunar missions.

Crescent will own and operate the Parsec network upon launch of its first nodes in 2025. Lockheed Martin will produce and deliver the Parsec spacecraft to Crescent, drawing upon its deep expertise developing exploration missions, communications satellites, software and GPS satellites.

Crescent is led by CEO Joe Landon, who previously served as vice president of Advanced Programs Development for Lockheed Martin Space.

"Crescent is well positioned to serve the upcoming wave of lunar science and exploration missions, including NASA's crewed Artemis moon landings," said Landon. "With Lockheed Martin's investment and access to its technical capabilities and deep space experience, Crescent is set up to ensure Parsec will be ready to provide reliable and affordable communications services for our customers."

Faroese Telecom hits 5G peak of 5.9 Gbps with Ericsson

Faroese Telecom, the incumbent operator on the Faroe Island, and Ericsson achieved 5G download peak speeds of up to 6Gbps using 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. It is the fastest measured speed in a live network in Europe to date. 

The 5G non-standalone data speeds were achieved in an indoor deployment using Ericsson’s AIR 5322 and Baseband 6648. By aggregating 800MHz of 5G mmWave spectrum in n258 and 40 MHz of 4G FDD (frequency division duplex) spectrum a downlink speed of 5.9Gbps was measured by the smartphone when using 256QAM modulation. Moreover, an upload speed of 1.6Gbps was registered by aggregating several carriers in the uplink (UL) and selecting a TDD (time division duplex) pattern optimized for UL traffic.   

The operator plans to deploy multi-gigabit mmWave technology across all of the self-governing nation’s 18 islands in suburban and rural areas.

Faroe Islands is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. 

Jan Ziskasen, CEO of Faroese Telecom Group, says: “Our ambition is to have giga speed everywhere on the islands – in cities as well as in small villages, on roads, in tunnels, on mountaintops and even out to sea. Digital inclusion is a main pillar in our sustainability agenda thus reaching every centimeter and every person located on our 18 islands is paramount. This will bring unprecedented services to our consumers and businesses where world-class 5G gives key infrastructure for developing products and services paving the way for the future.”

Versa appoints VP of Marketing

Versa Networks has named Dan Maier, a former executive from GreyNoise, Anomali and Zscaler, as its new Chief Marketing Officer. 

The company alson named Gopal Bhagia, former Senior Director of Global Demand Generation at Tenable, as its new VP of Demand Generation; and Kevin Sheu, former Bitglass Marketing leader, as its new VP of Product Marketing.

“I am excited to join Versa Networks at such an exciting and critical time for the company and the growth of SASE,” said Mr. Maier. 

SES and Intelsat confirm merger talks

SES and Intelsat confirmed that have undertaken talks about a possible business combination.

At this stage, there can be no certainty that a transaction would materialise.