Intel’s Navin Shenoy and team today tried to reveal more information about the roadmap for the company’s innovation in processor chips.
First, Intel said it sold $1 billion of artificial intelligence processor chips in 2017.
This is the first time that the world’s second-largest chipmaker disclosed revenue from the fast-growing computing segment that has fueled sales expansions at rivals such as Nvidia Corp.
Second, the company modified its CPUs to achieve more than 200 times better performance at artificial intelligence training over the past several years.
“This resulted in $1 billion in sales of its Xeon processors for such work in 2017, when the company’s overall revenue was $62.8 billion,” Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel Corporation, said.
Naveen Rao, head of Intel’s artificial intelligence products group, said the $1 billion estimate was derived from customers that told Intel they were buying chips for artificial intelligence and from calculations of how much of a customer’s data center is dedicated to such work.
Third, Intel said its newest generation chips would be delayed until 2020. Analysts say Intel will lose data center share to Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
At an event for Wall Street analysts at Intel’s Santa Clara, California headquarters to explain its strategy, the company said it revised its TAM from $160 billion in 2021 to $200 billion in 2022 for its data-centric businesses.
Fourth, Intel’s Alexis Bjorlin announced the expansion of its connectivity portfolio with an innovative SmartNIC product line – code-named Cascade Glacier – which is based on Intel Arria 10 FPGAs. SmartNIC product line enables optimized performance for Intel Xeon processor-based systems. Intel is sampling Cascade Glacier to customers and it will be available in 2019’s first quarter.
Fifth, Intel said its Optane DC persistent memory-based systems can achieve up to 8 times the performance gains over configurations that rely on DRAM only.
Customers like Google, CERN, Huawei, SAP and Tencent see this as a game-changer. Intel has started shipping the first units of Optane DC persistent memory to Bart Sano, Google’s vice president of Platforms.
Sixth, Intel will unveil Intel QLC 3D NAND-based products at the Flash Memory Summit, and demonstrate how companies like Tencent use this to utilize their data.
Roadmap for Intel Xeon platform
Cascade Lake, aiming for 2018 shipping, is a future Intel Xeon Scalable processor based on 14nm technology that will introduce Intel Optane DC persistent memory and a set of new AI features called Intel DL Boost.
This AI accelerator will speed deep learning inference workloads, with an expected 11 times faster image recognition than the current generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors when they launched in July 2017.
Cooper Lake is yet another future Intel Xeon Scalable processor based on 14nm technology.
Intel said Cooper Lake, which will be shipped in 2019, will introduce a new generation platform with performance improvements, new I/O features, new Intel DL Boost capabilities (Bfloat16) that improve AI/deep learning training performance, and additional Intel Optane DC persistent memory innovations.
Ice Lake, targeting for 2020 shipments, is a future Intel Xeon Scalable processor based on 10nm technology that shares a common platform with Cooper Lake.