More Intel Processor HW Security Flaws. Meet Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS)

Intel MDS Zombieload, RIDL, Fallout

2018 did not start so well for processor vendors, especially Intel, but also AMD, Arm and others as some of their processors leveraging speculative execution were impacted by Spectre and/or Meltdown hardware security bugs. The workarounds to improve security had a downside as they affected performance in some specific use case. Panic ensued as the bug was revealed to the public a bit too early, so companies were not fully ready with their mitigations / workarounds. Then in summer of 2018, another hardware security flaw known as Foreshadow or L1 Terminal Fault came to light. The new flaw potentially enabled the attacker to access data stored in L1 cache.  Provided you have updated your operating systems to the latest version, your computers and devices should be protected against those vulnerabilities, and you can even check with a script working in Linux or FreeBSD. But this now looks like a never ending game, as security researchers have found yet other hardware …

Intel adds Three 7W Amber Lake-Y Processors

Intel Amber Lake Q1 2019

Intel announced their Amber Lake family of low power high performance processors, officially known as Intel Core Y-Series processor last year with three SKUs: Core m3-8100Y, Core i5-8200Y, Core i7-8500Y which are all dual core/quad thread processor offering different base and boost CPU frequencies, and sporting the same UHD 615 graphics. As I browsed Intel’s Ark “previously Amber Lake Y”  page this morning, I found out the company added three more processors to the family in Q1 2019. The new processors also come with two cores and four thread, but at higher frequency, and TDP is fixed to 7W, while the first three model at a 5W TDP configurable up to 7 or 8 Watts or down to 3.5 or 4.5 Watts. They are also equipped with Intel UHD Graphics 617 graphics that appears to only offer a higher boost frequency to 1.05 GHz instead of 900/950 MHz for UHD 615 graphics. Main differences between the three new models: Core …

Intel Optane memory H10 M.2 Card Combines Optane Memory with QLC NAND Flash

Optane Memory H10

Nearly exactly two years ago, Intel announced the first commercial Optane memory M.2 cards that provide excellent random read/write performance, and can greatly boost boot times and app loading times. That means you need to insert an extra card in your system, and for compact laptops, or mini PCs the extra socket is simply not there due to lack of space. To solve this issue, Intel has just announced Optane Memory H10 M.2 card that combines Optane Memory high IOPS with the lower cost and higher capacity associated with QLC NAND flash since it combines both technologies into a single card. In the press release, Intel explains 8th Generation Intel Core U-series mobile platforms featuring Intel Optane memory H10 will become available through OEMs this quarter, and provide the following benefits:everyday users will be able to: Launch documents up to 2 times faster while multitasking. Launch games 60% faster while multitasking. Open media files up to 90% faster while multitasking. …

Intel Launches WiFi 6 AX200 M.2 Wireless Card

Intel AX200 WiFi 6 M.2 Card

WiFi 6 (aka 802.11ax) can deliver up to 10 Gbps in theory, and provides better handling of high density scenario in train stations, conferences, etc… We’ve seen it implemented in some routers and smartphones, but most laptops don’t support the new WiFi standard, so in order to solve this little issue, Intel has now launched AX200 M.2 WiFi 6 card in the M.2 2230 and M.2 1216 form-factors. Intel AX200 works in the 2.4GHz band up to 574 Mbps, and in the 5.0 GHz band up to 2.4 Gbps. The “Cyclone Peak” card works with both USB and PCIe signals, support 2×2 MU-MIMO, and also supports Bluetooth 5.0. Drivers are/will be available for Windows 10 64-bit, Google Chrome OS, and Linux via the “IWLWIFI” driver. Pricing for the cards is said to be $10 and $17, but I could not find it listed anywhere just yet. A few more details may be found in Intel Ark. Via Phoronix and TechGenYZ

Intel Elkhart Lake Processors To Succeed Gemini Lake Processors in 2020

Intel Elkhart Lake Tablet

Intel Gemini Lake processors were highly anticipated as soon as they were first reported in September 2016, and even more so before launch since Gemini Lake products promised to be about as expensive as their older Apollo Lake counterparts. Interest somewhat fizzled despite a clear performance advantage over the previous generation, as prices did not match initial expectations, likely due to a shortage of Intel cheaper processors. In recent weeks, we started to read about Intel Elkhart Lake processors that are meant to be the successors of Gemini Lake processors, based on Tremont microarchitecture, and featuring Intel “i915” Gen11 graphics. The new processor should be manufactured using a 10nm process, but it’s still unclear whether some Elkhart Lake processors will be part of Intel Foveros which combines a fast Sunny Cove core with several Atom class Tremont cores. That’s about all we know from the technical side so far. A product roadmap (PDF) from MITAC, a Taiwanese electronics company, however …

Intel Phases Out Quark SoCs and Microcontrollers

Intel Quark Discontinued

I had completely forgotten about Intel Quark SoCs and MCUs found in development kits and modules such as the Arduino 101 board or Intel Curie module. Last time I heard about those chips, Intel had just discontinued several boards including the two aforementioned products, and I just assumed the Quark chips had quietly reached end-of-life as well. But actually those will still be available for a bit longer, with Intel having just issued a product change notification for the discontinuance & end of life of the following parts: Intel Quark SoC X1020D Intel Quark SoC X1000 Intel Quark SoC X1010 Intel Quark SoC X1021D Intel Quark SoC X1001 Intel Quark SoC X1011 Intel Quark SoC X1020 Intel Quark SoC X1021 Intel Quark Microcontroller D1000 Intel Quark Microcontroller D2000 Intel Quark SE C1000 Microcontroller Intel Quark Microcontroller D2000 Intel Quark SE C1000 Microcontroller In case you have a product based one of those SKUs, you can still order until July 19, …

Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265 is Designed for Autonomous Devices

Intel RealSense Tracking Camera T265

Intel has just launched another smart camera with RealSense Tracking Camera T265 powered by the company’s Myriad 2 VPU (Vision Processing Unit) also found in the first Neural Compute Stick, and designed for autonomous robots, drones, and augmented/virtual reality applications. The T265 camera is said to use proprietary visual inertial odometry simultaneous localization and mapping (V-SLAM) technology “delivering high-performance guidance and navigation”. Intel RealSense tracking camera T265 hardware specifications: VPU – Intel Movidius Myriad 2 vision processing unit with 12 VLIW 128-bit vector SHAVE processors optimized to run V‑SLAM at low power Cameras – 2x Omnivision OV9282 high-speed image sensors with Fisheye lenses for a combined 163±5° FOV; infrared cut filter Sensor – Bosch BMI055 6-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) to measure rotation and acceleration of the device USB – 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Micro B port to transfer pose data, or pose + image data. Dimensions – 108 x 24.5 x 12.5 mm; 2x M3 0.5mm pitch mounting sockets (50 mm apart) The V-SLAM …

Intel Project Athena Defines Guidelines for Always-On 5G Laptops

Intel Project Athena

Arm, Qualcomm and their partners first introduced always-on always-connected mobile PCs running Windows 10 in 2017 with over 20 hours of battery life and LTE connectivity. The first models delivered on their battery life promise, but they were expensive while delivering underwhelming performance, but the upcoming Snapdragon 8cx processor should address performance concerns. Those type of laptops are still a niche market, and so far Intel and their partners have not delivered similar type of laptops with long battery life, cellular connectivity, and always-on capabilities. That’s where Intel’s Project Athena innovation program comes in. The program that defines a new class of advanced laptops running either Windows or Chrome OS operating systems, offering long battery life, 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, and consistently powered on. They may not target the 20 hours of battery life like on Arm platform, but the part of the infographic above reads “worry-free day of battery life” so that you can “confidence to leave the charger …