Intel swings for the fence with new AI-centric offerings

Last Thursday’s major product launch by Intel Corp. proved that the organization is clearly on an upswing, says Denis Gaudreault, the country manager for Intel Canada, adding that his hope is that in a couple of years, “people will write books on our turnaround.”

The launch, he said in an interview with IT World Canada, has been well received by both corporate customers and the channel, who “have been telling us, we need you back like you used to be with better execution and more predictability on your roadmap.”

Gaudreault described the various announcements introduced at an event in New York City called AI Everywhere as the “turning point in our new strategy.”

They included the following:

  • The Intel Core Ultra mobile processor family, code-named Meteor Lake, which Intel described as “the first built on the Intel 4 process technology and the first to benefit from the company’s largest architectural shift in 40 years.” It delivers “Intel’s most power-efficient client processor and ushers in the age of the AI PC.”
  • The 5th Gen Intel Xeon processor family, which is built with artificial intelligence (AI) acceleration in “every core, bringing leaps in AI and overall performance and lowering total cost of ownership (TCO).”
  • Company chief executive officer (CEO) Pat Gelsinger showed, for the first time, an Intel Gaudi3 AI accelerator, which he said will arrive on schedule next year.

“AI innovation is poised to raise the digital economy’s impact up to as much as one-third of global gross domestic product,” Gelsinger said in a release. “Intel is developing the technologies and solutions that empower customers to seamlessly integrate and effectively run AI in all their applications – in the cloud and, increasingly, locally at the PC and edge, where data is generated and used.”

Intel Core Ultra, the release said, will “allow the launch of the AI PC generation with innovations on all fronts: CPU compute, graphics, power, battery life and new AI features.”

The company described the AI PC, which is expected to be available in 230 designs from laptop and PC makers worldwide, as the “largest transformation of the PC experience in 20 years since Intel Centrino untethered laptops to connect to Wi-Fi from anywhere.

“With dedicated AI acceleration capability spread across the central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU) and neural processing unit (NPU), Intel Core Ultra is the most AI-capable and power-efficient client processor in Intel’s history,” the release stated.

Intel’s newest NPU, branded Intel AI Boost, it added, is “purpose-built to handle longer-running AI workloads at low power, and it complements AI handled on both the CPU and GPU.”

During a keynote presentation, Gelsinger described what he called a “driving force of silicon: creating a trillion dollar market by the end of the decade, and the role of AI just making it go faster into the future.

“To use a baseball analogy, we are in the early innings. Well, no, maybe we are still at warm up. No, maybe we are still in the preseason of the impact that it is going to have. But when we think about artificial intelligence as something over there, and something we may not understand or may not control, we think it is a disservice to think about it that way.

“Instead, how we integrate it into our human lives, into human intelligence, how we make it part of us and everything that we do. And we think bringing this value into the human experience is the opportunity for AI – augmented intelligence.”

He used his own family history as an example of how the technology can help: “My family, we have a disorder – we lose our hearing at an early age. My father was almost deaf when he passed away, and my AI-enhanced Starkey hearing aids are making me better. It is not something over there. It is right here, augmenting my human experience.

“And we think this paradigm shift – how humans and technology come together – are going to be powerfully enabled by AI. And that hearkens us back to the Intel vision, that we are going to work on technology that improves the lives of every human on Earth.”

In the data centre, Intel said, the new Xeon processor family “delivers a 21 per cent average performance gain for general compute performance and enables 36 per cent higher average performance per watt across a range of customer workloads,” compared to the previous generation.

Its AI accelerators, it said, “together with optimized software and enhanced telemetry capabilities, enable more manageable and efficient deployments of demanding network and edge workloads for communication service providers, content delivery networks and broad vertical markets, including retail, healthcare and manufacturing.”

According to the release, both Intel Core Ultra and 5th Gen Xeon will “find their way into places you might not expect. Imagine a restaurant that guides your menu choices based on your budget and dietary needs; a manufacturing floor that catches quality and safety issues at the source; an ultrasound that sees what human eyes might miss; a power grid that manages electricity with careful precision.”

No specifications were provided for the upcoming Gaudi3, which, according to a published report, is expected to compete with AMD’s M1300 and the H100 from NVDIA. However, Gelsinger did describe it as “out of fab, in the lab, being powered on, looking healthy.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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