Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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Intel Unveils New Atom x6000E and 11th Gen Core CPUs for IoT and Edge Uses 

All-new Intel Atom e6000E and 11th Generation Intel Core processors aimed at AI, IoT and industrial uses were launched Sept. 23 at the company’s Intel Industrial Summit 2020 virtual event.

Built to expand and solidify Intel’s market share in the growing IoT, edge and industrial markets, the new products feature designs and architectures aimed to meet the needs of a wide range of Intel customers, John Healy, the vice president of Intel’s internet of things group, told Enterprise AI. Healy, who is also the company’s general manager of platform management and customer engineering, said the new releases were designed by partnering with leaders in vertical markets where Intel does much of its business to help customers deliver new products.

“11th Gen Intel Core processors, Intel Atom x6000E Series, and Intel Pentium and Celeron N and J Series processors represent our most significant step forward yet in enhancements for IoT … while setting the foundation for capabilities with advancements in AI and 5G,” said Healy.

The latest CPUs lay out a roadmap for fulfilling customer requirements for the IoT and 5G products and services that are still yet to come, he said. To meet these goals and requirements for customers, Intel engineers built all the new chips using differentiated and targeted IoT, 5G and industrial designs at the silicon level, said Healy.

11th Gen Core Processors for IoT

The new 11th Gen Core processors are enhanced to meet the needs of IoT applications that require high-speed processing, computer vision and low-latency deterministic computing. Delivering up to a 23% performance gain in single-thread performance compared to previous 10th Gen Core CPUs, the new chips also provide a 19% gain in multithread performance and up to a 2.95x performance gain in graphics compared to the last generation. New dual-video decoder boxes allow the processor to ingest up to 40 simultaneous video streams at 1080p 30 frames per second and output up to four channels of 4K or two channels of 8K video, while AI-inferencing algorithms can run on up to 96 graphic execution units (INT8) or run on the CPU with vector neural network instructions (VNNI) built in.

The processors use the 3rd-generation Intel 10 nm microarchitecture and can include two or four processing cores and up to 96 graphics execution units. The chips support DDR4 and LPDDR4x memory, with optional In-Band ECC.

The latest 11th Gen processors are built to fill performance needs in a wide range of markets, including mission-critical industrial control systems, industrial PCs and human-machine interfaces, as well as in retail, banking and hospitality where intelligent and immersive digital signage, interactive kiosks and automated checkouts require more computing power. Other markets include healthcare, where next-generation medical imaging devices with high-resolution displays and AI-powered diagnostics require better architectures, and smart cities, where network video recorders with onboard AI inferencing and analytics also need specialized computing power.

New Atom x6000E Processors for IoT

The latest Atom x6000E Series and several IoT-focused Intel Pentium and Celeron N and J Series processors make up Intel’s first processor platform that’s built with specific enhancements for IoT. These chips deliver enhanced real-time performance and efficiency, with 3D graphics that are as much as 2x better than previous versions. The chips use a dedicated real-time offload engine; an Intel Programmable Services Engine, which supports out-of-band and in-band remote device management; and enhanced I/O and storage options. The chips support 4Kp60 resolution on up to three simultaneous displays and include built-in hardware-based security.

These chips include two- or four-core options ranging from 1.0 GHz to 1.9 GHz (high-frequency mode) with burst frequencies up to 3.0 GHz, and support 4x32 LPDDR4 memory.

 ‘An Important Step for Intel’

Jack E. Gold, president and principal analyst for research firm J. Gold Associates, LLC, said the Intel chip announcements are being made at a critical time in the IoT, 5G and industrial marketplaces.

“This is an important step for Intel as it brings hardware accelerated AI to the edge,” said Gold. “The edge computing world will grow dramatically over the next two to three years, as not only IoT systems, but distributed edge-cloud based systems proliferate.”

And with all of the data acquired by systems at the edge, it makes the most sense to process it as close to the acquisition point as possible, said Gold. “It’s highly likely that an AI capability will be needed to maximize the actionable intelligence available from the data. Intel has the advantage of having a uniform x86 Intel architecture across their devices from large data center targeted high end Xeons, all the way down to Atom.”

For developers, that means the processors can be compatible with a developer’s software throughout the entire stack of processors, even though some of the AI acceleration won’t be as effective at the low end as at the high end, said Gold. “And the low end AI accelerated Atoms should also be advantageous for embedded systems,” including security cameras, network controllers and more for localized process acceleration. “That means Intel may have an answer to the proliferation of ARM-based processors in the IoT world, that can keep it competitive there.”

The Intel Industrial Summit, which continues on Sept. 24, focuses on products and technologies geared for the edge market, which is expected to be a $65 billion silicon opportunity by 2023, according to the company. Intel’s revenue in the space grew more than 20% to $9.5 billion in 2018.

 

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