Intel’s 8th Generation Reveal Must Challenge AMD’s Upswing
Andrew Wheeler posted on August 23, 2017 | 1250 views

Intel has taken some criticism lately from investors and analysts for two reasons.

First, GPUs, not CPUs are proving more fundamental to machine learning algorithms and deep learning. Intel doesn’t make GPUs, but a lot of machine learning tasks require a huge amount of parallel processing—something that is handled better by the larger number of lower-quality cores that are built into graphics cards (GPUs), rather than the smaller but higher-quality cores that are built into CPUs.

Second, Intel is losing out on potential market share, even though it has added more cores as new options on the last of its 7th generation CPUs.

Losing out on the conventional wisdom that GPUs are well-suited for a lot of artificial intelligence (AI) tasks is one thing, but even in the CPU arena Intel is facing a growing challenge from chipmaker AMD. A member of AMD’s recent Ryzen 7 CPU family shot to number one over Intel as an Amazon “Deal of the Day” (Ryzen 7 1700 X) priced at $300. 

Both the Ryzen and newly released Ryzen Threadripper CPUs are getting solid critical praise from the reviewing community. (Image courtesy of AMD.)
Both the Ryzen and newly released Ryzen Threadripper CPUs are getting solid critical praise from the reviewing community. (Image courtesy of AMD.)

Battle for the Future of Central Processing Units

Some analysts are predicting that AMD’s new CPUs could power a 40 percent market share grab from Intel. AMD also must compete against NVIDIA, which basically floored both companies in the past year with its insight and action based on the realization that GPUs would be essential to processing powerful AI software faster and more efficiently.

Intel recently released the specs of its X-Series CPUs, which have 4 to 18 cores. 

Specifications for the 12- to 18-core X-Series family: Intel Core i9-7920X, Intel Core i9-7940X, Intel Core i9-7960X and the Intel Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition processors. (Image courtesy of Intel.)
Specifications for the 12- to 18-core X-Series family: Intel Core i9-7920X, Intel Core i9-7940X, Intel Core i9-7960X and the Intel Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition processors. (Image courtesy of Intel.)

This is the last batch of the 7th generation processor, and since the 8th generation Intel Core CPU series is going to be revealed on August 21 on Facebook Live, I’m sure most people with a vested interest will want to wait and see what the company is up to.

The 8th generation processor is known as Coffee Lake, and it may provide anywhere from a 10 percent to 30 percent improvement in speed. Along the timeline of 8th generation releases, Intel will follow the Coffee Lake optimization with a new process expected to use a 10nm die. This will usher in a new architecture phase called Ice Lake.

If Intel doesn’t show up strong on Facebook Live with its 8th generation CPUs on August 21, AMD is poised to leave the company in the dust. This is not a place that Intel is accustomed to finding itself.

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