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Thursday, April 14, 2011
Intel To Introduce USB 3.0 Chipsets in 2012

At the second day of the Intel Developer Forum 2011 in Beijing, Microsoft confirmed the support for USB 3.0 in upcoming chipsets, talked about the company's policy related to cloud computing, the Many Integrated Core (MIC) platform and highlighted the company's low-power processor portofolio for micro servers.

Cloud computing

Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager,Intel Data Center Group, talked with Open Data Center Alliance Steering Committee member and China Unicom IT General Manager, Boliang Liu. Mr. Liu discussed the progress of the Alliance towards delivery of a Usage Model Roadmap for emerging data center requirements built on open, industry standard technology solutions. He also highlighted the Alliance's announced formation of a China subgroup, the addition of a solutions provider membership class, and the addition of Disney as a member of the organization's Steering Committee.

Intel serves as the technical advisor to the Open Data Center Alliance.

The keynote also highlighted industry delivery of solutions optimized for cloud workloads including demonstrations of a ―client aware cloud and of a data center container - an emerging data center hardware form factor that provides efficient configurations that enable data center scaling. The demonstration highlighted two critical technical pillars of the cloud: security and efficiency.

The security solution featured Intel's Expressway Cloud 360, a software solution that simplifies and standardizes enterprise password and permissions management for emerging cloud application usage. The demonstration was based on a reference architecture solution from Intel?s Cloud Builders program.

The data center efficiency solution uses Intel Node Manager technology running on Intel Xeon 5600 series-based servers and showcased how Intel processor instrumentation, combined with Node Manager, controls power usage at the box and rack levels and assists with disaster recovery in the case of power outages.

Skaugen also highlighted innovation at the other end of the computing continuum including Intel?s concept of the client-aware cloud, which optimizes application delivery and end-user experience across a range of devices, from tablets to PCs, in a secure fashion.

To showcase the benefits of client-aware cloud, Skaugen demonstrated the new Lenovo Secure Cloud Access (SCA) powered by Stoneware's webNetwork. SCA software takes advantage of Intel?s new application programming interface to expose the capabilities and context of Lenovo Cloud Ready Clients to cloud services, enabling IT organizations and service providers to better optimize application delivery and user experience based on the combined capabilities of the cloud data center and the client device.

Support for USB 3.0

Skaugen also confirmed that that USB 3.0 will be incorporated in the 2012 Ivy Bridge client platform. According to industry sources, the Panther Point chipset will integrate USB 3.0 functionality. The chipset will include up to 4 integrated USB 3.0 ports, will feature power management enhancements and also contribute to a lower platform average power as well as BOM savings.

Intel is also expected to offer USB 3.0 drivers for only Windows 7 and the upcoming Windows 8 operating systems, while users of Windows XP & Vista OS will not be able to enjoy the increased speeds of USB 3.0, and the ports will function as USB 2.0 through a new BIOS using native Windows EHCI driver.

According to a block diagram of the Panther Point PCH, it will include two EHCI controllers as well as a new XHCI controller. The provided USB 3.0 ports will be limited to 4 and the rest 10 ports will be USB 2.0. So the XHCI controller supports both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 (Super-sped and High-speed).

Later this year, AMD also plans to introduce a USB 3.0 chipsets.

Commitment to Itanium, Itanium and Intel "Many Integrated Core" Architecture

During his keynote, Skaugen also reaffirmed Intel's strong support for Itanium. He announced that the next-generation Itanium processor, codenamed ― Poulson, will launch on schedule in 2012.

He also previewed upcoming Itanium-based servers from Chinese companies, Huawei and Inspur.

Featuring 3.1 billion transistors, the most of any current microprocessor and twice the performance of the current Intel Itanium 9300 processor, Poulson provides a strong roadmap for the next generation of mission-critical computing.

Intel's executive added that Poulson?s architectural advances will increase instruction throughput, improve performance per watt, and enhance reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS). RAS advances in Poulson are designed to increase resiliency, improve execution integrity and minimize service interruption.

The Poulson chip includes eight cores, 54MB on-die memory (50MB SRAM), it features 33 percent bandwidth improvement through higher bus speeds compared with the current generation Itanium processor and improved power management features, including reduced overall socket power consumption.

Intel also provided an update on the progress of the Intel Many Integrated Core (Intel MIC) architecture, which is expected to be used for highly parallel applications in high performance computing segments such as scientific exploration and research, and weather modeling.

Intel plans to launch its first MIC product on Intel's upcoming 22nm process technology and expects to have more than 100 developer sites for MIC by the end of 2011. Development is on track to deliver the leading software programming model for highly parallel workloads.

Intel's Low-Power Processor Portfolio for Micro Servers

Noting Intel's history of continually delivering improvements in low-power processor technology and performance per watt, Skaugen discussed the company?s recently refreshed roadmap consisting of a portfolio of low-power processors in the micro server category.

Intel is offering server-optimized processors for this emerging category. The company forecasts the micro server category, in aggregate, to comprise less than 10 percent of servers deployed in four to five years.

Starting in 2011 and continuing into 2012, the company plans to bring four new processors to market for micro servers that span 45 watts (W) to sub-10W, all with server-class features, including 64-bit compatibility, Intel Virtualization Technology and Error-Correcting Code (ECC).

Intel Xeon processors are built for the broadest range of general purpose and enterprise workloads where performance and performance-per-watt are important. Intel expects that the majority of the micro server market will be served by the new lowpower, single-socket Intel Xeon processors E3-1260L and E3-1220L given their performance and performance per watt attributes.

For the lowest-power, highest-density solutions with light processing requirements per node, a new sub-10 watt server processor based on the Intel Atom processor microarchitecture will offer an additional option. Targeted for launch in 2012, this processor is designed for unique data center workloads where lowest power-per-server and high density are important.

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