Articles about x86

A wafer full of Intel's C3000 Atoms

Intel scales Atom to 16 cores, updates Xeon SoCs

Intel's tossed out a batch of new products ahead of Mobile World Congress, all of them handy for internet of things applications operating on very fast wireless networks. Among them is a new generation of "Denverton" Atom processors. The new C3000 family now offer between two and 16 cores, with clock speeds up to a swift 2.2 …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Feb 2017

Your next PC is… your 'Droid? Remix unveils Continuum-killer

Jide, the company founded by three ex-Googlers, has shown how a phone can act as a Continuum-style hub. When plugged into an external monitor, the Android device – with the new and as-yet unreleased cut of Jide's Remix OS – allows the user to work with "desktop-friendly" versions of the apps that are already installed on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017
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Suffering ceepie-geepies! Do we need a new processor architecture?

Backgrounder Do we need a new processor architecture? Graphcore says that machine learning computation is different from existing computational types, and will be broad enough in its usage for – as well as accelerated significantly by – a dedicated processor architecture. If UK-based Graphcore is right, then its IPU will join CPU and GPU …
Chris Mellor, 21 Feb 2017
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

The stunted physical SAN market – Dell man gives Wikibon forecasts his blessing

Analysis Current thinking among vendors with hyper-converged and converged infrastructure offerings is that physical SANs are in decline and their market is shrinking. Chad Sakac, Converged Platforms Division president at Dell EMC, is the latest high-profile prognosticator to push this view. The Wikibon consultancy first talked about …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2017
SimpliVity_Omnicubes

Surprise! HPE says nothing about ProLiant server hardware for SimpliVity OmniCubes

Analysis HPE has closed its SimpliVity acquisition and publicised software porting and migration plans but hasn't said anything about SimpliVity hardware moving to a ProLiant server base. The second-largest hyperconverged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) startup was bought for $650m, and so SimpliVity's hardware added to HPE's two-horse …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2017

Hyperconverged market gets hyper-competitive as new riders enter field

Analysis The hyperconverged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) market has become hypercompetitive as the two-horse race between Dell and Nutanix has been blown open with HPE/SimpliVity, NetApp and Cisco chasing them. Three things happened this week: Cisco's boss Chuck Robbins said of its HyperFlex product: "We certainly would like to …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
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What does a complex AI model look like? Here's some Friday eye candy from UK biz Graphcore

Pics Brit chip startup Graphcore has produced sexy images of its graph processing. We wrote about Graphcore scoring $30m A-round funding in October. The processor designer came out of two years in XMOS-incubated stealth mode at that time, and was founded by CEO Nigel Toon and CTO Simon Knowles. XMOS is a fabless semiconductor …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
Sherlocks

Analyse this: IBM moves Watson machine learning to mainframes

IBM is adding the machine learning technology from Watson to its z/OS mainframe for smarter, faster analytics of transaction data. Big Data analytics is typically applied to unstructured data in the Hadoop world. By contrast, older data warehousing and business intelligence (DW/BI) products are applied to structured data in …
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017
Hal

Just finished your first TensorFlow app? Might be time for a rewrite...

Tensorflow, Google’s opensource machine learning library, has toddled into whole figures, just over a year after the first release - with the proviso that version 1.0 might not be entirely backwards-compatible with early adopters’ programmes. Using just the sort of understatement which characterises the machine learning space …
Joe Fay, 16 Feb 2017
Hadoop

IBM hooks up with Hortonworks to Hadoop Big Blue products

+Comment Cognitive Watsonian and mainframer IBM is making Hortonworks available for its Elastic Storage Server (ESS) and Spectrum Scale products. ESS is an integrated bundle of POWER8 servers, storage enclosures, disks and Spectrum Scale software. The GPFS parallel file system software was renamed Elastic Storage and then rebranded …
Chris Mellor, 15 Feb 2017
IBM_S812L

IBM to launch cheap 'n' cheerful Power server for i and AIX userbase

IBM's i and AIX customer bases can buy a cheaper box; its latest Power S812 server comes with just one socket and a single or quad-core processor. It's for relatively light use, in the retail area for example, and as an entry point for non-compute-intense workloads. The S812 box, separate from the 2014 S812L Linux system, is …
Chris Mellor, 15 Feb 2017

ASLR-security-busting JavaScript hack demo'd by university boffins

Researchers in Europe have developed a way to exploit a common computer processor feature to bypass a crucial security defense provided by modern operating systems. By abusing the way today's CPUs manage system memory, an attacker can discover where software components, such as libraries and RAM-mapped files, are located in …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2017
Couple on phones photo via Shutterstock

It's over? Pat Gelsinger's post vSphere VMware NSX-T opportunity

Sysadmin Blog VMware has recently announced its financial results for 2016, and for a company that's not just satured but that leads the VM market, it had a very good year. Some of this is attributed to accepting that VMware can't beat AWS, so it might as well join them. But VMware's NSX Network Virtualization arguably led the way, doubling …
Trevor Pott, 14 Feb 2017
Chromebook Pro

Samsung's Chromebook Pro: Overpriced vanilla PC with a stylus. 'Wow'

Hands-on It's been nearly six years since Google announced the launch of its own operating system, Chrome OS, and the CR‑48 Chromebook running it. Since then, Chromebooks have carved out a solid chunk of market share for the operating system. Around 50 per cent of US schoolchildren use Chromebooks in the classroom and Chrome OS is now …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2017

Wow, what an incredible 12 months: 2017's data center year in review

Comment The data center market is hot, especially now that we are getting a raft of funky new stuff, from promising non-Intel chips and system architectures to power and cooling optimizations. Since we're all thinking several quarters ahead anyway, we're practically in 2018. So from that point of view, we may as well look back at 2017 …
Shahin Khan, 06 Feb 2017
Penguins pool photo via Shutterstock

Wintel part deux? Microsoft Azure first for Intel Clear Linux

An alliance that dominated the PC industry is entering the world of fluffy white stuff and open source: Microsoft Azure is the first public cloud to include an Intel initiated and container-oriented Clear Linux OS. The Wintel union loosened with the rise of Linux - runing on x86 - and the fall of the PC as peoples' primary …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jan 2017
First XC40, photo: Met Office

UK, you Cray. Boffins flex ARM in 'first-of-its-kind' bonkers HPC rig

A fellowship of four UK universities, along with HPC veteran Cray and the Met Office, have been handed £3m to build a 10,000+ ARM core supercomputer. The project could settle whether ARM-based supercomputers can beat Xeon ones on cost while offering the right performance. The scheme is called Isambard, after 19th century Brit …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jan 2017
Space_Shuttle_launch

Hyperconvergered-ception: HPE swallows SimpliVity

Analysis SimpliVity, the second-placed hyperconverged infrastructure appliance startup, has been bought by HPE for $650m, setting the stage for mainstream vendor dominance of the hyperconverged market. HPE now has its own proprietary software stack plus a 3PAR-style hardware-accelerated product line that will fit nicely above its …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jan 2017
A man holding a cup of coffee

OpenIO, blind nano-nodes and coffee cup detection

Interview In a story about ARM-powered, Ethernet-addressed, object storing disk drives, I said such drives couldn’t carry out image searches at a drive-level because they would be operating "blindfolded". OpenIO says “rubbish” to that in a blog it wrote (I exaggerate.) So I spoke to OpenIO’s co-founder and COO Marie Ponseel, suggesting …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017
Car polishing photo via Shutterstock

Qualcomm/NXP, Nvidia and Intel: The race to define the car platform

CES 2017 So the stakes are high, and many companies are already playing hard. There were important announcements from two of the most established chip suppliers in the auto sector, NXP and Nvidia – the former particularly closely watched because it will soon be part of Qualcomm. Its launches reminded the industry how strategic an …
Wireless Watch, 12 Jan 2017
Some of the Super Pressure Balloon. M. McCarthy, submitted to the ABC

2016 – the year 3D XPoint came down to earth from Planet Hype

Storage Review in 2016 Storage in 2016 saw its on-premises SAN/filer array heartland assaulted by the public cloud on the one hand, and hyper-converged and software-defined storage on the other. The now-classic dual-controller disk array went hybrid to keep storing primary data, but all-flash arrays are taking on that role and so the hybrids went …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jan 2017
13 inch telescope Spaceguard Center, photo: Spaceguard Center

HPE bucks trend to retain high-end server crown

IDC bean-counters saw strong high-end server revenue growth in the third quarter high-performance technical computing market but revenue falls in low-end sysyems. HPC server sales growth contrasts with the decline in the overall world-wide server market, which IDC says shrank by 7 per cent to $12.5 Bn in the year since the …
Chris Mellor, 30 Dec 2016
Raspberry Pi Foundation's PIXEL OS on a PC

Raspberry Pi Foundation releases operating system for PCs, Macs

The Raspberry Pi foundation has ported the PIXEL OS it released in September to the PC and Mac. PIXEL stands for “Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight” and is, says Pi founder Eben Upton, “our best guess as to what the majority of users are looking for in a desktop environment: a clean, modern user interface; a …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016

Smartphones crashed, Samsung burned: Mobile in 2016

End-of-Year Round Up The mobile landscape this year was dominated by an air war of far greater importance taking place over the players’ heads. Giant telcos went shopping for giant media companies, while Silicon Valley continued to work to destroy the value of both pipes and content, mostly by trying to queer the regulatory pitch. Down below, back …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Dec 2016

Name's BOND, JBOND: Igneous's ARM strap-on is for your drives only

Analysis You wait for a bus for ages, and then two come along at once. Two data-transfer buses. Something like that. Both OpenIO and Igneous have launched plug-on ARM server cards for storage drives: these single-board computers each snap onto a hard drive to form nano-servers that are organized into a grid of object storage nodes. …
Chris Mellor, 21 Dec 2016
Xen project logo

Qualcomm joins Xen Project Advisory Board

Qualcomm has joined the Xen Project's Advisory Board, the group of companies “committed to the market and technical success of the Xen Project” and who “provide financial support, technical contributions, and set high-level policy decisions.” And it's done so “to accelerate ARM-server and hyperscale cloud development, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2016
OpenIO_WD_HDD_with_ARM_board

Grab an ARMful: OpenIO's Scale-out storage with disk drive feel

OpenIO has launched its SLS-4U96 product, a box of 96 directly addressed drives offering an object-storage interface and per-drive scale-out granularity. The SLS-4U86 is a 4U box holding up to 96 vertically mounted 3.5-inch disk drives, providing up to 960TB of raw storage with 10TB drives and 1,152 TB with 12TB drives. The …
Chris Mellor, 19 Dec 2016
People fight in cartoon cloud. photo by Shutterstock

Fancy an AWS region in your own data centre? Stratoscale can do it

Israeli outfit Stratoscale has updated its Symphony suite so it can effectively become an on-premises Amazon Web Services (AWS) region. Symphony is a software overlay that does the “turn your pile of x86 into a cloud” thing and Stratoscale isn't averse to describing the results as “hyperconverged” to cover all the buzzword …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016
HYDRAstor_node

NEC mentions it has a high-end dedupe disk backup box, stretches, yawns for 40 seconds

Analysis NEC has the biggest, baddest scale-out deduping backup-to-disk array on the planet and we virtually never hear about it. NEC is not a top-six purpose-built backup supplier, according to IDC, being neither a unit ship or revenue leader. Yet there are 1,100 customers and 1,800 installations, around three exabytes under …
Chris Mellor, 13 Dec 2016

It's a ratchet: Old storage guard face incoming tech squeeze

Analysis Squeezed between the giant pressures of hyper-convergence, the public cloud, object storage and software-defined/cheap commodity hardware, the old guard storage suppliers face shrinkage into shadows of their former dominant selves. Ten years ago and before that Dell, EMC, HDS, HPE, IBM and NetApp represented the bulk of on- …
Chris Mellor, 13 Dec 2016

IBM has an on-prem cloud it thinks can go big in Asia

IBM has found a new way to spread its Bluemix cloud around the world: have partners blaze a trail with its on-premises cloud. "Bluemix Local" is that on-prem cloud and is a collection of software that, when thrown at a pool of x86 that conforms to a reference architecture, turns out a cloud with most of the features of Bluemix …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Dec 2016

VMware releases 'not cool, but very useful' integrated containers

VMware has released its long-touted vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC), the company's way of making vSphere a fine place to run containers. Plenty of pundits have suggested that containers stand a good chance of killing virtual machines, citing the former as lighter, faster and better-suited to building the kind of apps that …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Dec 2016
Microsoft flagship store, New York

Qualcomm, Microsoft plot ARM Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs, tablets, phones

First, it fired shots at Intel's data center margins. Now Qualcomm is gunning for its rival's notebook processor cash cow. Qualcomm and Microsoft are hooking up to port full-fat Windows 10 to smartphones, tablets, PCs and virtual reality goggles powered by Qualcomm's 64-bit ARMv8-compatible Snapdragon system-on-chips. These …
Chris Williams, 08 Dec 2016

What can we use to hit Intel between the eyes, thinks Qualcomm – a 10nm ARM server chip

Qualcomm says it has started shipping to customers samples of the Centriq 2400, its 10nm 64-bit ARMv8-A general-purpose server-grade system-on-chip. The mobile chip designer, based in San Diego, California, has recruited engineers from AMD, Intel and Broadcom, as well as tapped its internal pool of techies, to work on the …
Chris Williams, 07 Dec 2016
cloud

Big Switch takes big bet it can beat off big denial of service attacks

Big Switch Networks is taking aim at the kinds of IoT-based attacks that have rocked the Internet this year. Headlining its BigSecure Architecture release today is a service chaining solution the company's chief product officer Prashant Gandhi told Vulture South can scale up to deflect a terabit-scale attack in about ten …

Broadcom quietly dismantles its 'Vulcan' ARM server chip project

Broadcom is shutting down efforts to develop its own server-class 64-bit ARM system-on-chip, multiple sources within the semiconductor industry have told The Register. It appears the secretive project, codenamed Vulcan, did not survive Broadcom's acquisition by Avago and is gradually being wound down. Engineering resources …
Chris Williams, 07 Dec 2016
emo guy

Don't cut yourself on that Edge: Nexenta containerises DevOps

Software-only storage supplier Nexenta Systems has embraced more containerisation with its NexentaEdge DevOps Edition. The NextentaEdge block and object storage software product appeared in May 2015. It became containerised in September last year, and now it has a DevOps Edition as Nexenta extends its micro-services' …
Chris Mellor, 06 Dec 2016

Online advent calendar offers mystery VM every day until Christmas

Here's something fun for Christmas: the folks behind the free and open-source hosted QEMU hypervisor have whipped up an online advent calendar that offers you a new virtual machine to download every day between now and Christmas. The 2016 QEMU Advent Calendar kicked off last week with a download of the 56kb MikeOS, apparently …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Dec 2016

Why your gigabit broadband lags like hell – blame Intel's chipset

Intel's Puma 6 chipset, used in gigabit broadband modems around the world, suffers from latency jitter so bad it ruins online gaming and other real-time connections. The semiconductor giant is preparing a firmware update to correct spikes of lag and bouts of packet loss that repeatedly flare up in home internet hubs in America …
Chris Williams, 03 Dec 2016
Server, photo via Shutterstock

Server market slumps as everyone stops buying

Abacus-shuffler IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker for the year's third quarter makes for ugly reading: the firm says just about all categories of server sales have stalled. Revenue was down 7.0 per cent, year over year, and shipments decreased 4.6 per cent. It's not all bad, there's still 2.38m machines and US$12.5 …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Dec 2016
empty pockets

Qubes goes commercial to keep its secure VM-focused OS dream alive

Financial necessity is forcing the security research group behind Qubes OS to begin establishing commercial funding to support its continued development. Warsaw-based Invisible Things Labs was founded in 2007 by low-level security researcher Joanna Rutkowska, who spoke at the Chaos Communications Congress last year about the …

Gartner: It's tough out there for server-sellers

Gartner's number-crunchers say the server market declined in the third quarter, with only Cisco and the Others supplier category showing revenue growth. Worldwide server revenue slumped 5.8 per cent from a year ago with shipments sliding 2.6 per cent. In the x86 category, there was a 1.6 per cent decline in revenue and 2.3 per …
Chris Mellor, 30 Nov 2016
Pic: Shutterstock

Drive-by web nasty unmasks Tor Browser users, Mozilla dashes to patch zero-day vuln

Updated Mozilla is scrambling to patch a vulnerability in Firefox that is apparently being exploited in the wild to unmask Tor Browser users. Earlier today, a small package of SVG, JavaScript and x86 code popped up on a Tor mailing list that, when opened by Firefox or Tor Browser on a Windows PC, phones home to a remote server and …
Darren Pauli, 30 Nov 2016
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RIP HPE's The Machine product, 2014-2016: We hardly knew ye

HPE lab boffins have finally, after years of work, built a proof-of-concept prototype of their fairytale memory-focused computer, The Machine. The achievement is bittersweet. A decision has been made within Hewlett Packard Enterprise management to step back from manufacturing and selling the much-hyped fabled device as a …
Chris Mellor, 29 Nov 2016

A Rowhammer ban-hammer for all, and it's all in software

A group of German researchers reckon they've cracked a pretty hard nut indeed: how to protect all x86 architectures from the “Rowhammer” memory bug. It's been 18 months since “Rowhammer” first emerged, and responses have largely come from individual vendors working out how to block the “bit-flipping” attacks in their own …
Don Draper is sad

I'm not having a VMware moment – there's just something in my eye

Analysis SAP VP Renu Raman thinks 2U, 24-drive, NVMe storage boxes could provoke a storage VMware moment. Raman looks after HANA cloud computing at SAP and his interests include high-performance persistence architecture for in-memory databases. What he's clocked is that there is storage hardware now in the same position as the 2U 2- …
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2016
A mock-up of the guts of HP's Machine

A closer look at HPE's 'The Machine'

Analysis HPE is undertaking the single most determined and ambitious architectural redesign of a server’s architecture in recent history in the shape of The Machine. We'll try to provide what Army types call a sitrep about The Machine, HPE's "completely different" system: its aims, its technology and its situation. Think of this as a …
Chris Mellor, 24 Nov 2016
Xen project hypervisor logo

Get patching: Xen bug blows hypervisor security to bits – literally

The Xen Project has issued eight security advisories for its open source hypervisor. XSA-195 is considered the most serious of the eight, as it could allow memory modification, resulting in arbitrary code execution, a crash of the host, or information exposure. According to the Xen Project, XSA-195 (CVE-2016-9383) is …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Nov 2016
Synergy_rack_detail

Rumble in the off-the-shelf server jungle: HPE comes out swinging

Backgrounder HPE has the biggest cojones in the server business, bending tin, designing silicon and pushing photonics, all the while mixing it in the rough and tumble of the COTS jungle. It has a multifaceted range of servers varying by processor architecture and type, processor carrying card form factor, and chassis design and intent. We' …
Chris Mellor, 22 Nov 2016

Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

Microsoft plans to emulate x86 instructions on ARM chips, throwing a compatibility lifeline to future Windows tablets and phones. The Cobalt project should bear fruit within the year, when the "Redstone 3" release of Windows 10 is due to arrive, Mary Jo Foley reports. Ideally, Microsoft wants everyone to convert their old …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Nov 2016