Tag: intel

Security vendor revenues rising as market contracts

securityBeancounters working for analyst outfit Gartner have added up some numbers and divided by their shoe size and worked out that security software revenues have risen  3.7 percent and were worth  $22.1bn in 2015.

The report said that security information and event management  remained the fastest-growing sub segment of the cybersecurity market and saw a 15.8 per cent growth. Consumer security software recorded a 5.9 percent year-on-year decline.

The top five vendors were Symantec, Intel, IBM, Trend Micro and EMC and they accounted for 37.6 percent of the security software revenue market share, down.

These vendors saw a collective decline of 4.2 percent in 2015, while the rest of the market grew strongly at 9.2 percent year on year. In fact, of the top five only Biggish Blue grew and increased its revenue by 2.5 percent to reach $1.45billion.

Both Symantec and Intel Security both suffered from the long-standing decline of the consumer market for anti-virus products and services. But Symantec still remained on top despite suffering a third consecutive year of revenue decline and its highest decline in revenue over a three-year period.

Still at least it did better than Intel which saw revenues fall from $1.83bn to $1.75bn between 2014 and 2015.

Intel culls sales and marketing staff

Bent AxeIntel is ordering its sales and marketing staff to clean out their desks as part of its glorious campaign on restructuring.

In April, Chipzilla announced it would lay off 12,000 employees worldwide saying that there was no more money in this PC lark. It also stopped work on its Atom chip and those working on it were the first to be escorted from the building with their belongings in an old photocopy paper box.

But now sales and marketing in Intel’s distribution channel operation are having to face the music. Ironically a corporate PR person who has not been sacked yet issued a statement saying:

“To support our transformation, we are restructuring our sales organization to drive tighter alignment with Intel’s business units and fuel our growth engines. Customers can expect to see more specialized technical support, faster decision making, and streamlined processes with a strong focus on enabling a consistent and personalized customer experience.”

Still it is early days yet. The cuts are not being completed until the end of the month, so maybe the person who wrote the above comment is still blissfully unaware that there is a corporate axeman waiting in the corridor waiting to pounce.

It looks like regional head offices will be the target. Intel offices will now report direct to the US headquarters rather than to their nearest regional head office. Big processor buyers, such as China-based Lenovo and Taiwan’s Acer, will also deal direct with teams in California from now on


Companies reject cloud for fog

Fog.PNGEnterprise CIOs are starting to twig that the cloud is not all it is cracked up to be and are looking at a new buzzword – the Fog –  instead.

One of the problems with the cloud is that many of the services and apps, and data used in critical decision-making are better kept on premise or in smaller enterprise data centres. Cloud goes against the demand for mobility too as the data needs to be kept closer to the machine.

Now Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Intel and ARM, as well as researchers at Princeton University, are betting that the future of enterprise computing will be a hybrid model where information, applications and services are split between the cloud and the fog. Cisco came up with the name “fog computing” you can probably tell.

Cloud based data centres are huge and are working ok for now. But when, and if the IoT appears on the scene things are going to get messy.

When everything from cars and drones to video cameras and home appliances are transmitting enormous amounts of data from trillions of sensors, network traffic will grow exponentially. Real-time services that require split-second response times or location-awareness for accurate decision-making will need to be deployed closer to the edge to be useful, something which would cause the cloud to break.

The only thing which will save the cloud really is increased technology,  or coming up with a hybrid approach to data. That will enable distributed fog networks in enterprise data centres, around cities, in vehicles, in homes and neighbourhoods, and even on your person via wearable devices and sensors.

If this sounds like the old “distributed computing” over “Centralised computing” debate which happened as the Internet was starting to arrive, it pretty much is. What Cisco is suggesting is incredibly complex networks.

Wintel creates new channel incentive programme

wintel_blimp_featureIntel and Microsoft have set up a point-based channel incentive programme to get Intel’s Technology Provider partners to upgrade the 600 million PCs in use today that are five years old or older to the new Skylake-Windows 10 platform.

Dubbed the Accelerate Your Business initiative, North American custom builders selling Windows 10-Skylake systems will be rewarded with the new programme, available through Intel distributors.

Under the deal, custom builders in North America can earn points when they purchase Intel sixth-generation Core i5 or Core i7 components and Windows 10 Pro.

Partners must be active Gold or Platinum Intel Technology Providers. The promotion is valid until June 30.

According to Intel, the initiative will also include training, collateral and resource kits for reseller partners to help showcase the benefits of refreshing PCs.

Intel  is expected to announce the news at its Intel Solutions Summit later this week.  It is is not clear if the programme will be rolled out to its UK partners at the same time.


HP Enterprise, Intel and Aruba team up

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudFormer maker of expensive printer ink, HP Enterprise (HPE) has announced a new IoT and Aruba solutions package aimed at better cloud data collection, analysis and beacon management.

The move will help HP partners come up with IoT packages for big corporate clients.

Dubbed Edgeline IoT Systems, the new product line is a joint venture between HPE and Intel. Two devices, Systems 10 and 20 are available in rugged, mobile and rack-mounted versions and sit at the gateways at the network edge. Built around Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite they will run Windows 10 IoT for industrial, logistics, transportation, healthcare, government and retail applications.

System EL10 is tailored to  entry-level deployments, EL20 comes with more features for higher compute capabilities and quick deployments. It’s can handle higher volumes. Both run on HPE’s Moonshot.

Aruba has released a cloud-based beacon management solution aimed at multivendor Wi-Fi networks.

The IoT Aruba Sensor crosses a  Wi-Fi client and BLE radio, so that users can remotely manage Aruba Beacons across wi-fi networks on a  Meridian cloud.

The new sensors are meant to help companies introduce location-based services.

HPE Edgeline IoT Systems are available now in the US and Aruba sensors are now available to order.

Checkpoint puts AV on Intel chip

Israel Checkpoint

Israel Checkpoint

Israeli security outfit Check Point has come up with a way of checking the CPU for unusual activity, which it says, will catch attacks early.

Dubbed SandBlast, the new software monitors CPU activity looking for anomalies that indicate that attackers are using sophisticated methods that would go unnoticed with traditional sandboxing technology.

Nathan Shuchami, head of threat prevention sales for Check Point said that traditional sandboxes, including Check Point’s, determine whether files are legitimate by opening them in a virtual environment to see what they do.  You also have to move the cat to use them effectively.

To get past the sandboxes attackers have devised evasion techniques, such as delaying execution until the sandbox has given up or lying dormant until the machine it’s trying to infect reboots.

SandBlast thwarts the evasion technique called Return Oriented Programming (ROP), which enables running malicious executable code on top of data files despite protection offered by Data Execution Prevention (DEP), a widespread operating system feature whose function is to block executable code from being added to data files.

ROP grabs legitimate code called gadgets and forces the file to create new memory page where malicious shell code can be uploaded to gain execution privileges. This process has the CPU responding to calls that return to addresses different from where they started.

SandBlast’s CPU-level detection engine picks up on this anomaly and blocks it. The engine relies on features of Intel’s Haswell CPU architecture.

It is not cheap. For new customers, the service costs between $3,500 and $30,000 per year per Check Point gateway. The appliances range from $27,000 to $200,000. If you are an existing Check Point customer, the upgrade is free.

Botched McAfee deal claimed Renee James’ job

jamesThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that the high profile exit of Renee James, president of Intel and head of the software group was because of the silly McAfee deal.

When Chipzilla wrote a check for McAfee  many people wondered why, and suspected it was about getting security onto the chip and other such plausible reasons. However since very little has emerged as a result of this deal, there were whispers that suggested that the whole McAfee thing was stupid.

Officially James is leaving to pursue an “external CEO role.” James will remain with the company until January to help out.

However that is not really how it works. Executives don’t announce what they are doing and they certainly don’t stay on if they are going to work for a rival.

Citibank research analyst Christopher Danely, James wasn’t doing all that well at her main job.

James was largely responsible for leading Intel’s $7.7 billion acquisition of McAfee in 2011, a merger that made absolutely no sense to anyone but a McAfee shareholder.

Intel’s software business had grown just 2.5 per cent  in the last three years, Danely pointed out.

When Intel bought the McAfee business it generated 2010 revenue of $2.1 billion with operating margins of roughly 11 percent. McAfee revenues have remained roughly flat since the company was bought, while operating margins have declined to the mid-single digit range, Daneley said.

It is starting to look like James took the fall for the waste of money on McAfee and underperforming software group.

It is also possible that Intel will have to do something with its underperforming security arm. Last week it borged McAfee and stopped it being independent any more, as our sister publication TechEye faithfully reported.

AMD’s woes deepen

frog-mouth-crocodile-blair_42596_990x742Fabless chipmaker AMD lowered its revenue estimate for its second second quarter saying the demand for personal computers was weaker than expected.

The company also cut its adjusted gross margin forecast for the quarter ended June 27.

The company has been shifting focus to gaming consoles and low-power servers but progress has been slower than anyone expected. This is partly because Intel has upped its game and new competitors are designing low-cost and power-efficient chips.

AMD was at the initial stage of reviewing whether to split itself in two or spin off a business, in a move to reverse its fortunes and take on Intel. Other rumours have suggested that it was going to sell itself off.

The company said that it expects revenue to have decreased about eight percent from the first quarter, compared with its previous forecast of down three percent, plus or minus three percent.

This implies revenue of about $948 million. Analysts were expecting $999.6 million.

AMD also cut its forecast for second-quarter adjusted gross margin to about 28 percent, as weak demand from PC makers also hurt demand of its APUs which combine both computing and graphic processing capability.

AMD had forecast margins of about 32 percent.

The company warned in April that it expected weak demand for personal computers to continue for some time as original equipment manufacturers focus on lean inventories.

Microsoft and partners defend against Chromebook

windowscomputexThe glorious Wintel alliance which is still running despite a few hiccups has a cunning plan to see off the threat of Google Chromebooks.

Microsoft and its chum Intel plans to launch a device running Windows 10 with Bing.

Microsoft and Intel are working with all   partners to bring cheaper devices to the market and help tackle the growth of Google Chromebooks.

Stage one of the plan is to release a cheap OEM version of Windows 10 with Bing.

As was the case with Windows 8.1, Windows 10 with Bing will be a Windows 10 SKU available exclusively for PC makers and will be offered at a very low cost or even free of charge.

Microsoft has worked out that it needs to slash licensing fees that manufacturers need to pay for installing Windows on their devices.

Windows with Bing is basically Windows 8.1 with Bing offered the same features as Windows 8.1 but came with Bing branding that OEMs could not change.

Users, however, were allowed to replace Bing as the default search engine with Google or something else.

A Windows 10 with Bing flavour will appear later. In fact Windows 10 is designed to be installed on as many devices as possible, and Microsoft expects one billion PCs, tablets, and smartphones to be running it by 2017.

Intel in talks to buy Altera

Intel Q4_14_ResultsLike something out of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book, “The Black Swan, the Wall Street Journal reported that Intel  was in talks to buy Altera Corp. Taleb also predicts that the so called experts will then tell us why it makes perfectly good sense for Intel to acquire Altera – all after the fact of course.

To get an idea what’s involved on the money side; Intel’s market capitalisation is around $140 Billion with Altera at about $10.4 billion.

What premium Intel would have to pay is, of course, one of the finer points of the ongoing discussion. As a basis of estimate analysts are using Intel’s last acquisition of McAfee at $7.7 Billion as a benchmark indicating the acquisition could be in excess of $14 Billion making it the company’s largest acquisition to date if consummated.

Intel stock, which had risen 18% in the past year, rose 6.4% to $32 following the report of the potential acquisition. Altera stock, down 2.5% in the past 12 months, jumped 28% Friday to $44.41.

So, as a sort of red herring for acceptance of the deal, the market reacted positively – considered good feedback for the talks to continue.

Techeye Take – Why Altera?

Altera is one of the anointed companies qualified to run their programmable FPGAs on Intel’s 14 nm Fabs. The two companies have been working closely together in a number of areas and in some cases with involved third parties. Altera FPGAs, for the most part, are not involved in the consumer electronics segment but are directed almost wholly at the high end of the server and HPC markets.

We believe Intel has become deeply involved (nay dependent) on Altera’s Programmable FPGAs in their next generation data center architecture and began suffering pangs of paranoia over the company becoming too exposed to outside influences deciding that complete control over Altera was their only option (taken from Andy Grove’s guidebook; “Only the Paranoid Survive’). [Altera used to belong to AMD, Ed.]


Skylake desktop launch set for August

IMG0045566The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn claiming that that the silicon monster Intel is about to drop a clutch of Skylake desktop chips in August.

The rumour is based on the idea that every year Intel holds its Developers Forum in Mid-September but for reasons known only to the Gods has decided to change the date to Mid-August.

Fudzilla is certain that Intel plans to launch the desktop Skylake-S between August and October, while the production of dual-core and quad-core Skylake parts will start between June and July.

Skylake-S will launch as an unlocked desktop processor that will have TDPs from 65W to 95 W, but there will also be some 35W parts for All-in-One computers coming time (presumably in time fo Apple’s new iMacs).

For Fudz’ prediction to work, Broadwell 65W parts will have to be here in June and be announced at Computex. This will mean that the top Core i7 5775R SKU has a base clock of 3.3GHz, with a max turbo frequency of 3.8GHz, 6MB of cache, DDR3L 1600 MHz support and Iris PRO 6200 graphics.

Intel’s current Core i7 4790K is based on Haswell refresh core and it works at 4GHz and am 8MB cache, as well as Intel HD Graphics 4600. The Core i7 4790K has a TDP of 88W which is significantly more than 65W.

For Intel to make much impact with Skylight it will have to launch a Core i7 5770K variant that will works faster than the Core i7 4790K.

It also seems that Intel will go back on its word and bring in a new socket set based around 1364 pins. Intel was fond of saying that that Skylake will use the same LGA 1150 socket and this has lead some to suspect that there will be a socket 1150 version and an LGA 1364 version of the Skylake-S.

Mooly Eden quits Intel

Intel Q4_14_ResultsCharismatic Intel executive Mooly Eden said yesterday he had resigned from the company.

Eden, senior VP of Intel International, was renowned for his off the cuff and sometimes pungent remarks. He was one of a few executives who were press friendly, rather than regarding us as the enemy.

He was in charge of the Israeli team who created both the Centrino brand the Intel Pentium M microprocessors.

He said in a press release that he was leaving Intel with a sense of satisfaction, after working with creative people who later became good friends.

Three years ago he went back to Israel from California and became president of Intel Israel, according to the Jewish Business News.

Eden was a member of the so-called “Old School” at Intel. He started working for the semiconductor company in 1982.

It’s unclear what his plans are for the future.

PCs face an uphill struggle

A not so mobile X86 PCThe consensus is that the PC might not be dead but it is certainly struggling.

And in the third report of its kind we’ve published today, IDC said that until 2010 PCs had the lion’s share of the total smart connected devices market, accounting for around 52.5 percent of shipments with 44.7 percent for smartphones and only 2.8 percent for tablets.

But, said IDC, in 2014 smartphones represented 73.4 percent of total shipments, PCs slipped to 16. percent and tablets 12.5 percent.

That trend is continuing – by 2019 PCs will only represent 11.6 percent of that market, while tablets will have 10.7 percent.

This must all be deeply troubling for chip giant Intel, with revenues still depending on the good old X86 chip and seemingly unable to make inroads into the tablet and smartphone markets.

Here’s an IDC chart demonstrating the trend between 2014 and 2019.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 15.02.21


Intel, Google, TAG to make smart watch

Swiss Watches the BrandEver eager to join the fashion bandwagon, chip giant Intel has joined up with TAG Heuer and Google to create a smart watch which they will launch before the end of the year.

TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver told a press conference at a Swiss watch trade show that the deal is a “marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility”.

The watch will use the Android Wear platform and use Intel chips but it’s unclear quite how much it will cost when it’s released.

Intel suit Michael Bell, who is the general manager of Intel’s new devices group, said that making a luxury watch in collaboration with TAG Heuer and Google brings the vision of wearable technology that bit nearer.

The Google man, David Singleton, said that the Swiss watch has inspired generations of artists and engineers. And Google. He said that Google can now imagine a better, beautiful and smarter watch.

Apple releases its range of smart watches next month, and much will depend on whether that is a flop or a success. Intel has never been particularly brilliant at creating reference designs that have long battery lives and its other ventures into consumer technology have all, without exception, been damp squibs.

TAG Heuer doesn’t make cheap watches, so you probably have to have a chunk of disposable income to impress – or alternatively depress, your friends.


Freescale-NXP merger challenges the giants

renesas-chips (1)The proposed merger of Freescale and NXP will result in a semiconductor company that challenges the giants.

That’s according to chief analyst Dale Ford at IHS, who said the merged entity will be in the top 10 semiconductor companies in the world, outranking other giants such as Broadcom and ST Microelectronics.

He said the strength of uniting Freescale and NXP will be shown in automotive applications particularly.

NXP, formerly the semiconductor division of Dutch giant Philips, used to compete in the same market, said Ford.

But the new top 10 will look fundamentally different. By revenues, Intel will remain number one with 14.14 percent, followed by Samsung, Qualcomm, SK Hynix, US DRAM firm Micron, Texas Instruments and Toshiba.

The merged company will be second place in the micro controller market, and it will also have significant share in the digital signal processing (DSP) market, much used in consumer applications.

IHS noted in its report that Freescale is practically an exclusive source for power architecture processors – and although its share in this market is tiny compared to ARM and X86 semiconductors, it has big wins in the military aerospace market.