Whitespace Photography: Sebastian Moss
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Cray warns of substantial net loss in 2018/19, pins hopes on Shasta US supercomputing company Cray has warned of “a substantial net loss for both 2018 and 2019,” as the HPC market continues to struggle - with users extending the life of their existing machines. But the company tried to paint a positive picture of its future, with the upcoming “exascale-capable” Shasta architecture on the horizon. The losses follow a market contraction that has lasted several years. Back in 2015, Cray reported $724.7m in revenue - in 2018, preliminary results show total revenue to be about $450m.
Intel to make 3D stackable chiplets, unveils 10nm Sunny Cove CPU architecture After years of delays, Intel is finally ready to start shipping 10nm CPUs at scale, with the processors based on its newly-announced ‘Sunny Cove’ architecture set to release in 2019 - at least for consumer products. Dates were not given for its Xeon server chip line. At its Architecture Day event, the semiconductor company also announced a 3D packaging technology called ‘Foveros,’ which allows for complex logic dies to be stacked upon one another. It will start shipping in the second half of 2019. Sunny Cove will replace Skylake, the microarchitecture found in the vast majority of servers (as well as laptops and desktops) sold today. Intel has had a tough time trying to produce chips with a 10nm lithography process - back in 2013, it claimed 10nm would be ready by 2015. That got pushed to 2016, then 2017, and then delayed yet again. The company technically released a 10nm product in 2018, with the Core i3 processor codenamed Cannon Lake shipping in limited quantities - but it is thought that the yield on Cannon Lake was so poor, the company made a loss. bit.ly/WhatAbout7nm
AWS starts offering Graviton, a custom Arm CPU built by Amazon At AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, Amazon Web Services announced that it is now offering Arm CPU-based instances for the first time. The ‘Graviton’ 64-bit processor was designed in-house by Annapurna Labs, a chip company Amazon acquired for $350m in 2015, which is also behind two generations of ‘Nitro’ ASICs that run networking and storage tasks in AWS data centers. bit.ly/AmazonArmsUp
Huawei announces Kunpeng 920, its Armbased processor for the data center Electronics giant Huawei has revealed its first ever Armbased server CPU, the Kunpeng 920, which it says will deliver higher performance per watt than mainstream chips. Based on the ARMv8 architecture, the 7nm Kunpeng 920 comes with 64 cores and operates at 2.6GHz, with eight channels of DDR4 memory. It supports RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) network protocol, PCIe Gen 4 standard and Cache Coherent Interconnect for Accelerators (CCIX) architecture. Designed for use in big data, distributed storage and for powering native Arm applications, Huawei says its chip is 25 percent faster on the SPECint benchmark, and 30 percent more power efficient than comparable alternatives. bit.ly/TheOnlyHuaweiStoryATM
Issue 31 • February 2019 11