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Intel makes its mobile move

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Intel has announced its latest family of low-power system-on-chips codenamed Bay Trail. The CPUs are based on the company’s Silvermont micro architecture and will be used to power future tablets, 2-in-1s and other mobile devices.

The ‚”Bay Trail‚” family of processors is based on Intel’s low-power, high-performance microarchitecture ‚”Silvermont,‚” announced in May 2013. The Intel Atom Z3000 Processor Series (‚”Bay Trail-T‚”) is the company’s first mobile multi-core SoC and its most powerful offering to date for tablets and other sleek mobile designs. It delivers a fast and fluid experience and a powerful balance of performance, battery life, graphics and rich features.

The flexibility of the new microarchitecture allows for variants of the SoC to serve multiple market segments, including new Intel Pentium and Celeron processors (‚”Bay Trail‚”-M and -D) for entry 2 in 1s, laptops, desktops and all-in-one systems.

The family of ‚”Bay Trail‚” SoCs provides a wide range of options for Intel’s customers by enabling one hardware configuration that supports both Windows 8 and Android, ultimately offering people broader choice of form factors at a range of price points that meet the varied needs of consumers and business users.

‚”What we have delivered with our Bay Trail platform is an incredibly powerful SoC that delivers outstanding performance, long battery life, and a great experience for the way people use these devices today. It’s an incredible leap forward,‚” saidHermann Eul, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group. ‚”With Bay Trail as the foundation, our OEM partners are bringing a wide variety of designs at a range of prices to delight consumers, business users and IT managers.‚”

To bring this level of performance to a processor aimed at mobile devices, Intel developed a new platform that solves the contemporary technology challenges people have today, including the ability to multitask, the need for prolonged battery life and enhanced graphics, and the ability to have a more productive, enjoyable mobile experience. Video content and B-roll featuring Intel executives and developers on the making of Bay Trail and supporting images are available at intel.synapticdigital.com.

More Powerful Tablets, 2 in 1s with Intel Atom Z3000 Processor Series

The Intel Atom Z3000 Processor series delivers leading performance with all-day battery life. It is Intel’s most capable, best-performing platform to-date for tablets and other sleek mobile devices. It offers a smaller footprint and lower power usage while also enabling double the compute performance and triple the graphics performance compared to the previous-generation Intel Atom processor. The low-power SoC platform enables over 10 hours of active battery life and three weeks of standby withan always-connected mobile experience.

The Intel Atom Z3000 Processor series also includes Intel Burst Technology 2.0 with four cores, four threads and 2MB L2 cache. This performance allows users to multi-task, consume and create content, and enjoy a rich experience across either Android or Windows 8. People will also have a choice of form factors between tablets and 2 in 1s, with thin-and-light devices ranging from 8mm to 1 pound, and screen sizes ranging from 7-11.6 inches. Tablets based on this latest Intel Atom SoC will be available at prices starting as low as $199.

The Intel Atom Z3000 series also enables business-ready tablets that deliver the experiences and designs people want with the protection for the enterprise that IT requires. With robust security features, including McAfee DeepSAFE Technology, AES hardware full disk encryption, Intel Platform Trust Technology, Intel Identity Protection Technology and Intel Data Protection Technology, the platform offers a more secure computing environment. It also supports Microsoft Windows 8 Pro Domain Join and Group Policy, and delivers full application and peripheral compatibility.

Intel has been working with top application developers to ensure the best experience is available for Intel architecture platforms on both Windows and Android. Work with Cyberlink, Skype-HD and Netflix-HD, PhiSix, Arcsoft, Tieto, Gameloft, and many line of business apps are a few examples where Intel has focused on optimizing imaging, graphics, and overall performance that will ultimately improve the experience for consumers. Intel has a long history of optimizations for Windows and Andorid operating systems.

Intel will introduce 64-bit support for tablets in early 2014, delivering even greater value to IT managers. Devices built on this version of the SoC will offer enterprise-class applications and security, and with Intel Identity Protection Technology (IPT) with PKI, will not require a VPN password when used with systems optimized for IPT and PKI.

Bay Trail Processors to Power Entry 2 in 1s, Notebooks, Desktops and All-in-Ones

The ‚”Bay Trail M‚” line will be available in four SKUs: Intel Pentium N3510 and Intel Celeron N2910, N2810 and N2805 processors. This series will power a number of innovative 2 in 1 devices in addition to notebooks enabled with touch capabilities, bringing them to new audiences at lower price points.

With the microarchitecture flexibility and graphics improvements across all of the ‚”Bay Trail‚” SKUs, the Pentium N3000 Processor and Celeron N2000 Processor series also boast three times faster performance in productivity applications and up to three times improvement in graphics compared to 3-year-old Intel-based value notebooks. Designs powered by these processors can be fanless, can measure less than 11 mm thick and weigh just 2.2 lbs. Intel expects the systems to start at $199 for a clamshell device, $250 for a notebook with touch and $349 for a 2 in 1 device.

The ‚”Bay Trail D‚” line will be available in three SKUs: Intel Pentium J2850, Intel Celeron J1850 and Intel Celeron J1750. These offerings are Intel’s smallest-ever packages for desktop processors, making them ideal for fanless and smaller form factor systems for entry level desktop computing. The processors are also ideal for vertical uses, including intelligent digital displays, with the power savings and up to three times faster performance than similar products from Intel just three years ago. Full systems based on these SKUs are expected to start at $199.

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How to save cloud from complexity

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By DOUG WOOLLEY, GM of Dell Technologies South Africa

Ten years ago, business technologies had saturated to breaking point. The potential they offered were diminished by their deployment and maintenance costs. Then virtualisation, cloud and similar technologies emerged to offer new capacities and optimisation. Companies were able to vastly simplify their technology stacks, as is evident by even large enterprises moving wholesale to service-centric models where you own less and get more.

But that pendulum was going to change direction eventually. The arrival of the cloud world wasn’t just about creating efficiencies. It introduced radical new ways of creating applications and deploying services. The initial gains in terms of efficiency were just the start – once the cloud engine started firing on more cylinders, its true potential came to light. Artificial intelligence, real-time data, IoT infrastructure and other cutting edge services became widely feasible and affordable.

The modern technology era is powerful because of its modularity, but this creates a new type of complexity headache. Several reports have highlighted concerns among modern CIOs that complexity is getting out of hand again. One study found that a single web transaction used to interact with around 22 technology systems a few years ago, whereas today the number is more than 35. That’s a 59 percent increase in complexity.

The major bite is coming from managing multi-cloud environments. Today’s organisation is spoilt for choice. It can juggle hyperscale environments, co-location arrangements, private clouds, application containers and straight service pipes to create the best combination of technologies that enable its desires. But the simple beauty of grabbing an iPad for a performance dashboard belies the agile and complex relationships making that happen behind the scenes.

I can tell you that Dell EMC has been mulling this long before it became a clear challenge. Even before the successful merger that created Dell Technologies, we already pursued ways to better manage the complexity created by cloud environments. I don’t say this to advertise our services, but to point out that we never bought into a blue-skies view of cloud. The complexity was bound to return. If it isn’t contained and disciplined, then the promise of cloud would soon devolve into the familiar muck everyone’s trying to break free from.

We’re not alone: the market has been reaching this conclusion as well. A recent VMWare survey found that 83 percent of cloud adopters are seeking consistent infrastructure and operations from the data centre to the cloud. In other words, they want as seamless an experience as possible between the various moving parts of their technology investments.

Digital maturity isn’t a single curve. It’s more akin to a radar chart, with different indicators spreading outwards to complete the picture. The ability to curtail multi-cloud complexity is increasingly a dominant indicator of digital proficiency. But the means to create that control will depend heavily on the partner of choice.

Reining in cloud isn’t just about a nice management suite. It has to cover a powerful integration of hardware, software, services and consumption options. It also can’t exist to try and cap your cloud capabilities for the sake of stability. Cloud management has to remain dynamic to allow for the agility, accelerated innovation, improved economics and reduced risk that are the promises of the cloud era.

This requires a multidisciplinary approach that no single vendor can comprehensively provide. It needs a stable of different capabilities, such as virtualisation, infrastructure management and mature business thinking. When a company wants to avoid or untangle the new complexities wrought by cloud, the solutions don’t lie in services but how rich the partner landscape is that provides the management services.

Multi-cloud environments are delivering both expected and unbelievable gains, often as smooth interactions for end-users. But the background complexity can diminish returns very quickly and erode digitisation gains. This is the technology conversation of the year and foreseeable future, so let’s start talking.

We will be hosting our Dell Technologies Forum on 27 June at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Register now (https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-za/events/forum2019/Johannesburg/index.htm) and take this opportunity to raise your feelings about complexity and how to keep the cloud in line with your business expectations.

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Uberising solar energy

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A team of students from Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday walked off as winners with R20 000 in prize money for an innovative concept to provide equitable energy access to remote villages based on, among others, “Uber(ising) solar energy.”

The team was one of four university teams participating in the African Utility Week and Powergen Africa conference and exhibition’s first ever Initiate! Impact Challenge. The 19th edition of the event gathered thousands of power, water and gas industry experts in Cape Town this week and ended on Thursday.

Student teams from Stellenbosch University, the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand also took part in the three-day challenge sponsored by the Enel Foundation, the Innovation Hub, Lesedi Nuclear Services and the Russian Nuclear Agency Rosatom. The Initiate! Challenge aimed to create a platform for students and start-ups to drive innovation and share ideas for the energy sector.

Strathmore University’s winning team: (left to right) Fredrick Amariati, Ignatius Maranga, Raymond Kiyegga and Alex Osunga.

The Strathmore University team included engineering students Ignatius Maranga, Raymond Kiyegga, Fredrick Amariati and Alex Osunga. One member of the team will also have the exclusive opportunity to join the 5th annual student fact-finding mission to Russia to visit several state-of-the-art nuclear facilities and dedicated Russian nuclear universities. Maranga said the team is happy and humbled especially because they competed against some of the top universities on the continent. He said the teams’ winning idea is rooted in real life challenges that Kenyans in rural areas face. “The solutions offered so far to expand energy access are not solving these problems as many are not financially viable.”

The team’s idea is to put a solar panelled container in rural villages that will also house a clinic and a knowledge hub like a school for vocational training to teach people about the use and benefits of solar energy. It will also include a shop where villagers can buy daily essentials like milk.

Maranga said: “The school will help with capacity building as villagers will see and learn benefits of electricity and as the business grows, they will want to have electricity in their homes and when that point comes, we will have solar powered tricycles. These tricycles will carry and deliver batteries like Uber does passengers to villagers in more remote areas. The system is modular so we will add another container to charge batteries. These batteries are ferried on trikes, so villagers in more remote areas can request a number of charged batteries on their phone.”

Maranga explained that it is common cause that Africa is big, and many people live in remote rural villages. “So, it is not always possible to extend the power grid to these areas as it is very expensive. So, what do we do instead? Most people own a cell phone, and everyone needs electricity, so you take it to them. They cannot exactly carry a battery for two kilometres so why then not Uber a battery?” Maranga said their company Kijiji, (Swahili for village) will now look at commercialising their idea, optimise it and do market tests. “If accepted we want to roll it out depending on funding.”

The team’s idea appealed to the judges because it was a simple idea that is easy to replicate beyond Kenya to the rest of the continent. Chief executive officer of Rosatom Central and Southern Africa, Dmitry Shornikov, said: “We are very pleased with the solutions presented by the students. The maturity and depth of their research gives us great hope and proves that young Africans really are devoted to solving Africa’s energy challenges.”

Business Development executive at Lesedi Nuclear Services, Shane Pereira, in an earlier interview said the company partnered with Initiate! because it is dedicated to the youth that will be the leaders of tomorrow. “The growth and development as well as training, coaching and mentoring of the youth is critical to the success of our future economy.”

The ideas of the other three teams focused more on mitigating the risk of climate change and came up with ideas ranging from vertical farms to energy boxes.

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