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Intel was once moving full-steam ahead into wearables, but that effort has apparently come to an end. Reports at the end of last year claimed the company was looking to step back from wearables, but Intel denied those rumors. Now a report from CNBC cites a source that claims Intel completely shut down its wearables division about two weeks ago.
Intel's latest 10-core, high-end desktop (HEDT) chip—the Core i9-7900X—costs £900/$1000. That's £500/$500 less than its predecessor, the i7-6950X. In previous years, such cost-cutting would have been regarded as generous. You might, at a stretch, even call it good value. But that was at a time when Intel's monopoly on the CPU market was as its strongest, before a resurgent AMD lay waste to the idea that a chip with more than four cores be reserved for those with the fattest wallets.
Under certain conditions, systems with Skylake or Kaby Lake processors can crash due to a bug that occurs when hyperthreading is enabled. Intel has fixed the bug in a microcode update, but until and unless you install the update, the recommendation is that hyperthreading be disabled in the system firmware.
All Skylake and Kaby Lake processors appear to be affected, with one exception. While the brand-new Skylake-X chips still contain the flaw, their Kaby Lake X counterparts are listed by Intel as being fixed and unaffected.
Since Intel makes the processors that run, well, most computers, any Intel chip vulnerability—especially one that’s been around for nearly a decade—rings alarms. In the wake of Intel disclosing a longstanding flaw in the remote system management features of some popular Intel chipsets, manufacturers are scrambling to release patches.
It’s not an unmitigated disaster, and it affects enterprises more than consumers. But make no mistake, it’s going to take a major effort to fix.
Over the past six weeks, AMD’s Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 CPUs have been making Intel’s life a bit difficult. Chipzilla’s standard desktop lineup has been rattled by AMD’s new chips, which offer higher core counts and better performance in many workloads for significantly less money. Intel, of course, was never going to take this lying down — and new rumors suggest the company will accelerate the launch of its Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs, pulling them forward to a June Computex unveiling as opposed to the original August timeline.