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Intel Software Realizing Ecosystem Value and Developer Productivity

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Intel’s commitment to our software strategy is rooted in the long-term goal of creating greater value for our partners and customers. We are dedicated to leading the industry through innovation to excellence. Success for this strategy – that we call “software-defined, silicon-enhanced” — is founded on three key tactics: anchoring on software value realization, fostering an open ecosystem delivering choice and trust, and investing heavily in end-to-end hardware and software platforms, services, and APIs.

Since the Intel Investor Meeting in February, we have been driving investments and disciplined execution across the broad and deep portfolio of software assets and programs. Momentum is building and we are realizing value across software, services, and industry solutions.

Software value realization. At every layer.

As the ecosystem shifts to cloud computing and software becomes more modular, developers are making more platform decisions at the workload level. Outcome-based business models for every workload are resulting in software playing a larger role and holding greater influence.

Intel is shifting our product portfolio from being hardware-led (software as an enabler to catalyze leading hardware features and capabilities) to being software-defined, silicon-enhanced. This means that we are pulling through the Intel platform-value by driving investments and disciplined execution at every layer of the technology stack, enabling enhanced productivity and value creation opportunities for the developer.

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Market Enabling. We are proud of our work that helps to deliver business impact with earlier market readiness, accelerated product life cycles, market-leading features and capabilities, and the scaling of power management and performance per watt across Intel platforms and accelerators.

Foundational software enabling in low-level firmware and operating system software engineering plays a vital role in our product and platform market readiness across all Intel platforms — client, network/edge, cloud/data center, and accelerated graphics. One recent example of this is in the client space, where we made significant foundational software contributions in firmware to the 13th Gen Intel® Core™ processor (previously codenamed Raptor Lake), delivering the world’s best desktop¹ and gaming² experience, and the world’s best overclocking³ experience among other accolades.

We expose and pull-through market leading features and capabilities enabled in our hardware, such as Intel® Threat Detection Technology (Intel® TDT) in client, through our upstream kernel work across the breadth of the operating system ecosystem from Microsoft to Linux among others. Our acquisition of Linutronix* this year further reflects our commitment to supporting the Linux kernel and the Linux community more broadly.

To address the emerging market opportunities in Confidential Computing, we will continue to push the boundaries developing market-leading features and capabilities in Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) such as Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX) and Intel® Trust Domain Extensions (Intel® TDX).

Market Differentiating. Intel’s broad software optimizations and differentiated technologies deliver greater performance and productivity to the developer, offering the choice of open alternatives that they can trust. Developers can take full advantage of the heterogeneous architectural landscape for computing across all CPUs and accelerators.

oneAPI is driving open accelerated computing with a multi-architecture, multi-platform, and multi-vendor programming model. Over 1,000 features and capabilities were delivered over three releases in 2022 of the Intel oneAPI Toolkits. Most recently, Intel has announced the 2023 release that support the upcoming 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, Intel® Xeon® CPU Max Series and Intel® Data Center GPUs, including Flex Series and the new Max Series. The tools deliver performance and productivity enhancements, and also add support for new Codeplay* (an Intel company, acquired in 2022) plug-ins that make it easier than ever for developers to write SYCL code for non-Intel GPU architectures. These standards-based tools deliver choice in hardware and ease in developing high-performance applications that run on multi-architecture systems.

Through the acquisition of Granulate* Cloud Solutions Ltd., an Israel-based developer of real-time continuous optimization software, we are helping customers drive greater workload performance and ROI of infrastructure in the cloud and data center.

Driving scale for AI, Intel and Google* teamed up to enable Intel oneDNN AI Optimizations as default from TensorFlow* 2.9, providing 3X4 performance improvements on Intel platforms to millions of developers using TensorFlow. And in collaboration with Accenture, Intel released nine trained AI Software Reference Kits to the open-source community, delivering AI models that were designed, trained, and tested from among thousands of models to release the one best suited for each use case.

The Confidential Computing Consortium introduced its first production-ready version of Gramine* 1.0 library OS, which enables the protection of sensitive workloads on platforms based on Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX).

Behind our increased focus on open alternatives is Arun Gupta, whom I hired as Vice President and General Manager of Open.Intel. He believes, “our fundamental goal is to nurture developers with the tools, code, and content that streamline their work and enable their very best results.”

Market Making. When the value of software is fully exposed, it creates new market-making opportunities in the form of value-added services and solutions, new business models and new revenue streams.

 The domain of trust and security is a focus area to establish value-added services and solutions, hence the unveiling of Project Amber. This project offers customers a powerful security foundation for confidential computing, secure and responsible AI, and quantum-resistant crypto technology that is extended into the quantum era. By enabling zero trust environments across cloud, edge, and on-premise deployments, organizations can now have remote verification of trustworthiness to support their operations.

One example of how this technology is being used is by Leidos*, one of the top federal government technology contractors in the U.S. They are using Project Amber as a proof-of-concept that will protect veteran’s health information for future use in mobile clinics. This ensures that sensitive medical information remains truly secure and confidential.

We recently expanded the beta access of the Intel Developer Cloud, giving developers and partners (such as HuggingFace*) early and efficient access to Intel hardware and software with no setups, configurations, installations, or downloads required. This will enable the future delivery of developer cloud services.

Intel Software Powers Much of the World’s Computing

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The Software-Defined, Silicon-Enhanced Opportunity

These examples only scratch the surface of what is being achieved at Intel. We know how important it is to stay agile in today’s ever-evolving technological landscape, which is why it is critical for us to continue investing in research, development and software engineering at all levels.

Ultimately, transforming to a software-defined, silicon-enhanced strategy is the key to unleashing software as a competitive advantage for Intel and the broader ecosystem. We are building momentum and making significant progress, and I am excited about how much more there is to come.

 

 

Useful Resources for Intel Software:

Infographic: Intel Software powers much of the world’s computing

Intel Software-First Website

Intel Developer Zone

Intel® Developer Cloud

Open.Intel

 

Sources & Legal Disclaimers:

* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

¹Based on performance testing (as of Sept. 7, 2022) and unique features of 13th Gen Intel Core processors, including in comparison to 12th Gen Intel Core, AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D. See http://www.intel.com/PerformanceIndex for details. Results may vary.  Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

²Based on performance and unique features of 13th Gen Intel Core processors, including in comparison to 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900K, AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, and AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D, as of Sept. 7, 2022.  See http://www.intel.com/PerformanceIndex for details.  Results may vary.  Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

³Based on enhanced overclocking ability enabled by Intel's comprehensive tools and unique architectural tuning capabilities of unlocked 13th Gen Intel Core processors. Overclocking may void warranty or affect system health. Learn more at www.intel.com/overclocking. Results may vary.

4https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/newsroom/news/intel-onednn-speeds-ai-optimizations-in-tensorflow.html#gs.k8mar6

About the Author
Greg Lavender is executive vice president, chief technology officer (CTO) and general manager of the Software and Advanced Technology Group (SATG) at Intel Corporation. As CTO, he is responsible for driving Intel’s future technical innovation through his leadership of Intel Labs, Intel Federal LLC and Intel Information Technology (IT). He is also responsible for defining and executing Intel’s software strategy across artificial intelligence, confidential computing and the growing need for open accelerated computing to support Intel’s range of business and hardware offerings. Lavender joined Intel in June 2021 from VMware, where he served as senior vice president and CTO. He has 40 years of experience in software and hardware product engineering, cloud-scale systems architecture and engineering, and advanced research and development. Prior to his role at VMware, Lavender held executive and technology leadership positions at Citigroup, Cisco Systems and Sun Microsystems. Lavender holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in computer science from Virginia Tech.