Editor’s Opinion: A Culture of Information

As an aside to today's announcement, I had a few thoughts on how Intel releases product information. Seeing as this ventures closer to opinion/editorial than news & analysis, I felt it best not to mix it up with the key facts of the Whiskey/Amber Lake announcements. Nonetheless, I wanted to share my thoughts to give everyone a bit more insight into how information sharing has been changing over the past few years.

For readers that regularly follow us, you will note that with each and every generation, Intel has been less than forthcoming with details about new launches. In some aspects, such as the enterprise team, that trend is slowly reversing, but for this launch, almost all the technical info came in two slides, and for most of the specifications we had to request follow-up questions. The data we used to get in a slide deck in previous years has now been relegated to ‘ask if you care about it’, which is a worrying policy from my point of view.
For example, if you are wondering where information on the integrated graphics is, well, we’re waiting on it because it wasn’t provided in the group briefing. Info such as the name of the integrated graphics (UHD xxx), number of execution units, base frequencies, turbo frequencies – all of which used to be standard fare in previous generations. As did the per-core turbo frequencies. We also ask for new information these days as our understanding of products increases, such as PL2 data.
Perhaps the best example of how Intel has changed is that Intel didn't even disclose information on the underlying microarchitecture or manufacturing node until it was asked. Information that used to be at the forefront of a presentation has been replaced with marketing, and said information is now left at the end.
This isn’t a direct attack on Intel - we are constantly engaging with the people we speak to at the company on the way that they disclose materials like this, encouraging them to be more forthcoming on day one, as the company used to be. The differences between notebook, desktop, and enterprise disclosure are down to the different product teams deciding individually what to disclose, rather than a common disclosure set running through the whole company.
Intel’s reaction to this, from the people we speak to, has always been one of co-operation. They have been honest when they are told they can’t disclose information, even if we ask every time because the information is arguably trivial to obtain elsewhere (we would rather Intel was the source, given that it is Intel’s product). The way Intel is going about the marketing message for these new platforms is similar to that of how Intel marks new generations of products: people aren’t interested in names, or specific features. This is why we now have multiple manufacturing nodes and microarchitectures all under the ‘8th Generation’ branding. Products are sold on capabilities and user experiences, not in the fine minutiae of technical specifications – and this I do not doubt.
However Intel has historically been a company that has delved deep into details consistently over the years, and that seems to be fading – for a company that takes pride in its engineering, it would be great to offer engineering details to the customers and analysts that track its progress.

Intel Launches Whiskey and Amber


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  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    Whisky & Amber are real lakes in Wisconsin and Washington, respectively. Intel uses names of real lakes for it's code names. I suspect you don't care though, and were just having a butthurt moment. Reply
  • GreenReaper - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    As a responsible company they shouldn't be promoting alcohol when it has been shown to be harmful at any level of intake. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    @GreenRaper You might as well go whine to Wisconsin to rename the lake. Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    I just think Intel isn't giving more information because very little information differs from previous products, and Whiskey Lake / Amber Lake are just a couple of chipset features away from being a simple rebrand.

    After ~2 years showing off what is essentially the same architecture on the same manufacturing node, I'd guess no one on their side is really looking forward to going through the same talking points over and over. Not to mention it doesn't bode well for the marketing department.
  • HStewart - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    "After ~2 years showing off what is essentially the same architecture on the same manufacturing node, I'd guess no one on their side is really looking forward to going through the same talking points over and over. Not to mention it doesn't bode well for the marketing department."

    Manufacturing node is not the primary requirement changes - please see my note above about Intel MPX which is supported in higher power 8th Gen CPU - that help prevent buffer overruns

    Also CPU changes is not always the area where changes - but Chipsets can make a big difference in especially in size and functionality.

    Reading about what Intel has done here with Chipset sounds exciting, I bet next generation Apples will have significant better battery life and smaller size.
  • HStewart - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - link

    I think it is a little crazy when Intel makes changes in architecture AMD fans and other Intel haters call it rebranding or marketing, but when AMD does the exact same thing they call it progress.

    Another difference is unless some one mentions Intel in AMD article, normal Intel people like myself refrain from discussing it - unless it something that is directly related to AMD - But AMD fanboy's love to complain about Intel even though it add absolute nothing to discussion.
  • HStewart - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    I think the key update s what they are doing with chipset - these are mobile chips - and less space it uses the smaller size it will be - by putting USB 3,1and WI-FI in chipset - they are reducing both size and cost. Plus with competition with ARM - they are increasing batter life

    As for 8705g like in my Dell XPS 15 2in1 - it would have been nice if chipset was in it - but graphics look like it took much of space.

    The key reason, I believe this is for Apple, longer life and reduce space.
  • wow&wow - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    "Foreshadow" inside, with the mitigations that only reduce but can't eliminate the risk?

    Intel and all system companies and retail stores selling the “known” faulty products with the “known” INTENDED flaws (of not following the specs) inside the products should be sued for the crime of the fraud in criminal courts, shouldn’t they?

    Sue the system companies to have them at least put the warning sticker "This product has known security risks with Intel CPU inside." on the products using the Intel CPUs that have the issues!
  • jcc5169 - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    The descent begins ...... long way down, lots of howling and screaming coming Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    Agreed - having more facts means salesmen like I can better steer customers to the right product versus an inferior product. Articles and analysis like these allow me to better understand products and make better recommendations, thereby increasing customer loyalty and sales. It’s just better honest selling. Reply

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