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Intel Memory Access Design Flaw Already Addressed by Apple in macOS 10.13.2

A serious design flaw and security vulnerability discovered in Intel CPUs has reportedly already been partially addressed by Apple in the recent macOS 10.13.2 update, which was released to the public on December 6. According to developer Alex Ionescu, Apple introduced a fix in macOS 10.13.2, with additional tweaks set to be introduced in macOS 10.13.3, currently in beta testing. AppleInsider also says that it has heard from "multiple sources within Apple" that updates made in macOS 10.13.2 have mitigated "most" security concerns associated with the KPTI vulnerability. The question on everyone's minds: Does MacOS fix the Intel #KPTI Issue? Why yes, yes it does. Say hello to the "Double Map" since 10.13.2 -- and with some surprises in 10.13.3 (under Developer NDA so can't talk/show you). cc @i0n1c @s1guza @patrickwardle pic.twitter.com/S1YJ9tMS63— Alex Ionescu (@aionescu) January 3, 2018 Publicized yesterday, the design flaw in Intel chips allows normal user programs to see some of the contents of the protected kernel memory, potentially giving hackers and malicious programs access to sensitive information like passwords, login keys, and more. Full details on the vulnerability continue to be unavailable and under embargo, so it's not yet clear just how serious it is, but fixing it involves isolating the kernel's memory from user processes using Kernel Page Table Isolation at the OS level. Implementing Kernel Page Table Isolation could cause a performance hit on some machines. According to The Register, which first shared details on the vulnerability, Windows

Intel Chips Have Memory Access Design Flaw and Fix Could Lead to Performance Drop

A serious design flaw and security vulnerability has been discovered in Intel's CPUs that will require an update at the operating system level to fix, reports The Register. All modern computers with Intel chips from the last 10 years appear to be affected, including those running Windows, Linux, and macOS. Similar operating systems, such as Apple's 64-bit macOS, will also need to be updated - the flaw is in the Intel x86 hardware, and it appears a microcode update can't address it. It has to be fixed in software at the OS level, or go buy a new processor without the design blunder.Full details on the vulnerability aren't yet known as the information is currently under embargo until later in the month. The Register has unearthed some data, however, and it seems the bug allows normal user programs to see some of the contents of the protected kernel memory. This means malicious programs can potentially, in a worst case scenario, read the contents of the kernel memory, which can include information like passwords, login keys, and more. It's not yet clear how severe the bug is, but The Register speculates that it's significant given the rapid changes being made to Windows and Linux.At worst, the hole could be abused by programs and logged-in users to read the contents of the kernel's memory. Suffice to say, this is not great. The kernel's memory space is hidden from user processes and programs because it may contain all sorts of secrets, such as passwords, login keys, files cached from disk, and so on. Imagine a piece of JavaScript running in a browser, or malicious

iPhone X Models With Qualcomm Modem Still Have Faster LTE Speeds Than Those With Intel Modems

iPhone X models equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 modem get consistently better LTE speeds than versions with Intel's XMM7480 modem, according to wireless signal testing firm Cellular Insights. For context, Cellular Insights used professional measurement equipment equipped with four Vivaldi antennas to simulate LTE performance at different distances from a cellular tower with the Qualcomm and Intel models. Cellular Insights started with a LTE signal from a strong -85dBm, and gradually reduced the power level to simulate moving away from a cellular tower where signal is weaker, until the modems lost their cellular connectivity. The testing, shared with PC Magazine, was based on performance on LTE Band 4, which is used by every major carrier in the United States except Sprint, as well as in Canada and parts of Latin America. The results reveal that with only limited attenuation, or signal reduction in simple terms, the iPhone X with an Intel modem started to experience lower LTE download speeds than the iPhone X with a Qualcomm modem.While both modems started out with 195Mbps of download throughput on a 20MHz carrier, the Qualcomm difference appeared quickly, as the Intel modem dropped to 169Mbps at -87dBm. The Qualcomm modem took an additional -6dBm of attenuation to get to that speed.Cellular Insights said the difference is most noticeable in very weak signal conditions, in which the iPhone X with a Qualcomm modem experienced 67 percent faster LTE download speeds on average compared to the Intel model.At very weak signal strength, below -120dBm, the

Apple Working With Intel on 5G Hardware for Future iPhones

Apple is "leaning heavily" towards choosing Intel's 5G modems for its future iPhones, according to Fast Company. Apple engineers are said to be already working with Intel on upcoming 5G technology. Apple's discussions with Qualcomm about 5G modems, meanwhile, have been described as "limited." Citing a source with knowledge of Apple's plans, Fast Company says that while Qualcomm 5G modems will offer more specialized carrier features, many of those features will not be adopted by carriers, leading Apple to believe Intel's hardware will be sufficient for future devices.The end game, multiple sources have said, is to build the Intel modem onto an integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC) that would also contain the CPU, GPU, and other iPhone components. The SoC would be co-designed by Intel and Apple and would be fabricated at an Intel facility.Intel reportedly has "multiple thousands" of people working on 5G technology in an effort to catch up with Qualcomm and win the contract from Apple. Intel this morning said that it had made "substantial advances" in its wireless product roadmap to accelerate the adoption of 5G. According to Intel, an end-to-end 5G call based on early 5G silicon has been completed successfully, which Intel says is a "key milestone in its development." Intel expects its first 5G chips to roll out in 2019, ahead of the wide rollout of 5G networks. T-Mobile just today said that it is planning to roll out its fifth-generation network across the United States by 2020, and most of the carriers in the United States are already experimenting with limited

Intel Teams Up With AMD for New 8th-Generation Processors With AMD GPUs

Longtime rivals Intel and AMD are joining forces to produce new 8th-Generation H-Series Intel mobile processors paired with stacked second-generation High Bandwidth Memory and custom-built discrete graphics from AMD, Intel announced today. For the new H-Series chips, which feature all of the above listed components in a single processor package, Intel says is using its Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB), a power-sharing framework that reduces the standard silicon footprint to less than half that of standard discrete components on a motherboard.At the heart of this new design is EMIB, a small intelligent bridge that allows heterogeneous silicon to quickly pass information in extremely close proximity. EMIB eliminates height impact as well as manufacturing and design complexities, enabling faster, more powerful and more efficient products in smaller sizes. This is the first consumer product that takes advantage of EMIB.Intel has also developed unique software drivers and interfaces for the discrete GPU to coordinate information among all package elements, managing temperature and power delivery along with allowing system designers to optimize the power sharing between processor and graphics for specific tasks like performance gaming. Through this collaboration, Intel and AMD are aiming to create a chip that will enable thinner, lighter, more powerful mobile devices through a better combination of performance-level processors and discrete graphics in a smaller form factor. The end goal is to create laptops that are thin and portable, but still powerful

Qualcomm Accuses Apple of Helping Intel Using Qualcomm Software

Qualcomm on Wednesday filed yet another lawsuit against Apple, this time accusing the company of breaching software licensing terms and using Qualcomm code to help Intel, reports Bloomberg. According to Qualcomm, Apple breached a contract that dictates the use of software that's designed to make Qualcomm chips work with other iPhone components. Qualcomm also believes Apple may have used its access to that software to help Intel with its own modem chip development. Since 2016, Apple has been using LTE chips from both Intel and Qualcomm in an effort to diversify its supply chain and move some production away from Qualcomm. The iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus all use a mix of Qualcomm and Intel chips. In light of the ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm, Apple is said to be considering eliminating Qualcomm chips from its devices all together, instead adopting chips from Intel and possibly MediaTek. Rumors suggest Qualcomm has been withholding software from Apple that Apple needs to test prototype devices for next year, forcing Apple's hand. Qualcomm and Apple have been involved in an escalating legal fight since the beginning of the year after Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion. Apple has accused Qualcomm of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and failing to pay for quarterly rebates. Apple has since stopped paying royalties to Qualcomm until new licensing fees have been worked out, as have Apple suppliers, significantly impacting Qualcomm's profits. Qualcomm has since levied several lawsuits against Apple, accusing the

iMac Pros With Custom Xeon Chips Possibly Appear on Geekbench Ahead of December Launch

While the iMac Pro doesn't launch for another six weeks or so, possible benchmarks for the computer may have already surfaced on Geekbench. The results provide us with an early look at just how powerful Apple's $4,999-and-up desktop workstation will be when it is released in December. Interestingly, the iMac Pro models benchmarked appear to have custom, downclocked Xeon chips that Intel hasn't publicly announced yet. There is a benchmark result for a model with a 3.2GHz 8-core Xeon W-2140B processor, while a third listing exists for a model with a 3.0GHz 10-core Xeon W-2150B chip. All of the models are identified as "AAPJ1371,1," and unlike other Xeon chips, the processors have a "B" suffix. A few of the benchmark results are from late August, while the rest are from October. MacRumors spoke with Geekbench founder John Poole, who speculated that the iMac Pro may require chips with lower thermal design power, and thus lower frequencies, due to its all-in-one form factor. He noted that the other chips in the Xeon Processor W family have relatively high TDPs of up to 140W. The multi-core Geekbench score for the 8-core model averages out to 23,536, which is the highest performance of any iMac ever. It's nearly 22 percent faster than the latest 5K iMac equipped with a maxed-out 4.2GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, which has an average multi-core score of 19,336. The higher-end 10-core iMac Pro has a multi-core score of 35,917, which is roughly 41 percent faster than the latest Mac Pro maxed out with a 2.7GHz 12-core Xeon E5 processor. Even its single-core

iPhone 8 Shows Modest Improvements in Cellular Network Bandwidth Tests

With a number of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus devices now in the hands of users, Ookla's network benchmarking suite Speedtest.net has been able to gather data on how the latest iPhones are performing compared to previous-generation models and has shared details with PCMag. Based on data collected by Ookla, improvements appear to be around the 10 percent mark for most users, but users in Australia could expect up to nearly 25 percent faster speeds thanks to their network structure. Those users can expect up to the full 80 MHz carrier aggregation bandwidth in the phone due to Telestra's use of the appropriate bands. iPhone 8 download speeds compared to previous generations Beyond speed comparisons to previous-generation iPhones, PCMag also compares the iPhone 8's cellular architecture to competing phones, such as the Galaxy S8.The iPhone 8 is missing one of the components needed for gigabit LTE, or LTE category 16, in the US. The Qualcomm X16 modem can do Category 16, as we've seen on the Galaxy S8 and Moto Z2 Force. The phone supports 256QAM encoding and 4x carrier aggregation to 80MHz of spectrum, but not 4x4 MIMO antennas, which would improve both speed and signal strength. In theory, that would make this an 800Mbps phone, also known as LTE category 15.The lack of 4x4 MIMO antennas is something we touched on at MacRumors on Tuesday. While the Qualcomm and Intel modems in the new iPhones are likely more power efficient, the cellular front-end and back-end supporting them are largely unchanged in structure from the iPhone 7 models. The article goes on to point out can that

iPhone 8 Teardowns Reveal Advanced Modems Likely Selected for Power Improvements

Apple released the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus on Friday, September 22, and device teardowns were underway within hours, courtesy of iFixit and TechInsights. The firms received different models for teardown, with iFixit's model featuring a Qualcomm baseband while TechInsights' featured an Intel modem, continuing Apple's trend of opting for Intel modems in phones which do not require CDMA network support. The baseband parts in each iPhone were revealed to be new chips from their respective vendors, with the CDMA phone featuring Qualcomm's new X16 gigabit-class modem and the Intel-based model featuring the similarly new XMM 7480 modem. Each model also included an update to the transceiver module to go along with the modem, but the functional changes in the RF signal chain mostly stopped there. Qualcomm X16 and X12 feature comparison In addition to higher peak speeds compared to their predecessors, both of these modems offer other potential benefits. Comparing the network compatibility pages of the iPhone 7 against the iPhone 8 shows that the bands supported are largely unchanged, and this is reflected in the small changes to the power amplifier modules (PAMs) found within the RF chain. Besides gigabit-level peak theoretical speeds, the X16 modem brings several other advances, including up to 4x carrier aggregation for a total bandwidth of up to 80 MHz compared to the 60 MHz found in the MDM9645M (X12) powering the iPhone 7. Qualcomm's X16 modem also supports T-Mobile US's new 600 MHz LTE spectrum, Band 71. Apple does not list support for Band 71 on the model sold

Intel's Cannonlake Chips Allegedly Delayed Until End of 2018

Intel will not release its next-generation Cannonlake processors until the end of 2018, according to supply chain sources that spoke to DigiTimes. Unsurprisingly, Intel is believed to be facing problems with its 10-nanometer process, leading to a series of delays. Cannonlake chips were initially set to debut as early as 2017, but have been pushed back several times.However, Intel has reportedly been facing difficulties with its 10nm process. The Cannon Lake processors, originally set for launch in 2017, have seen their launch schedule revised three times: first to the end of 2017 or early 2018, then to the mid-2018, and now the end of 2018, the sources noted.If Intel doesn't get Cannonlake out until later in 2018, it could be followed shortly by Intel's Ice Lake chips, made on Intel's 10nm+ process. There's already been some confusion about Cannonlake, as Intel has been referring to Ice Lake as the successor to Coffee Lake, making it unclear just how Cannonlake fits in. According to DigiTimes, some manufacturers are already planning to skip out on the Cannonlake generation to wait for Ice Lake chips, and others are revising their notebook plans following Intel's delays. As for Apple, Cannonlake delays have the potential to impact upgrade plans for the low-power MacBook models but are unlikely to cause problems for other notebook upgrades. Cannonlake is a low voltage chipset not appropriate for machines like the MacBook Pro, with the next-generation of those machines like to adopt Intel's as of yet to be released 14nm++ Coffee Lake chips or the eighth-generation

iPhone 7s Plus Bare Logic Board Surfaces With A11 Chip and Intel Modem Markings

Benjamin Geskin‏ today shared a photo of what appears to be four bare logic boards that are likely for the so-called iPhone 7s Plus. Alleged logic board likely for iPhone 7s Plus via Benjamin Geskin We know the logic board is likely for the iPhone 7s Plus because the placement of the screw holes is consistent with the iPhone 7 Plus logic board, while the top narrow portion is wider than the iPhone 7 logic board. The so-called iPhone 8, meanwhile, is expected to have a stacked logic board design with a L-shaped two-cell battery pack, which effectively rules out this logic board being for the widely rumored OLED display model. The logic board isn't populated with components, but there are pads etched on it that suggest the iPhone 7s Plus will be powered by an Apple A11 chip, while at least one model appears to have an Intel modem. We know this because blurry images of the alleged A11 chip were shared by Chinese social media account GeekBar last week, and the rear design of the chip is consistent with the pad on the bare logic board. Alleged photos of Apple's A11 chip via GeekBar Apple's A11 chip reportedly uses a new 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process introduced by supplier TSMC, and it will undoubtedly be faster than the A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. As for the modem being supplied by Intel or Qualcomm, the modem pad pattern is virtually identical to the one on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus logic board, and those smartphones are equipped with Intel's XMM7360 chip. While not pictured, Apple will likely continue to dual

Intel Launches First Eighth-Generation Core Processors, Paving Way For Quad-Core 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Intel today introduced its eighth-generation Core processor lineup [PDF] coming to notebooks later this year. The first four eighth-generation processors launching today are U-series chips suitable for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini. They're all 15W chips with four cores and eight threads, paving the way for a quad-core 13-inch MacBook Pro should Apple choose to release one. The new Core i5 and Core i7 chips have integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, and support both DDR4-2400 and LPDDR3-2133 RAM. Given the lack of LPDDR4 support, which allows for up to 32GB RAM, a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with an eighth-generation Core processor would likely remain capped at 16GB of RAM. Apple marketing Phil Schiller explained why last year. Notebooks using the eighth-generation chips can get up to 10 hours of battery life, consistent with the current 13-inch MacBook Pro. Intel said eighth-generation processors appropriate for desktops like the iMac will be available in the fall, while processors appropriate for the 12-inch MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro are vaguely listed as coming soon. The eighth-generation Core i5 and Core i7 chips are up to 40 percent faster than the equivalent seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors, according to Intel, based on the benchmark tool SYSmark 2014 SE on Windows 10. That tops Intel's original claim that the chips would be up to 30 percent faster. The test compared Intel's quad-core Core i7-8550U processor, with a base frequency of 1.8GHz and Turbo Boost up to 4GHz, against its dual-core Core i7-7500U processor

Intel Shares Details on Upcoming 'Ice Lake' Chips to Follow Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake

As Intel prepares to unveil its 8th-generation Coffee Lake processors next week, the company has released basic information on an upcoming 10-nanometer "Ice Lake" chip, which will serve as the successor to the 14-nanometer Coffee Lake and 10-nanometer Cannon Lake chips. Details on the Ice Lake architecture, which will be made on Intel's 10nm+ process, have been shared on Intel's codename decoder. "The Ice Lake processor family is a successor to the 8th generation Intel(R) CoreTM processor family. These processors utilize Intel's industry-leading 10 nm+ process technology," reads the site. As AnandTech points out, Intel's decision to share details on Ice Lake is odd because the company has not announced or shared details on Cannon Lake, the first chips that will be built on its 10-nanometer architecture, and Intel is also referring to Ice Lake as the successor to its soon-to-be-announced 14-nanometer Coffee Lake chips, leading to confusion about its upcoming processor lineup and how Cannon Lake fits in. Intel's current Kaby Lake chips were built on a second-generation 14nm+ architecture, while Coffee Lake is a third-generation 14nm++ architecture. Both Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake are available for both desktops and laptops, but it appears the 10-nanometer Cannon Lake chips succeed Coffee Lake chips in laptops, while desktops won't see 10-nanometer architecture until the release of Ice Lake. AnandTech speculates that the chip confusion is the result of the difficulty behind developing a 10-nanometer architecture. Intel needs to perfect 10-nanometer chips for

iMac Pro May Feature Intel's Server-Grade 'Purley' Processors, ARM Coprocessor

Apple earlier this month unveiled the iMac Pro, a workstation-class desktop computer with up to an 18-core Intel Xeon processor, top-of-the-line Radeon Pro Vega graphics, up to 4TB of SSD storage, and up to 128GB of ECC RAM. Apple didn't specify exactly which processors will be included in the iMac Pro, but if the blog Pike's Universum is to be believed, it could be powered by Intel's next-generation server-grade Skylake-EX and Skylake-EP processors, which are based on a platform codenamed "Purley." The blog, which appears to be sourcing its information from firmware files in the macOS High Sierra developer beta, said the iMac Pro will use Intel's new server-class LGA3647 socket, not its high-end, desktop-class LGA2066 socket. If the information is accurate, it suggests the iMac Pro could have truly server-grade Xeon processors, rather than using Intel's recently announced Core-X series of Skylake and Kaby Lake chips that still use the LGA2066 socket. The blog added that the new iMac Pro appears to be coming with a Secure Enclave, suggesting it will have an ARM coprocessor like the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for added security. It would also open the door to Touch ID on the iMac Pro, but Apple made no mention of the feature when introducing the computer. Signs point to iMac Pro being the first desktop Mac with a Touch Bar-style ARM coprocessor https://t.co/i8oxM8ln8m— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) June 22, 2017 Pike's Universum revealed some of the iMac Pro's tech specs in April, two months prior to it being announced, including that it would have Xeon

Intel Gaining Larger Foothold in iPhone LTE Chip Supply Chain as Apple Distances Itself From Qualcomm

In the wake of Apple's lengthy legal battle with iPhone LTE chip supplier Qualcomm, Apple is believed to be leaning more on Intel as a manufacturer for the iPhone's baseband chip component. The news comes in a report by DigiTimes, which states that Apple's increase of Intel-created wireless chips for iPhones could lead well into 2018, suggesting the so-called iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8 have a higher chance of receiving Intel's chip than Qualcomm's. Apple sourced both of the manufacturers for wireless chips in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016, with a ratio of around 70 percent sourcing going to Qualcomm and 30 percent going to Intel. Now, Apple is believed to have given each supplier an equal 50 percent proportion of the wireless chip manufacturing for the rest of 2017, and that number could eventually increase to weigh in Intel's favor -- all because of Apple's legal fight with Qualcomm. Analysts watching the supply chain predict that Apple will eventually give Intel 70 percent of the production capacity in iPhones by 2018, because neither Apple nor Qualcomm are willing "to give in to make peace." Apple's outsourcing proportion to Intel for the next-generation iPhone baseband chips has risen to about 50% for orders running through the end of 2017 due to the lawsuit between Qualcomm and Apple, which has grown fiercer recently. Since both Qualcomm and Apple are unwilling to give in to make peace, some market watchers believe Apple is likely to shift even more baseband chip orders away from Qualcomm with Intel to supply over 70% of the

Intel's Upcoming Coffee Lake Processors Up to 30% Faster Than Kaby Lake Chips Coming to Mac Notebooks

Intel today said one of its eighth-generation "Coffee Lake" processors delivered more than a 30 percent performance boost over an equivalent seventh-generation "Kaby Lake" processor in recent testing. Both generations of chips are suitable for Apple notebooks, such as the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro. "We will have more to say about the 8th Gen Intel Core processor in the future but it's exciting to share that in the latest testing, we're seeing a performance improvement of more than 30 percent over the 7th Gen Intel Core processor," said Gregory Bryant, a senior executive at Intel. Using the benchmark tool SYSmark 2014 v1.5 on Windows 10, Intel compared an unreleased Core i7 quad-core processor with an unspecified base clock speed, and Turbo Boost up to 4GHz, against its Core i7-7500U dual-core processor with a base clock speed of 2.7GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz. Both are 15W chips, creating the possibility of a quad-core 13-inch MacBook Pro with Coffee Lake in the future. Intel aims to make its Coffee Lake lineup available to computer makers in the second half of this year, and the eighth-generation processors should provide the usual benefits of faster performance and longer battery life in future Macs. Apple has yet to update its Mac lineup with Kaby Lake processors in the first place, but the company reportedly plans to announce new 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models equipped with the seventh-generation chips at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week. It's still too early to say when we'll see the first Mac with Coffee

Intel Looks to Broaden Thunderbolt 3 Adoption by Integrating Into Future CPUs, Eliminating Royalties

Intel today announced that it plans to drive large-scale mainstream adoption of Thunderbolt by releasing the protocol's specification to the industry next year under a nonexclusive, royalty-free license. The move should help expand the Thunderbolt ecosystem by making the protocol more affordable for technology companies and accessory makers alike. Intel expects third-party Thunderbolt-compatible chip development to accelerate a wide range of new devices and user experiences. Intel also revealed plans to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into its future CPUs, but it didn't provide a timeline as to when. The all-in-one design will take up less space on a Mac or PC's logic board, and reduce power consumption by eliminating the need for a standalone Thunderbolt controller.“Apple and Intel have collaborated on Thunderbolt from the beginning, and as the industry leader in its adoption, we applaud Intel’s efforts to integrate Thunderbolt technology into its CPUs and open it up to the rest of the industry,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering.Intel said Thunderbolt 3 built into the processor could pave the way for thinner and lighter devices, although the current Thunderbolt 3 controller used in Apple's latest MacBook Pro has a package size of 10.7mm×10.7mm, so any logic board space saved would likely be negligible. The greater benefit will likely come from Thunderbolt 3's increased power efficiency, paving the way for longer battery life. Thunderbolt 3 carries power, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA over a single port that shares the USB-C

Intel Rumored to Debut Basin Falls Platform in May, Launch Coffee Lake Chips in August

Intel plans to move up the launch of its 14-nanometer Coffee Lake processors, introducing them in August of 2017 instead of January 2018. According to DigiTimes, the launch is being moved up because of "increasing competition from AMD's Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors." The site says Intel will release several K-series Core i3, i5, and i7 processors starting in August, along with its Z370 chipsets. Additional CPUs will come at the end of 2017 or early in 2018. Intel also plans to unveil its Basin Falls platform, with Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors at Computex 2017, which takes place from May 30 to June 3, which is two months earlier than originally scheduled. Intel's Skylake-X series features 140W processors with 6, 8, and 10-core architectures, while Kaby Lake X-series features a 112W quad-core processor. Intel also plans to release a 12-core Skylake-X processor in August. Intel's Basin Falls platform could potentially be used in future Mac Pro machines and the rumored high-end server-grade iMac. Coffee Lake chips appropriate for Apple machines were originally set to launch somewhere around the second quarter of 2018, so if rumors of Intel's updated timeline are true, the launch could be moved forward to either late 2017 or early in 2018. Coffee Lake chips are manufactured on Intel's 14-nanometer process and will be the fourth processor family to use the architecture after Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lake. Apple is rumored to have new machines in the works for 2017, including new iMacs, which are likely to use Kaby Lake

New iMacs With Up to Xeon E3 Processors, 64GB RAM, AMD Graphics, and Thunderbolt 3 Rumored for Late October

Earlier this week, Apple made the rare move of pre-announcing that it is working on new pro-focused iMac models that will launch later this year. Apple did not share any specific details about what the upgrades will entail, but if the blog Pike's Universum is to be believed, the next-generation iMac lineup could feature several improvements that make Apple's desktop computer a more powerful workstation for professionals and average consumers alike. The blog, citing a "little bird" that is "usually pretty accurate," claims the incoming iMac lineup will be available with up to the following tech specs: • Intel Xeon E3 processors: The new iMac will supposedly have up to a pro-grade Intel Xeon E3-1285 v6 processor. Intel has not released that particular chip yet, but based on previous generations of the E3-1285, the processor could essentially be the E3-1280 v6 coupled with integrated Intel HD Graphics P630. Notably, Xeon processors support ECC RAM. • 16GB to 64GB of ECC RAM: 16GB of ECC RAM, configurable to 32GB or 64GB, in line with the current Mac Pro. iMacs currently have 8GB of non-ECC RAM, configurable to 16GB or 32GB. ECC RAM can detect and repair errors that cause data corruption and system crashes. No word if it will be DDR3L or DDR4. • Faster NVMe SSDs: The rumor claims the next iMacs will have faster NVM Express PCIe-based flash storage with capacities up to 2TB. The current 4K and 5K iMac models are also configurable with NVMe PCIe-based SSDs or Fusion Drives up to 2TB. • AMD graphics: The new iMacs will supposedly have AMD graphics options to

Qualcomm's and Intel's Latest LTE Modems for Smartphones Exceed Gigabit Speeds

Ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, Qualcomm and Intel have separately announced the latest LTE modems for smartphones with theoretical download speeds exceeding so-called "Gigabit LTE," aka 1 Gbps. Apple sources LTE modems for iPhones from both chipmakers. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X20 modem is the first-announced modem to support Category 18 download speeds up to an ultra fast 1.2 Gbps, with Category 13 upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. That builds upon Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16, which has a peak download speed of 1 Gbps. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon X20, built on a leading-edge 10nm FinFET process, supports more combinations of LTE carriers and a higher number of total LTE spatial streams. This "vastly expanded flexibility" will for more operators around the world to deploy Gigabit LTE in the future. Qualcomm said the first products with the Snapdragon X20 modem are expected to be available in the first half of 2018. Intel's new XMM 7560 modem [PDF] supports LTE Advanced Pro for up to Category 16 download speeds "exceeding" 1 Gbps, and Category 13 upload speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The XMM 7560 modem is Intel's fifth-generation LTE modem, and the first to be manufactured based on its 14nm process. Intel said the XMM 7560 modem is expected to sample in the first half of this year and move into production soon afterward. Both modems support 5x carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO configurations, up to 256-QAM, and other technologies. Both chips also work with a number of cellular technologies, covering most LTE, CDMA, and GSM standards, meaning that