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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Jan. 15, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.

The Week Ending Jan. 15

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Intel for hiring VMware CEO and longtime Intel veteran Pat Gelsinger as its new CEO.

Also making the list is AMD for its own announcement around its Ryzen processor. Database startup Cockroach Labs makes the list for its blockbuster financing win while database giant Oracle is on the list for debuting the latest release of its flagship database product. And Samsung is here for the launch of its latest lineup of smartphones, ensuring that the competitive pace of the mobile phone market will continue in 2021.

Intel Hires VMware CEO And Longtime Intel Veteran Gelsinger As Its New CEO Intel wins applause this week for hiring VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger as its new CEO, making him the eighth CEO in the chipmaker’s 52-year history. Gelsinger, VMware’s CEO for nearly nine years, returns to Intel where he worked for 30 years and rose to the post of chief technology officer in 2000 before leaving in 2009. Gelsinger is replacing Intel CEO Bob Swan who will step down next month, ending a two-year tenure that was marked by strategy shifts and manufacturing issues. Intel also wins kudos this week because it has begun shipping production versions of its third-generation Xeon Scalable processors, code-named Ice Lake, bringing significant increases in core counts and other technology advancements. And Intel is bringing its Tiger Lake processors to ultrathin laptops for businesses with the new 11th-generation Core vPro lineup, promising significant performance gains over rival AMD’s competing Ryzen Pro Processors. The processors also provide new AI and security features.

AMD Counters Intel’s Tiger Lake With Ryzen 5000 Laptop CPUs

But Intel rival AMD wasn’t sitting still this week. The company moved to counter Intel’s Tiger Lake with its new Ryzen 5000 mobile lineup, which CEO Lisa Su called the “most powerful PC processors ever built for ultrathin and gaming notebooks.”

Su announced the new Ryzen 5000 mobile processors during her CES keynote with the CEO maintaining that the new Zen 3 architecture that powers most of the chips gives them a competitive lead in overall performance and energy efficiency while also delivering the best single-threaded performance.

The 7-nanometer processors, which follow the debut of Ryzen 5000 desktop CPUs last fall, give AMD bragging rights for being able to deliver eight-core processors for ultrathin laptops.

AMD also plans to accelerate sales of its EPYC processors to enterprise customers by focusing on selling pre-validated server solutions with partners.


Database Startup Cockroach Labs Raises $160M In Financing, Hits $2B In Market Cap

Cloud database developer Cockroach Labs raised $160 million in a Series E round of funding this week, boosting the startup’s market cap to an impressive $2 billion.

The new funding, which comes just eight months after the company raised $86.6 million in a Series D round, brings the New York-based company’s total financing to $355.1 million.

Cockroach Labs, founded in 2015, develops CockroachDB, a cloud-native, distributed SQL database that’s designed to handle workloads with huge volumes of transactional data. The company’s motto of “scale fast, survive anything, thrive anywhere” (hence the Cockroach name) stems from the database’s elasticity, failure-resistant architecture and multi-cloud flexibility.

Cockroach Labs said it more than doubled both its revenue and its customer roster in 2020. The company said its growth was spurred, in part, by the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a surge in demand for digital services from work-from-home employees.


Oracle Debuts Major Release Of Its Flagship Database

Oracle took the wraps off a major new release of its flagship Oracle Database software this week, offering more than 200 new features and functional enhancements including new blockchain, machine learning, persistent memory and data sharing capabilities, as well as support for more data types.

The new Oracle Database 21c release is particularly notable because it’s the first major release since Oracle Database 19c that came out in early 2019.

Oracle developed a 20c release that the company previewed in February 2020. But when businesses seemed less-than-eager to undertake database upgrade projects amidst the pandemic, Oracle never made the 20c release generally available. The new 21c release incorporates the new features and functionality that had been built into 20c.

Oracle also wins kudos for making its popular APEX Application Development tools available as a standalone managed service running on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure platform. That’s expected to accelerate adoption of the toolset for developing and deploying data-driven applications on the Oracle database.


Samsung Launches Galaxy S21 Series

Samsung is starting off 2021 with a move to maintain its momentum in the competitive smartphone arena. This week the company debuted three models in its new Galaxy S21 series with significant design and display advances.

The new Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra also come with lower price tags from last year’s Galaxy S20 series, keeping the competitive heat on Apple and other mobile phone manufacturers.

All three models are powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 eight-core chip and offer improved support for the DeX Android desktop.

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