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What Intel Wants Partners To Know About 10nm, Optane, And Its Xeon Roadmap

Intel U.S. channel chief Jason Kimrey tells CRN why partners should get behind Optane memory, whether the hardware security features of new CPUs will be a selling point and how partners should think about Intel's 10-nanometer chip delays and Xeon server roadmap.

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U.S. Channel Chief Kimrey Talks Optane, Xeon, 10nm

Intel wants channel partners to get behind the company's new Optane memory technology, embrace artificial intelligence and have confidence in its ability to deliver top performance products in the face of the company's 10-nanometer chip delays.

That was the message from Jason Kimrey, Intel's U.S. channel chief, in an interview with CRN at The Channel Company's XChange 2018 event in San Antonio, Texas. In his XChange keynote that day, Kimrey said that CPUs alone can no longer handle the increasing amounts of data being produced, which is creating an "almost unlimited demand for compute" that requires a greater breadth of products.

[Related: AMD CTO: 'We Went All In' On 7nm CPUs ]

"At the end of the day, people are trying to solve a problem for their customers or for themselves, and they want the best product or the best platform to do it, with a predictable price-performance and availability, and I think in the long run, we've proven that we can do that," he told CRN.

In the interview, Kimrey also said he expects the hardware-level security features to be a selling point for Intel's upcoming Xeon Cascade Lake server CPU. The processor is one of three Xeon products coming out over the next two years, which the channel chief also addressed.

What follows is an interview transcript that was lightly edited for clarity.

How are you creating demand for Optane memory?

At the end of the day, people have to see the business value of anything. Optane's no different, and it's a new memory architecture, so a lot of our focus today is working with the ISVs whose software applications benefit the most from Optane. So that's why you see us making big investments with SAP, and they've been very vocal about the adoption of Optane and now [Optane DC Persistent Memory] as a key differentiator for SAP Hana. As the product becomes available in the market and the software releases come to market, we continue to want to work with those deployment partners who can bring those applications to bear and help them do that as fast as possible. Very similar situation to VMware. If you look at vSAN, it really benefits from this new memory architecture and reduces the memory bottleneck that challenges a lot of these applications. We're working very closely with leading VMware deployment partners, and we want to continue to do that to help understand the benefits and really start to bring that to market.

The good news is we're starting to see some early successes. I got a note last week that one of the world's largest banks is going to move towards Optane memory for some of their [data center] applications. On the client side, we've seen some really large commitments to purchase Optane. It's still relatively early, but the momentum is there and what I find is the business need is there and the value that it brings is deniable. The more applications that come on board and showcase that, the better.

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