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Intel's (INTC) Knights to Raid the Supercomputing Industry

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Intel Corporation (INTC - Free Report) has been growing its share of the supercomputing market, picking up share from incumbent NVIDIA. 
 
The company launched its first product under the Xeon Phi line in late 2012. Previously known by the name of Knights Corner, the chip was primarily designed as a co-processor with the objective of accelerating “highly parallel workloads”. Despite falling short on user’s expectations, the product enabled the microprocessor giant to make inroads into the accelerated computing market. 
 
In the words of Diane Bryant, Intel’s data center chief as described by PC Mag, “the company has 33% share of the market for (high performance computing) workloads that use a floating point accelerator.” 
 

 

Enter Xeon Phi
 
The second generation Xeon Phi product, which was earlier known by the name of Knights Landing, comes in two variants. While the first variant is a standalone processor that doesn’t require a separate host processor to function, the other variant is likely to be released as a co-processor, just like the Knights Corner, at a later date. 
 
Right from the Horse’s Mouth!
 
We note that the standalone version of Knights Landing is gaining significant traction in the supercomputing market. 
 
Cray Inc. (CRAY - Free Report) , a leading vendor of supercomputers, stated in its last earnings call that it will use three processors to power its supercomputers slated to be released in 2016. These include Intel’s Xeon E5 and Xeon Phi and NVIDIA Corp.’s (NVDA - Free Report) Tesla P100.
 
Currently, Intel’s Knights Landing-based Xeon Phi and NVIDIA’s Tesla P100 are the two most popular processors that the company utilizes for its orders. Additionally, out of the two, Knights Landing-based orders fetch more business for the company. 
 
Scope
 
Intel expects “widespread market adoptions” for its Knights Landing-based Xeon Phi processors. Reportedly, the company stated that it expects to sell more than 100,000 Knights Landing units in 2016. 
 
Competitively priced in the range of $2438 to $6254, Knights Landing could turn out to be a blockbuster product for Intel,fetching millions of dollars in revenue. 
 
Competition
 
The Knights Landing processor could turn out to be a serious contender to NVIDIA’s data-center business. Additionally, if Intel manages to push out 100,000 units of the chip this year alone, it would make Intel the No. 2 player in the accelerator market. 
 
Zacks Rank
 
At present, Intel has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). 
 
A better-ranked stock in the broader technology space is Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). 
 
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