Today’s topics include Intel’s release of its long-anticipated Xeon Phi “Knights Landing” processor, Apple’s announcement that it won’t be a financial sponsor of the 2016 GOP National Convention, Google’s new medical symptom search service and Spotify’s user numbers hit 100 million.
Intel officials for months have been talking about its many-core Xeon Phi “Knights Landing” processor, a chip that the company is positioning to compete with graphics processing accelerators such as Nvidia’s Tesla products in high-performance computing environments and to serve emerging applications such as machine learning.
Intel announced June 20 that Knights Landing— originally unveiled in November 2015 and now known as the Xeon Phi 7200 family—is now available. The four chips that make up the Xeon Phi family come with 64 to 72 x86 cores, and include integrated memory and I/O fabric.
Intel also is rolling out its HPC Orchestrator software stack based on OpenHPC.
Apple has joined HP Inc. and Microsoft on a list of prominent IT companies that have declined to provide corporate financial sponsorship in the Republican National Convention, to be held in Cleveland beginning July 18.
Politico reported over the weekend that Apple has told Republican leaders privately that it won’t provide money or other aid due to presumptive presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial comments about women, immigrants and minorities. Trump has said he is intent on expelling millions of undocumented immigrants, building a wall on the Mexican border and barring Muslims from entering the United States.
Tech executives all over Silicon Valley are rankled at Trump’s critical statements about the outsourcing of manufacturing to companies in the Pan-Asia region.
In the next few days, Google will roll out a new search feature that will let users ask Google about specific medical symptoms they might be experiencing or want to know more about and get detailed information on related conditions and potential causes for them.
For instance, if a user searches for “headache on one side,” Google will serve up a list of related conditions such as “migraine,” “sinusitis” and “cluster headache.” For individual symptoms, like “headache” or “earache,” Google will also offer information on potential self-treatment options and whether the symptoms described by the user merit a visit to the doctor.
The goal is to give users enough information so they can conduct more informed research on their symptoms and quickly decide whether a visit to a health care professional is necessary, Veronica Pinchin, Google product manager for Search, wrote in a blog post.
Music streaming service Spotify has hit the 100 million user mark as it continues to grow amid tough competition from rival services including Apple Music, Pandora, Rhapsody and Google Music.
About 30 million Spotify users are actually paying for the services using premium accounts, with the rest still using free ad-supported accounts, according to a June 20 story by Reuters. Those 30 million paying subscribers are the most of any music streaming company, the story reported. Spotify had an operating loss of $209 million in 2015.
The 100 million subscriber mark is significant for the company because it shows the service is reaching the scale it needs to establish profitability, said Richard Windsor, an analyst at Edison Investment Research.