Moor Insights & Strategy Analyst Weekly Update October 9, 2020

I hope you all had a great week!

This week, Paul will be attending IEEE Quantum Week, Will will be attending Cisco DevNet Create, and Anshel will be attending Huawei Global Innovation Summit.  I will attend the iPhone 12 event, Capgemini analyst event, and HPE SAM.

Last week, our team was busy virtually attending several events; NVIDIA GTC (Anshel, myself and Karl), AI HW Summit (Karl), Arm DevSummit Virtual (myself, Anshel and Matt), 5G Americas (Anshel and Will), and Quantum XLabDept of Energy Brookhaven National Labs (Paul). 

Our MI&S team published 20 deliverables last week: 

The press quoted us with 6 citations. Journalists wanted to hear about AMD, China, datacenter, Google, Nokia, and Pure Storage.

Quick Insights:

Carrier/Wireless (Will Townsend) 

  • Cisco’s Mass Scale Infrastructure division focused on service providers, announced a new edge enabled architectural approach this week that has the potential to disrupt content delivery networks by providing better performance and revenue sharing at minimized deployment risk. Akamai has enjoyed a lion share of the CDN market and is likely not motivated in the short term to infuse edge investment into its infrastructure. As streaming services continue to grow, this approach by Cisco and two partners could transform CDN

Cloud Services/Enterprise apps (Rhett Dillingham) 

  • IBM’s spin-off of its managed infrastructure business is a sensible move to reduce its base revenue by about a quarter and enable it with a better path to achieving a growth rate akin to peers in the cloud and AI markets. As much as traditional infrastructure hosting vendors have hoped to see a strong synergy in product and go-to-market between businesses and cloud computing, it was never there.  This is IBM acknowledging that the benefits are just not substantial enough to carry that growth-challenged business going forward.
  • Red Hat’s OpenShift price reductions included a 50% drop in cost to add additional worker nodes to OpenShift Dedicated with Infrastructure and 79% off on worker nodes on OpenShift Dedicated with Customer Cloud Subscription (CCS) speak to how highly competitive the Kubernetes platform market has become. Red Hat enjoyed a significant, multi-year first-mover advantage among Kubernetes platform providers. Still, VMware, in particular, has closed the gap considerably, particularly in cloud platform breadth and depth of support with its latest announcements at VMworld of Tanzu support on VCF and VMware Cloud on AWS (with Azure and Oracle to come).

Datacenter: 

  • Storage– (Steve McDowell) 
    • The big news out of Nvidia’s GTC is its DPU technology’s roll-out to bring intelligence to I/O interconnects.  This will end up being a cornerstone of Nvidia’s broad play for long-term success in the enterprise. What’s interesting about the DPU announcements is how Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, gave several interviews where he explicitly said DPU’s are not about storage.  The storage industry has a healthy innovation pipeline, he said, we should just let that play out. He’s right. Right now, the storage industry is full of experiments focused on accelerated and intelligent disks, disaggregated storage, and computational storage. It’s doing just fine. 
    • Who says that PCIe 4 doesn’t make a difference? Western Digital has launched its first PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs, the WD Black SN850 series. These things are blazing fast, offering read speeds of up to 7,000MB/s, while writes hum along at 5300MB/s.  For comparison, the previous generation delivered 3,100MB/s reads and 1,600MB/s writes — a heck of an improvement.  These are consumer-targeted devices, ideal for gamers. But we’ll see these speeds in enterprise storage land soon.      
  • Networking– (Will Townsend) 
    • I attended several virtual networking events recently, including VMworld & Sonic. To no surprise, a reoccurring theme has centered on bringing the agility and scale of cloud together with edge computing. It’s a powerful combination that promises to bring high performance and resilience to networking infrastructure.
  • Server– (Matt Kimball) 
    • N/A

Home Automation/ Smart Home (Mark Vena) 

  • The global PC market is not dead as it grew 13% in the third quarter of 2020 compared with the same period last year, rising to 79.2 million units, according to Canalys… that’s the most significant growth in the previous ten years
  • This could backfire on Sony: Sony is detailing its PS5 backward compatibility support for playing older PS4 games today; the next-gen PS5 will support more than 4,000 PS4 games on the new PS5 console, a number Sony says is the “overwhelming majority”; while most PS4 games will play, Sony does warn that “some PS4 games may exhibit errors or unexpected behavior when played on PS5 consoles” and some functions in PS4 games may also not be available on the PS5
  • Microsoft is allowing more of its employees to work from home permanently, the company announced Friday; while the vast majority of Microsoft employees are still working from home during the ongoing pandemic, the software maker has unveiled “hybrid workplace” guidance internally to allow for far greater flexibility once US offices eventually reopen
  • The Roku Channel, Roku’s free streaming service that offers thousands of ad-supported titles and 115 live TV channels, is now available to Amazon Fire TV users, the company announced today;  and while it may seem odd that The Roku Channel would live on Fire TV devices — Amazon and Roku are direct competitors in set-top-box hardware — it might make a lot of sense as it widens the respective markets of both companies

IIoT and IoT (Bill Curtis)

  • Pelion – The IoT Platform Business Unit, home of its Pelion IoT platform, will become a wholly-owned Arm subsidiary. This was a change from a couple of months ago when it intended to spin off this business unit, so it looks like Pelion is here to stay. It is also clearly articulating a strategy of unbundling the Pelion data layer and allowing its device management services to support any third-party data layers. On the connectivity side, it is making it easier for developers to get started with 4G LTE / CAT-M IoT connectivity by offering a free IoT SIM card for North America, good for 60 days and 50MB of data. Yes, free – $0.00.
  • SystemReady – Arm is placing a significant emphasis on making system software much easier to develop and deploy. SystemReady is the corporate brand comprised of ServerReady, LinuxBoot Server Ready, Embedded Server Ready, and IoT Ready programs. It also mentioned PelionReady with silicon, modules, and gateways (Pelion Edge), ready to go and already to function with ecosystem partners in specific verticals. It is aiming to accelerate device development and allow partners to add value quickly.
  • Project Cassini – Announced a year ago, it’s all about cloud-native to the edge across a secure Arm edge ecosystem. At DevSummit, it announced a lot of progress, including SystemReady (which is part of Cassini), PSA Certification, Parsec security APIs, and Cloud-Native stacks (reference implementations). 
  • Autonomous systems – New IP suite combines CPU, GPU, and ISP for safety-critical applications. These products are aimed at autonomous decision making for automotive and industrial applications. 
  • Microsoft Azure RTOS – Microsoft introduced this new brand name on top of the ThreadX kernel and associated middleware components – FileX, GUIX, NetX, and USBX. All Azure RTOS components are now freely available on GitHub, including support for Cortex-M, -R, and -A. This OS is positioned for rapid growth in the microcontroller space.

Machine Learning/ Artificial Intelligence (Karl Freund) 

  • The annual AI HW summit has wrapped up after four days of technical and marketing presentations. The tech presentations were fascinating, while the marketing presentations were, shall we say, cranked up to 11. Comparing one’s next-generation chip to an unnamed NVIDIA GPU is not helpful. I’ve learned that one of the firms compared its chip to a MAXWELL GPU, four generations old. The only way to prevent this sort of misleading marketing is to participate in peer-reviewed published results like MLPerf.   I have to say the star of the show was not the startups but was Qualcomm. 

Personal Computing/ Collaboration (Anshel Sag) 

  • AMD’s new Ryzen 5000 series is poised to not only give Intel a run for its money but also to get so far ahead of Intel that it will be hard for Intel to catch up
  • AMD is claiming a 19% IPC improvement and with boost clocks up to 4.9 GHz, which means that we could see a mid-cycle XT refresh that hits 5 GHz
  • The new CPU clusters or chips inside of AMD’s CPUs now take advantage of the full amount of cache in the CPU cluster, which has now been upgraded from 4 to 8 cores per chiplet
  • AMD is not announcing any new motherboards for the Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs but guides on ensuring that motherboards use the latest firmware to ensure compatibility with B550 and X570 boards. However, some X470 boards may also be compatible down the road depending on OEM support
  • AMD also teased some 4K performance of the new Radeon RX 6000 series, which may give NVIDIA’s RTX 3080 and 3070 some competition
  • Intel also announced the day before AMD’s event that it will have Rocket Lake desktop with PCIe Gen 4.0 early next year
  • The PS5 will play all but 10 PS4 games
  • TSMC is rumored to have made a deal with the US Government to supply Huawei with chips
  • T-Mobile showed off 5G carrier aggregation with an LG Velvet powered by MediaTek with Ericsson infrastructure showing the future of 5G networks
  • WD Announced new Gen 4 PCIe SSDs capable of 5GB/s, which matches what Samsung and Sabrent have in the market, but not quite to the 7GB/s speeds yet
  • Apple booted all 3rd party headphone makers from its stores, which indicates the company may start only to offer its headsets in store.

Quantum Computing (Paul Smith-Goodson)

  • As mentioned last week, IonQ released its 5th generation quantum computer. Aside from its huge claimed quantum volume (no published data yet), it also incorporated an important development that went unnoticed because of the quantum volume fog. IonQ used a smart error correction code that used 13 error-correcting qubits.  Chris Monroe indicated that although it was used in the new quantum computer, the computer would have achieved the same results if it had been removed. Its application will come later when many more qubits are used. I am also looking forward to reading IonQ’s research paper when it is published.
  • Prof. John Martinez, previously Google’s top quantum scientist who gave them the title to Quantum Supremacy, is back making quantum computers again.  He told me that he is in Australia for six months to help Silicon Quantum Computer build its first Donor Spin Qubit quantum computer. I do not doubt that SQC will benefit immensely from Prof. Martinis’ expertise. Donor spin qubits are fabricated and have relatively long coherence. I plan on talking to Prof. Martinis in the coming months to see how he is progressing. 
  • In September, I covered Xanadau quantum in Forbes. This week Xanadu released its blueprint for building a scalable fault-tolerant photonic quantum computer using room temperature qubits encoded into light. It plans on delivering millions of qubits. Photonics is a promising technology because of its apparent scalability, room-temperature operation, and the ability to network modules together using existing fiber optics. There are a few interesting elements of its plan that I’m not at liberty to discuss. I can say that the plan is not decades away.
  • I finally opened an IBM Qiskit account to check out its tutorials. I intend to learn how to program a quantum computer and run quantum algorithms using existing libraries. Benchmarking using Bernstein-Vazirani, quantum volume, and fourier transforms seem interesting.

Security (Chris Wilder)

  • N/A

Columns Published (Forbes, UPLOAD VR, and others)        

  1. IBM Spinning Off Infrastructure Managed Services Group To Focus On Cloud Is A Good Move, by Patrick Moorhead 
  2. NVIDIA Wants To Change The Game Yet Again With The ‘DPU’, by Patrick Moorhead
  3. Arm’s Inaugural DevSummit Starts With Big Developer Announcements And Updates, by Patrick Moorhead
  4. A Whole New Box For The New’ Normal’, by Patrick Moorhead
  5. Analyst Learnings From VMworld 2020, by Patrick Moorhead
  6. Microsoft Launches Surface Laptop Go And Improves Windows 10 On ARM User Experience, by Patrick Moorhead
  7. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ Review: The Best Android Tablet Yet, by Patrick Moorhead
  8. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G Three Week Review: Nearly Perfect, by Patrick Moorhead
  9. Lenovo Releases Fresh New Fall Lineup Of Innovative Consumer And Business Devices, by Patrick Moorhead
  10. Open Networking And Edge Summit 2020 Delivers, by Will Townsend
  11. IonQ Releases A New 32-Qubit Trapped-Ion Quantum Computer With Massive Quantum Volume Claims, by Paul Smith-Goodson
  12. Why You Should Buy The 256 GB Oculus Quest 2, by Anshel Sag
  13. NVIDIA GTC: “DPU” Smart NIC And More, by Karl Freund
  14. Four Practical Applications Of Artificial Intelligence And 5G, by Will Townsend

Blogs Published (MI&S)                                                              

  1. Startup NUVIA Rakes In $240M B Round To Extend Server Silicon Play, by Patrick Moorhead
  2. Honeywell’s Tony Uttley And The Quest For Quantum, by Patrick Moorhead
  3. Silicon Labs “Works With” Conference Brings New IoT Platform Capabilities To Developers, by Patrick Moorhead
  4. Review: The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Takes PC Gaming To New Heights, by Anshel Sag

Podcasts: 

The G2 on 5G by Moor Insights & Strategy, with Anshel Sag and Will Townsend

  • Episode 24 – October 9th, 2020
    • Cisco launches disruptive CDN edge enabled architecture with two partners – how could 5G supercharge the effort long term?
    • T-Mobile tests 5G carrier aggregation with LG, Ericsson, and MediaTek
    • USPS wants to help deliver national 5G – could it play a role?
    • Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5
    • Mavenir seeks $100M IPO timed to Open RAN momentum – is it a smart move?
    • iPhone 12 5G Next Week, What to Expect? 

The Six Five Podcast by Moor Insights & Strategy and Futurum Research, with Patrick Moorhead and Daniel Newman

  • The Reunion
    • NVIDIA GTC
    • Arm DevSummit
    • Oracle Live for Apps
    • CDP-Microsoft Customer Insights 360
    • New Surface Devices
    • VMworld

Press Citations: 

  1. AMD, Xilinx acquisition talks/ SiliconAngle: https://siliconangle.com/2020/10/08/report-amd-talks-acquire-fpga-maker-xilinx-30b/
  2. China, 5G (Will Townsend)/ Marketplace: https://www.marketplace.org/2020/10/08/china-charges-forward-5g-wireless-future-despite-pandemic-weak-economy/
  3. Datacenter, AI (Karl Freund)/ Data Center Frontier: https://datacenterfrontier.com/ai-hardware-is-disrupting-the-data-center-heres-who-to-watch/
  4. Google, Fitbit, wearables (Anshel Sag)/ Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/wearable-tech-companies-google-could-buy-that-arent-fitbit-apple-2020-10
  5. Nokia, 5G (Will Townsend)/ SDX Central: https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/nokia-enrolls-finnish-academia-for-custom-5g-chips/2020/10/

Company: 

New Gear or Software We are Using and Testing that is Public Knowledge 

  • Apple iPad Pro, iPhone XS Max, iPhone SE, Watch Series 5 
  • BMW X3 Infotainment and ADAS 
  • Cisco Desk Pro
  • Cocopar 17″ portable display
  • Dell XPS 17
  • Google Pixel 5
  • HP ZBook 15”
  • Intel/Rivet Networks AX1650
  • Lenovo Flex 5G
  • Microsoft Surface Duo
  • NVIDIA Shield
  • Oura Ring
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, Note20 Ultra, Buds Live, Watch 3 
  • Samsung Odyssey G9 49″ Gaming Monitor
  • SDXC UHS-II Card 128GB
  • Sony TOUGH-G series 

 Events MI&S Plans on Attending In-Person or Virtually (New) 

  • October 2020 
    • IEEE Quantum Week, Oct 11-16 (Paul Smith-Goodson)
    • Cisco DevNet Create – Oct 13 (Will Townsend)
    • Huawei Global Innovation Summit – Oct 15 (Anshel Sag)
    • Adobe MAX Oct 20-22 (Anshel Sag)
    • Qualcomm 5G Summit, Oct 20-21 (Anshel Sag)
    • Dell Technologies World, Oct 21-22, virtual (Matt Kimball, Rhett Dillingham, Will Townsend)
    • Cisco Partner Summit – Oct 28-29 (Will Townsend)
    • CALIX Partner Event (Mark Vena)
  • November 2020 
    • 5G Core Summit panel, Nov 2 (Will Townsend)
    • Quantum Techniques in Machine Learning, Virtual, Nov 11 (Paul Smith-Goodson)
    • 5G AI Telco Summit World panel, Nov 11 (Will Townsend)
    • 5G Techritory, Riga, Nov 11-12 (Will Townsend)
    • Supercomputing ’20, Nov. 16-19 (Karl Freund)
    • Red Hat Analyst Day, virtual, Nov 19 (Rhett Dillingham)
  • December 2020 
    • Marvell’s 2020 Industry Analyst Day, Dec 8 (Patrick Moorhead)
    • Q2B Practical Quantum Computing by QC Ware, December 8-10 (Paul Smith-Goodson)
    • 5G AI Telco Summit NYC, Dec 9 (Will Townsend)
    • 2020 Intel Industry Analyst Summit, Santa Clara, Dec 9-10 (Patrick Moorhead) 
  • January 2020
    • CES Virtual, Jan 11-14 (Patrick Moorhead, Mark Vena, Anshel Sag)
  • February 2020
    • 24th Annual Conference on Quantum Information Processing, Feb 1-3 (Paul Smith-Goodson)

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The Team 

Analysts and Analysts In-Residence

  1. Patrick Moorhead, Founder, President, Principal Analyst; Broad technology coverage and deep insights into Personal Computing, IoT, Semiconductors, Cloud, Automotive 
  2. Bill Curtis, Analyst In-Residence, IIoT, and deep IoT technology 
  3. Rhett Dillingham, Senior Analyst, Cloud Services 
  4. Karl Freund, Senior Analyst, HPC, and Deep Learning 
  5. Matt Kimball, Senior Analyst, Datacenter Servers, CI, and HCI 
  6. Steve McDowell, Senior Analyst, Datacenter Storage, and Storage Technologies 
  7. Anshel Sag, Analyst; VR, PC Gaming, Mobile Platforms 
  8. Paul Smith-Goodson, Senior Analyst; Quantum Computing 
  9. Will Townsend, Senior Analyst; Carrier Equipment and Services, DC Networking 
  10. Chris Wilder, Senior Analyst, Security 
  11. Mark Vena, Senior Analyst, Smart Home, and Home Security 

Operations 

  1. Dan Pickens, Business Director 
  2. Paula Moorhead, Marketing Director, Website, and Social Media 
  3. Walker Pickens, Media Relations, and Writer 
  4. Zane Pickett, Office Manager, AP, AR, travel, writer 
  5. Lee LeClercq Williams, Business Associate