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Best tech/finance blogger on TipRanks. Alex Cho is ranked 7th among all financial bloggers, with a sector focus of technology stocks. The research he publishes captures the long-term growth potential of tech franchises, and market valuation. His research recommendations over the span of five-years has averaged into an annualized return of 19.3% across 392 ratings of which 66% were successful. Over his years of publishing, Alex Cho has been an indispensable source of information for an investment minded audience, which is why his lifetime viewership has exceeded ten million in total since 2012, across various media platforms. Furthermore, he’s frequently cited in various local business journals across the United States, and is frequently tagged with the “in-depth” designation on Google News for his public articles. The quality of his research is well known, and is well-respected which is why he’s frequently cited by other authors, journalists, bloggers and experts. Alex Cho was a former founding partner of Alexander & Cohen Capital Management, has worked as a consultant for mid-stage tech companies looking to raise capital or form an exit strategy, with the most recent consultation billed to a client that was generating revenue of $10 million+ in the web domain/registrar segment. Alex Cho is frequently invited to interview members of management at various Fortune 500 tech companies’ due to his outstanding media credentials, and credibility. Furthermore, he frequently attends various tech media events at the request of the event organizers. Alex Cho has a great relationship with Wall Street and Silicon Valley, as well. In the Venture Capital Space, he has sources that are inclusive of VC Partners, and independent research from PitchBook, Mercury Data, eMarketer, MergermarketGroup, and so forth. Anyone facing the public with investment related material needs quality sources, which should be inclusive of insights from Private Equity and various sell-side institutions and debt rating agencies as well (Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, & Moody’s). Alex Cho publishes with the support of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Americas, Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets, United Bank of Switzerland AG, Barclays Americas, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse AG, PiperJaffray, Wedbush Securities, Oppenheimer & Co., Nomura Securities, BMO Capital Markets, Raymond James, Pacific Crest, SunTrust, Mizuho Securities, Deutsche Bank and Canaccord Genuity. Alex Cho attended ASU via the MAPP program with a 3.76 GPA in business-finance. The genius behind Cho has less to do with his academic accomplishments, but rather his ability to navigate, adapt, and improve the quality of his work through all the activities he has engaged. In the past year, Alex Cho has launched a new marketplace service referred to as Cho’s Investment Research. To learn more about this service, or to receive article notifications, be sure sure to subscribe. We provide frequent updates via our Blog Posts, which goes out to our subscribers.

A Glimpse Into Intel’s (INTC) Data-Centric Innovation Day

Intel (INTC) held its datacenter day on April 2nd, 2019 and within the event the company management team discussed the on-going expansion of various workloads tied to high-performance computing, and the potential market opportunities tied to its entire suite of silicon, which involves server CPUs, FPGAs, network interconnects, Optane memory, SSDs and so forth. Intel owns a large technology stack tied to the datacenter, and it’s what gives them a defensive moat even with the prospect of heightening competition with Nvidia and AMD.

The presentation resurfaced much of the same commentary we’ve grown accustomed to from the datacenter presentation, which provided an update on their new line-up of various products tied to their datacenter business. The biggest takeaway from the event though was their launch of the Xeon 9200 Platinum processor, which can scale up to 56 cores, but with a dual socket configuration it could reach a core count of 112 cores on a single motherboard within a server rack system. Following the event, Intel stock climbed from $54 to $55.92 per share.

Of course, most datacenter customers don’t really buy at the high-end of Intel’s server stack, but instead purchase lower-end Xeon CPUs and stack them within a rack. Hence, the bigger takeaway from the Xeon 2nd generation launch was the 33% performance improvement across the entire server CPU stack from prior generation. This refresh in server CPUs fall under the family of Cascade Lake, which is still a 14nm process, but with higher emphasis on inference based or AI-based computing, which aims more of an arrow at Nvidia, whereas the stackable core count takes aim at AMD’s EPYC server CPU line-up.

The emphasis on Deep Learning improvements keeps Intel’s Xeon stack more competitive when compared to Nvidia’s various attempts to take datacenter market share with its graphics cards, which are used for inference computing and machine learning algorithms. At the event, Intel presented the Xeon Platinum 9200 versus a Nvidia P100 GPU (used in the datacenter and also costs $5,000) and was able to deliver performance in certain benchmarks that was better than the Nvidia card.

Source: Intel

Hence, this paints more of a troubling picture for Nvidia, which has relied on machine inference or machine learning and various AI applications for adoption of Nvidia graphics cards in the past couple fiscal years to drive financial results. However, the launch of Xeon CPUs that can actually match performance in some inference workload instances diminishes the strengthening case that Nvidia has been able to put on display.

Not that Nvidia will sit around on its new-found datacenter market, but it’s likely to face stiffening competition from Intel on the basis of performance and with the use of general computing parts, which can be re-purposed for more uses than just interference-based computing.

Intel continued the event discussing various other datacenter market opportunities tied to other silicon, such as their Optane Memory solutions, which is sort of like RAM (random access memory), but with a much higher ceiling for total GBs in comparison to conventional DRAM sticks. They also announced the Agilex FPGA, which is a 10nm part, and helps them broaden their server stack with customizable hardware design for specific workloads like network packet processing and so forth (depends on what it’s repurposed for).

Intel’s datacenter business represents just under half of the company’s total revenue ($32.9 billion) and remains the company’s main growth category. Though the other chip companies do intend to take some segments of the market, Intel’s efforts to diversify away from just the CPU business will keep the business a little more balanced even as they’re anticipated to lose some market share to AMD due to the launch of various AMD parts in the foreseeable year. Intel’s response to competition was strong this year, perhaps financially the loss of market share may translate to a slower growth rate in its datacenter business, but it might not be as detrimental for shareholders as the entire datacenter market is expanding relatively quickly when compared to personal computing.

Disclosure: The author has no position in INTC. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only.


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