Intel, Baidu Drive Intelligent Infrastructure Transformation

Intel and Baidu
Baidu World 2020: Rui Wang (right), Intel vice president in the Sales and Marketing Group and PRC country manager, and Zhenyu Hou, corporate vice president of Baidu, discuss the two companies’ on-going strategic collaboration to bring intelligent infrastructure and intelligent computing to Baidu and its customers.

What’s New: At Baidu World 2020, Intel announced a series of collaborations with Baidu in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, data center and cloud computing infrastructure. Intel and Baidu executives discussed the trends of intelligent infrastructure and intelligent computing, and shared details on the two companies’ strategic vision to jointly drive the industry’s intelligent transformation within the cloud, network and edge computing environments.

“In China, the most important thing for developing an industry ecosystem is to truly take root in the local market and its users’ needs. With the full-speed development of ‘new infrastructure’ and 5G, China has entered the stage of accelerated development of the industrial internet. Intel and Baidu will collaborate comprehensively to create infinite possibilities for the future through continuous innovation, so that technology can enrich the lives of everyone.”
– Rui Wang, Intel vice president in the Sales & Marketing Group and PRC country manager

Why It Matters: Zhenyu Hou, corporate vice president of Baidu, said that Baidu and Intel are both extremely focused on technology innovation and have always been committed to promoting intelligent transformation through innovative technology exploration. In the wave of new infrastructure, Baidu continues to deepen its collaboration with Intel to seize opportunities in the AI industry and bring more value to the industry, society and individuals.

A Series of Recent Collaborations:

  • AI in the Cloud: Intel and Baidu have delivered technological innovations over the past decade, from search and AI to autonomous driving, 5G and cloud services. Recently Baidu and Intel worked on customizing Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors to deliver optimized performance, thermal design power (TDP), temperature and feature sets within Baidu’s cloud infrastructure. With the latest 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor with built-in BFloat16 instruction set, Intel supports Baidu’s optimization of the PaddlePaddle framework to provide enhanced speech prediction services and multimedia processing support within the Baidu cloud to deliver highly optimized, highlight efficient cloud management, operation and maintenance.
  • Next-Gen server architecture: Intel and Baidu have designed and carried out the commercial deployment of next-generation 48V rack servers based on Intel Xeon Scalable processors to achieve higher rack power density, reduce power consumption and improve energy efficiency. The two companies are working to drive ecosystem maturity of 48V and promote the full adoption of 48V in the future based on the next-generation Xeon® Scalable processor (code named Sapphire Rapids).
  • Networking: In an effort to improve virtualization and workload performance, while accelerating data processing speeds and reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) within Baidu infrastructure, Intel and Baidu are deploying Smart NIC (network interface card) innovations based on Intel® SoC FPGAs and Intel® Ethernet 800 Series adapter with Application Device Queues (ADQ) technology. Smart NICs greatly increase port speed, optimize network load, realize large-scale data processing, and create an efficient and scalable bare metal and virtualization environment for the Baidu AICloud.
  • Baidu Smart NICs are built on the latest Intel Ethernet 800 series, Intel Xeon-D processor and Intel Arria® 10-based FPGAs. From the memory and storage side, Intel and Baidu built a high-performance, ultra-scalable, and unified user space single-node storage engine using Intel® Optane™ persistent memory and Intel Optane NVMe SSDs to enable Baidu to configure multiple storage scenarios through one set of software.
  • 5G and edge computing: In the area of 5G and edge computing, Intel and Baidu have utilized their technology expertise and collaborated on a joint innovation using the capabilities of the OpenNESS (Open Network Edge Services Software) toolkit developed by Intel, and Baidu IME (Intelligent Mobile Edge), to help achieve a highly reliable edge compute solution with AI capabilities for low-latency applications.

What’s Next: Looking forward, Intel will continue to leverage its comprehensive data center portfolio to collaborate with Baidu on a variety of developments including:

  • Developing a future autonomous vehicle architecture platform and intelligent transportation vehicle-road computing architecture.
  • Exploring mobile edge computing to provide users with edge resources to connect Baidu AI operator services.
  • Expanding Baidu Smart Cloud in infrastructure technology.
  • Improving the optimization of Xeon Scalable processors and PaddlePaddle.
  • Bringing increased benefits to Baidu online AI businesses, thus creating world-changing technology that truly enriches lives.

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Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory Improves Search, Reduces Costs in Baidu’s Feed Stream Services

Intel Baidu Grebe 2

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What’s New: Intel today announced Baidu is architecting the in-memory database of its Feed Stream services to harness the high-capacity and high-performance capabilities of Intel® Optane DC persistent memory. Paired with 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, building a new memory platform based on Intel Optane DC persistent memory allows Baidu to lower its total cost of ownership (TCO) while delivering more personalized search results to users. Intel and Baidu disclosed details of this deployment and other joint collaborations on Thursday at the 2019 Baidu ABC Summit in Beijing.

“For over 10 years, Intel and Baidu have worked closely together to accelerate Baidu’s core businesses, from search to AI to autonomous driving to cloud services. Our deep collaboration enables us to rapidly deploy the latest Intel technologies and improve the way customers experience Baidu’s services.”
–Jason Grebe, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Cloud Platforms and Technology Group

Why It’s Important: As companies like Baidu manage the explosive growth of data, the need to quickly and efficiently access and store data is imperative. With today’s news, Baidu is advancing its Feed Stream services to deliver more personalized content to its customers.

Why It’s Different: Baidu uses an advanced in-memory database called Feed-Cube to support data storage and information retrieval in its cloud-based Feed Stream services. Deploying Intel Optane DC persistent memory and 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors enable Baidu to ensure high concurrency, large capacity and high performance for Feed-Cube, while reducing TCO1.

Through close collaboration, Intel and Baidu architected a hybrid memory configuration that includes both Intel Optane DC persistent memory and DRAM within the Baidu Feed Stream services. With this approach, Feed-Cube saw a boost in search result response times under the pressure of large concurrent access1. At the same time, single-server DRAM usage dropped by more than half, which reduces costs in terms of the petabyte-level storage capacity of Feed-Cube1. Intel and Baidu have published a detailed case study of this work, including examples of other applications using Intel Optane DC persistent memory technology, such as Redis, Spark and function-as-a-services.

“Using Intel Optane DC persistent memory within the Feed-Cube database enables Baidu to cost-effectively scale memory capacity to stay on top of the continuously expanding demands placed on our Feed Stream services,” said Tao Wang, chief architect, Recommendation Technology Architecture at Baidu.

What’s Next: Today’s news comes on the heels of Intel and Baidu recently signing a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at increasing the collaboration between the two companies in Baidu’s core business areas. Baidu and Intel will continue to work together to enable new products and technologies that play an increasingly important role in growing core Internet business scenarios as well as critical applications and services. The deeper collaboration between Baidu and Intel will help Baidu provide a more diverse and engaging user experience to its customers.

What Else Was Disclosed at the 2019 Baidu ABC Summit:

  • New HPC Solution for Baidu ABC Storage: Intel and Baidu unveiled a new storage solution to accelerate machine learning performance in high-performance computing workloads. The new HPC solution is offered in Baidu’s cloud environment and provides users with end-to-end HPC support covering a range of capabilities, from data pre-processing, model training and evaluation to inferencing and result publishing. The Baidu Cloud ABC Storage service uses Intel® Optane™ DC SSDs and Intel® QLC 3D NAND SSDs.
  • Confidential Computing Consortium: Intel and Baidu recently joined the Confidential Computing Consortium under the Linux Foundation. As part of the consortium, Intel and Baidu will work with industry partners to deploy and save private trusted computing services in the Baidu cloud based on Intel® Software Guard Extension (Intel® SGX®) technology.

More Context: Data Center News | Storage and Memory News

The Small Print:

1Data cited from Baidu’s internal verification and testing based on 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processor and Intel Optane DC persistent memory. For more details on these tests, please contact Baidu.Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should review this content, consult other sources, and confirm whether referenced data are accurate.

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Baidu Named Development Partner on Intel Nervana Neural Network Processor for Training

intel nervana baiduWhat’s New: Today at the Baidu Create AI developer conference in Beijing, Intel Corporate Vice President Naveen Rao announced that Baidu* is collaborating with Intel on development of the new Intel® Nervana™ Neural Network Processor for Training (NNP-T). The collaboration involves the hardware and software designs of the new custom accelerator with one purpose – training deep learning models at lightning speed.

“The next few years will see an explosion in the complexity of AI models and the need for massive deep learning compute at scale. Intel and Baidu are focusing their decade-long collaboration on building radical new hardware, co-designed with enabling software, that will evolve with this new reality – something we call ‘AI 2.0.’”
–Naveen Rao, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the AI Products Group

Why It Matters: Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t a single workload; it’s a pervasive capability that will enhance every application, whether it’s running on a phone or in a massive data center. Phones, data centers and everything in between have different performance and power requirements, so one-size AI hardware doesn’t fit all. Intel offers exceptional choice in AI hardware with enabling software, so customers can run complex AI applications where the data lives. The NNP-T is a new class of efficient deep learning system hardware designed to accelerate distributed training at scale. Close collaboration with Baidu helps ensure Intel development stays in lock-step with the latest customer demands on training hardware.

How Intel and Baidu Collaborate: Since 2016, Intel has been optimizing Baidu’s PaddlePaddle* deep learning framework for Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors. Now, the companies give data scientists more hardware choice by optimizing the NNP-T for PaddlePaddle.

The impact of these AI solutions is enhanced with additional Intel technologies. For example, Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memoryprovides improved memory performance that allows Baidu to deliver personalized mobile content to millions of users through its Feed Stream* service and Baidu’s AI recommendation engines for a more efficient customer experience.

Additionally, with data security critically important to users, Intel and Baidu are working together on MesaTEE*, a memory-safe function-as-a-service (FaaS) computing framework based on the Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) technology.

More Context: Artificial Intelligence at Intel |Beyond the CPU or GPU: Why Enterprise-Scale Artificial Intelligence Requires a More Holistic Approach (Naveen Rao Editorial) | Intel AI at Baidu Create: AI Camera, FPGA-based Acceleration and Xeon Scalable Optimizations for Deep Learning

Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, Intel Optane and Intel Nervana are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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China’s Baidu Search Trends Collide with Bitcoin’s May Bull Run

By CCN: China may have cracked down on cryptocurrency companies, but that’s not stopping the local population from pursuing bitcoin as an investment. Economist and trader Alex Kruger did the research and found that there may be some truth to the theory that China fueled much of the gains in the BTC price last month. June hasn’t been so kind, at least so far, with the bitcoin price down more than 7% in the last 24 hours. In May, however, bitcoin was a rock star as its value expanded by a whopping 60%. In a series of tweets, Kruger explained

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Baidu Stock Slides 16%: Here’s Why China’s Google is Stuck in Freefall

By CCN: Baidu, China’s largest search engine and that country’s equivalent of Google, suffered a 16 percent stock price haircut after reporting a poor earnings quarter that stunned shareholders. Baidu Stock in Freefall After Q1 Losses Shock Investors As China’s economic growth continues to slide, one of its largest tech companies, Baidu, has taken a hit to advertising revenues. It reported losses of $47 million for the first quarter of 2019, with online advertising demand plunging. CEO Robin Li blames his company’s woes on the slowing pace of China’s economic growth as well as tighter government oversight of the internet.

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Bitcoin is #1 Trending on China’s Biggest Search Engine During 2019 Highs

By CCN.com: Bitcoin is now top of the list of trending keywords in the Baidu search engine, China’s equivalent to Google. Due to the recent price surge, #bitcoin tops today's Baidu hottest emerging keywords. (Baidu is like China's Google) pic.twitter.com/AWtVw9aOzw — cnLedger (@cnLedger) April 4, 2019 After plummeting from the all-time high in late December, Bitcoin reached a low of around $3,200 before surging in recent days above $5,000. The $5,000 line has proved itself to be a crucial battleground as a psychological market of support/resistance. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is testing resistance and trading at $4,997.95. Understandably,

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Crypto Trading Giant Circle Wants to Raise $250 Million in Funding – But Why?

One of the world’s leading cryptocurrency startups, Circle, is seeking to raise $250 million according to sources directly involved with the initiative. Circle is the operator of the Poloniex cryptocurrency exchange, currently ranked 74 in the world by volume on Coinmarketcap. The firm acquired Poloniex for $400 million and also runs an institutional trading branch called Circle Trade. $246 Million Previously Raised Circle was valued at a formidable $3 billion at the time of its last funding round when it raised $110 million, largely from Bitmain, the world’s leading manufacturer of bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining hardware. Circle has raised $246

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World’s Largest Financial Institutions are Still Placing Big Bets on Crypto

Sequoia, Baidu, Nasdaq, and Fidelity are amongst some of the largest VCs, technology conglomerates, and financial institutions to make big bets on crypto in the past week. Despite the bear market which has led major cryptocurrencies to lose about 80 to 90 percent in value on average, both digital asset-related businesses and blockchain protocols are

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Alibaba Has Filed for over 10% of the World’s Blockchain Patents: Research

China’s ongoing drive to dominate the emerging global blockchain technology sector has been underlined by news that Alibaba Group Holding alone filed more than 10 percent of all blockchain patents worldwide in 2017. Intellectual Property Rights Arms Race Research by Thomson Reuters shows that 56 percent of all 406 blockchain patents issued around the world

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Chinese Search Giant Baidu Joins Tencent and Alibaba in Cryptocurrency Blockade

Chinese search giant Baidu has made moves to block crypto related content on its online portals, according to China Times. The Beijing based media outlet, reported on Sunday that the search giant plans to restrict or place an outright ban on crypto related topics on the firm’s Reddit-like online form, known as Baidu Tieba. At

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