August 28, 2018 // 9 p.m.
Intel has announced new entries in its U- and Y-series mobile processor families, across the Core m3 to Core i7 ranges, all based on the 14nm Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake microarchitectures respectively.
Intel's latest mobile-centric low-power processors, unveiled during a dedicated press event, come with some impressive claims: Full support for 802.11AC 160MHz 'gigabit' Wi-Fi or Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile connectivity, up to 16 hours battery life with some systems projected to exceed that figure, and performance metrics including up to 1.8x better web browsing performance, up to double overall performance, and up to 10.5x faster video transcoding - though these figures are in comparison to a five-year-old system running an equivalent processor from that generation, rather than being based on the parts Intel's latest processors replace.
Built as a stop-gap while Intel irons out the continued problems it has experienced with its 10nm Cannon Lake node, the 14nm Whiskey/Amber Lake mobile parts include onboard Embedded DisplayPort 1.4 connectivity with support for external DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 devices, extending to HDMI 2.0a with the optional level-shifting protocol converter (LSPCON) hardware, and two-channel DDR4 or LPDDR3 support. The on-package DMI interconnect (OPI) then links to an integrated platform controller hub (PCH) adding in USB 3.1 10Gb/s, USB 3.0 5Gb/s and USB 2.0 connectivity, SATA 3.0, Thunderbolt 3, PCI Express 3.0, the integrated Wi-Fi, Optane support, wired LAN, and the usual additional buses and a dedicated quad-core audio digital signal processor (DSP).
The range starts with the 5W thermal design profile (TDP) Amber Lake Core m3-8100Y, with a 1.1GHz base and 3.4GHz boost clock speed across two cores and four threads (2C4T) and supports only LPDDR3 1,866MHz while having 4MB of onboard cache memory. This is joined in the 5W TDP Y series by the Core i5-8200Y 1.3/3.9GHz and Core i7-8500Y 1.5/4.2GHz, which otherwise share their lower-end stablemates' specifications.
The higher-end Whiskey Lake U-series parts, meanwhile, are comprised of the Core i3-8145U 2C4T at 2.1/3.9GHz, the 4C8T Core i5-8265U at 1.6/3.9GHz, and the 4C8T Core i7-8565U at 1.8/4.6GHz. All include support for either LPDDR3 2,133MHz or DDR4 2,400MHz memory at system builders' discretion and a 15W thermal design profile, along with 4MB, 6MB, and 8MB of cache respectively.
Intel has not yet confirmed pricing for the parts, nor when the first systems based on the new chips will be available to buy.