Intel has unveiedl the bulk of its 6th generation Core processor portfolio, bringing the usual boosts in performance and battery life for new systems, along with support for new capabilities, such as Windows Hello and Cortana in Windows 10.
Set to be officially launched at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, the 6th generation of Intel’s Core processors is claimed to offer up to 2.5 times the performance and up to three times the battery life of older generations of PC hardware, according to the firm. These comparisons are typically based on three-year-old systems.
Intel detailed a pair of the new chips, the Skylake-K variants aimed at gamers, last month. Now, the firm has added to the list Skylake-U aimed at thin-and light laptops; Skylake-H for high performance systems; and Skylake-S which brings “desktop performance” to value-level systems, all-in-ones and mini PCs.
There is also Skylake-Y, which ushers in the Core m7, m5 and m3 mobile chips for tablets, 2-in-1 systems and Intel’s Compute Stick.
The Skylake family is manufactured using the same 14nm process as the previous Broadwell generation, but introduces a new and improved microarchitecture, representing a ‘tock’ in Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ development model.
As with the two chips launched last month, the new family brings DDR4 memory to the mainstream, along with enhanced Intel HD graphics offering up to a 30 times improvement in performance, support for high-speed PCI Express storage via Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology, and capabilities to support new features in Windows 10.
Among these is an integrated Image Signal Processor that accelerates processing of data from cameras, and helps to enable the Windows Hello password-free sign-on in Windows 10.
Also new in the Skylake core architecture are enhanced security features such as Intel Software Guard Extensions, which enables application-level trusted execution environments known as enclaves to store and process sensitive information.
The new chips are expected to be available in retail this month, and are likely to find their way into new systems before the end of this year, possibly sooner.