Intel Announces New 8th-Generation Core Processors

Posted on August 29, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 5 Comments

With IFA underway in Berlin this week, Intel has announced the latest additions to its 8th-generation Core processors.

“The new 8th generation Intel Core processors extend once again our leadership in delivering exceptional performance,” Intel vice president claims Chris Walker in a prepared statement. “Now with Gigabit Wi-Fi, we’ve enabled faster PC connectivity, added more intuitive voice experiences and enabled longer battery life needed for the next wave of mobile computing.”

Intel has really muddied the waters with its so-called 8th-generation Core processors, as these diverse chips would have previously consumed at least two processor generations. So it is a bit confusing to note that the new additions are, in fact, new generation versions of the U-series and Y-series chips that are aimed at mobile and ultra-mobile computing scenarios.

The new U-series chips, which were codenamed Whiskey Lake, are 15-watt designs that, like their predecessors, offer up to four processing cores. So the only thing new this generation is Gigabit Wi-Fi support via Intel Wireless-AC.

For the Y-series chips, previously codenamed Amber Lake, Intel is likewise supporting Gigabit Wi-Fi support via Intel Wireless-AC, plus Intel Gigabit LTE modems and Modern Standby and eSIM support.

PC makers are announcing new models based on these designs this week at IFA as well. So we’ll have some follow-up stories available soon. But it is perhaps interesting to note two items before then.

First, Intel actually mentions Amazon Alexa with regards to its new U-series chips, though it’s not totally clear why. (Yes, PC makers are now starting to bundle Alexa with their hardware.)

“Consumers can simplify their lives and get more done with Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana to help control lighting and temperature in their homes, play music, create lists and shop with the sound of their voice, whether they are at home or on-the-go,” the Intel announcement notes without context.

Second, what Intel doesn’t mention is that both of these “new” chipsets are, in fact, retreads of their previous 14-nanometer designs. Aside from Gigabit Wi-Fi support, it’s not really clear if there is anything meaningfully new about these chips.


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