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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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Intel Announces New 8th-Generation Core Processors”

  1. ibmthink

    > Aside from Gigabit Wi-Fi support, it’s not really clear if there is anything meaningfully new about these chips.

    Whiskey Lake is made in the advanced 14nm++ process instead of 14nm+ like Kaby Lake Refresh. This enabled Intel to raise the turbo clock-speeds a little bit, so slightly better peak performance.

    Amber Lake on the other hand is still made in 14nm+. Apparently, Amber Lake are just renamed hand-picked Kaby Lake CPUs. So yeah, these are definitely are total retread.

    Intels lineup right now is a real mess.

  2. wunderbar

    the processors themselves are almost exactly the same, but there are chipset improvements beyond the gigabit wifi.

    USB support has been upgraded from 3.1 gen 1 to 3.1 gen 2 (so 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps). The connection between the CPU and the chipset has also been improved. Nothing earth shattering, but there are definite improvements on the whole SoC package.

    and, interestingly, the Y series chips move from a 4.5W TDP to a 5W TDP. Small, but noticeable increase that allows some of the Y series chips to see their *base* clockspeed increase significantly. that could be a big deal for some of the machines that use those parts.

  3. waethorn

    Core i5 and i7 processors for desktops and higher-end laptops are also available in 6-core for a reasonable price, the latter having HyperThreading included (2 threads per core, or according to Windows, 12 "virtual" cores total which improves responsiveness under heavy load).

    For laptops, look for B-model Core i5's and i7's. H-model i7's are 45W parts, and are underclocked versions of the B models, and have lower cache, likely for slightly thinner designs, but are also good. Just don't expect the 10-15hr laptop battery life with these that you see on the U and Y model chips (I saw an HP Probook that got almost 20hrs on a U-series i5).

    G series chips are the ones with the Radeon graphics included. There's a Radeon Pro WX model shipping sometime this year. That means for the first time, there's going to be a CPU with workstation-class integrated graphics available in a laptop. Watch the models on these as some of them are 100W CPU parts, which will mean you'll get really poor battery life, but then those systems are going to be mostly desktop-replacement laptops for high-end use.

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  5. Daniel Kay

    Do these chips have hardware fixes for Spectre, Meltdown and the like?