Tuesday 8 September 2015

Intel Skylake Processors Launched at IFA Tech Show


Intel’s Processor - Skylake

The latest range of processors, Skylake has been launched recently, which would be targeting everything from high powered gaming gears to computers, the size of USB stick as well as smartphones. The Core family of the `sixth generations is keen on improved performance, graphics-power and battery life due to a new microarchitecture. The chips have been designed in handling 4K in a better manner.

However the US Company may not find it easy in convincing users to get new devices.Microsoft has been offering one of its latest operating system – Window10 as free upgrades to the consumers, recommending that its software should not be more demanding on processors than Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Several household in the past had bought new PCs when the need to upgrade the operating system came up, but this time they may not do so. Moreover, a slowdown in the economy of China as well as the continued weakness of several European markets could be the cause of the companies and the governments in delay of upgrading their kit.

 Besides, Intel has also noted that there are over 500 million computers that are being used which are four years old and above.

60% Active Power Reduction/60% Performance Increase

Tech industry analyst, Jack Gold has explained that a large number of people who tend to have an older PC and who will upgrade to Windows 10 will only do so on a new computer and the biggest thing that is attractive is that its power requirements have gone down quite considerably.

This would enable new form factors with thinner, lighter smaller devices which will not need a fan. Less consumption of power will probably enable around 10 to 12 hours of life without the addition of extra weight in batteries.

Intel had timed its launch to coincide with Berlin’s Ifa tech show. Gregory Bryant, Intel executive, had informed BBC prior to the event that `versus the fifth generation core, it’s about a 60% active power reduction and at the same time a 60% performance increase.

This is due to a technology known as Speed Shift which enables the processors to shift gears faster than before to reduce the amount of time they are kept running, at their most power hungry frequencies when not needed.

Chips Enhanced to Handle New H.265 Video Codec

He further adds that they have been on a multiyear march to vividly improve the graphics performance with an increase of 40% generation-on-generation.

He observed that the chips had been enhanced to handle the new H.265 video codec which is a new compression standard that enables 4K video files to be streamed with less data without losing the quality of the picture and 4K videos are four times the resolutions of 1080p high definition.

The adoption of H.265 has been kept pending till now since some processors tend to struggle to handle it. Intel has focused on one niche of consumers who tend to enjoy pushing their processors to the maximum and for the first time it is supporting the `overclocking’ of some of its mobile device chips.

It involves pushing the processor in performing calculations quickly than they were set to, resulting in giving off more heat. Earlier, Intel had locked its mobile chips to avoid this. Jack Gold has commented that `Intel claims around 10% of the PC market is extreme gamers and that’s who it is for, for those wanting to cool their laptops with liquid nitrogen and other substance and get the maximum out of them.

Plans for 50 Various Variants of Skylake Processors

Intel has informed that it plans to release around 50 various variants of Skylake processors in the coming months but has indicated that the manufacturers need to promote their new computers by talking about add-on facility instead of depending on the new specs of the chips.Some of the suggestions comprise of –

  • Include an Intel RealSense depth camera that could be utilised to enable users to log in a Windows 10 computer by looking at the sensor and would be harder in fooling than the traditional 2D webcams 
  • Provision for the firm’s Ready Mode technology that enables users to activate a computer with their voice 
  • Adding a WiGig chip to enable laptops as well as tablets to get connected to external displays and other peripherals with the requirements of plug-in cables. 

These improvements could be added to the computers powered by older chips. However, since these are possible in becoming a commonplace along with the rollout of Skylake, one analyst had agreed that it could make sense in focusing on them. Founder of Moor Insights & Strategy, Patrick Moorhead has said that `consumers are on the lookout on what they can do differently on their systems when compared to what they could do presently.

The strategy of promoting what they could actually do with the computer as against the chip’s speeds and feed is smart’. The next challenge of Intel is to attempt in ensuring that the production of the chips tends to go effortlessly. The first of the new PC according to Intel should be on sale later this year.

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