Category Archives: Intel

Rolls-Royce teams up with Intel to build autonomous ships

Rolls-Royce revealed its plans to deploy autonomous ships back in 2016, outlining its strategy and a general overview of how the vessels would work. Now, the ship designer — Rolls-Royce for shipping and Rolls-Royce the luxury automaker are separate…

Intel’s desktop 9th-generation Core chips can handle 128GB of RAM

To date, Intel's mainstream processors haven't supported more than 64GB of RAM. That's not a crisis-inducing problem right now (only demanding pros are likely to notice), but the time when you'll want more is on the horizon. Thankfully, Intel is prep…

How Intel’s first Chief Security Officer is reshaping the chip giant

Window Snyder transformed how Microsoft, Apple and Mozilla dealt with software threats. She served as the security lead for the Windows XP Service Pack 2 update, which fixed a wide variety of vulnerabilities in a notoriously buggy OS. And at Apple, s…

Intel goes up to 8 cores for mainstream chips, with a 28 core overclockable Xeon

Stylized close-up image of microchip.

Enlarge / Intel 9th generation Coffee Lake-S series 8-core die. (credit: Intel)

NEW YORK—Intel unveiled a range of new processors aimed at the performance-desktop segment today. For the mainstream market, there are three new K-series overclockable chips branded as ninth-generation parts; seven new Core X-series chips are launching for the high-end desktop market, and for those who need still more performance, there’s an overclockable Xeon chip.

The ninth-generation parts confirm previous leaks that hyperthreading is now only found on the top-end i9 processor. That part has eight cores and 16 threads, with a base speed of 3.6GHz and a maximum turbo of 5GHz. This marks the first time that Intel’s mainstream chips have matched the core and thread numbers that AMD offers in its Ryzen line.

Model Cores/Threads Clock base/boost​/GHz Level 3 cache/MB TDP/W DDR4​/MHz PCIe lanes Price
i9-9900K 8/16 3.6/5.0 16 95 dual 2,666 40 $488
i7-9700K 8/8 3.6/4.9 12 95 dual 2,666 40 $374
i5-9600K 6/6 3.7/4.6 9 95 dual 2,666 40 $262

Intel is (credibly) positioning the 9900K to be the best gaming chip in the world, thanks to its strong per-thread performance and high maximum clock speed. In a break with its recent practices, Intel has reverted to using solder instead of thermal paste between the processor die and the integrated heatspreader. This move will be popular among overclockers, as the better thermal conductivity of solder generally enables reduced temperatures and higher overclocking potential.

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ITC judge denies Qualcomm’s request, won’t stop iPhone imports

While the patent lawsuit battle between Qualcomm and Apple is far from over — remember how long it took for things to get settled with Samsung? — we do have an update. On Friday, U.S. International Trade Commission judge Thomas Pender found (PDF) t…

Intel admits ‘tight’ supply for cheap PC chips, focuses on high-end

In an open letter, interim Intel CEO Bob Swan admitted the company's supply of CPUs for the "entry level" PC market is "undoubtedly tight," so if you have trouble finding a cheap laptop for the holiday season then you know why. Between consumers upgr…

Qualcomm claims Apple stole trade secrets and sent them to Intel

The ongoing dispute between Apple and Qualcomm continues as Qualcomm seeks to add new charges to a current lawsuit it's pursuing against Apple. CNBC reports that Qualcomm is now alleging that Apple stole "vast swaths" of trade secrets through their p…

Intel launches Whiskey and Amber Lakes: Kaby Lake with better Wi-Fi, USB

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Enlarge / A Kaby Lake refresh die. (credit: Intel)

Intel has launched its latest mobile processors: six new chips designed for Ultrabooks and other thin-and-light systems. Three 15W U-series chips are codenamed Whiskey Lake, and another three 5W Y-series parts are codenamed Amber Lake.

Model Cores/Threads Clock base/boost​/GHz Level 3 cache/MB TDP/W DDR4​/MHz LPDDR3​/MHz
Whiskey Lake
i7-8565U 4/8 1.8/4.6 8 15 2400 2133
i5-8265U 4/8 1.6/3.9 6 15 2400 2133
i3-8165U 2/4 2.1/3.9 4 15 2400 2133
Amber Lake
i7-8500Y 2/4 1.5/4.2 4 5 1866
i5-8200Y 2/4 1.3/3.9 4 5 1866
m3-‍8100Y 2/4 1.1/3.4 4 5 1866

The CPU parts of these new processors are the same Kaby Lake Refresh parts as Intel launched a year ago—just with slightly tweaked clock speeds. The i7-8565U, for example, at 1.8/4.6GHz, is just a slightly uprated replacement for the i7-8550U at 1.8/4.0GHz. Due to this similarity, the new parts retain the “8th generation” branding of last year’s parts. This similarity also means that the new chips don’t include hardware fixes for the Meltdown or Spectre issues.

The differences lie in the on-package chipset. The U-series and Y-series processors integrate the chipset onto the processor package: the CPU is connected to the chipset by an interface that’s comparable to a PCIe 3.0 x4 connection. The chipsets provide USB, audio, network, SATA, and other connectivity.

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AMD’s next-gen CPUs, GPUs will all be built on TSMC’s 7nm process

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Enlarge / An AMD Ryzen, built on GlobalFoundries’ 14nm process. (credit: Fritzchens Fritz)

In a big change of alignments, AMD has announced that its next generation of CPUs and GPUs will be manufactured by TSMC, not GlobalFoundries.

GlobalFoundries was spun off from AMD in 2009. The once-integrated chip company split into two parts: GlobalFoundries took all the manufacturing facilities, leaving AMD as a fabless chip company. This gave AMD a big infusion of cash at a time it needed it, and it allowed GlobalFoundries to build chips for a wide range of customers. This close relationship has positioned GloFo as AMD’s preferred manufacturer, though TSMC and Samsung have offered alternative facilities. AMD’s current Ryzen, Threadripper, and Epyc chips are all built by GloFo on its 14nm and 12nm processes. AMD uses TSMC for GPUs and the custom chips for Sony’s and Microsoft’s consoles.

But GlobalFoundries has ceased its development of its next-generation 7nm process. Instead, the company will continue to develop its 14nm and 12nm processes and will focus on tuning them for radios, memory, and low power, making them a better fit for new high-growth markets such as highly integrated systems-on-chips and new 5G cellular components. That direction, however, comes at the expense of traditional high-performance processors.

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Intel’s 10nm Cannon Lake chip gets another outing in new NUC mini PC


Intel has updated its range of small form-factor PCs that it calls NUCs. We’ve generally liked the systems in the past; with a footprint of about 4 inches by 4 inches, they’re pretty compact, and their feature set makes them versatile for home theaters, digital signs or other embedded industrial uses, workplace productivity, and in some cases, even gaming.

First up is a quintet of NUC kits named Bean Canyon, built around Coffee Lake-U processors. These range from a $299 i3-8109U at the low end (two-core, four-thread, 3.0-3.6GHz) to a $499 i7-8559U at the high end (four-core, eight-thread, 2.7-4.5GHz). All the chips are 28W processors, and all have Iris Plus graphics—128MB of eDRAM memory on the processor itself. The eDRAM is primarily there to boost graphics performance, but it can also help a lot in non-graphical workloads, too, as it acts as an enormous cache.

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