In its launch presentation, Intel tossed out a flurry of statistics emphasizing the performance edge that its latest mobile CPUs will have over five-year-old PCs.
Built as a stop-gap while Intel irons out the continued problems it has experienced with its 10nm Cannon Lake node, the 14nm Whiskey Lake mobile parts include on-board Embedded DisplayPort 1.4 connectivity with support for external DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 devices, extending to HDMI 2.0a with the optional level-shifting protocol converter (LSPCON) hardware, and two channel DDR4 or LPDDR3 support.
The new Intel 8th generation U-Series and Y-Series are expected to be available within the third quarter of this year. But it does support Gigabit Wi-Fi by way of external or discrete modules, and it has preloaded eSIM support for Intel's Gigabit LTE modems.
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These are for laptops, tablets and two-in-one devices that range from mainstream clamshells to thin, fanless designs, and include support for integrated gigabit Wi-Fi, which Intel says is a first for this class of consumer PC.
In our pre-launch communications we received the basic technical specs (see above), and saw no direct comparisons against the previous generation Core U- and Y-Series parts.
The new chips are optimized for light laptops, meaning they're ready to deliver improved efficiency that should boost battery life, while also offering a boost in performance. Thermal design power for the chips weighs in at 15W. On reference systems, it claims to have measured "up to 16 hours battery life" with some power-saving configurations capable of lasting for 19 hours.
In addition to this, the new Y-series and U-series chips have built-in support for virtual assistants like Cortana and Alexa. There's also a focus on handling 4K content, both watching and editing it, and Intel also boasts support for Dolby Vision, HDR, and Dolby Atmos if laptop manufacturers wish to add the required hardware. Yes, old PCs are slower than newer ones; what else is new?