Intel doubles number of cores in its new 8th-generation processors

Photo: Intel
Photo: Intel

SINGAPORE - Intel has doubled the number of processing cores in its latest 8th-generation Core series of processors, boosting their performance by up to 40 per cent.

The chip giant today unveiled four new quad-core processors designed for mobile computing devices, such as laptops and 2-in-1 convertibles. They consist of two high-end Core i7 models and two mid-range Core i5 chips. The top-tier Core i7-8650U runs at a base clock of 1.9GHz, though it can reach up to 4.2GHz in short bursts. The first devices powered by these chips will be available next month.

Because they have four processing cores compared to two in their predecessors, these new processors promise to deliver up to 40 per cent more performance than before, even while multitasking. Despite having more cores, these new chips are still rated at 15W, like existing low-power Intel chips used in portable computing devices. There is a trade-off: the base clock speeds of these chips are lower than the previous generation.

These 8th-generation Intel Core processors, like Intel's previous three generations, are manufactured using a 14nm process. The smaller the process, the more transistors can fit on the same piece of silicon, which improves computing performance.

However, chipmakers like Intel have found it increasingly difficult to shrink the sizes of their processors, though it says upcoming variants in the 8th-generation series will include 10nm chips.

Intel is expected to roll out more powerful desktop and enterprise variants of its 8th-generation processors in the next few months. The chip giant faces renewed competition from rival AMD, which launched its Ryzen series of processors earlier this year.

vinchang@sph.com.sg