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Intel reaffirms plans to release Core M ‘Skylake’ chips this year

Intel Corp. reiterated plans to release a new generation of Core M microprocessors based on the code-named “Skylake” micro-architecture this year. The new chips will have improved performance and lower power consumption than existing Core M central processing units, which should enable more competitive designs.

“As we move into the second half of the year, we will have ‘Skylake’, which is our second-generation 40nm product,” said Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel, at the Goldman Sachs technology and Internet conference. “It is a stunning product [line, which includes] new Core M [chips] enabling better battery life and thinner designs.”

As reported, the code-named “Skylake-Y” microprocessors will have two x86 cores with Hyper-Threading, GT2-class graphics engine with 24 execution units (each execution unit [EU] features two SIMD floating-point units) presumably based on the eighth-generation Intel processor graphics (Gen8) architecture, 3MB or 4MB cache, vPro, TurboBoost, on-package core-logic set, and so on. The new chips will lower thermal design power to just 4W, which is even lower than that of today’s Core M chips.

intel_core_m_broadwell_14nm

Microprocessors featuring the “Skylake” micro-architecture will also sport a number of special-purpose accelerators (e.g., HEVC and VP9 hardware decoders) and support such technologies as AVX 3.2 (512-bit instructions), SHA extensions (SHA-1 and SHA-256, secure hash algorithms), MPX (memory protection extensions), ADX (multi-precision add-carry instruction extensions) and other innovations.

Thanks to lower power consumption, the new chips will enable thinner high-performance tablets, 2-in-1s and other systems that they will power. Improved performance will make “Skylake”-based mobile devices more suitable for serious productivity work and demanding entertainment applications. Mobile client devices featuring “Skylake” central processing units will also support Rezence wireless charging, WiGig connectivity (code-named Pine Peak), optional next-generation XMM726x-series WWAN 4G/LTE modem and so on.

When it comes to Core M “Skylake-Y” systems, Intel pins a lot of hopes on Microsoft’s Windows 10, which is due to be released in the second half of this year as well. While the chip will support Google Chrome and Google Android platforms, x86-powered designs typically use Windows, which is why it is crucial for new devices to boast not only with new hardware, but with new software as well.

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KitGuru Says: It is nice to see that Intel is optimistic about its second-generation Core M “Skylake-Y” processors. However, it remains to be seen what device makers will do with the new silicon. In order to revolutionize user experience, they will have to integrate Rezence, WiGig and other technologies into “Skylake”-powered systems. Unfortunately, since that is going to cost additional money, far not all devices featuring the new chips will also include the latest technologies.

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