Intel Commits to Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform for All Future Driver Releases


Intel has adopted Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) for its latest graphics driver release, and has announced that all drivers going forward will use this new framework. UWP drivers, also known as Windows Modern Drivers, are meant to be single packages that can be installed on any Windows device. This is intended to cover various versions of Windows including the desktop and server editions, as well as all kinds of hardware, from PCs to embedded devices and even future form factors. The distribution model is similar to that of apps and games that are distributed through the Microsoft Store for various editions of Windows on different kinds of hardware. Microsoft began requiring that hardware manufacturers release such drivers with the arrival of the Windows 10 October 2018 update (version 1809, or Redstone 5), although legacy drivers will still be supported.

People who are updating their drivers should be able to do so smoothly, but Intel warns that rolling a UWP driver back to a legacy driver without first completely erasing it could cause system instability. According to Intel’s driver download page, “failure to do so may result in minor to catastrophic issues on your system as well as system instability”. Intel also says that this is particularly an issue for graphics drivers, though it applies to all kinds of hardware. 

Microsoft says that having a common base makes it easier for it to test and validate drivers. UWP drivers can be distributed through Windows Update, and can thus be pushed automatically to users. Hardware vendors can still offer them for download on their own websites, or distribute them in other ways such as through their own driver updater utilities. PC OEMs can supply specific add-on modules which will be installed along with the base driver on their specific devices. UWP drivers can also allow the installation of support software apps, such as a settings utility, through the Microsoft Store.

This driver release in particular, which is officially named Intel Graphics Driver 100.6444, and supports the integrated GPUs in 6th Gen ‘Skylake’ and newer Core processors. It adds Automatic Game Tuning optimisations for 12 recent games including Far Cry 5, PUBG and Rocket League, as well as performance tweaks that could improve laptop battery life and reduce RAM consumption.



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Intel XMM 8160 5G Modem Launched, First Devices Due in First Half of 2020


Intel XMM 8160 5G Modem Launched, First Devices Due in First Half of 2020

Intel 5G modem XMM 8160 5G will allow manufacturers to design smaller and power-efficient devices

Intel on Monday announced its latest Intel XMM 8160 5G multimode modem which is aimed at providing 5G connectivity to devices including mobiles, PCs, and broadband access gateways. With support for peak download speeds of up to 6Gbps per second, this new Intel 5G modem will be made available in the second half of 2019 with commercial devices coming to market in the first half of 2020. The announcement appears to corroborate a recent report that claimed that Apple will stick to Intel cellular modems and will launch the first iPhone with a new 5G modem in 2020.

With its new single-chip multimode baseband capability, the new Intel XMM 8160 5G modem will allow device manufacturers to design smaller and more power-efficient 5G capable devices. It also eliminates the need of installing two separate modems for 5G and legacy connectivity. Intel’s integrated multimode solution supports simultaneous connectivity (EN-DC) for LTE and 5G, allowing for backward compatibility to 4G if 5G networks are not available at any moment or location.

Other than that, Intel’s XMM 8160 5G modem supports the new millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum alongside the sub 6GHz NR support with downloads speeds of up to 6Gbps. The modem has been designed by Intel to scale with global deployments.

A Fast Company report from earlier this month claimed that the first 5G-enabled iPhone from Apple is likely to use an Intel 8161 5G modem, possibly a successor to the one launched this week, and could hit stores in the first half of 2020. Intel is all set to become the sole provider of iPhone modems, if everything goes as planned. The report also states that the upcoming Intel 8161 5G modem will use a 10-nanometre process.

Other than that, many Android OEMs are expected to unveil 5G capable smartphones next year including OnePlus, Samsung, and Xiaomi among others. Apple would thus be looking to step up its cellular game by launching the first 5G capable iPhone as soon as possible.



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Intel Bucks Chip Industry Woes; Powered by PCs, iPhones


Intel Corp beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit and revenue on Thursday, driven by its high-margin data centre business and strong demand for its PC chips, sending its shares up as much as 6.0 percent in extended trading, though those gains later evaporated on concerns about US trade tensions with China.

The company’s 39 percent rise in profits and better-than-expected fourth-quarter forecast should come as a relief for investors after three days of grim news from other major chipmakers that have shaken stock markets globally.

Amazon and Alphabet also reported disappointing earnings on Thursday, sending technology stocks down in after hours trading.

Intel executives do not see any near-term weakness from the trade tensions or Chinese economy, despite the fact that large data centre customers like Baidu Inc and consumer PC factories are located there. But Intel’s share gains in extended trading diminished to less than 1 percent when Interim Chief Executive Bob Swan said trade tensions could be a “headwind” in the longer term next year.

Texas Instruments Inc, STMicroelectronics NV and SK Hynix have all warned of slowing demand for the remainder of the year.

Intel bucked the trend thanks to strong sales of chips for PCs, the second quarter in the row the company benefited from the sector after years of stagnation in that business, and increasing sales of iPhone modem chips.

Swan told Reuters the PC chip strength came from computer purchases by business customers in developed economies as well as gamers building high-end machines. Many businesses are upgrading their PCs because Microsoft Corp has said it will end support for some older versions of Windows in early 2020.

At first, Intel’s results seemed to allay concerns that a trade conflict between the United States and China or a slowdown in the Chinese economy could drag down the global chip business.

“We’ll be working with our domestic Chinese customers and our global [PC manufacturers] to adjust and adapt the supply chain to deal with constraints,” Swan told Reuters in an interview before holding a conference call with analysts. But later on the call, Swan conceded that the trade tensions could a “headwind” for Intel in 2019, though the company has not specified how much sales could suffer.

Also boosting Intel sales this quarter was its business for modems, which connect smartphones to wireless data networks which was up 131 percent in the quarter. The gain resulted from Intel completely replacing rival modem supplier Qualcomm Inc in the most recent models of Apple Inc’s.

But Swan said the modem sales are also pressuring Intel’s margins and contributed to the firm lowering its fourth-quarter operating margin outlook to 34.5 percent.

“That being said, what the modems and memory do for the company is allow us to play in a much larger market,” he said.

Intel forecast current-quarter revenue of $19 billion (roughly Rs. 1.4 lakh crores) and adjusted earnings of $1.22 per share. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $18.40 billion and a profit of $1.09 per share, according to Refinitiv data.

Intel has been increasingly catering to a booming data centre market as revenue from PCs has flattened since 2011.

Revenue from its data centre business rose 25.9 percent to $6.14 billion in the quarter, while analysts were expecting revenue of $5.89 billion, according to financial and data analytics firm FactSet.

Rival Advanced Micro Devices, which has been gaining ground with its new EPYC chips for servers, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday but forecast fourth-quarter revenue below estimates due to falling demand for its graphics chips from cryptocurrency miners.

Revenue in Intel’s client computing business, which caters to PC makers and is still the biggest contributor to sales, also rose 15.5 percent to $10.23 billion, beating FactSet estimates of $9.33 billion.

Intel’s PC sales have trended positive in recent quarters, lifted by stronger demand. Many businesses have started the process of buying new PCs because Microsoft Corp has said it will end support for Windows 7 in early 2020.

“There’s been really strong demand for both the consumer and enterprise for PCs which helped. They also did a great job managing through some supply disruptions,” said Elazar Advisors analyst Chaim Siegel.

Intel recorded a $290 million charge as a result of Micron Technology Inc’s decision to buy out Intel’s portion of a memory fabrication plant in Utah where the two had partnered to build advanced memory chips, a move analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy called “negotiation tactics.” He expects the two to find a way to work together.

Intel’s Swan told Reuters that Intel has retained its rights to the technology and intends to eventually build its own factories to produce the chips.

“Despite their announcement, we will still have access to supply from the fab for the next 18 to 24 months, and that will give us time to explore the alternatives we have to produce the product,” Swan said.

On an conference call with investors, Swan said he expected capital expenditures on memory chips to be “a little bit lower” in 2019 “despite building self sufficiency” after Micron’s move.

Net income rose to $6.40 billion, or $1.38 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 29 from $4.52 billion, or 94 cents per share, a year earlier. https://bit.ly/2Q193je

Excluding items, the company earned $1.40 per share.

Net revenue rose 18.7 percent to $19.16 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting adjusted earnings of $1.15 per share and revenue of $18.11 billion.



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Intel Announces 9th Gen Desktop Core i9-9900K With 8 Cores, New Core X-Series, and Updated Xeon Processor


Intel has taken the wraps off three new 9th Gen desktop Core CPUs for gamers and mainstream users, as well as a new range of Core X-Series CPUs and also a Xeon consumer workstation CPU for extremely demanding content creators. The highlight of the new 9th Gen lineup is the Core i9-9900K with eight cores and a top speed of 5GHz, which the company is calling “the world’s best gaming processor”. Intel also showed off motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock based on a new desktop platform controller, the Z390, to go along with the 9th Gen Core processors.

The new Core i9-9900K marks the first time that Intel is using its Core i9 brand for a mainstream desktop CPU, supplanting the usual top-spec Core i7 model. It has eight cores with Hyper-Threading, for 16 total threads. The base speed is 3.6GHz and the single-core boost speed is 5GHz. The company is calling this the first “broad-volume” 5GHz CPU. There’s also a 16MB cache and dual-channel DDR4 RAM support. The rated TDP is 95W, and Intel points out that compared to the Core i7-8700K, the new Core i9-9900K has more cores with similar frequencies running within the same thermal envelope.

Intel claims that gaming performance is improved by up to 10 percent compared to the previous generation and up to 37 percent compared to a three-year-old PC. Similarly, video editing with Adobe Premiere is up to 34 percent and 97 percent faster respectively, as per Intel’s own testing. The company demonstrated a single PC with a Core i9-9900K running two games in separate virtual machines simultaneously, but gaming while encoding and streaming is a more likely usage scenario. This processor ships in a new dodecahedron-shaped box which Intel thinks buyers will want to show off.

intel 9thgen ndtv intel

Joining this flagship model are the Core i7-9700K and the Core i5-9600K. The Core i7 model interestingly has eight cores, compared to six with the Core i7-8700K, but this model lacks Hyper-Threading which means that the total thread count has actually declined from 12 to eight. This processor has base and boost speeds of 3.6GHz and 4.9GHz, with a 12MB cache. The Core i5-9600K has six cores, also without Hyper-Threading. The base and boost speeds are 3.7GHz and 4.6GHz respectively, and the cache comes in at 9MB.

All three 9th Gen Core desktop CPUs are based on the existing Coffee Lake architecture and use an optimised 14nm manufacturing process that Intel calls 14nm++. All three also feature hardware mitigations for the high-profile Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities that affect multiple generations of Intel CPUs. They have 95W TDPs and are multiplier unlocked for easy overclocking. They all support dual-channel DDR4 RAM and Intel Optane Memory. They will be backwards compatible with existing Intel Z370 motherboards as well as the new Z390 models that will be releasing.

All three are already up for pre-orders, with retail availability beginning on October 19. The Core i9-9900K will cost $488 (approximately Rs. 36,100), the Core i7-9700K is priced at $374 (approximately Rs. 27,667), and the Core i5-9600K will retail for $262 (approximately Rs. 19,381). The Z390 chipset introduces native support for USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) and Wi-Fi 802.11ac with up to Gigabit speed. Motherboards will also be available for preorders globally starting today.

Intel’s new lineup of Core X-series processors consists of seven new models with between eight and 18 cores, for different kinds of users whose workloads might not always be able to take advantage of multiple threads. These processors all use the Skylake-X architecture much like the first-gen X-series. Unlike the previous series, they all support quad-channel DDR4 RAM and have the same 165W TDPs as well as support for up to 68 PCIe lanes including those arising from the chipset.

intel xseries 2018 ndtv intel

The top-end Core i9-9980XE has 18 cores and 36 threads. The base speed is 3GHz and boost speed is 4.45GHz, and Intel’s Turbo Boost Max 3.0 feature pushes that to 4.5GHz on demand. In a direct reference to AMD’s 32-core Threadripper 2990WX, Intel asserted that its use of a unified memory architecture means that cache access is low-latency, uniform, and predictable, because the cache is not split across multiple core complexes.

There’s also the Core i9-9960X with 16 cores, Core i9-9940X with 14 cores, Core i9-9920X with 12 cores , Core i9-9900X with 10 cores (not to be confused with the Core i9-9900K), Core i9-9820X with 10 cores, and Core i7-9800X with 8 cores. Cache amounts scale with core counts, and all models are unlocked. Prices start at $589 (approximately Rs. 43,565) and go up to $1,979 (approximately Rs. 1,46,377).

Finally, Intel disclosed some details of its upcoming 28-core Xeon W-3175X processor which is aimed at workstation-class content creation workloads such as industrial design and cinema-quality video rendering. The single-core boost speed is 4.3GHz, and there’s a 38.5MB cache. This CPU will support up to 512GB of ECC DDR4 RAM in six channels. No further details were announced. This processor will ship in December 2018.

Disclosure: Intel sponsored the correspondent’s hotel stay for the launch event in New York City.



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iPhone XS, XS Max Teardowns Reveal Chips From Intel and Toshiba


Apple’s latest iPhones hit stores around the world on Friday, featuring components made by Intel and Toshiba among others, according to two firms that cracked open the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models.

The studies by repair firm iFixit and chip analysis firm TechInsights, published this week, are among the first detailed teardowns of the phones, which reviews suggested were a subtle upgrade from the tenth anniversary iPhone X.

Supplying parts for Apple’s iPhones is considered a coup for chipmakers and other manufacturers. While Apple publishes a broad list of suppliers each year, it does not disclose which companies make which components and insists its suppliers keep quiet.

That makes teardowns the only way of establishing the breakdown of parts in the phones, although analysts also recommend caution in drawing conclusions because Apple sometimes uses more than one supplier for a part. What is found in one iPhone may not be found in others.

Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

The breakdowns listed no parts from Samsung and no chips from Qualcomm.

Samsung in the past has supplied memory chips for Apple’s iPhones and was believed by analysts to be the sole supplier of the costly displays for last year’s iPhone X.

Qualcomm has been a supplier of components to Apple for years, but the two have been locked in a wide-ranging legal dispute in which Apple has accused Qualcomm of unfair patent licensing practices.

US-based Qualcomm, the world’s largest mobile phone chipmaker, has in turn accused Apple of patent infringement.

Qualcomm said in July that Apple intended to solely use “competitor’s modems” in its next iPhone release.

The iFixit teardown showed iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max used Intel’s modem and communication chips instead of Qualcomm’s hardware.

The latest iPhones also had DRAM and NAND memory chips from Micron Technology and Toshiba, according to iFixit’s study. Previous teardowns of the iPhone 7 had shown DRAM chips made by Samsung in some models.

TechInsights’ dissection of a 256-gigabyte storage capacity iPhone Xs Max, on the other hand, revealed DRAM from Micron but NAND memory from SanDisk, which is owned by Western Digital and works with Toshiba for its supply of NAND chips.

Toshiba’s chip unit Toshiba Memory was purchased by a private equity-led consortium earlier this year that Apple joined.

In the past, TechInsights found Apple used different DRAM and NAND suppliers in the same generation of phones.

“For memory – Apple obviously competes with Samsung and wants to reduce their reliance as much as possible – so totally consistent that we’d see Toshiba for NAND flash storage and Micron for DRAM,” Morningstar analyst Abhinav Davuluri said.

Jim Morrison, Vice President of TechInsights, said in an interview that it appeared that one of Dialog Semiconductor’s chips had been replaced in the iPhone XS Max by one of Apple’s own chips, but it was not yet known whether that also applied to the iPhone XS.

Dialog declined to comment. In May, the company said Apple had cut orders for its chips.

IFixit and TechInsights technicians also found components from companies including Skyworks Solutions, Broadcom, Murata, NXP Semiconductors, Cypress Semiconductor, Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics.

© Thomson Reuters 2018



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Asus Vivobook 15 X510 With 15.6-Inch NanoEdge Display, Intel Optane Memory Launched in India at Rs. 45,990


Asus Vivobook 15 X510 With 15.6-Inch NanoEdge Display, Intel Optane Memory Launched in India at Rs. 45,990

Asus has launched the Intel Optane Memory equipped VivoBook X510 laptop in India

Asus on Wednesday announced the launch of Vivobook 15 X510 equipped with Intel Optane memory in India. It is a Windows 10 laptop powered by the eighth generation Intel Core i5 processor. The VivoBook 15 X510 features 4GB of RAM and 16GB of Intel Optane memory. Asus has equipped the laptop with a GeForce Nvidia MX130 graphics. Claimed to have been designed for daily computing and entertainment, the Asus VivoBook 15 X510 comes with 1TB of HDD storage and it also offers one-touch access via the fingerprint sensor. In terms of availability, the Asus Vivobook 15 X510 can be purchased offline via Asus exclusive stores and other retail outlets. It has been priced at Rs. 45,990 in India.

The Asus VivoBook 15 X510 sports a 15.6-inch full-HD NanoEdge display and comes with 7.8mm slim bezel and 80 percent screen-to-body ratio. It supports 178-degree wide-view technology ensuring optimum colours and contrast, even when viewed from sharp angles, Asus claims. It weighs at 1.7 kilograms and measures 36.1×24.3×1.94cm. Asus claims that the VivoBook 15 X510 offers up to 8 hours of battery life and comes with fast charging support. It is claimed to charge up to 60 percent in just 49 minutes, thanks to Asus SuperBattery technology. Asus said that it provides 3 times longer lifespan than standard lithium-ion cylinder batteries.

As mentioned, the laptop is powered by Intel Core i5 8250U processor and runs Windows 10 Home. The VivoBook 15 X510 is equipped with 4GB DDR4 2800MHz SDRAM onboard memory and 16GB Intel Optane memory.

Commenting on the launch, Arnold Su, ROG and PC Head, Asus India said, “We are delighted to announce VivoBook X510 in India. It’s the first Asus laptop in the line up to have Intel Optane Memory. It accelerates performance enhancing multi-tasking ability with zero lag experience. The aesthetically appealing range of laptop combines the effortless performance with powerful features. Perfect for the generation that’s always on the move, the VivoBook X510 offers immersive viewing, longer battery life and super fast charging. We are optimistic that the young professionals and college goers would respond unequivocally to our latest offering and look forward to a positive response.”



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Asus at IFA 2018: ZenBook 13, 14, 15, ZenBook Pro 14, ZenBook Flip 13, 15 With 8th Gen Intel Core Processors Launched


Asus on Thursday announced new laptops in its ZenBook portfolio at its Media Day event at IFA 2018. The Taiwanese company launched its latest laptops in its ZenBook series, ZenBook Flip series, and ZenBook Pro series. Powered by the latest 8th generation Intel Core processor, the new products include ZenBook 13 (UX333), ZenBook 14 (UX433), ZenBook 15 (UX533), ZenBook Flip 13 (UX362), ZenBook Flip 15 (UX562), ZenBook Pro 14 (UX480). Also announced was the latest version of ZenBook S (UX391FA), and the new Zen AiO 27 (Z272) all-in-one PC. All new ZenBook models along with the latest ROG lineup will be showcased at the trade fair from August 31 to September 5. For now, no prices have been revealed by the company.

Asus ZenBook 13, ZenBook 14, and ZenBook 15

Touted to be the “world’s most compact laptops”, the ZenBook 13, ZenBook 14, and ZenBook 15 (seen above) now come with a new frameless ASUS NanoEdge display. They feature ‘ultraslim’ bezels on all four sides with up to 95 percent screen-to-body ratio. In terms of design, the laptops feature an ErgoLift hinge mechanism that tilts the keyboard for comfortable typing. Asus claims that these laptops have the world’s “smallest footprint” in its class.

ZenBook 13 and ZenBook 14 also introduce a new NumberPad, which is a LED-illuminated numeric keypad built into the touchpad. The ZenBook 13, 14, and 15 are powered by the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor with integrated Gigabit Wi-Fi optimised for Intel Wireless-AC 9560. They are also equipped with up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics.

Asus ZenBook Flip 13 and ZenBook Flip 15

Coming to the ZenBook Flip 13 and ZenBook Flip 15, Asus claims they are the “world’s most compact convertible laptops”. They sport 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch displays but still are 10 percent smaller than the previous models. Both the ZenBook Flip 13 and Flip 15 feature four-sided frameless NanoEdge displays with a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio. They come with a 360-degree ErgoLift hinge that lifts and tilts the keyboard into a comfortable typing position, Asus says. Both the ZenBook Flip models feature ‘fast face login’ with Windows Hello. The ZenBook Flip 13 also features the new NumberPad.

asus zenbook flip 13 15 asus_zenbook_flip_13_15

Asus ZenBook Flip 13, ZenBook Flip 15

The ZenBook Flip 15 and 13 are powered by up to the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processors featuring integrated Gigabit Wi-Fi optimised for Intel Wireless-AC 9560. The ZenBook Flip 15 is equipped with the Nvidia GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics and a Pantone Validated display for accurate colour rendering. Both thee models bear a camera that is said to be designed specifically for use with mixed-reality applications.

Asus ZenBook Pro 14
The Asus ZenBook Pro 14 comes with a new ScreenPad. The highlight of the laptop is said to be its lightweight design. It is powered by up to the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor featuring integrated Gigabit Wi-Fi and up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Qdiscrete graphics. The laptop features an all-aluminium design and comes with an ErgoLift hinge. It sports a 14-inch NanoEdge full-HD display with ‘ultraslim’ bezels. Also, the display is Pantone Validated to ensure colour accuracy. The ZenBook Pro 14 features “fast face login” and built-in support for Windows Cortana and Amazon Alexa voice services.

asus zenbook pro 14 ifa asus

Asus ZenBook Pro 14

Asus ScreenPad
Asus has introduced new apps for the ScreenPad, which is a touchpad available exclusively on ZenBook Pro 15 and the new ZenBook Pro 14. The new apps include Adobe Sign, Handwriting, and SpeechTyper. Also, Asus says that the updated Sync app will make it easier for users to utilise a smartphone with the ZenBook Pro. The improved Extender Mode, on the other hand, turns the ScreenPad into a secondary Windows display for dual-screen productivity. Users can download the new apps and updates via the ScreenPad settings menu.

asus zenbook pro 14 screenpad asus

ScreenPad in action

Asus ZenBook S (UX391FA)
Coming to the new ZenBook S (UX391FA), it is a premium 13.3-inch ultraportable Windows 10 laptop. Asus has upgraded it with power-saving components that are said to provide a battery life of up to 20 hours. It is powered by the latest 8th generation Intel Core processor and meets the MIL-STD 810G standard.

Asus Zen AiO 27
The Asus Zen AiO is an all-in-one (AIO) that is said to have been designed for content creators and graphics professionals. Asus says that the new device comes with has an updated design that houses all the system components in the base, instead of behind the display. This, the company claims, results in improved cooling, easier upgrades, and a slimmer display housing.

The new AIO is powered by an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor coupled with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics. The Zen AiO 27 also features Qi wireless charging built into its base for fast charging of mobile devices. The AIO sports a 27-inch 4K Ultra HD NanoEdge Pantone Validated display with a 100 percent sRGB colour gamut and a Delta-E colour accuracy value of less than 3.0.



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Intel Announces New ‘Amber Lake’, ‘Whiskey Lake’ 8th Gen Core CPUs for Slim Laptops


Almost exactly a year after kicking off its 8th Generation Core lineup, Intel has made the unusual move of announcing a second family of CPUs based on a refreshed architecture, but under the same 8th Gen umbrella. The new CPUs will fill out Intel’s 15W portfolio for Ultrabooks, internally known as the U-series. There’s also a new 5W Y-series portfolio for tablets and extremely thin and light 2-in-1s.

Intel is focusing on connectivity and battery life rather than core performance with this new launch, although the company does also promise significant speed improvements. The main features for the new U-series are integrated support for USB 3.1 (Gen 2) and Gigabit Wi-Fi through a new platform controller; an improved audio DSP for voice assistants; and up to 16 hours of battery life per charge. Real-world performance will of course depend on how laptop manufacturers decide to implement these new processors. New or refreshed laptops from all major brands are expected to be unveiled at the annual IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, and come to market in time for the US holiday shopping season. 

There will be three new U-series CPU models, all based on an architecture with the new codename ‘Whiskey Lake’. The Core i3-8145U has two cores with Hyper-Threading and runs at between 2.1GHz and 3.9GHz, with a 4MB cache. The Core i5-8265U has four cores with Hyper-Threading and has base and boost speeds of 1.6GHz and 3.9GHz respectively, with a 6MB cache. The top-end Core i7-8565U also has four cores and eight threads, and will run at between 1.8GHz and 4.6GHz, with an 8MB cache.

intel ifa2018 whiskeylake intel

The other part of this announcement concerns new ‘Amber Lake’ Y-series CPUs. These will be the first 5W models within the 8th Gen Core family, owing to repeated delays with Intel’s beleaguered 10nm Cannonlake CPUs which were originally scheduled for release in 2016. The extremely low-power Y-series has therefore not been refreshed since Intel’s 7th Gen ‘Kaby Lake’ parts launched in late 2016. All Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake processors have been manufactured using the latest version of Intel’s 14nm process.

All Y-series parts announced today have two cores with Hyper-Threading, and 4MB caches. The Core m3-8100Y continues with Intel’s Core m branding and has base and boost speeds of 1.1GHz and 3.4GHz. The Core i5-8200Y and Core i7-8500Y are not marketed under the Core m name because Intel says their performance should not be underestimated by buyers. The former runs at between 1.3GHz and 3.9GHz, while the latter has base and boost speeds rated at 1.5GHz and 4.2GHz.

The announcement of these new CPUs, right before IFA 2018, comes at a time when Intel was expected to begin rolling out its 9th Gen Core CPUs. Last year’s surprise announcement of new U-series laptop CPUs based on a very slightly updated ‘Kaby Lake Refresh’ architecture effectively splintered its generation-based naming convention between multiple architectures for the first time. Now, there will be even more architectures and a second wave of U-series CPUs within the same generation even though a full year has passed.

Intel is still expected to kick off its 9th Gen Core rollout very soon, with the widely leaked octa-core Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K models, a six-core Core i5-9660K, and a refreshed Z390 platform controller. As per the latest leaks and rumours, Intel will increase core counts but restrict Hyper-Threading to its new Core i9 offering, lowering the thread count for Core i7 models for the first time. The new Core i9 will also be based on the same mainstream architecture rather than being part of the high-end Core X-series.



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Xiaomi Mi Notebook With Up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor, 8GB RAM Launched


Xiaomi Mi Notebook With Up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor, 8GB RAM Launched

Xiaomi Mi Notebook comes weeks after the launch of the Mi Notebook Pro 2.

Xiaomi has expanded its range of notebooks by launching the Mi Notebook in China – to recall, thus far, the company has Mi Notebook Air, Mi Notebook Pro, and Mi Gaming Laptop series. The new notebook has up to eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processors as well as 128GB of SSD storage alongside a 1TB of hard drive. Xiaomi has also provided a 15.6-inch display and a dual-fan cooling system. Unlike the previously launched Mi Notebook Pro 2 and the Mi Gaming Laptop that had Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, the new Mi Notebook comes with an Nvidia GeForce MX110 GPU that comes with 2GB of video RAM. The notebook also includes up to 8GB of RAM to support regular multitasking use cases.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook price

The Xiaomi Mi Notebook price in China has been set at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 40,700) for the 4GB RAM model that is powered by an eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, while the Core i5 model with 8GB of RAM comes with a price tag of CNY 4,499 (roughly Rs. 45,800). Customers have also been provided with another 8GB RAM variant that is powered by an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor at a price of CNY 4,999 (roughly Rs. 50,900). All the three variants will go on sale in China starting August 28. Details about the price and availability of the Mi Notebook in other markets including India haven’t been revealed yet.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook specifications, features

The Xiaomi Mi Notebook features a 15.6-inch full-HD anti-glare display that has a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees. There is up to eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, coupled with Nvidia GeForce MX110 GPU that has 2GB of dedicated memory and 4GB and 8GB RAM options. The notebook has a full-functional keyboard along with a separate numeric keypad. To make the Mi Notebook sufficient for your daily tasks, Xiaomi has provided a dual-fan layout that comes along with a 2+2 heat-sinking pipe. The notebook also has 3W stereo speakers that are powered by Dolby surround sound.

In terms of connectivity, the Xiaomi Mi Notebook has an array of ports that include an HDMI port, two USB 3.0, a USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone, and an Ethernet port. The notebook also has a memory card slot. Further, the model has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It comes in two colour options, including Deep Gray and White.



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Asus ROG Zephyrus S Gaming Laptop With 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Launched: Specifications, Features


Taiwanese electronics giant Asus has unveiled its latest offering in the ROG gaming category – the Asus ROG Zephyrus S. Available in two models, GX531GS and GX531GM, the new Zephyrus S runs Windows 10 Home/ Windows 10 Pro out-of-the-box, sports up to 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM graphics chip, bears speakers powered by Smart AMP technology, and is certified VR-ready. Both models of the Asus ROG Zephyrus S have been classified under the AAA Gaming category suggesting that they are designed for high-end PC gaming. 

Pricing and availability details of this new Asus ROG laptop have not yet been revealed by the brand. Much like its predecessor, the ROG Zephyrus S has a rather unusual touchpad placement, to the right of the keyboard. Let’s get into the specifications.

The Asus Zephyrus S sports a 15.6-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS-level panel with narrow bezels, a refresh rate of 144Hz, response time of 3ms, and 100 percent sRGB colour gamut. Both variants are powered by the 8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor, coupled with 8GB of onboard DDR4 2,666MHz RAM, which is expandable up to 16GB on the GX531GS and up to 24GB on the GX531GM. As for storage, there are 2 512GB SSDs (M.2 NVMe PCIE 3.0) on the former, and 256GB/ 512GB/ 1TB x4 SSD of the same kind on the latter.

As for graphics, the GS model comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM and the GM model has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM. Both models come with a chiclet-style backlit keyboard, marked WASD keys, 4 zones of RGB backlight mode, 1.2mm travel distance, and Aura Sync technology. 

In terms of audio, the Asus ROG Zephyrus S features 2X2W external speakers with Smart AMP technology and an array microphone. Connectivity ports include a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, two USB 2.0 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.0, a Kensington lock, and one 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth v5.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2X2. Dimensions are 360x268x14.95-15.75mm and weight is 2.1kg. 

Software features include Armoury Crate, GameFirst V, Splendid, Sonic Studio, Aura Core, and XSplit Gamecaster.



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