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Tick-tock – Intel’s Skylake ‘tock’ is here
Broadwell, Intel’s fifth generation processor, is out and generation six, Skylake, is officially here as of August 2015. In line with Intel’s tick-tock strategy, the Broadwell ‘tick’ saw the processer die shrink from 22nm to 14nm. With the Broadwell series Y, U, H and C releases, we get better performance and graphics, improved battery life, tighter security and the start of a wire free experience. What else does Broadwell bring and should users wait for Skylake to purchase?
Says George Lodewick, Dell commercial desktop and notebook specialist at distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC): “The Broadwell release was delayed due to manufacturing issues so we have the Skylake release literally treading on its tail. Broadwell brings quantum improvements on a number of fronts and these are definitely worth having now if a technology refresh or upgrade is needed. However, Skylake will bring specific performance and feature improvements, such as a better wire-free laptop experience with wire-free charging – something some users may feel is worth the wait.”
How do the Broadwell advancements play out?
Security – Intel’s strategy is to make security more integrated and personal and do away with passwords through multi-factor biometric authentication. The “You Are the Password” (YAP for Consumer devices) strategy uses biometrics – the RealSense 3D camera to facilitate identification through the face of the user, as well as voice and fingerprint technology – to make the user the pass key.
Says Vince Resente of Intel South Africa: “Broadwell has reinvigorated mobile computing. The Broadwell ‘tick’ has brought ultra-low power, fanless designs. This makes for ultra-mobile devices that provide users with performance similar to traditional notebooks. With the Skylake ‘tock’ will come a microarchitecture redesign that will bring even greater CPU and GPU performance gains, further reduced power consumption and deliver a fuller wire-free experience. Skylake-based laptops, expected in Q4, 2015, will use wireless technology for charging, data transfer and for communication with peripherals.”
Platforms and processors
The Broadwell platform choices are Intel Core and Intel Core vPro, which reach across Core M, a chip that draws between 4.5 and 10 watts and is suitable for tablets, and Core i (i3, i5, i7) chips for laptops and hybrids. The Intel Small Business Advantage platform is for premium notebooks and mini desktops (i7). The processors have arrived in four main series: Y, U, H and R & C. Skylake will release variants Y, U, H and S.
Skylake-S desktop chips, the first of the generation six processors, is set to be released in August 2015. The Core M/Skylake-Y, high-performance mobile Core i-series Skylake-U and Skylake-H, are expected to be released from September 2015.
The next tick is a transition to 10nm in approximately 2017 with Cannonlake. Will the tick-tock stop?
Says Resente: “Moore’s Law is more than 50 years old. It is based on a statement made by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, in 1965.
It’s been 50 years since Gordon Moore, one of the founders of the microprocessor company Intel, gave us Moore’s Law. This says that the complexity of computer chips ought to double roughly every two years. To date it continues to hold true.
Will something other than silicon be needed to reach the 7nm tick? Time will tell. Meantime, we have Skylake and a wire-free future to contemplate.