Intel's 7th-Generation Core chip, codenamed Kaby Lake, will bring 4K ultra-high definition video and gaming, as well as 360-degree and virtual reality (VR) content to the mass market, the chip firm has claimed.
The company unveiled the new CPU this month, saying that the microprocessor is already in the hands of PC builders and will power more than 100 2-in-1 devices and notebooks before the year is out.
Kaby Lake is built on Intel's 14nm+ manufacturing process, which offers a 12 per cent performance increase compared with standard 14nm, according to Intel, and is “designed to tackle the immersive internet”.
Karen Regis, director of mobile platform marketing at Intel, said: "Consumers' appetite for rich immersion has become insatiable. People want more interactive experiences. This is what we call the 'immersive industry'. We think this provides a lot of opportunity for end users and the industry alike."
Looking past Intel’s marketing guff, this essentially means that the chip is designed to improve the performance of new(ish) internet-led experiences, such as 4K UHD content, 360-degree video, VR, merged reality (apparently) and e-sports.
For example, Intel's 7th-Generation Core chip's energy efficiency improvements allow it to offer "all-day" (well, 9.5 hours) 4K video playback, whereas its Skylake predecessor supported only 1080p footage.
With this in mind, Intel said that the processor will crop up in more systems with 4K screen options.
The chip also has HEVC-10-bit and VP9 decode capability, and provides smooth 4K UHD playback while multitasking, according to Intel.
Kaby Lake will allow seven hours of playback for 360-degree footage, which Intel said has generated more than 800 million views globally since it launched on Facebook and YouTube. This is 1.7 times longer than the four hours of the 6th-Gen chip.
Intel claimed that Kaby Lake will provide 12 per cent overall productivity gains compared with Skylake, and a 19 per cent increase in web performance.
The chip will also allow slimmer machines, according to Intel, and will show up in 10mm convertibles, sub-10mm clamshells and 7mm fanless detachables.
More functionality can be expected from these skinny devices as Microsoft’s Windows Hello authentication and Thunderbolt support will be included.
Further Kaby Lake SKUs will crop up in January targeting enterprises and enthusiast machines such as desktops PCs, workstations and gaming laptops.
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