Updated to add details of the rumored black Surface Book based on the 8th-generation Core chips, as well as Intel’s desktop processors.
For the first time, Intel’s upcoming 8th-generation Core CPUs will feature quad-core processors aimed at ultrabooks, offering performance as much as 40 percent faster than in the previous generation, the company said.
Intel hasn’t disclosed the prices of its four new 15-watt 8th-gen Core U-series chips, though the company revealed Monday how fast they’ll run: The slowest Core i5-8250U will run at 1.6GHz, with a boost clock of 3.4GHz; the fastest Core i7-8650U will run at 1.9GHz, boosting up to 4.2GHz.
All four U-series chips include four cores and eight threads. PCs using the new 8th-gen Core chips should begin shipping soon, Intel said, with about 80 new system designs ready to go by the 2017 holiday season.
The far more interesting story, at least for enthusiasts, is how Intel has loosened the definition of “generation,” as a slowing Moore’s Law has thrown off the company’s legendary tick-tock manufacturing process. These 8th-generation CPUs are not the upcoming Coffee Lake, as previously expected. Intel characterizes its new chips as a “Kaby Lake refresh,” referring to the current Kaby Lake chips as “prior generation” parts. Here’s another surprise: Both Coffee Lake and the upcoming 10nm Cannon Lake chips will also be part of Intel’s 8th-generation Core branding.
Confused? Let’s sum up: Intel’s 8th-generation Core chips will include three separate chip architectures and two process technologies, all under a single brand name. Whew!