Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Intel Introduces Skylake Chips For PCs And Tablets, Sets Pace For Wireless Desktops

Intel recently demoed the first PC running a next-generation chip based on the new Skylake architecture. Skylake is set to hit PCs and tablets in the second half of 2015. A desktop PC with the chip was recently shown off by Intel running 4K video during an on-stage demonstration that the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. According to General Manager of Intel's PC Client Group Kirk Skaugen, "You should expect a significant increase in performance, battery life and power efficiency."

Processors based on the Skylake architecture will take the place over the chips based on the Boradwell architecture, which has been delayed following issues with the manufacturer. Broadwell was introduced in Core M chips recently and is the fifth-generation of Core chips focused on tablets. The chip architecture itself is expected to be in mainstream desktops and laptops in the first half of 2015 as well.

Skylake's release date was questioned recently due to the announcement of the Broadwell delay. Skaugen was speaking with a lot of confidence about Skylake and its release and tried to stamp out any rumors and doubts about the architecture's release. In addition to that, Skaugen also stressed that the chip will be in desktops, laptops and tablets by the end of 2015. In addition to that, the Skylake chips will be made using the 14nm process, which is the same one Broadwell uses, though Skylake will have an all new chip design.

Skylake will also set the tone for wire-free computing on PCs, according to Skaugen. Intel will provide a reference platform that is based on the chip, which could reduce cable clutter in both PCs and tablets. Sakugen said that the overall goal is to enable wireless charging and data streaming between PCs and peripherals.

The reference design has a need for a laptop on a dock in order to enable wireless charging. Intel is making a dock that is based on WiGig wireless technology. WiGig is three times faster than WFi 802.11ac. This will allows PCs to stream data wirelessly to monitors and exchange date with external storage devices. In addition to that, the new tech could reduce the need for ports like DisplayPort, HDMI and USB 3.0 in PCs.

Wireless tech is certainly making waves, though there are still limitations that are struggling to catch on. Wireless charging is doing some nice things but it still isn't quite ready to catch on. The thought of having a completely wireless desktop setup sure is sweet, however. Wireless peripherals are already popular but having wireless speakers and monitors would just be so convenient. We'll see how this new Skylake architecture takes off when it is in widespread use next year.