06 March 2019
Intel has launched its latest 8th-generation processors – Whiskey Lake U-series chips and the Amber Lake Y-series processors. There are a total of six new chips that have been designed for Ultrabooks and other thin-and-light systems.
The new U-series Whiskey Lake chips offer the two-core, four-thread i3-U145U model clocked at 2.1GHz (which can be boosted to 3.9GHz), the quad-core, eight-thread i5-8265U clocked at 1.6GHz (with a boosted speed of 3.9GHz), and the quad-core, eight-thread i7-8565U, clocked at 1.8GHz (with a boosted speed of 4.6GHz).
The Y-series Amber Lake chips are less powerful, all offering dual-core / four-thread configurations, ranging from 1.1GHz (boosted to 3.4GHz) on the m3-8100Y to 1.3GHz (boosted to 3.9GHz) on the i5-8200Y to 1.5GHz (boosted to 4.2GHz) on the top i7-8500Y.
One of the biggest improvements Intel has made via these new chips is the integration of gigabit Wi-Fi support.
According to Intel, the new gigabit Wi-Fi support could bring dramatically faster internet speeds, especially on the mid-range laptops that may not have been able to offer those kinds of speeds before. Till now, OEMs had to add another chip to the motherboard to complete the Wi-Fi implementation. And now, having an onboard integration of the Wi-Fi controller will help these OEMs to reduce the cost of any additional unit.
Also, Intel has now upgraded the integrated controller so that it could support two USB 3.1 generation 2 ports. For comparison, the previous chipset supported only generation 1. The difference between the generations is speed: generation 1 operates at 5GB per second and generation 2 at 10GB per second.
Also, both the series have support for multiple voice services on the U-series and refinements to improve natural input options like touch and stylus for the Y-series.
The chipset now also includes an integrated Gigabit Ethernet controller. Looking at the minor processor refresh, we can expect some minor upgrades from the OEMs in their coming devices.