Your 60-second guide to what Intel announced at CES. Or in 5 seconds: New laptop chips

And some desktop parts, from 14nm and eight cores to 10nm and four cores


CES Intel announced at this year’s virtual CES tech trade show on Monday new clans of x86-64 processors for desktop and laptops.

“Only Intel has the breadth of products spanning multiple architectures; the large, open ecosystem; sheer scale of manufacturing footprint; and deep technical expertise customers need to unlock opportunities in this era of distributed intelligence,” executive veep Gregory Bryand gushed.

“With an intense focus on execution for our core products and across our broader portfolio, we’re introducing a series of leadership products at CES with more following throughout the year.”

If you can't take much more of that kind of bumpf, don't worry: here’s a quick and plain rundown of what was announced.

11th-gen Intel Core vPro processors

Last year, Intel introduced its Tiger Lake chips for consumer-grade machines. Now it's brought that 11th-gen family to laptops aimed at pro-level users and networks maintained by an IT department by adding its vPro suite. CES is ostensibly for consumers, though Intel's not going to let a press event go to waste.

  • These latest components – two Core i7s and two Core i5s – are 10nm SuperFin parts with integrated Wi-Fi 6/6E, AI math acceleration, and Iris Xe graphics.
  • The top-end vPro i7-1185G7 has four cores, and can run up to 4.8GHz for a single core, or 4.3GHz for all cores, from a base of 3GHz. It has a 12MB L3 cache and support for DDR4-3200 and LPDDR4x-4266 RAM. All four members of this family have four CPU cores each.
  • It ships with Intel’s Hardware Shield, which is said to provide "artificial intelligence threat detection to help stop ransomware and crypto-mining attacks." It also includes Intel's Control Flow Enforcement Technology that's designed to thwart a range of vulnerability exploit techniques (specifically, return-orientated programming and similar.)

Intel also launched its Evo vPro chipset for laptops alongside these new processors as a follow up to the Evo laptop system it touted last year.

Two new Intel Pentium N-series: Silver and Celeron

These processors refresh the Silver and Celeron lines with 10nm components, and are said to have a 35 per increase in overall application performance and a 78 per cent jump in graphics compared to the previous generation. Just like its predecessors, the latest Pentium Silver and Celeron chips are designed for laptops in the education market.

11th Gen Intel Core H35 series for gamers

Chipzilla said it will bring out two more Core i7 Special Edition H35 variations, said to be aimed at gaming laptops. A 10nm Tiger Lake edition with four Willow Cove cores and clock speeds of up to 5GHz, plus PCIe 4 interfaces, are expected to arrive in more than 40 laptop designs from various vendors, including Acer, ASUS, MSI, and Vaio, in the first half of this year.

An eight-core edition will ship this quarter, we're told. It also clocks up to 5GHz, has 20 PCIe 4 lanes for graphics and storage, and Wi-Fi 6E.

Rocket Lake and Alder Lake

Intel teased its Rocket Lake-S processor, which will be marketed as an 11th Gen Intel Core S-series desktop processor. It is a 14nm part, and will be labeled the i9-11900K. It can be clocked up to 5.3GHz (or 4.8GHz if using all cores), we're told, and has eight Cypress Cove CPU cores. It is due to launch in the first quarter of this year.

The much-anticipated Alder Lake will use Intel's 10nm SuperFin node, and include two core architectures on the die: one set for high performance, and one set that's more power efficient, like Arm's big.LITTLE approach. It’s expected to arrive in the second half of 2021. ®


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