Intel demos Skylake silicon; production expected in 2H 2015

IDF — At its developer forum today in San Francisco, Intel confirmed that its 14-nm Broadwell chips will be shipping not just as Core M, but also as Core i3, i5, and i7 processors early next year.

Interestingly, the firm then revealed that its next-generation CPU architecture, code-named Skylake, will be going into production in the second half of the same calendar year. As part of Intel's tick-tock development cadence, Skylake is a revised CPU microarchitecture to be built on the existing 14-nm fabrication process.

Intel's Kirk Skaugen told the crowd that Skylake will bring "significant" increases in performance, battery life, and power efficiency over Broadwell. Unlike Broadwell, Skylake products will be broadly targeted across Intel's traditional PC markets, including high-performance desktops.

Skaugen indicated that Skylake's "health is great" for where it is in the development process. In fact, as Intel has sometimes done at IDF in the past, the firm fired up a demo of Skylake silicon in action.

This demo was a bit different because the Skylake CPU was mounted inside of a laptop chassis, not just in an early development motherboard. One component of the demo was a 3DMark graphics benchmark, which may be a hint at the focus of Skylake's performance improvements. Skaugen also claimed the system can decode and display 4K video in real time.

Skaugen told the assembled developers that Skylake development platforms will be available to them "in high volume" in the first quarter of 2015.

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