Intel's Skylake chips set for PCs and tablets next year

Intel says Skylake will deliver better battery life and performance

Intel shows Skylake PC

Intel shows Skylake PC

Intel showed off the first PC containing a next-generation chip based on the upcoming Skylake architecture, set to be in PCs and tablets in the second half of next year.

A desktop PC with the chip was shown Tuesday running 4K video during an on-stage demonstration at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The manufacturer of the PC was not named by company officials.

"You should expect a significant increase in performance, battery life and power efficiency," said Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel's PC Client Group, during the demonstration.

Processors based on Skylake will succeed chips based on the Broadwell architecture, which has been delayed following manufacturing issues. Broadwell was introduced in tablet-focused Core M chips last week and is in the fifth-generation of Core chips, due to be in mainstream desktops and laptops in the first half of next year.

The release date of Skylake came into question following the Broadwell delay. Skaugen spoke with a high level of confidence and tried to quash doubts about Skylake's release, stressing that it will be in desktops, laptops and tablets by the end of next year.

The Skylake chips will be made using the 14-nanometer process, the same as Broadwell. But it will have a brand new chip design.

Skylake will also pave the way for wire-free computing on PCs, Skaugen said. The company will provide a reference platform that is based on the chip and could reduce cable clutter in PCs and tablets. The goal is to enable wireless charging and data streaming between PCs and peripherals.

The reference design calls for putting a laptop on a dock to enable wireless charging. Intel is making a dock based on WiGig wireless technology -- which is three times faster than Wi-Fi 802.11ac -- so PCs can stream data wirelessly to monitors and exchange data with external storage devices. The new technologies could reduce the need for ports like DisplayPort, HDMI and USB 3.0 in PCs.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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