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Intel Showcases Solar Eclipse in Launch of 8th Gen Core Processors

Leading up to today's solar eclipse, Intel's client computing team celebrated the launch of its new Intel 8th Gen Core i5 and i7 processors, which will fuel the next crop of PCs coming this fall for both the consumer holiday buying season and commercial and enterprise upgrades.  Designed to give a major boost to its entire line of mobile, desktop, commercial and high-performance PC processors, including the release of a quad-core processor in a thin and light notebook form factor, the company used today's historic total eclipse to showcase how it can enable virtual reality experiences.

Gregory Bryant, senior vice president of Intel's Client Computing Group, this morning gave a 15-minute live description with key members of his engineering team, talked up key characteristics of the new processor, which, like previous upgrades, offers a 40 percent performance boost over the previous 7th Gen Core processors. Intel also claims anywhere from a two-time boost over PCs over five years old. The company also said a system with the new processors can view a 4K UHD video locally on a single charge.

Systems with the new processors will also allow users to create a slide show up to 48 percent faster with the 8th Gen processor versus a five-year-old device and render an edited video that would take 45 minutes on that same machine in just three minutes, Bryant said in a blog post announcing the new processors. Bryant also noted it is optimized for Microsoft's new Windows Mixed Reality technology coming to the Windows 10 Creators Fall Update and use Thunderbolt 3 external graphics, up to 4K, for advanced gaming and virtual reality.

Intel is releasing the new processors over the coming months in stages, starting with its U-Series mobile CPUs in the coming weeks with new PCs from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus and Acer. "We've put more performance and capabilities than ever into our mobile 15-watt Core i5 and i7 processors, we've added two powerful and power efficient cores and we've created a quad-core processor that fits into the same tiny package as its dual-core predecessor," said Karen Regis, Intel's mobile marketing manager, speaking during the brief broadcast event. The initial release will be based on Intel's existing 14 nanometer form factor chipsets but the company is moving to 10 nanometer processors in the future.

Later this fall, Intel will ship its S-Series processors for desktop and all-in-one PCs, followed by the Y-Series processors intended for fanless detachable tablets and finally the H-Series for high-performance laptops and mobile workstations.

Timing the launch with the solar eclipse was indeed a publicity effort. Nevertheless, the company used the backdrop of the eclipse, to showcase its capabilities for advanced photography. Bryant said the company plans to release a virtual reality experience created by artist and photogrammetrist Greg Dowling, who is creating a virtual reality experience for the solar eclipse in Jackson Hole, Wyo. One of the challenges Downing said he faces with the eclipse is the very rapid change in light with only two minutes to take all of the photographs needed. "The advancement of the amount of compute that we can throw at a problem has completely transformed what we've been able to do with photogrammetry," Downing said. "The eclipse is a very rare and wonderful natural phenomenon that we hope to allow the rest of the world to see that missed it. We'll use everything you can give us for processing power."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 08/21/2017 at 12:12 PM


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