Intel Strengthens Mobile Segment With New Skylake Processors

Intel Tuesday launched a bevy of mobile processors as part of its sixth-generation Skylake platform, revealing the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company's growing reach beyond its traditional scope in the PC market.

The new processors, which are scalable across multiple segments including mobile workstations, notebooks, 2-in-1s and small form factors, promise two times better productivity at one-quarter the thermal power for devices, according to Intel.

"While SkyLake has been architected with a dynamic range from tablets to workstations, I see the biggest leaps in fanless notebooks at 4.5 watts. I think this category will set the pace for where all notebooks will go," said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, a leading tech analyst firm based in Austin, Texas. "These fanless, convertible notebooks are as thin as a tablet and have as much battery life of a tablet, but the performance to run full PC applications with full multitasking."

[Related: Intel Developer Forum: 10 Ways Skylake And Windows 10 Work Together To Drive Upgrades]

Sponsored post

Intel's Y-Series includes low-power, 4.5-watt Core i5 and Core i7 processors for 2-in-1 detachables and tablets.

Skylake's U-Series processors, meanwhile, are lower-power mobile chips that target thin and light notebooks, portable all-in-ones and mini PCs. These processors range in thermal display power from 15 watts at the low end to 28 watts at the high end, and feature 1356 BGA packaging.

Intel's H-Series, with 45-watt processors, are the best for mobile performance. These processors are intended for mobile workstations and are packaged to be compatible with 1440 motherboard sockets.

System builder partners praised Intel's work in the 2-in-1 space, where the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has seen momentum. The lucrative 2-in-1 market has grown more than four times since 2013 and has seen lowered average prices from $900 in 2013 to $650 today, according to Intel.

"As the Skylake family grows, we will continue to immediately move our existing PC platforms to this space, including our notebook lines," said Randy Copeland, president and CEO of Velocity Micro, a system builder and Intel partner based in Richmond, Va. "For small form factors like our Raptor Z40 and Z30, it's a perfect marriage because of the increased performance with lower thermal requirements."

And the market presents an important partner opportunity as well. According to Intel, customers are refreshing their 2-in-1s eight to 12 months faster in 2015 than two years ago.

Skylake delivers energy efficiency and high performance through Core IPC (instructions per clock) performance improvements and increased tablet-like IO (input/output) integration.

The new processors also support other important technologies that can change how users interact with their devices. Intel RealSense, for example, is a spatial recognition feature that can enable facial recognition for device users.

Intel's WiGig, Wireless Gigabit docking technology, is another extension of the Skylake platform that allows seamless and wireless docking to networks.

The Skylake processors will come to market in a staggered rollout. While no official release date has been revealed, Intel said it expects Skylake systems to be on the market during the holiday season.