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  • Soon Kai Hong

CES 2021: Intel Announces 4 New Families Of Processors

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

If you own a PC, be it a desktop or laptop, it is very likely to be powered by an Intel processor at its core. But in recent years, AMD has been making great strides and while Intel still has majority of the pie, their slice has been getting larger. So here at CES 2021, Intel is poised to take that all back.

11th-Gen Intel Core vPro + Intel Evo vPro

For the business side of things, Intel is introducing the 11th-Gen Intel vPro platform, aimed to offer the best performance possible for a business processor for thin-and-light laptops while providing comprehensive hardware-based security.

First off, the new processors will be built on Intel’s new 10-nanometer (nm) SuperFin technology, include Intel Iris Xe graphics, as well as include integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6/6E (Gig+). When compared to the competition, users can expect up to 23% faster productivity when using apps like Office 365 and more than 50% faster office productivity while on a video conference call. When coming from the previous generation chip, it will provide 8x better AI performance and even up to 2.3x faster creation and video editing.

But what makes vPro really different is the inclusion of Intel Hardware Shield and Intel Control Flow Enforcement Technology. The former is a comprehensive security system that is built on the hardware level and combines the industry’s first silicon-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) threat detection, which will help stop ransomware and crypto-mining attacks. The latter is a new technology which will help prevent and shut down an entire class of such malicious attacks that have always been near impossible to prevent using just software-based solutions.

Intel also showcased Intel Control Flow Enforcement Technology in action using two systems side by side, one powered by AMD and the other by Intel vPro. With an example of a hidden control flow attack behind an advertisement on a webpage, the laptop powered by AMD experiences the attack instantaneously and had it not have a custom script to show the attack, would have been completely undetected running in the background. As for the Intel vPro system, the connection is immediately severed the moment the link was pressed, thus preventing the attack.

Alongside Core vPro, Intel also launched the Evo vPro platform whereby laptop designs verified on the platform will almost always be stylish, thin and light and provide the best experience possible with additional features such as instant wake and extended battery life.

More than 60 new vPro and Evo vPro laptops from different manufacturers should enter the market and be available this year, ranging from Core i5 to Core i7, including new Intel Evo Chromebooks. One example which Intel showed is the new Latitude 9420 from Dell which features ExpressSign-in 2.0 with Intel Visual Sensing Technology.

Intel Pentium Silver & Intel Celeron

Not too often do you hear about Intel Pentiums and Celerons, but this segment is getting a huge upgrade, as it should when the education market is its core target audience and schools are trying to encourage learning from home.

The new Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron processors will be built on the new 10nm architecture, which should deliver up to 35% better overall application performance and up to 78% better graphics performance gen-on-gen.

Intel also showcased the new Intel Pentium processor going up against the MediaTek 8183 processor in a scenario where a video conference call is running in the background while using the Thinkercad app. A very common experience that a student would experience today, as Intel puts it. The short test ended pretty quickly with the Intel Pentium claiming up to 1.3x faster performance compared to the competition.

The new Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron processors will be on Windows, Chrome and Linux devices this year.

11th-Gen Intel Core H-Series Mobile Processors (Tiger Lake-H)

Building upon the family of 11th-Gen Intel Core mobile processors that are already present in thin and light laptops, Intel is now introducing the new 11th-Gen Intel Core H-Series that will be targeted for heavier workloads such as creatives and gaming, while pushing the boundaries of what is possible for a high-end gaming experience in laptops as thin as 16 millimetres.

At the forefront of this series will be the Intel Core i7 Special Edition 4-core processor with clock speeds up to 5GHz Turbo. These new H35 processors will feature the latest Gen 4 PCIe architecture for connecting to the latest discrete graphics from either AMD or NVIDIA, provide lower latency than ever before and are specifically targeted for ultraportable gaming.

Intel even showed a direct comparison against their main competitor, AMD. With two nearly identical systems with the only difference being the processors, AMD R7 vs Intel Core i7, the Intel system was able to finish the render about 1.3x faster despite having just four cores against AMD’s eight. This is thanks to not just the newer architecture, but because of integrated enhanced AI capabilities as well.

As for gaming, Intel showcased the Intel Core i7 Special Edition 4-core processor paired with an upcoming NVIDIA GPU, running the Beyond Light expansion from Destiny 2 at UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) on High settings. No specific numbers or any kind of statistics was shown on screen, but gameplay definitely does look really smooth.

Intel also announced an 8-core processor that will start shipping later this quarter, targeted towards those who want desktop-calibre gaming and creation performance in your laptop. It would feature clock speeds of up to 5GHz, 20 lanes of PCIe Gen 4.0 for blazing-fast storage and support for the latest discrete graphics, as well as Intel Killer Wi-fi 6E (Gig+).

11th-Gen Intel Core S-Series Desktop Processors (Rocket Lake-S)

Your next desktop upgrade might just have gotten nearer. Aimed to launch in the first quarter of 2021, the new 11th-Gen Intel Core S-Series desktop processors, codenamed ‘Rocket Lake-S’, is aimed to give the performance that gamers, creatives, enthusiasts and more require from their desktop systems.

Built on a new core architecture, the new processors will feature a 19% improvement in instructions per cycle gen over gen, with the Intel Core i9-11900K at the top end. The new processors will also have support for 20 PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes off the CPU, as well as new AI capabilities.

Intel also revealed a snippet of their next-generation processor codenamed ‘Alder Lake’, which they claim will be their most power-scalable system-on-chip. Due in the latter half of 2021, Alder Lake combines both high-performance cores and high-efficiency cores into a single product and will also be built on a further new, enhanced version of the 10nm SuperFin technology.


Written by Soon Kai Hong

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