Intel unveils 4 processor families and 500 new PCs coming in 2021
January 11, 2021
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Intel is aiming for a comeback, and today, it unveiled four new processor families that it will deliver in 2021.

Those four processor families will have 50 different processor variants and will be used in more than 500 PCs being introduced this year, the company said at the CES 2021 virtual trade show.

In a virtual event, Intel launched the 11th Gen Intel Core vPro platform and Intel Evo vPro platform, both with a focus on hardware-based security.

The big chipmaker also introduced the new N-series 10-nanometer Intel Pentium Silver and Intel Celeron processors that offer lower prices and good performance for media, collaboration, and education machines. And Intel unveiled a new line of 11th Gen Intel Core H-series mobile processors for gaming platforms that deliver a balance of mobility and enthusiast-level gaming.

Intel executive Gregory Bryant also previewed products coming to market later in 2021, including 11th Gen Intel Core S-series desktop processors (code-named “Rocket Lake-S”) and its next-generation processors (code-named “Alder Lake”).

One thing Intel probably won’t be bragging about is having the world’s fastest processor, as rival Advanced Micro Devices is doing that these days. Intel didn’t talk about exact performance for the chips being announced, though it did show them running some demos.


Above: Intel’s latest vPro processors.

Image Credit: Intel

Intel said its 11th Gen Intel Core vPro is the best platform for business customers, particularly for thin-and-light laptops. Intel has 27 new processors for this category, said company VP Josh Newman.

“Intel is focusing on making [the PC] the best tool for people to stay connected, and do the things that matter most to them,” Newman said on a press call. “The result is more than 500 new designs for laptops and desktops that will come to market in 2021. Performance matters, not just when plugged in. But when unplugged and on battery.”

In addition to the processors, Intel provides its “hardware shield” for security, as well as AI-based threat detection to stop ransomware and crypto-mining attacks.

It is also equipped with Intel Control Flow Enforcement Technology, which can shut down a class of attacks that long evaded software-only solutions. Intel says this family of chips will have 2.3 times faster creation and video editing compared to the previous generation, as well as 23% faster productivity app processing than the competition with apps like Office 365. Newman said that rival AMD’s performance drops by up to 38% for productivity and up to 48% for for when for web browsing, when running on battery.

Intel's Gregory Bryant

Above: Intel’s Gregory Bryant, executive vice president of the client computing group.

Image Credit: Intel

“We’re focusing on what matters most to business users,” Newman said. “And we’re looking at performance and experience on the applications that matter most to them, namely, productivity, collaboration, and creation.”

Intel also launched the Intel Evo vPro platform, a laptop-based platform for business users. Intel said more than 60 new laptops from top manufacturers will be available this year, combining the security and manageability of vPro and the mobility of the Intel Evo. Additionally, Intel announced Intel Evo Chromebooks, enabling a new class of premium Chromebooks.

“Demand for Chromebooks has exploded in the past year,” Newman said. “It’s the highest-performing PC segments. Overall, we saw 122% growth.”

N-series Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron

Above: Intel is going after the education markets with Celeron and Pentium Silver.

Image Credit: Intel

For students, Intel introduced new N-series Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron processors with a balance of performance, media, and collaboration for education systems. Full told, Intel has six CPUs for education markets.

The processors are designed on Intel’s 10nm architecture, delivering up to 35% better overall application performance and up to 78% better graphics performance from the previous generation.

It focuses on smooth application performance, multitasking, and video conferencing. Up to 30% of U.S. schoolchildren still lack internet or laptops for learning, and the pandemic has only exacerbated that.

During the last 15 years, Intel has invested more than $1 billion globally in education, including training for more than 15 million teachers. Last April, Intel launched the Online Learning Initiative and has provided hundreds of thousands of devices, as well as connectivity and resources, to students worldwide. Intel will continue these efforts in 2021 along with partners from inside and outside the technology industry.

11th Gen Intel Core H-series for laptop gaming

Above: Intel’s new H-Series processor.

Image Credit: Intel

For gamers, Intel created the 11th Gen Intel Core H-series mobile processors for enthusiast-level gaming in laptops as thin as 16 millimeters. Intel is unveiling a dozen new mobile processors today. The gaming processor platform features capture and stream capabilities that are built into the Intel graphics control panel that is on every Intel 11th Gen core processor, Newman said.

Led by the Intel Core i7 Special Edition 4-core processor with up to 5 gigahertz (GHz) Turbo, these H35 processors are specifically targeted for ultraportable gaming. They feature new Gen 4 PCIE architecture for connecting to latest discrete graphics and deliver low latency and immersive gameplay on the go.

At CES, Acer, ASUS, MSI, and Vaio announced new systems powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core H35-series processor for ultraportable gaming, with more than 40 designs from top manufacturing partners launching in the first half of 2021. Frederick Hamburger, general manager of mobile and gaming at Intel, said in a press call that Intel’s 10th Gen processors got into more than 100 computers last year. There are 42 more designs for computers coming with the processors. The 11th Gen processors will be targeted at ultraportable gaming, or the lightest laptops that the industry can build.

“It’s addressing a base player that wants something even thinner and lighter, like a student, in a form factor they can carry everywhere,” Hamburger said.

For mobile enthusiasts who want desktop-caliber gaming and creation performance, Intel also announced an 8-core processor that will start shipping later this quarter. This platform has up to 5GHz, Gen 4 PCIE x20 architecture for storage and discrete graphics, and Intel Killer Wi-fi 6E (Gig+). Intel showed off an Acer ultraportable Predator Triton 300 SE laptop, which is only 17.9 millimeters thick and weighs 3.75 pounds. It will be available in North America in February starting at $1,400.

One of the interesting features is that it will be able to utilize both discrete graphics and integrated graphics in the same system. The discrete graphics could run a game, while integrated graphics can offload some smaller tasks like livestreaming.

Next-generation ‘Rocket Lake’ and ‘Alder Lake’ processors

Above: Intel is targeting some big markets with its latest processors.

Image Credit: Intel

At the high end of desktops, Intel also demonstrated next-generation processors for gamers and enthusiasts coming to market in 11th Gen Intel Core S-series desktop processors (“Rocket Lake-S”).

Featuring 19% more instructions per cycle compared to the previous generation, these are the highest frequency cores. The headliner is the Intel Core i9-11900K, launching the first quarter. In a demo, it can improve Hitman 3’s performance by 7%, compared to the prior generation.

Additionally, Intel demonstrated “Alder Lake,” the next-generation processor that is due in the second half of 2021.

Alder Lake will combine high-performance cores and high-efficiency cores into a single product. Alder Lake will also be Intel’s first processor built on a new, enhanced version of 10nm SuperFin manufacturing technology.

Xeon Scalable Processors

Lastly, Intel said it has started production of 10-nanometer Xeon Scalable Processors for servers.

Intel said it has begun making its 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named “Ice Lake”) with volume ramp taking place during the first quarter of 2021.

Intel’s 10nm Xeon Scalable processors feature architectural and platform changes that boost performance, security, and operational efficiency within data centers.

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