Intel brings Core processors to 6th generation with “Skylake”

Just when you thought it was safe to buy a new computer, Intel is ready with a new line of processors that makes everything out there old again.

If you were thinking of buying a computer tomorrow, here’s some fun news to dwell on: the processor in that computer is now older than what’s coming in the next few months, as Intel has announced a new line of processors to replace the series in that one.

Given that there’s a new series of Intel chips almost every year, the news that Intel is ready with 6th generation Core processors shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, and neither should the sort of changes these new chips are set to bring, with Intel talking up a 14 nanometre manufacturing process with improvements to the architecture aimed at delivering up to 2.5 times the performance, up to 30 percent better graphics performance, and up to triple the battery life of a five year old computer.

Codenamed “Skylake”, these chips deliver an increase in speed across the board, and Intel says it will also affect the boot-up time of a new computer, with an on time of around half a second.

“6th Gen Intel Core processors deliver some of the most significant advancements in computing that we’ve ever seen,” said Kirk Skaugen, Intel’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Client Computing Group.

“New 6th Gen Intel Core-based systems are more responsive than ever with enhanced performance, battery life and security. And they can enable amazing new PC experiences like logging into your computer with your face and having a personal assistant respond to your voice.”


It might, however, seem a little soon for the new processors. After all, Intel’s fifth-gen chips — Broadwell — only just started arriving in computers that weren’t made by Lenovo at the beginning of this year, as Lenovo had the exclusive rights to the 5th gen processors with its Yoga series last year.

Still, there’s a good reason as to why Intel is moving ahead quickly with the new processors, and that’s based on connectivity, software, and form-factors.

These days, we have more form-factors than ever before, with laptops, tablets, 2-in-1 computers, small computing sticks (computers on what looks like a USB stick), and more out there, and Intel plans to have processors made for all of these.

Software is an important part, also, with Windows 10 being one shining example of something made to take advantage of the features in the new Intel chips. You might get Windows 10 working completely fine on an older AMD and Intel processor, but the latest crop of chips will be able to take advantage of webcam login in Windows 10 thanks to Intel’s RealSense technology which can also grab depth information, making the login less about an image of yourself but more a 3D representation of your head.

The chips will also feature Intel’s “True Key” technology, which will provide a more secure way of storing passwords based on the RealSense facial scanning, essentially locking your passwords to your visual identity.


Finally, there’s the issue of connectivity, and now that USB Type-C has been out there in the world on both an Apple MacBook and a Google Chromebook, it’s time for more computers to get the feature.

As such, Intel’s 6th gen processors will support this technology, providing high-speed Thunderbolt 3 technology (also known as USB Type-C) to more computers out there.

That could mean we’ll see a new Microsoft Surface soon, likely a Surface 4 with a USB Type-C port to charge from with the 6th generation “Skylake” processors inside.

There’s also a possibility for a new Lenovo Yoga Pro model, since Lenovo had the exclusive rights to the previous generation of processors, as well as a possible update for the Apple MacBook Air, as that’s the last computer that feels like it needs one.

Granted, Apple updated the MacBook Air earlier in the year with a 5th generation Intel processor, but left the screen the same, which has been a point of contention in the Apple laptop world, since it’s the last low quality screen Apple ships on devices today.

With Mac OS X 10.11 “El Capitan” literally around the corner for release and a new Intel chip ready to go, we may well be looking at all the hints needed for a new laptop from Apple in the coming weeks.

What we can say, however, is that new chips should be rolling out throughout the rest of the year for all computer manufacturers, and since we haven’t heard of any exclusive arrangements as of yet, there should be machines from a variety of makers coming by the holiday season.

Intel's sixth-generation processors -- "Skylake" -- will arrive in your typical performance type with the "i" moniker, as well as models made for mobile devices like tablets and laptops with strong batteries in the "m" variety.
Intel’s sixth-generation processors — “Skylake” — will arrive in your typical performance type with the “i” moniker, as well as models made for mobile devices like tablets and laptops with strong batteries in the “m” variety.