Technology might be making us all more like the stars on the show The Big Bang Theory, as millions excitedly anticipated the release of Intel’s Skylake processors! Technology might be making us all into the kid in high school that was stuffed in his locker, alas this is happening with good reason as we are all relying on our computers more and more every day. Those who get Windows 10 computers equipped with Skylake will be able to wake their computer with their voice, which is just one of the many cool features Intel is delivering with their new go-faster, use-less-power processor.
Intel is riding high these days as it also is going to introduce Xeon server processors shortly. The bottom line is user asked for faster, and users asked for better battery life, and Intel summarily responded. Intel also created Skylake so that it would offer better encryption and higher TDP wattage. Skylake will be the successor to Intel’s Broadwell microarchitecture, and likely their flagship processor, at least in the near-term.
The main improvements with Skylake, and the reasons the market is longing for this, is that it promises great improvements to the interconnect as well as the memory features of this latest Intel product that will likely become a market-dominating processor. This processor has also been designed to work across the spectrum of devices on the market, from tablets, which generally run on an ultralight systems, to desktop devices that require more performance. To deliver this performance, Intel made some small changes to be able to enhance performance, and one physical difference is they made this processor a little wider.
This means it is able to dispatch more instructions while at the same time being better at extracting information. The bottom line is this width lets it do more. The reason this is important is because this ultimately means greater encryption capabilities. Intel claims Skylake’s greater encryption performance is at least 30% better than previous processors.
There is also something to be said for the amount of heat processors create, and how quickly that can be cooled. The speed at which the heat dissipates is important to the overall functioning of the processor. This feature is referred to as Thermal Design Power (TDP). Previous processors made by Intel had lower wattage, with Haswell having 84W, and then Broadwell having 65W of what can be considered cooling power. Broadwell, it is largely held, had a low wattage because of its lower clock speeds. That kind of make sense, but it is the antithesis of what Intel should be trying to achieve. Onwards and upwards, Skylake has a 91W TDP. In comparison, Snapdragon, which is a processor found in many smartphones today, has TDPs of .5 to 1 watt. Intel’s Skylake, with a 91W TDP, is significantly more powerful. This means, of course, it will perform incredibly faster and better than anything on a smartphone, and the power consumption is higher as well.
This power relationship will eventually be worked out, however, that being said, computing that requires significant power will remain something that is done on laptops and desktops, for now anyway. How TDP figures into purchasing a new computer is that, when taken together with architecture and clock speed, these numbers together will help users arrive at an educated guess on what kind of performance they can expect.
Intel had some well-publicized challenges rolling out Broadwell, after Haswell, and although they kept announcing the Skylake rollout would happen during the second half of this year, many really thought this would not happen until 2016. They readily admitted that moving from Haswell to Broadwell was nothing short of challenging calling it the most difficult process to develop. Essentially what they did was complete migrate away from Broadwell, and focused their energies on bringing Skylake to market. This was, of course, by design so as to continue to compete in a market that is calling for more and more processing speeds, almost immediately. Intel likely made a very good choice when they did this as end users have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Skylake, and preliminary whispers suggest it will not disappoint.