- Intel announced its new chips in partnership with rival AMD, which include a CPU and GPU on the same platform.
- The chips will allow for ultra-thin laptops that come with the power of traditionally thick and heavy laptops.
For years, computer buyers had a choice to make: buy portable laptops that could run basic applications, or buy chunky heavy laptops that were hardly portable but could run everything, including games, virtual reality (VR), and video-editing software.
With Intel’s announcement on Sunday at CES, all of that is about to change.
Intel announced new details about its 8th-generation chips, which include central processors (CPU) from Intel and graphics processors (GPU) from the company’s industry rival AMD.
For the uninitiated, every computer has a CPU that runs programs we use every day, like web browsers and simple apps like Microsoft Office. GPUs are only necessary for power-hungry applications, like video editing, gaming, and VR.
Intel’s and AMD’s hybrid chips include a separate CPU and GPU on the same platform. In performance laptops, CPUs and GPUs are typically installed on their own separate platforms.
By combining the CPU and GPU onto a single platform, the new chips made by the Intel and AMD partnership will have a smaller footprint inside laptops. A smaller CPU and GPU footprint will allow for incredibly thin and portable laptops with enough power to comfortably run power-hungry applications, including games and VR.
Traditionally, laptops that had enough power to run power-hungry applications were large, chunky, and heavy. They were still technically “portable,” but they were more comfortable at home or the office on a desk.
The new Intel-AMD hybrid chips will be significantly more powerful than a CPU alone, and more efficient with power consumption than a traditional laptop with the CPU and GPU on separate platforms.
Intel boasts that laptops running on the hybrid chips will have better performance than current laptops running on Intel’s powerful Core i7 chips and Nvidia’s powerful GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU – and they will have significantly better battery life, too.
The chips will be available with Intel’s 8th-generation Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs and AMD’s Vega M GPUs. It’s still unclear when we can expect laptops that will run on these new chips, or how much they will cost.
Laptops running on Intel/AMD hybrid chips pose an enticing prospect, as computer users will no longer need to compromise portability for power.