Intel OZ To Crank Up Marketing For Fast New Processor
Right now Intel is trying to reassure investors that the sky is not falling in despite forward forecasts for PC sales looking grim and little interest in the Windows 10 upgrade being rolled out this week.
Analysts claim that the PC market is not going to get an immediate boost from Microsoft’s upcoming Windows upgrade, this has not stopped Intel from developing new chipsets and processors.
At the recent Computex show in Taiwan I was given a heads up on a new Intel processor called Skylake which is set to be formally released on August 5th, Intel is banking on this processor to stimulate sales of PC’s.
What users will get with this processor are performance enhancements which are set to appear in new PC’s from around October onwards.
One of the first PC’s to get the Intel processor will be Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and a new Lenovo Pro 4 PC line.
The improved Intel technology will deliver 10% and 20% CPU performance improvements in single and multi-threaded applications compared to Broadwell processors.
It’s also claimed that power consumption will be lower – specifically 30% better battery life – and that Intel HD graphics performance will be, on average, 30% faster.
For reference, there’ll be four different series of Skylake processors – S-series for desktop, and Y-, U-, and H-series for mobile.
The Skylake processors that I saw in Taiwan were delivering a claimed 17% faster CPU, 41% faster Intel HD graphics, and 1.4 hours improve battery life.
To take advantage of the hype that Microsoft will try and generate for their Winodows 10 launch and the launch of the new Intel processors Intel Australia is about to roll out a major new advertising programs, new PR initiatives and is working closer with PC manufacturers to get a bigger bang for their buck when they fund a PC partner program.
In 2013 Intel Australia spent $11.8M marketing their products, this was down from the $12.9M they spent in the prior year. This year Intel is tipped to again tip over $11M into marketing their brand as PC makers start pushing Chromebooks over Windows run PC’s.
Intel Australia is also growing market share due in part to Lenovo entering the Australian consumer PC market while globally the Company is trying to find new ways to cope with a weak personal computer market.
Earlier this month the Company reported a 3.2% drop in second-quarter profit, revenues fell 4.6%.
Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich also indicated a delay of six months or more in delivering its next-generation advance in miniaturizing chip circuitry.
Shrinking the size of transistors or other components on chips tends to bring more performance or data storage capacity at a lower production cost. But the process is getting more difficult. Intel’s last manufacturing upgrade hit production targets about six months later than expected.
Intel said at the time that it expects to launch its new Skylake processor, the timing of which has been the subject of much speculation by Wall Street, “in the second half of 2015.” We now know that date to be August 5 with a major PR campaign planned for Australia.
On the current generation of chips emerging from Intel factories, the smallest parts are about 14 nm in size.
Originally, Intel said these would be phased out in favour of the 10nm chips this year. Now, it said, 10nm chips may not appear before 2017.
The delay will derail the two-step “tick tock” system it has been using for years to steadily improve processor power.
This process alternates changes to the gross layout of a chip (tock) with refinements to fabrication of individual components (tick).
Mr Krzanich did not elaborate on what would drive the improved number-crunching power of the 14nm chips it will be producing instead of the processors built around 10nm components.
Intel’s admission could be a signal that Moore’s law – which defines the steady year-on-year improvement in processor power – could be coming to an end.
When first formulated by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore 50 years ago, this suggested that chip power could double every 12 months.
Often, this improvement comes about by shrinking the millions of transistors on a chip.
Since then, the law’s estimate of how long it would take to refine production systems to make it economic to produce faster chips has stretched.
Now, improvements are expected approximately every 24 months.
Recently IBM announced that it had found ways to reliably produce chips that had 7nm components.
However, it said, these techniques had so far only been shown to work in the laboratory and not in large-scale chip fabrication plants.