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Intel launches its first Core Ultra processors with a big focus on AI

Intel Core Ultra promo picture

During its AI Everywhere event, Intel unveiled the new Core Ultra lineup for laptops and tablets. It consists of eleven models with different form factors and price tags. The new CPU family is based on the Meteor Lake architecture, and it promises significant performance and efficiency improvements, notably better built-in graphics, and a big focus on artificial intelligence.

The launch of Intel Core Ultra represents the unmatched scale and speed at which Intel is enabling AI on the PC. By 2028, AI PCs will comprise 80% of the PC market and together with our vast ecosystem of hardware and software partners, Intel is best positioned to deliver this next generation of computing.

Intel Core Ultra promo picture

Intel Core Ultra is built using Intel's 4 process technology (formerly referred to as 7nm) and Foveros 3D packaging. According to Intel, the Core Ultra lineup marks the largest architectural shift in 40 years of chipmaking. The redesigned P-core architecture delivers better performance thanks to improved instructions-per-cycle (IPC), and new E-cores enable improved energy efficiency.

Intel Core Ultra promo picture

The company boasts that the new Core Ultra chips offer up to 79% lower power consumption in the same 28W envelope compared to AMD's Ryzen 7 7840U when idle on Windows desktop. In other areas, customers can also expect improvements, such as 48% better power performance when streaming Netflix, 44% when playing local 4K video, or 7% when browsing the web.

Intel Core Ultra promo picture

The lineup offers up to 16 cores/22 threads clocked at up to 5.1GHz with support for up to 64GB of LPDDR5x RAM or 96GB DDR5 memory. Like other newest Intel processors, the Core Ultra lineup supports Wi-Fi 6E and discrete Wi-Fi 7, Thunderbolt 5, and Bluetooth 5.4 with LE Audio.

Intel Core Ultra promo picture

Intel also improved upon its built-in graphics, equipping new processors with up to eight Xe cores with DX12 Ultimate and XeSS support. The company claims customers can expect double the graphics performance over previous-gen processors with iGPUs. Other features include hardware-accelerated ray tracing, AV1 encode/decode, and HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2.1 support.

Finally, Intel has a big focus on artificial intelligence and its new Neural Processing Unit called Intel AI Boost, promising "longer-running AI workloads" at low power in conjunction with CPU and GPU for better performance and up to 2.5x better efficiency. You can expect these chips to play nice with Microsoft's upcoming next-generation Windows client scheduled for the second half of 2024.

Intel Core Ultra promo picture

Intel Core Ultra H and U-Series are available on the market right now. The Intel Core Ultra 9 185H with 45W TDP will arrive in the first quarter of 2024 alongside ultra-low-powered 9W models. Intel says its partners prepared over 230 PC designs.

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