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Intel Gives A Peak Into Its Next-Gen Skylake Processors

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Intel’s next generation Skylake processors have been a subject of discussion and speculation in the tech community for quite some time now. However, this time Intel itself has raised curtains of a few features of their 6th generation CPU at the Intel Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Major highlights of the presentation given by Julius Mandelblat, an Intel senior principle engineer, on Skylake processors, largely revolved around the high processing capabilities, better performance and improved security over the previous processors. However, much to the disappointment of engineers and others at the conference, Intel did not give a specific launch date and said that more information would come in “a couple of weeks”.

There were some major features of Skylake processors discussed at the conference by Intel. There are dedicated transistors in Skylake processor for 4k video processing which come as an integrated fixed-function support in the hardware itself. This means that while its predecessor Broadwell processors could connect to one 4K display at 60 Hz, Skylake can simultaneously connect to three 4k displays at 60 Hz.

Skylake will also boast of “bigger and wider” core, although number of cores have not yet been disclosed but it would definitely mean better processing capabilities. Speed-Shift feature of Skylake on the other hand is the power saving feature allowing the CPU to intelligently change its power state and saving significant battery power especially while coming out of low power mode. Another improvement is over the eDRAM feature of Intel processors which support caching of GPU memory, enhancing game performance. Skylake processors will have eDRAM+ which would support GPU as well as  CPU so it would be able to store cache information for both, thereby increasing the overall performance rather than just gaming performance.

On the security front, there are two new memory extensions introduced in Skylake processors for locking CPU, namely Software Guard Extension (SGX) for reducing privileged attacks by malware in a system and Memory Protection Extension which work with SGX to build isolated sections of memory.

Overall, there seems to be significant improvements in crucial areas in the next generation of Intel processors. Since there are two more weeks to go as for the launch, we may see Skylake processors to begin shipping by the end of this year.


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