Intel has officially unveiled its first 11th Gen Tiger Lake processor, featuring the company’s latest integrated Xe graphics, Thunderbolt 4 support, Wi-Fi 6, and a significant leap in performance and battery life compared to previous Ice Lake processors. The company says the latest 11th Gen lineup provides the “best thin-&-light CPU” laptops.
Intel is launching nine new 11th Gen designs for both its U-series (now referred by Intel as UP3) and Y-series class chips (aka UP4), led by the Core i7-1185G7 that deliver 3.0GHz base speeds, a maximum single-core turbo boost of up to 4.8GHz, and a maximum all-core boost of up to 4.3GHz. It also features the most powerful version of Integrated Graphics of Intel’s Iris Xe, with 96 CUs and a maximum 1.35GHz graphics speed.
Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake chips
The company already had a previewed the latest chips earlier this year at its Architecture Day 2020 event. The latest 11th Gen Tiger Lake series is still built on the 10 nm node, similar to the current 10th Gen Ice Lake versions, but it upgrades to the Willow Core architecture with the latest “10 nm SuperFin design” that Intel claims will deliver better speeds at lower power consumption.
Intel isn’t too specific about what those increases will be, but it promises that the new chips will provide 20% faster speeds for day-to-day tasks of “office productivity,” along with a similar 20% increase in “system-level power,” which is said to result in more than an extra hour of battery life for things like video streaming.
Intel is betting highly on its new integrated Xe graphics, which it promises will offer up to twice the graphics performance, and which Intel says will offer more substantial benefits than just increases in raw core numbers (an area that AMD currently leads Intel). A demo shown during Intel’s announcement showed an 11th Gen chip offering similar or better graphics performance than a 10th Gen chip working simultaneously with an Nvidia MX350 GPU (besides that, you’ll need Intel’s new i5 or i7 chips to get Xe graphics both the U- and Y-series Core i3 models will only offer Intel UHD graphics.)
Support for 8K HDR displays is also new, along with the ability to use up to four 4K HDR displays at once. There are also enhancements to the built-in AI processor, which Intel says will provide specific improvements for video calls (such as background blurring) — tasks previously excelled by ARM-based computers such as the Surface Pro X.
In addition to the new processors, Intel is debuting a new iteration of its Project Athena certification standard, labelled as “Intel Evo.” Evo will have even higher requirements, including a guarantee that your laptop can have over nine hours of “real world” use on a single charge (for 1080p systems), fast charging (for four hours in 30 minutes), Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4, and system wake-up in “less than a second”. The idea is that users should be able to expect a high-quality machine whenever they see the Evo logo, guaranteed. Intel says there should be more than 20 Evo-verified designs announced soon this year.
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