Intel has officially announced its first 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors for laptops, which will feature the company’s new integrated Xe graphics, Thunderbolt 4 support, Wi-Fi 6, and a big leap in performance and battery life over the previous Ice Lake chips. The company claims that the new 11th Gen lineup offers the “best processor for thin-&-light” laptops.
Intel is launching nine new 11th Gen designs for both its U-series (which Intel is now referring to as UP3) and Y-series class chips (aka UP4), led by the Core i7-1185G7, which offer base speeds of 3.0GHz,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 Intel’s Iris Xe integrated graphics, with 96 CUs and a maximum graphics speed of 1.35GHz.
The company had already previewed the new chips at its Architecture Day 2020 event earlier this year. The new 11th Gen lineup is still built on the 10nm node, similar to the current 10th Gen Ice Lake models, but it upgrades to the Willow Core architecture with a new “10nm SuperFin design” that Intel says will offer better speeds at lower power consumption.
Intel isn’t being too specific on what those increases will be, but it promises that the new chips will offer a 20 percent faster speeds for day-to-day “office productivity” tasks, along with a similar 20 percent increase in “system-level power,” which is says results in more than an extra hour of battery life for things like video streaming.
Intel is betting big 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 raw core count increases (an area that, coincidentally, AMD currently leads Intel in.) 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. (As an aside, you’ll need Intel’s new i5 or i7 chips to get Xe graphics — the Core i3 models for both the U- and Y-series lineups will only offer Intel UHD Graphics.)
Also new is support for 8K HDR displays, along with the option to use up to four 4K HDR displays at once. There’s also improvements to the built-in AI engine, which Intel says will offer specific improvements for video calls (like background blurring) — tasks which ARM-based computers like the Surface Pro X have previously excelled at.
Alongside the new chips, Intel is debuting a new iteration of its Project Athena certification standard, called “Intel Evo.” Evo will have even higher requirements, including a guarantee that your laptop will offer over nine hours of “real world” use on a single charge (for 1080p systems), fast charging (for four hours of charge in 30 minutes), Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4, and system wake 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 that more than 20 Evo-verified designs should be available later this year.
Expect to see the new chips on a wide variety of systems in the coming days and weeks, with Intel promising over 150 designs with 11th Gen Intel Core processors from companies like Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook, HP, Lenovo, LG, MSI, Razer, and Samsung. The first of these products, like Samsung’s Galaxy Book Flex 5G, Acer’s refreshed Swift 5 and Swift 3, and Asus’ newest ZenBooks, have already been announced, with release dates as early as this fall.