Intel's Skylake-U Plans Outlined
Intel's 6th Generation Core CPUs débuted last week in the form of two flagship performance parts, but that's just the beginning for the 14nm Skylake CPU architecture. Also revealed thanks to FanlessTech are low-power designs which will comprise 2015 and 2016's Skylake-U series. These dual-core CPUs are intended for tablets and other low-power designs (such as Apple's Macbook Air) requiring a maximum TDP of 15W.
At the top of the range sit the Core i7-6600U and i7-6500U. Both feature dual Skylake cores clocked at over 2.5GHz with aggressive turbo modes hitting over 3GHz. Performance is further augmented by the 4MB L3 Cache on the die, 1MB more than the Core i5 models. Each supports LPDDR3 at 1866MHz, DDR3L at 1600MHz and DDR4 at 1866MHz, although at this time it's not clear how widespread DDR4 memory will be for mobile Skylake staggered launches. The built-in Intel Graphics 520 come in at 1050MHz for both SKUs (boosting from 300MHz whilst under load), which whilst not being gaming powerhouses should give it much needed grunt in hardware-accelerated productivity tasks. CPU clock-speed disparity aside, the chief difference between 6600U and 6500U is the presence of Intel vPro and TXT business-class features on the top-rated SKU.
Core i5 Skylake-U models i5-6300U and i5-6200U are also dual-core parts with Hyperthreading, and differentiated from Core i7 models by lower base and Turbo speeds for both CPU and Graphics. Core i5 models also feature only 3MB L3 cache.
The entry-level Core i3-6100U is clocked lower than each of the i5 and i7 models, and doesn't have a Turbo mode; however unlike Pentium and Celeron parts it does feature hyperthreading. Otherwise it's similar to Core i5 models in that it features both 3MB L3 cache and Intel HD graphics 520 hardware which operates at up to 1GHz.
Other SKUs in the refreshed U-series include new Pentium and Celeron models which will now be dual-core rather than mono-core parts. Their budget market position is reflected in other performance features as well: L3 cache is down a notch to 2MB, Hyperthreading is disabled, DDR4 isn't supported, and the graphics are downgraded to Intel HD graphics 510. Nonetheless they're still likely to be important for Intel's final 2016 lineup.
FanlessTech also revealed that 28W Skylake-U parts, featuring beefier Intel Iris Pro graphics, are due to replace Broadwell-U parts beginning Q1 2016.