Intel’s 5th-gen Core “Broadwell” processors may just be hitting the market, but the company plans to launch its 6th-gen chips code-named “Skylake” later this year, starting with a series of 15 watt chips aimed at laptops, tablets, and 2-in-1 systems like the reference design the folks at Mobile Geeks spotted at the Intel Developer Forum this week.
At least some of those chips could have the kind of high-performance graphics that Intel currently only offers in its 28 watt Broadwell processors.
Fudzilla reports Intel Iris graphics will be available in 15 watt Skylake-U chips.
Current Intel chips with Iris 6100 graphics offer twice the GPU performance of a system with Intel HD 5500 integrated graphics, making it possible to use a laptop with integrated graphics for some gaming (although NVIDIA and AMD still offer discrete graphics solutions that offer higher performance) as well as ultra HD video, among other things. A growing number of non-gaming tasks such as transcoding video files can also leverage a GPU to speed up certain activities.
Putting Iris graphics into a 15 watt chip opens the door for laptops and other portable devices with slightly longer battery life. But it’s more likely that we’ll see PC makers use the technology to produce devices that are thinner and lighter than today’s Iris-powered systems since the new chips will generate less heat. I’d be surprised if we see fanless laptops with Iris graphics, but it might be possible… and fanless desktops with 15 watt Skylake + Iris chips certainly seem plausible.