Intel’s insanely powerful new Skylake Chips for 60Hz 4K graphics in up to 3 4K monitors at the same time

by on August 19, 2015

Stephan Jukic – August 19, 2015

Intel’s new Skylake chip technology has been highly anticipated since its first unveiling at IDF 2015 in San Francisco earlier in the year. And now PCWorld is reporting that the company’s engineers are claiming a possible launch date of roughly two weeks from now for the powerful sixth-generation Core processors.

This in turn means a couple of things:

First, that rumors of a 4K Microsoft Surface Pro tablet coming out in 2015 might indeed be true. As we had covered earlier, this is a major rumor that’s circulating right now and part of the supposed specs for the new 4K Surface Pro were speculated to include Intel’s Skylake processors. However, some critics of the rumor have claimed that the whole story is nonsense since Skylake wasn’t supposed to emerge until 2016. This latest news chips away at that specific criticism.

Secondly, the possible early release of the Skylake chips could also set the stage for inclusion of the new chips in new Mac PCs that are expected to be unveiled at IFA Berlin between September the 4th and the 9th 2015.

The Skylake processors will feature some improved Iris Pro Integrated graphics which are fully capable of handling as many as three 4K monitors at once, with all running their UHD at a very smooth 60Hz (60 frames per second). This is a massive leap upward from the older Haswell architecture, which was capable of supporting just one 4K monitor at a mere 30Hz, and the current Broadwell architecture, which can support a single 4K monitor at 60Hz.

Furthermore, the Skylake chips will include fixed-function support for 4K video rendering in hardware and full support for the latest and best APIs like DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4 and OpenCL 2.

Additionally, the new chips will run at an absolutely whopping 1152 GFLOPS, well above the 768 of 2014’s Broadwell chip architecture.

What the new 4K-oriented developments in the Skylake technology also means is that Intel has specifically developed transistor technology right to the job of decoding and encoding 4K graphics. As the original PCWorld article itself notes, one demonstration by Intel featured playback of a 4K RAW video stream from a Canon UHD video camera with complete and total smoothness while using the Skylake graphics chip. Playing the same video using just the CPU on the other hand caused constant frame dropping.

Intel has been releasing details about its Skylake 4K chip architecture for months now.

Intel has been releasing details about its Skylake 4K chip architecture for months now.

In yet another powerful tech innovation, the new Skylake architecture also manages to handle all this massive processing while maintaining a wholly new level of power efficiency. This is thanks to a new power-saving spec called Speed Shift, which is designed to let the CPU intelligently change its power output for extended battery life. What extends power efficiency even further is the inclusion of eDRAM+ since this new type of RAM is able to cache information internally for easier retrieval and faster performance.

There was also a recent leak of Intel presentation slides, which occurred last month, that indicated a 10% to 20% CPU performance boost with single and multi-thread applications with the new Skylake chip technology. Another part of the leaked slides also indicated a 30% more speedy Intel HD integrated graphics performance over that of current Broadwell processors. This could mean a 30% longer battery life in relevant devices that come to include Skylake technology.

Finally, there have also been leaks about Macbook Air-specific Skylake processors coming out.

We should also note that Intel has introduced a new Thunderbolt 3 technology with a USB Type C connector and support for USB 3.1 and DisplayPort 1.2. This new spec is also capable of driving two different 4K displays at 60Hz at the same time or one sinle 5K display and will possibly be released to the market at the same time as the Skylake chips, in two weeks if PCWorld’s engineer rumors are to be believed.

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