Almost exactly a year after kicking off its 8th Generation Core lineup, Intel has made the unusual move of announcing a second family of CPUs based on a refreshed architecture, but under the same 8th Gen umbrella. The new CPUs will fill out Intel’s 15W portfolio for Ultrabooks, internally known as the U-series. There’s also a new 5W Y-series portfolio for tablets and extremely thin and light 2-in-1s.
Intel is focusing on connectivity and battery life rather than core performance with this new launch, although the company does also promise significant speed improvements. The main features for the new U-series are integrated support for USB 3.1 (Gen 2) and Gigabit Wi-Fi through a new platform controller; an improved audio DSP for voice assistants; and up to 16 hours of battery life per charge. Real-world performance will of course depend on how laptop manufacturers decide to implement these new processors. New or refreshed laptops from all major brands are expected to be unveiled at the annual IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, and come to market in time for the US holiday shopping season.