Intel unveiled Core Ultra processors at its AI Everywhere event

Intel unveils its latest Core Ultra processors for ultrathin laptops at the AI Everywhere event in New York, showcasing several groundbreaking features. These chips, available in new laptops starting today, mark a significant move for Intel, introducing a chiplet design and neural processing unit (NPU). The launch aligns with CEO Pat Gelsinger’s efforts to revitalize the semiconductor giant.

The Core Ultra processors come in three configurations: Core Ultra 5, Core Ultra 7, and Core Ultra 9. While the Core Ultra 5 and Core Ultra 7 are already available in new PCs, the Core Ultra 9 is expected to be released in the coming months.

Intel’s chiplet design, referred to as tiles, involves breaking a single chip into distinct components that can be easily interchanged based on specific needs. The Core Ultra line includes compute tiles, graphics tiles, I/O tiles, and SoC tiles. This strategic move aims to enhance the power and energy efficiency of Intel’s Core Ultra chips, allowing the company to regain market share from competitors such as AMD, Qualcomm, and Apple.

Although chiplets are not a new concept, Intel’s adoption of this technology represents a significant leap for the company and could contribute to increased sales as Intel seeks to demonstrate its ability to innovate quickly compared to rivals. Intel reported revenue of $63.1 billion in fiscal 2022, down from $79 billion in 2021.

The tiles themselves possess notable capabilities. Compute tiles integrate performance cores for power-hungry tasks and efficiency cores for less demanding programs. The SoC tile introduces Intel’s new Low Power Island, designed for tasks requiring minimal power. Additionally, the SoC tile features Intel’s NPU, aligning with the AI Everywhere theme of the event. While the NPU handles some onboard AI tasks, it’s important to note that running intensive AI functions, like ChatGPT, directly on a laptop is still a cloud-based process.

AMD, Qualcomm, and Apple already incorporate NPUs in their processors, indicating a broader industry trend towards AI capabilities.

In terms of performance, Intel asserts that its high-end Core Ultra 7165H chip outperforms competitors like AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840U, Apple’s M3 chip, Qualcomm’s 8cx Gen 3 chip, and Intel’s own Core i7-1370P in multithreaded performance. The Ultra 7165H is also claimed to use less power than AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840U while handling various tasks such as streaming Netflix, watching 4K video, and web browsing. The inclusion of the Ultra’s onboard Arc graphics processing unit further boosts gaming performance.

The Core Ultra line plays a pivotal role in Gelsinger’s initiative to restore Intel to its former prominence. Despite a challenging 2023 with a 36% revenue drop in Q1, Intel aims to rebound as aging computer systems prompt consumers to seek new laptops and desktops, driving sales. ZM, ZM, ZM, ZM, ZM, ZM

Intel also faces competition from Nvidia, emerging as a dominant force in AI. Nvidia’s share price has surged over 228% year-to-date, while AMD and Intel shares have experienced increases of 113% and 68%, respectively.