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CES 2020: Intel unveils new mobile processors, first discrete GPU

Intel Corp. unveiled a new range of mobile processors as well as its first discrete graphics processing unit during its press conference at CES 2020, the Consumer Technology Association's annual technology and media trade show.

The processors, code-named Tiger Lake, will deliver "double-digit performance gains" and better graphics and artificial intelligence improvements, Intel Client Computing Group's Executive Vice President and General Manager Gregory Bryant said during the conference. The chips are built on Intel's 10nm+ process and feature discrete-level integrated graphics based on the new Intel Xe graphics architecture.

The first Tiger Lake-powered systems are expected to ship later this year, Bryant said. Rival chipmaker, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. announced during its own CES press conference that it would also be launching its new Ryzen 4000 mobile processors in the first quarter.

SNL ImageIntel's press conference at CES 2020
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

Although none of the forthcoming Tiger Lake devices were previewed during the conference, Intel did bring out a concept device running on the processor. Code-named "Horseshoe Bend," the device has the footprint of a 12-inch laptop but unfolded to create a 17-inch OLED display.

Bryant also provided an update on "Project Athena," Intel's initiative to work with computer manufacturers to help them optimize their hardware to create thinner and lighter laptops with higher performance and superior battery life. Bryant said Intel has identified 25 Project Athena designs to date and announced an expanded partnership with Google LLC, through which two Chromebook devices have already been announced: the ASUS Chromebook Flip and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. He added that about 50 more Project Athena designs across Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and Google's Chrome are slated to launch in 2020.

Intel also offered a preview of its first discrete graphics processing unit, code-named "DG1." Lisa Pearce, vice president of Intel architecture, graphics and software, showcased the chip's performance in a laptop running the computer game "Destiny 2."

"Even though you can see that it is early, we are extremely excited about the gaming experience we will see on the DG1," Pearce said, referring to the game's noticeably jittery performance on the new chip.

Also taking the stage at the press conference was Anne Aaron, director of encoding technologies at Netflix Inc., who talked up the streaming company's joint efforts with Intel on the development of on open source video compression technology called AV1. Aaron said the technology's compression efficiency is 60% more than the previous compression technology, AVC.