The dawn of a new era in mobile computing is here with the release of Intel’s most advanced processor yet, the Intel Core Ultra. Built on Intel’s groundbreaking 4th gen process and utilizing the company’s first onboard AI accelerator, the Neural Processing Unit (NPU), the Core Ultra promises to vastly improve performance and open the door to countless new AI-enhanced applications.
As the first client processor to utilize Intel’s breakthrough 4 process technology, codenamed “Granite Rapids”, the Core Ultra represents the most significant architectural change in Intel’s history, advanced manufacturing process allows Intel to pack billions of transistors into an ultra-compact die size, enabling much higher core counts, integrated graphics, and neural processing without sacrificing efficiency.
Two initial series are available – the U and H series. The U series targets ultrathin, fanless designs with a 2+8+2 core configuration and up to 4Xe integrated graphics, all in a mere 15W TDP. The H series brings desktop-level performance to high-performance laptops with up to 6+8+2 cores and 8Xe graphics in a 28W TDP. An upcoming 45W flagship model will take things to the next level with a massive 6+8+2 core layout and 8Xe graphics.
Early benchmark results show the Core Ultra delivering outstanding single and multi-threaded performance. The flagship Ultra 7 165H matches or surpasses previous generation Core i7 chips while besting competing mobile processors by up to 12% in single-core workloads and 11% in multi-core tests. Integrated graphics also see a huge boost, with the 8Xe solution offering twice the graphics prowess of earlier Intel GPUs and outperforming competing standalone mobile chips.
But where the Core Ultra truly shines is its onboard Neural Processing Unit (NPU), revolutionary AI accelerator allows the processor to natively run deep learning inference tasks with unmatched efficiency, consuming up to 79% less power than competing solutions. With its NPU, the Core Ultra extends AI capabilities system-wide for the first time on Intel client chips.
Intel expects this new NPU to unlock a tidal wave of AI-enhanced applications. According to Intel’s Vice President of AI Perceptual Computing, by 2028 a staggering 80% of all PCs will have AI capabilities baked directly into the silicon. Content creators, productivity workers, and gamers alike will experience software and workflows elevated by integrated AI. Adobe is already hard at work optimizing Premiere Pro to take full advantage of the Core i9 Ultra’s neural abilities.
Of course, Intel also faces competition from Qualcomm and AMD. Qualcomm brings the advantage of supporting over 1,000 Android applications on Windows with its Snapdragon platforms. It has also built strong partnerships having showcased the likes of Microsoft, Zoom, Meta, and Adobe at its developer conference earlier this year. Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon even sits on Adobe’s board of directors.
It will be interesting to see what Qualcomm brings to the Windows space. However, Intel’s manufacturing prowess and ability to ship an estimated 100 million client CPUs over the next two years, five times more than all competitors combined, appears tough to rival. Such scale attracts important software vendors rooted in the Wintel ecosystem.
So in summary, with its 4th gen process technology, powerful hybrid core design, immense graphics muscle, and integrated NPU, the Intel Core Ultra looks poised to reinvent mobile computing. Its combination of raw performance and efficiency, along with the ability to run next-gen AI features, will future-proof systems for years to come. Get ready for an unprecedented new generation of computing – the Intel Core Ultra era is here.