Intel Core Ultra is finally here, and it powers over 230 of the 'world's first AI PCs'

Intel Core Ultra is finally here, ushering in the era of the mobile AI PC, with Intel claiming up to 11% better performance than the AMD Ryzen 7 7840U.

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Using the new Meteor Lake technology, Intel's latest Core Ultra processors present a major architectural shake-up for the company - one focused (at the moment) on the thin and powerful laptop market. The first generation of Core Ultra CPUs that use the new and more efficient 7nm Intel 4 process are finally here, powering the first wave of AI PCs from companies like ASUS, MSI, Lenovo, Dell, GIGABYTE, and more.

Intel Core Ultra is finally here, and it powers over 230 of the 'world's first AI PCs' 06

What makes the new Intel Core Ultra range tailor-made for AI PCs compared to what has come before? That comes down to the major architectural shark-up - the biggest in Intel's history. Meteor Lake, which is at the heart of this first wave of Core Ultra products, combined multiple tiles (or chips) into a single chip - covering an AI-powered SoC Tile, an Intel Arc Graphics GPU Tile, and a dedicated I/O Tile for Thunderbolt and high-speed PCIe Gen5.

"In the next four years, AI PCs will comprise 80% of the PC market, and together with our vast ecosystem of hardware and software partners, Intel is best positioned to deliver this next generation of computing," Michelle Johnston Holthaus, Intel executive vice president and general manager of Client Computing Group said.

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For AI workloads, there's Intel AI Boost, which is hardware-based AI acceleration and optimization "purpose-built to handle longer-running AI workloads at low power." With up to 2.5X better performance than the previous generation, it is no wonder Intel is labeling Core Ultra rigs "AI PCs."

"Intel is on a mission to bring AI everywhere through exceptionally engineered platforms, secure solutions, and support for open ecosystems," Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said. "Our AI portfolio gets even stronger with today's launch of Intel Core Ultra ushering in the age of the AI PC."

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To summarize, what the new range of Core Ultra laptops brings to the table, in addition to impressive efficiency gains over previous-gen Intel mobile processors, is that its AI capabilities cover the CPU, GPU, and neural processing unit (NPU). Intel Core Ultra also updates the Performance-core (P-core) architecture for IPC improvements while overhauling the Efficient-cores (E-cores) and low-power Efficient-cores (LP E-cores) to boost multi-threaded performance.

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Intel notes that the new flagship Intel Core Ultra 7 165H at 28W processor base power can deliver up to 11% more performance than the AMD Ryzen 7 7840U while using less power.

Regarding graphics, the new Intel Core Ultra processors feature integrated Intel Arc GPUs with up to eight Xe-Cores and full support for Intel's DLSS equivalent, the AI-based XeSS Super Sampling. There's also hardware-accelerated ray-tracing, AV1 encoding, and support for up to DisplayPort 2.1.

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Intel notes that compared to the previous generation of integrated Intel graphics; the new Core Ultra CPUs can deliver up to double the performance - which is wonderful news for portable gaming devices and potential Steam Deck-like handhelds.

Intel Core Ultra laptops are available starting today.

Here's an overview of the Intel Core Ultra processor family's features.

  • Up to 16 cores (six P-cores, eight E-cores, two LP E-cores), 22 threads, and next-generation Intel Thread Director for optimal workload scheduling.
  • Up to 5.1 gigahertz (GHz) maximum turbo frequency.
  • Up to 64 gigabytes (GB) LP5/x and up to 96 GB DDR5 maximum memory capacity.
  • Leading wireless features include integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+) and support for discrete Intel Wi-Fi 77 (5 Gig) for multi-gigabit speeds in more locations, wired-like responsiveness, and extreme reliability.
  • Intel Killer software for intelligent connection optimization and network traffic prioritization for gamer and creator applications.
  • Intel Bluetooth LE Audio to enable low-power, immersive, high-fidelity PC sonic experiences and support for new Bluetooth Auracast capabilities for broadcast audio tuning, personal audio sharing, and enhanced accessibility for hearing aids and new assisted listening services.
  • Blazing connection speeds of 40 gigabits per second (Gbps) with Thunderbolt 4 providing PC connectivity to multiple 4K monitors, fast storage and other accessories.
  • OpenVINO toolkits support with minimal code changes and automatic device detection enhances AI performance by routing workloads to the right compute engine and streamlined workflow with ONNX and ONNX Runtime for faster inferencing.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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