Intel confirmed Wednesday that a mobile version of its 9th-gen H-series Core chips will debut during the second quarter—and probably on the early side of that time window.
Frederik Hamberger, the general manager of premium and gaming notebook segments at Intel, said Wednesday that Intel would be coming out with a new 9th-gen mobile Core part “very, very soon,” accompanied by customer laptops. H-series chips are sold into premium and gaming notebooks, and generally represent the most power-hungry and least power-efficient chips in Intel’s lineup.
(For our analysis of how the 8th-generation Core chips top the 7th-gen mobile Cores, you can take a look at our earlier story.)
Intel has said previously that its 9th-gen mobile Core chips would debut during the second quarter, a relatively small detail in a CES 2019 presentation whose purpose was to introduce its “Ice Lake” architecture and provide a stable roadmap to its troubled 10nm manufacturing node. However, until now Intel hasn’t confirmed the existence of an H-series 9th-gen mobile part, though H parts have appeared on the 7th- and 8th-gen mobile series. If history holds, we should see Intel’s new 9th-gen mobile Core chips by the first week in April.
Intel’s 9th-gen mobile parts are based on the older 14nm Coffee Lake architecture, an Intel spokeswoman confirmed, including the Core i9 variant. If nothing else, the transition to the 9th-gen mobile chips will help put to rest the confusion associated with the 8th-gen Core, which included multiple iterations of Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake chips. There’s been a steady increase of cores across successive Intel Core families, however, from four cores in the 7th-gen mobile H-series parts to six cores in the 8th-gen H-series parts. If the trend continues, the 9th-gen Core mobile chips may contain eight cores and probably 16 threads as well.
Hamberger added that one of the goals with the new 9th-gen mobile products is longer battery life. Gamers may indeed use a gaming notebook to game—which you still can’t do for long on battery power—but the most frequent use of a laptop is still web browsing. In total, Intel’s goal this time around is to give gamers a “more rounded experience,” he said.
As Intel has done in the past, it’s leaning heavily on its high-speed Wi-Fi technology, which it calls Gig+, or specifically its Wi-Fi 6 AX200 chip. (Intel didn’t say much about 5G, the basis for what other laptop makers have called Always Connected PCs.) Intel’s new 9th-gen platforms will also tie themselves to Optane, the 3D XPoint technology Intel and Micron developed before the partnership dissolved.
What this means to you: Intel’s briefing Wednesday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco was primarily meant to seed enthusiasm for the discrete graphics processor it plans to launch in 2020. (Intel also launched a new update to its graphics utility, called the Intel Graphics Command Center, which we’ve covered separately, and announced a partnership with Spirit AI to use speech detection to weed out toxic voice comments that are spoken in multiplayer games.) With new mobile 9th-gen Core chips clearly on the way, you can add a fresh wave of gaming laptops to the list of things we expect in the coming months.
Computers and Peripherals
As PCWorld's senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.