Leak Details Intel’s Amber Lake CPUs for 12″ MacBook Refresh

12 Inch Macbook 2018 Refresh Rumors Credit: Business Insider
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A series of leaks which surfaced over the weekend have blessed us with more information about Intel’s previously announced (but still in development) Amber Lake processors. They’re an upcoming family of eighth-generation desktop- and mobile-grade CPUs built on Intel’s ultra-efficient and highly-advanced 14-nanometer fabrication process.

In the first leak, a regional Spanish-language webpage published by PC-giant, Dell, reveals the existence of two new eighth-generation Intel CPUs — a Core i5-8200Y and Core i7-8500Y — which are slated as upgrade options for those interested in the company’s upcoming 2-in-1 XPS 13.

According to Dell’s webpage, the Amber Lake CPUs will be clocked at “up to 3.9GHz and 4.2GHz,” respectively, which is coupled with a 4MB cache.

Intel previously announced its Amber Lake CPUs during the annual Computrex conference 2018. While the Santa Clara-based chip-maker stopped short of providing additional details about them at that time, executives did lay out a tentative launch timeline of later this year. 

Seeing as how Dell is a such a dominant player in the worldwide PC market, we can fairly confidently interpret the company’s webpage showcasing Intel’s Amber Lake chips as further confirmation of their imminence.

Meanwhile, a new report published over the weekend by Romanian-language tech blog, NextLab, reveals even more key details about Intel’s Amber Lake family of CPUs — which could potentially make their way into an upcoming 12″ MacBook refresh.

The family will reportedly be comprised of three CPUs — the Core i5-8200Y, Core i7-8500Y, and Core m3-8100Y — with the Core i5 and i7 designated for PC laptop and desktop applications, and the Core m3 seemingly destined for mobile devices like the 12″ MacBook, tablets and Chromebooks.

  • Accordingly, NextLab suggest the Core m3-8100Y will boast a 1.1GHz base clock-speed, which would be capable of rising up to 3.4GHz under boost mode.
  • The Core i5-8200Y will tout a base clock-speed of 1.3GHz, which can rise up to 3.9GHz under boost mode.
  • And finally, the top-tier Core i7-8500Y will start out at 1.5GHz — rising up to 4.2GHz with boost mode enabled.

All three chips will be built using Intel’s 14-nanometer fabrication process, boast a dual-core architecture with quad threads, an integrated Intel UHD 625 graphics card, and, most notably, will feature a low thermal design point of 5 watts, rendering them among the most powerful and efficient CPUs we’ll see anytime soon.

Considering their ultra-efficient performance and the ostensible diversity of their desktop- and mobile-specific offerings, it’s reasonable to assume we could also see Intel’s Amber Lake chips in an upcoming 12″ MacBook refresh.

Rumors have been circulating around the prospect of a 2018 MacBook refresh for quite some time now — though most have conflicted with regards to the timing and nature of a launch. For example, the historically accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously alluded to a 13-inch “MacBook Air” refresh, though his proposed launch timing came and went several months ago.

It’s hard to tell, from that vantage point, if Apple indeed has firm plans to refresh its MacBook this year. Last week, the company refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup for 2018, with 13- and 15-inch models boasting six-core processors, up to 32GB of RAM, True Tone displays, a third-generation keyboard and more. 

It’s anyone’s guess as to whether any other Mac updates are on the roster for this year, although we do have plenty of evidence suggesting Apple has some major surprises in store for the fall.

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