Intel this week officially took the wraps off its eighth-generation Whiskey Lake U-series and Amber Lake Y-series chips, which could end up in Apple’s upcoming notebooks.
The Whiskey Lake U-series are 15W chips that could be used in Apple’s rumored 13-inch MacBook Air refresh. But this would conflict with previous reports suggesting that the new MacBook Air would rely on Intel’s Kaby Lake Refresh processors. Still, with Whiskey Lake’s debut this week, the series’ inclusion in the new MacBook models is a possibility.
There are also new lower-power Amber Lake Y-series chips suitable for an update to Apple’s 12-inch MacBook lineup. Previous rumors have suggested that the new 12-inch notebooks could use the Amber Lake processors.
Intel says both chip series “raise the bar for connectivity, performance, entertainment, and productivity.”
The U-series Whiskey Lake lineup, for example, introduces support for Gigabit Wi-Fi that could allow for connectivity speeds up to 12 times faster than previous models. It also supports USB-B 3.1 Gen 2 transfer speeds and voice-based digital assistant capabilities for Alexa and Cortana.
Compared to a 5-year-old PC, the U-series chip offers up to 2 times better performance and “double-digit gains” in office productivity (web browsing and light content creation) over previous generations. The U-series chips can also boost battery life speeds on optimized systems.
The lower-power Y-series Amber Lake chips, which could be used in 12-inch MacBooks, also offers a suite of upgrades.
While they aren’t confirmed to support Gigabit Wi-Fi, the Amber Lake chips do offer faster Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity. They’ll also bring similar double-digit gains across a variety of performance metrics.
It’s worth noting that both chips are designated as 8th-Generation by Intel. That means they’re in the same category as the company’s previously debuted Kaby Lake Refresh processors.
While there’s no exact word on any timeline, Intel says that 2-in-1 PCs with the new chips will debut this fall.
The chipmaker didn’t mention Apple, and Apple has no 2-in-1 hybrids, but the Cupertino tech giant is largely expected to debuted new Mac hardware at its annual keynote event next month.