Intel Quietly Speeds Up Skylake-U: i7-6660U now in Price Listby Anton Shilov on March 24, 2016 1:00 PM EST
Intel has quietly added a new Skylake-U processor into its price list. The new Intel Core i7-6660U system-on-chip is designed for low-power notebook systems and provides higher performance than its direct predecessor, the Core i7-6650U, and sits on the top of Intel's 15W mobile CPU stack.
The new Intel Core i7-6660U belongs to the Skylake-U family of processors that feature CPU and PCH on the same piece of substrate and are used to build mobile PCs with low power consumption. The new chip is currently only listed in Intel’s price list, which reveals its general specs (two cores with hyperthreading, 4 MB L3 cache and 2.40 GHz clock-rate, no word on turbo) as well as its price of $415 in 1000-unit quantities. The CPU costs the same amount of money as the Core i7-6650U and the Core i7-6560U.
If the Core i7-6660U chip shares general design with its predecessor, then it features two cores with Hyper-Threading technology clocked at 2.40 GHz (up 200 MHz from the i7-6650U), 4 MB L3 cache, a dual-channel memory controller (support for DDR4-2133, LPDDR3-1866 and DDR3L-1600 memory), Intel Iris Graphics 540 (48 execution units with 64 MB eDRAM, up to 1.05 GHz clock rate, up to 806.4 GFLOPS compute performance) as well as a 15 W TDP. The new processor should also support all the technologies that other Skylake-generation mobile Core i7 chips support, including AES-NI, AVX 2, vPro, virtualization (VT-x, VT-d), software guard extensions (SGX), TSX-NI, MPX, Trusted Execution, Secure Key, SSE4.1/4.2 and so on.
|Intel Core i7 "Skylake-U" CPU Comparison|
|Core i7-6660U||Core i7-6650U||Core i7-6600U||Core i7-6500U||Core i7-6567U|
|Base Frequency||2.4 GHz||2.2 GHz||2.6 GHz||2.5 GHz||3.3 GHz|
|Turbo Frequency||unknown||3.4 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.1 GHz||3.6 GHz|
|L2 Cache||256 KB x 2 (512 KB)|
|L3 Cache||4 MB|
|Memory||Dual-channel DRAM controller with
DDR4-2133, LPDDR3-1866, DDR3L-1600 support
|iGPU||Iris Graphics 540||Iris Graphics 540||HD Graphics 520||HD Graphics 520||Iris Graphics 550|
|iGPU Config||48 EUs||24 EUs||48 EUs|
|eDRAM||64 MB||-||64 MB|
|TDP||15 W||28 W|
|Configurable TDP-down||unknown||9.5 W||7.5 W||23 W|
|Launch||Q1 2016||Q3 2015|
The quiet addition of the Core i7-6660U into the price list indicates that Intel is starting to gradually refresh its Skylake lineup of products. It is unclear whether the refresh is conditioned by the upcoming spring refresh cycle of PC makers or higher yields of chips produced using the 14 nm process technology. Nonetheless, the new CPU will help PC makers to differentiate their new offerings and speed up performance in certain applications.
Source: Intel Price List via CPU-World.
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flashpowered - Friday, March 25, 2016 - linkI've been wondering for a while why Apple haven't launched Skylake MacBook Pros. If the i7-6567U means they will be able to drive a 5K monitor, then it will have been worth the wait.
ikjadoon - Friday, March 25, 2016 - linkI think they're waiting for Kaby Lake, actually, to get USB 3.1 type-C / TB3.
Valantar - Sunday, March 27, 2016 - linkIf they want TB3, they would need a separate controller no matter what, no? Or are you saying it will be integrated with the PCH in Kaby Lake? Considering the TB3 controller also does USB 3.1, why wait for even that to be integrated? While I don't think Intel cares about the revenue from TB3 (which would be minuscule compared to their CPU business), they do love product differentiation and framing their products as premium solutions - and integrated TB3 would kill that.
lilmoe - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link"It is unclear whether the refresh is conditioned by the upcoming spring refresh cycle of PC makers or higher yields of chips produced using the 14 nm process technology. Nonetheless, the new CPU will help PC makers to differentiate their new offerings and speed up performance in certain applications."
I'd vouch for the latter, since the applications that would benefit from a higher base clock are better served with the 6600U. Unless there are other features the new chip supports that weren't mentioned...
MrSpadge - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link3rd option: marketing decided it's OK to release it now. There don't have to be technical reasons.
Kjella - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - linkIt doesn't even have to be much of a yield difference, as I understand it if you have some small fraction of "golden" chips like say 20% you don't make its own SKU and you don't ship it out at lower clocks, you just save up that bin and after say half a year you have enough inventory to introduce a +100 Mhz model. It's a way of getting people to buy at the tail end of a cycle before you release your next generation processor.
Bryf50 - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - linkI can't wait for no OEM to actually use this chip. Like all the other Iris Skus.
MrSpadge - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - linkI wish the Skylake GPUs could be put to good use running Einstein@Home, like all previous ones since Ivy. But they can't due to OpenCL driver problems.
LordConrad - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - link666... Intel should have waited and named this one "Devil's Canyon"
HurleyBird - Thursday, March 24, 2016 - linkI wish Intel would stop naming dual core offerings i7.