Intel Unveils 10th-Gen Processors Suitable for Next 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Wi-Fi 6 and Turbo Boost Speeds Above 5GHz

Intel today announced the launch of its latest 10th-generation Core processors for high-end notebooks, potentially including the next 16-inch MacBook Pro. The batch of 45W chips, part of the Comet Lake family, are built on Intel's 14nm++ architecture.


The new H-series chips have the same base clock speeds as the 9th-generation chips in the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Turbo Boost speeds now exceed 5GHz for the first time. For example, the new highest-end Core i9 chip still clocks in at 2.4GHz, but its maximum Turbo Boost frequency has increased from 5.0GHz to 5.3GHz.


Intel promotes the fact that its new Core i9 chip is the "world's fastest mobile processor" and the first to exceed the 5GHz frequency barrier. However, not everyone is impressed with the year-over-year performance improvements as a whole.


The new 10th-generation processors also support Wi-Fi 6, aka 802.11ax. The newer standard delivers faster speeds, greater network capacity, improved power efficiency, lower latency, and connectivity improvements in areas with several Wi-Fi devices. Wi-Fi 6 devices must support WPA3, a Wi-Fi security protocol with improved cryptographic strength.

Apple added Wi-Fi 6 to its latest iPhone and iPad Pro models, but the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air still have Wi-Fi 5.

The existing 16-inch MacBook Pro launched in November 2019, so it is still relatively early for the notebook to receive an update. In the near term, it is more likely that the 13-inch MacBook Pro will be updated with a Magic Keyboard and faster processors, with the next 16-inch MacBook Pro refresh likely to come later in the year.

Keep in mind that last month, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple's first Mac notebooks with its own custom-designed Arm-based processors will launch in the fourth quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021. Kuo said Apple plans to launch several Arm-based Macs by the end of 2021, including notebooks and desktops, marking a transition away from Intel.
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Tag: Intel
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Intel Unveils 10th-Generation ‘Comet Lake’ Chips With Speeds Over 5GHz

Intel at CES shared details on its upcoming 10th-generation 45W "Comet Lake" chips, which could be slated for future 16-inch MacBook Pro models.

As highlighted by AnandTech, the new 10th-generation chips will be built on the 14++nm architecture and will reach higher than ever speeds. The Core i7 chips will hit 5GHz speeds, while the Core i9 models will exceed 5GHz.


Intel hasn't shared additional details on the chips yet, but AnandTech speculates that Intel will introduce Turbo Boost Max 3.0 and Velocity Boost technology to the chips.

There are already a few manufacturers such as Acer and Lenovo that have announced support for the new 45W chips, and Intel believes the hardware will be coming to the market soon, so these may be the chips Apple will use in a 2020 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ refresh.

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Apple’s Acquisition of Intel’s Smartphone Modem Business Completed, Intel Admits ‘Multi-Billion Dollar Loss’

Intel today announced it has completed the sale of the majority of its smartphone modem business to Apple for $1 billion following regulatory approval. The transaction was first announced in July and includes intellectual property, equipment, and approximately 2,200 Intel employees joining Apple.

Intel 5G Modem
The deal sees Apple acquire a large portfolio of wireless patents from Intel. Apple now holds over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation.

Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet-of-things devices, and autonomous vehicles.

Last week, Intel admitted that it sold its smartphone modem business to Apple at "a multi-billion dollar loss," according to court documents unearthed by Reuters. Intel added that rival chipmaker Qualcomm's patent licensing practices "strangled competition" and effectively forced it to exit the market.

Apple is expected to use Qualcomm modems for its first 5G-enabled iPhones next year, as part of a six-year licensing agreement between the companies. Farther down the road, multiple reports have claimed that Apple plans to develop its own modems for iPhones by 2022-23, and this Intel deal would certainly help those efforts.


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Apple and Intel Sue SoftBank-Owned Firm Over ‘Endless, Meritless’ Patent Lawsuits

Apple and Intel on Wednesday jointly filed a lawsuit against SoftBank-owned investment firm Fortress Investment Group, accusing the company of violating U.S. federal antitrust laws by pursuing "endless, meritless" patent litigation.

The complaint alleges that non-practicing patent assertion entities like Fortress aggressively pursue patent litigation against large companies like Apple and Intel, knowing that even if they lose several cases, they could eventually win a case with a large monetary reward that exceeds their losses.


Apple and Intel argue that Fortress-backed entities have "sought billions of dollars" from the two companies over the years, forcing both tech giants to spend "millions of dollars" on outside resources like counsel and expert witnesses to defend against Fortress-backed demands and assertions.

Fortress-backed entities like Uniloc, DSS Technology Management, and Seven Networks are also named in the lawsuit, first reported by Reuters. The complaint was filed in Northern California federal court.

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Tags: lawsuit, Intel

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Apple Reiterates Commitment to FRAND Licensing of Standards-Essential Patents Following Intel Deal

In light of its acquisition of the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business earlier this year, including many cellular patents, Apple has shared a letter on its website to reiterate its stance on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory or FRAND licensing terms for standards-essential patents.

Intel 5G Modem
Apple says it values intellectual property and recognizes the important role of developing industry standards, noting that its engineers participate in over 100 standard-setting organizations. Apple touts its own contributions to a wide range of standards, including, for example, cellular, Wi-Fi, and USB-C.

Apple adds that it has "long sought to bring a balanced perspective to the promises and perils of standardization" and is committed to licensing its own cellular standards-essential patents on FRAND terms.

Apple believes owners of standards-essential patents should make licenses available on FRAND terms to any and all interested parties that request a license, adding that standards-essential patent licensees should not be forced to take bundled or portfolio licenses as part of an agreement.

There should also be an objective, reasonable royalty rate that applies equally to all standards-essential licensees, according to Apple.

Following its agreement with Intel, Apple said it would hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Apple is widely expected to release its first 5G-enabled iPhones with Qualcomm modems in 2020.

Tag: Intel

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Intel Launches New W-2200 Xeon Chips Appropriate for an Updated iMac Pro

Intel today launched new W-2200 Cascade Lake-X Xeon chips that are potentially suitable for a new iMac Pro should Apple be planning to refresh the machine in the near future.

Right now, Apple uses custom Intel Xeon-W chips for its iMac Pro models, but could use a stock version of the W-2200 Xeon chips or a custom version.


There are up to 18 AVX 512 enabled cores in the new W-2200 chips, along with up to 48 PCIe lanes, Turbo Boost Max 3.0, and AI acceleration (Intel Deep Learning Boost) for visual effects, motion graphics, 3D rendering, and more. The chips are similar to Intel's X-Series chips but with Intel vPro for support for up to 1TB ECC RAM, VROC, and RAS (reliability, availability, and serviceability) features.

According to Intel, its new chips offer 2x faster 3D architecture rendering, 97% faster 4K video editing, and 2.1x faster video game compile times.


Intel is introducing a new, more affordable pricing structure for the updated chips, dropping prices by up to almost 50 percent compared to prior-generation Xeon chips. The pricing cuts could drive the cost of future iMac Pro models down should Apple pass those savings along to consumers.


Apple released the iMac Pro in 2017 and hasn't updated it since then, so it's due for a refresh. There are no rumors that an updated model is in the works, but we often don't hear much about minor Mac refreshes, so upgraded processors and other hardware could still come in a 2019 update.

Intel says the new Xeon W-2200 chips will be available starting in November.

Tag: Intel

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16-Inch MacBook Pro Will Reportedly Use Intel’s 9th-Gen Processors With Up to 8 Cores

Apple's widely rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro will be powered by Intel's 9th-generation Coffee Lake Refresh processors, in line with the 15-inch MacBook Pro released in May, according to IHS Markit analyst Jeff Lin.


If accurate, this means the 16-inch MacBook Pro will be configurable with up to an 8-core Core i9 processor with a 2.4GHz base clock speed and a max Turbo Boost frequency of 5.0GHz. The lineup also includes 6-core Core i7 processors. All of the chips are 45W with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630.

Rumors suggest the 16-inch MacBook Pro will feature an all-new design with narrower bezels and a more reliable scissor mechanism keyboard. In a research note obtained by Forbes, Lin said the 16-inch display will have 227 pixels per inch, in line with its previously rumored 3,072×1,920 resolution.

Lin believes the 16-inch MacBook Pro will enter production in September, setting the stage for a fall release, but there is still some debate as to whether Apple will unveil the notebook in September or October. In the fall, Apple typically unveils new Macs in October, but it could always break with tradition.

There is some speculation that the 15-inch MacBook Pro may be discontinued shortly after the 16-inch model launches, but TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the 15-inch model will be refreshed in 2020.

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Intel Reveals New 10th-Gen Core Processors Suitable for MacBook Air and Base 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Intel today introduced its first 10th-generation Core processors, codenamed Ice Lake. Built on a 10-nanometer process, the chips are designed for thin-and-light notebooks, meaning they could potentially make their way to future entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models.


Intel says the Ice Lake chips have increased board integration, allowing manufacturers like Apple to release notebooks with sleeker designs. The chips also feature Intel's all-new Gen11 graphics architecture for up to double the graphics performance, and integrated Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi 6, aka 802.11ax.

The lineup of 11 new processors includes six U-series chips and five Y-series chips:


Intel is also introducing a new processor number naming structure starting with this first set of 10th-generation Core processors, doing away with Y and U series identifiers and instead emphasizing graphics. The new structure is a bit confusing, but The Verge has a nice breakdown for deciphering them.


Intel expects the first notebooks with Ice Lake chips to be available in time for the holiday shopping season.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

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Apple in ‘Advanced Talks’ to Buy Intel’s Smartphone Modem Chip Business

Apple is now in advanced talks to purchase Intel's smartphone modem chip business, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with Apple's plans.

A deal that covers a portfolio of patents and staff valued at $1 billion or more could be established as soon as next week if the talks continue.

Intel 5G Modem
Apple and Intel have reportedly been in on and off talks for approximately a year. As reported earlier, the talks ended right around the time that Apple and Qualcomm settled their legal disputes and reached a new supply agreement.

Intel sought other buyers and found other interested parties, but discussions with Apple resumed shortly after they ended.
The Apple-Intel discussions began last summer, around the time former Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich resigned, people familiar with the matter have said. Mr. Krzanich championed the modem business and touted 5G technology as a big future revenue stream. When Bob Swan was named to that job in January, analysts said the odds of a deal rose because his focus on cleaning up Intel would require addressing the losses in the modem business.
As noted by The Wall Street Journal, purchasing Intel's modem chip business would provide Apple with a leg up on its efforts to develop its own modem chips in house, which would ultimately make the company less reliant on Qualcomm.

Apple has been working on developing its own modem chips since at least 2018, but the technology isn't expected to be ready for use in iPhones and iPads for a few years.

Intel in April announced that it was exiting the 5G smartphone modem business, sharing the news just after Apple and Qualcomm announced their new deal. Since then, Intel has been seeking a buyer for its smartphone modem business.

Apple had been planning to use Intel's 5G chips for its 2020 iPhones, but rumors suggested Intel wasn't able to meet design deadlines, souring the relationship between the two companies. Apple now plans to use Qualcomm's 5G modem chips in its 2020 iPhones and has established a deal for chips for future devices as well.

Tag: Intel

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Intel Reportedly in Exclusive Talks With Unnamed Buyer Over 8,500 Wireless Patents

Just weeks after Intel reportedly put around 8,500 wireless patents up for auction, the chipmaker has now taken the portfolio off the market and entered into a period of exclusivity with an unnamed buyer for a substantial portion of the assets up for sale, according to IAM.

Intel 5G Modem
While the hopeful buyer has not been disclosed, the report speculates it could be Apple:
Intel gave no indication of who the interested bidder might be; whether, for example, it is an operating company acting on its own, a consortium or an investor play. However, given the reports of Apple's interest in the chipmaker's overall smartphone modem business, the iPhone giant must be seen as among the most likely bidders.
Intel is reportedly aiming to sell off 8,500 assets from its patent portfolio, including 6,000 patents related to 3G, 4G, and 5G cellular standards and an additional 1,700 patents on wireless implementation technologies.

The portfolio would obviously be tremendously valuable to Apple as rumors suggest the iPhone maker is developing its own cellular modems that could be ready by 2022 or 2023, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple is also widely expected to release its first 5G-enabled iPhone next year.

In April, Intel announced that it is exiting the 5G smartphone business, not long after Apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement and a multi-year supply agreement that will see Qualcomm providing 5G modems for future iPhones.

Apple is reportedly interested in purchasing parts of Intel's smartphone modem business following its exit, possibly including its German division. Together with the 8,500 patents, this would give Apple a significant amount of 5G-related intellectual property to advance its wireless technologies.

Tags: Intel, 5G

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