The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lot of negative and outright disastrous effects. However, it has brought at the forefront demand for consumer electronics, especially PCs, Akshay Kamath, Director – Client Sales, Intel India told BGR.in in an interview. Due to the ongoing pandemic, PCs have become an integral part of people’s lives, whether it be for learning, working or just for having fun. This caused the demand for PCs to skyrocket last year and the trend seems to continue. Also Read - Indian smartphone market grew by 12% in 2021 despite Covid 19 restrictions
The gaming segment was already on a significant growth trajectory in India, even before COVID struck, it just seems to have accelerated the trend. Even a lot of mobile gamers wanting a more wholesome experience are shifting to PCs. Kamath feels that around 90 percent of mobile gamers are willing to shift to PCs for various reasons including a demand for better games, better performance, bigger displays and so on. Also Read - Intel Arc Alchemist could be as powerful as Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti: Report
Intel has always had a huge focus on gamers developing things like the Intel Xe graphics architecture, Cypress Cove architecture and more. Now, the company has launched the Tiger Lake H45 platform built using the 10nm SuperFin process on a new microarchitecture called Willow Cove, which according to the company provides users with a 19 percent boost in multi-thread performance, making it the fastest single-threaded mobile processor. It also utilises technologies like Intel Turbo Boost 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 with 20 lanes of PCIe Gen4. It also comes with support for Thunderbolt 4, WiFi 6E and more. Also Read - Age of Drones: Precision farming in India gets major boost
Apart from the launch of the Tiger Lake H45 platform, the company has also focussed on cloud gaming, recently launching its Intel server GPU aimed at Android gamers. Taking a look at all of this, the company is quite bullish on PC gaming in India.
When asked why the H35 and the H45 series have such a huge gap, Kamath stated that both the series are targeted at different form factors. The H35 processors are built for the ultra-portable gaming segment, whereas, the H45 processors are built for the clamshells and gaming muscle books. The amount of raw performance of the H45 surpasses the H35, and is apt for creators and gamers.
The H45 flagship chip Core i9 11980HK supports 8 cores and 16 threads and is fully unlocked for overclocking, making it the perfect chip for enthusiasts. H45 processors come with 20 PCIe Gen4 lanes coming from the CPU itself, this means that the CPU can directly be connected with GDDR6 memory, which would make loading textures faster, therefore getting more FPS in games and lower latency. Apart from these, there are 24 lanes of PCIe Gen 3.
For content creators, TigerLake H45 comes with support for the Xe graphics architecture, which supports AV1 decoding for faster video transcoding. It has a deep learning boost feature for accelerating AI inferencing along with the VNNI instructions.
For professional users, Intel has integrated its vPro technology to keep them protected. However, what is there to protect normal consumers from malware attacks? Kamath stated that there are security features like Intel CET, which detects and prevents a class of malware attacks.
Intel has also continued to develop its Optane platform, which according to the company is the most responsive storage solution. Even the new H45 platform continues to support the technology and we will get to see OEMs utilise the technology to get a performance boost.
When asked about the Gen 4 SSDs Kamath explained that it is up to the OEMs to decide the design of the SSD configurations they want to connect. They could decide to use gen 4 SSDs in a RAID 0-configuration, they could do a bootable RAID 0 with rapid storage technology solutions.
The H45 series is based on the 10nm SuperFin manufacturing process, however, this is not what a general consumer would understand, as they do not buy the process nodes, instead they purchase full products. They look for the performance and capabilities of the product. This is why Intel focuses a lot on improving the performance and enabling capabilities on both the product and the architecture side. Kamath stated that process technology comparisons are not representative of features or of performance, and that a CPU at the end of the day is a combination of architecture and process. This along with the new Intel Xe graphics architecture provide users with the maximum performance and features. Features like Thunderbolt 4, WiFi 6, WiFi 6E, Turbo Boost and more, make the CPU a compelling package, not only the architecture.
Talking about graphics performance, Kamath stated that XE graphics is a low power graphics architecture, which the company introduced with the Tiger Lake platform last year. It comes with features like quicksync video, AV1 decoding, DP4A and more. All of these features help provide a much-needed boost to a computer’s graphics. This architecture brings in 2x Gen on Gen performance improvements.
XE graphics also come with DP4A, which helps it in ai inferencing workloads, which are extensively used by ISVs. This helps in accelerating workloads in video editing, photo editing, and so on.
Since its launch, XE graphics architecture has been making it into other form factors too. There are products like the Intel server GPU based on the Xe-LP architecture, which together with the Xeon scalable platform and licensed software solutions, provide a very compelling cloud Android gaming platform. Due to this combination, Kamath explained that you can have really a high-density gaming cluster, with low latency, low cost and optimized SEO for Android game streaming solutions, as well as, OTT media streaming. Some partners include Gamestream, Tencent, and more.
The company has also introduced a discrete version of it for mobile, dubbed Xe Max, targeted towards content creators.