Intel Launches ‘Best Ever’ Chips, Hopes To Avert PC Slump

Intel introduced new processors code-named “Skylake” on Tuesday. The chip maker claims they are the “best ever” processors for the next-generation of personal computers. The new chips are officially called 6th Gen Intel Core.

Intel sees big opportunity

These processors enable longer battery life, better graphics and consume less power, thus helping in making laptops and notebook-tablet hybrids thinner without compromising computing abilities.

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“The industry has been talking for a long time about having PCs that have the characteristics of tablets. I feel like for the first time we are there,” Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy said. “I feel like for the first time we are there.”

Moorhead said the new chips will allow manufacturers to build laptops that that are not only thin and light, but also with all-day battery life and touch screens. These devices will be priced between $499 and $699. Moorhead said that for getting this level of capacity the customers earlier had to pay $1000 to $1500.

According to the chipmaker, there are 1 billion PCs that are three years old and 500 million PCs that are 4 to 5 years old. This presents a big replacement opportunity for Intel assuming owners want something new. That the slumping PC market will be reignited by the combination of new Skylake chips and Windows 10 is what Intel is hoping.

Will Skylake help PCs recover?

Moorhead and several other analysts agree that Skylake’s success or failure will determine the direction the PC business will be headed to. Analyst Alex Guana of JMP Securities said, “It would be nice for a change to see a demand-driven PC environment where the combination of Windows 10 and Intel excites the consumer imagination.”

Tristan Gerra, a chip industry analyst with Robert W. Baird, doubts Skylake’s ability to turn the PC sales around, but believes it is possible the new technology could level off the 9 to 10% decline expected in the PC sales this year.

Similar views are held by technology analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates. Skylake could help PC sales, but it won’t be able to turn them around, said Gold. “You can’t avoid economics — China’s tanking and that’s a huge marketplace.”

As of around 1 pm EDT Wednesday, Intel shares were up 2.61% at $28.54.