Leaked Intel Skylake-U roadmap reveals CPUs likely bound for MacBook Air

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited August 2015
A set of supposedly leaked specifications for Intel's upcoming Skylake processor lineup made its way to the Web on Tuesday, offering what could be the first peek at what users can expect from Apple's next-generation MacBook Air products.




The roadmaps published by FanlessTech show specifications for Intel's 15-watt Skylake-U series, a low-power product targeting thin-and-light notebooks and ultralights.

As noted by the publication, Intel is apparently streamlining its product offering to one Core i7, one Core i5, one Core i3, one Pentium, and two Celerons, not including two vPro chips. It's not yet clear which SKU Apple will choose for its MacBook Air update, but likely candidates include chips from the Core i5-6200U and Core i7-6500U series.

Both versions feature integrated Intel HD 520 graphics, with the Core i5 chips clocked at 2.3GHz and 2.4GHz, while Core i7 models jump to 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz.




Aside from clock speed bumps, Intel's new 14-nanometer architecture is expected to improve battery life by up to 30 percent while also boosting CPU performance by 10 to 20 percent over the company's current line of Broadwell chips. The enhancement will likely have a pronounced effect on thin-and-light systems like the Air.

While Intel's roadmap lacks specific launch dates, previous rumors suggest Skylake CPUs could start shipping in October.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    It's about a 5% boost over HSW/BDW. The benefit of SKL is the ancillary features like DDR4, not any real IPC improvements. These are only 25% better than SNB.
  • Reply 2 of 38
    jdwjdw Posts: 676member
    Until Apple ceases with the foolishness and adds a Retina Display, who the heck cares about the MacBook Air?
  • Reply 3 of 38
    Does this include a chip for the next MacBook?
  • Reply 4 of 38
    jdwjdw Posts: 676member
    ttollerton wrote: »
    Does this include a chip for the next MacBook?

    My point exactly. See, even you don't care about the Air! You are focused on the MacBook! :-)

    But in answer to your question, no, these aren't the super low power chips that would be used in the fan less MacBook. And although the MacBook too will get Skylake in 2016, unless they hire me to kick some fanny at Cupertino, the MacBook will likely remain handicapped by the single USB-C port.
  • Reply 5 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JDW View Post



    Until Apple ceases with the foolishness and adds a Retina Display, who the heck cares about the MacBook Air?

     

    The Macbook Air is only hanging around to offer the low price point until the Macbook can drop in price and up in performance. The Air is playing the role that the Macbook did when the Air was first released. By 2017 there will be no Air when the CPU in the Macbook is ramped enough to not matter (for the intent of the device).

     

    SkyLake and the new Macbook's engineering will be used to reinvent the Macbook Pro for 2016 with 4 ports of TB3/USBC and larger 14" and 16" screens in the 13" and 15" bodies. They will be thinner and lighter as a result. Thicker than the Macbook, but more like the Air - just as the Post DVD Pro was thicker than the Air.

     

    The Air has nothing to offer.

     

    If Apple deems SkyLake's wireless charging to be worth integrating then the next version of the Macbook won't even use the single port for charging (I doubt they will though)

     

    Regardless that single port will be a TB3/USBC port meaning you can plug in an external hub or upcoming Apple monitor (fark sake) and have whatever the heck you want plugged into it. SSD Raid, dual monitors, 4 x full speed USB 3 devices

     

    The single port will be just fine

  • Reply 6 of 38
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    jdw wrote: »
    My point exactly. See, even you don't care about the Air! You are focused on the MacBook! :-)

    But in answer to your question, no, these aren't the super low power chips that would be used in the fan less MacBook. And although the MacBook too will get Skylake in 2016, unless they hire me to kick some fanny at Cupertino, the MacBook will likely remain handicapped by the single USB-C port.

    The Z170 chipset doesn't support USB 3.1, and neither do any of the other 100-series chipsets. So an extra chip has to be provided just to support one USB 3.1.
  • Reply 7 of 38
    misa wrote: »
    The Z170 chipset doesn't support USB 3.1, and neither do any of the other 100-series chipsets. So an extra chip has to be provided just to support one USB 3.1.

    isn't that the point of the Alpine Ridge controller though, which is alleged to be available in September and would give Apple all the puzzle pieces to implement USB3.1/TB3 through a USBC port? I'm not sure but does one controller only allow for one of these ports?

    the question then is how many lanes of PCIe and board space for controllers Apple wants to assign to these ports.
  • Reply 8 of 38
    robertcrobertc Posts: 118member

    I'm surprised AppleInsider covered this and not Intel's new Xeon chips for mobile workstations.  

     

    Lenovo already announced 15" and 17" laptops with the new Skylake 47 W Xeon chips (DDR4 ECC, Thunderbolt 3, PCIe SSD, nVidia Quadro, 4k display with built-in calibration sensor, fingerprint sensor, etc.). 

     

    I'm curious to see what Apple might have planned for the next MacBook Pro.

  • Reply 9 of 38
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post

     

    SkyLake and the new Macbook's engineering will be used to reinvent the Macbook Pro for 2016 with 4 ports of TB3/USBC and larger 14" and 16" screens in the 13" and 15" bodies.


     

    The 14"/16" idea is being thrown around the forum a lot, but does anybody know if there's really enough room in the MBP to remove the bezel and gain an inch of screen width?

     

    If Apple managed to go edge to edge (and somehow dealt with the camera placement) how big of a screen would fit in the 15" Pro?

  • Reply 10 of 38
    frank777 wrote: »
    If Apple managed to go edge to edge (and somehow dealt with the camera placement) how big of a screen would fit in the 15" Pro?

    from the look of things, the MacBook now has a bezel similar to a MBP, while the Air has more.. that said the 15" is 15.4" so you only need half an inch more space, diagonally speaking.. and I would suggest there is at least an inch available.

    I suppose it will depend on engineering things mostly, such as strength of the lid, or stability of the glass or other subtle reasons than purely space
  • Reply 11 of 38
    jdwjdw Posts: 676member
    The Macbook Air is only hanging around to offer the low price point until the Macbook can drop in price and up in performance...

    The single port will be just fine

    You still did not adequately answer my question though (which of course was more a statement of fact than a query).
    :-)

    I agree with you about "Apple's reasoning," but that doesn't make me want to buy one. Cost alone doesn't make everyone else want to buy an Air either, seeing that if cost is a factor, many computer buyers would avoid OS X altogether and buy a DELL XPS 13. If the Air had a Retina screen though, I would have bought one for my daughter, seeing she is a student in need of a notebook this semester. The Air bests the MacBook in performance, but most importantly, the 13" Air has a realistically usable number of ports and an SD card reader. Yet the display, however good it may be for an standard resolution screen, is not modern by today's standards and is therefore a deal breaker. Why? Because some of us plan to own these pricey Macs for 5 years or more, so buying a machine that is seriously behind the times in a key area will be ancient history only a couple years hence. And no, I'm not into selling them on EBAY so as to perpetually have the latest and greatest.

    As to the single port of the MacBook being just fine in 2016... Ha! Maybe in 2020 when Apple finally perfects wireless charging tech and when the SD card is starting to become less relevant (along with th traditional digital camera). But the single port is stupid for now, especially since they could just ditch the stupid headphone jack on the opposite side to give us another port, and headphone users could go wireless or buy an adapter. That one change alone, even if the CPU remained as is, would open a whole new set of buyers to the MacBook line and silence a lot of the criticism we even to this day read about the MacBook in the media.

    Sometimes Apple takes Jobsian minimalism to an extreme, and I say this as an Apple lover and staunch defender of Jobs. Fact is, the best CRT compact Mac came out after Steve exited Apple — the SE/30, widely loved even to this day by collectors for its anti-Jobsian expandability. You can have a super thin and lightweight Mac notebook that is powerfully expandable (via ports) too, but not when you limit it to one port, especially when that port is required for charging. Some are holding out in hopes Apple will turn a blind eye to you folks who defend the single port and give ear to the dual port crowd. I'm not holding my breath about that, but you never know. Maybe Apple will ditch the headphone jack and give us another USB port there instead. We can only hope so. It would still be a very modern Mac, yet one that would silence much criticism and please buyers abundantly. I would be first in line to buy one of those (despite the pathetically stupid SD camera), if and Apple gives us the Dual Port MacBook. But again, my eyes are on the MacBook, not the Air, and it's because the Air lacks a Retina display.
  • Reply 12 of 38
    jdw wrote: »
    You still did not adequately answer my question though (which of course was more a statement of fact than a query).
    :-)

    I agree with you about "Apple's reasoning," but that doesn't make me want to buy one. Cost alone doesn't make everyone else want to buy an Air either, seeing that if cost is a factor, many computer buyers would avoid OS X altogether and buy a DELL XPS 13. If the Air had a Retina screen though, I would have bought one for my daughter, seeing she is a student in need of a notebook this semester. The Air bests the MacBook in performance, but most importantly, the 13" Air has a realistically usable number of ports and an SD card reader. Yet the display, however good it may be for an standard resolution screen, is not modern by today's standards and is therefore a deal breaker. Why? Because some of us plan to own these pricey Macs for 5 years or more, so buying a machine that is seriously behind the times in a key area will be ancient history only a couple years hence. And no, I'm not into selling them on EBAY so as to perpetually have the latest and greatest.

    As to the single port of the MacBook being just fine in 2016... Ha! Maybe in 2020 when Apple finally perfects wireless charging tech and when the SD card is starting to become less relevant (along with th traditional digital camera). But the single port is stupid for now, especially since they could just ditch the stupid headphone jack on the opposite side to give us another port, and headphone users could go wireless or buy an adapter. That one change alone, even if the CPU remained as is, would open a whole new set of buyers to the MacBook line and silence a lot of the criticism we even to this day read about the MacBook in the media.

    Sometimes Apple takes Jobsian minimalism to an extreme, and I say this as an Apple lover and staunch defender of Jobs. Fact is, the best CRT compact Mac came out after Steve exited Apple — the SE/30, widely loved even to this day by collectors for its anti-Jobsian expandability. You can have a super thin and lightweight Mac notebook that is powerfully expandable (via ports) too, but not when you limit it to one port, especially when that port is required for charging. Some are holding out in hopes Apple will turn a blind eye to you folks who defend the single port and give ear to the dual port crowd. I'm not holding my breath about that, but you never know. Maybe Apple will ditch the headphone jack and give us another USB port there instead. We can only hope so. It would still be a very modern Mac, yet one that would silence much criticism and please buyers abundantly. I would be first in line to buy one of those (despite the pathetically stupid SD camera), if and Apple gives us the Dual Port MacBook. But again, my eyes are on the MacBook, not the Air, and it's because the Air lacks a Retina display.

    read some of the other posts made about Alpine Ridge.

    also, buy her a Apple reconditioned MBP13" with retina.. better in all ways than the Air
  • Reply 13 of 38
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member

    The Air was also minimalist when it debuted in 2008. The extra ports got added later.

     

    For a stroll down memory lane, read MacWorld's first review of the Air, and tell me if anything sounds vaguely familiar.

     

    Apple always does this with version 1, in part to push the limits of tech and in part to generate internet buzz.

     

    Future versions of the MacBook will have more power and ports, guaranteed.

     

    By that time the Retina Premium will also have disappeared, as will the MacBook Air.

  • Reply 14 of 38
    uraharaurahara Posts: 192member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post





    from the look of things, the MacBook now has a bezel similar to a MBP, while the Air has more.. that said the 15" is 15.4" so you only need half an inch more space, diagonally speaking.. and I would suggest there is at least an inch available.



    I suppose it will depend on engineering things mostly, such as strength of the lid, or stability of the glass or other subtle reasons than purely space



    Apple can't increase the useful area of the screen, because they need place to write down e.g. MacBook Air at the bottom of the screen on the bezel. ;)

  • Reply 15 of 38
    uraharaurahara Posts: 192member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post





    read some of the other posts made about Alpine Ridge.



    also, buy her a Apple reconditioned MBP13" with retina.. better in all ways than the Air



    MBP13 is heavier than Air. That's why I prefer Air. 

    And waiting for the Retina...

  • Reply 16 of 38
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    frank777 wrote: »
    The Air was also minimalist when it debuted in 2008. The extra ports got added later.

    For a stroll down memory lane, read MacWorld's first review of the Air, and tell me if anything sounds vaguely familiar.

    Apple always does this with version 1, in part to push the limits of tech and in part to generate internet buzz.

    Future versions of the MacBook will have more power and ports, guaranteed.

    By that time the Retina Premium will also have disappeared, as will the MacBook Air.

    Where are the more ports going to come from? Removing the headphone jack? Why does this need to be like 2008 all over again? Lots of people use iPads just find with one port.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    urahara wrote: »

    MBP13 is heavier than Air. That's why I prefer Air. 
    And waiting for the Retina...

    I think you will be waiting forever if you hope the device has "Air" in the name
  • Reply 18 of 38
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:


     Aside from clock speed bumps, Intel's new 14-nanometer architecture is expected to improve battery life by up to 30 percent


     

    No, there will be no improvement in battery life.  Apple will do the usual cost paring exercise and make the Air thinner and lighter, with smaller, lower capacity batteries because they will be cheaper and so improve Apple's margins.

  • Reply 19 of 38
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,364member
    frank777 wrote: »
    The Air was also minimalist when it debuted in 2008. The extra ports got added later.

    For a stroll down memory lane, read MacWorld's first review of the Air, and tell me if anything sounds vaguely familiar.

    Apple always does this with version 1, in part to push the limits of tech and in part to generate internet buzz.

    Future versions of the MacBook will have more power and ports, guaranteed.

    By that time the Retina Premium will also have disappeared, as will the MacBook Air.

    I agree with you on this. However, there's likely only room for one more port, and that's replacing the antiquated headphone jack. The rMB is an anachronism as it is -- a laptop which is built for a wireless world, yet still accommodates a wired headphone, on a device which is the least friendly for such an attachment. But it is the heir apparent (pun intended) to the MBA line. I think the "Air" monicker has served its usefulness, and we'll see it disappear from the next major update of the iPad as well. It seems to me that Apple needs to get back to a more simplified lineup. And expanding the usefulness of the rMB would be part of that -- in order to adequately replace the MBA it should be slightly more versatile. Apple is supporting 5 MacBook models now, the bottom four of which all essentially canibalization from each other. If the iPad Pro becomes a reality, that's going to confuse the issue even further. Apple could do far worse than going back to 2008 and offering one consumer model MacBook, and Pro options which can demand higher margins.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    normmnormm Posts: 533member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post

     

    The Macbook Air is only hanging around to offer the low price point until the Macbook can drop in price and up in performance. The Air is playing the role that the Macbook did when the Air was first released. By 2017 there will be no Air when the CPU in the Macbook is ramped enough to not matter (for the intent of the device).


     

    One problem I have with the Macbook, compared to the Air, is that it has no edge to hold it by.  I frequently charge my computer while I use it, and the very long body of a USB-C connector sticking out gets in the way of the main suitable spot to hold the machine on the top left edge.  I also find the 12 inch screen too small -- it's only a tiny bit larger than the 11.6 inch screen on the smallest Air!  I'm also not fond of the new lower profile keyboard -- it takes too much force to press the keys, in my opinion.  And the lack of a fan means the machine gets hot if you push the performance.

     

    So what I'm hoping for is a 14 inch Macbook Air that is smaller and lighter than the current 13.3 inch Air, with a nearly edge-to-edge retina display.  That would hit the sweet spot for me!

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