Intel ( INTC ) CEO Pat Gelsinger debuted the company’s 13th-generation Intel Core processors on Tuesday during the chip giant’s annual Intel Innovation event in San Jose, California.
The new chips, codenamed Raptor Lake, are designed to put Intel in the running ahead of archrival AMD ( AMD ) in the desktop performance space. They also come as PC sales decline after massive growth during the early days of the pandemic.
Intel says the top version of the chip, the Core i9-13900K, is the fastest desktop processor on the planet. The chip, which is marketed at hardcore gamers and creators, packs a whopping 24 processing cores. These are divided into eight performance cores and 16 performance cores.
The performance cores for the new chip are designed to handle your heavy tasks – think gaming, compiling code and helping with photo and video editing. The performance cores are meant to handle less intensive tasks like browsing the web, firing emails, etc. The idea is that your computer can call on the performance cores when it needs a little extra horsepower — and rely on the performance cores when you do. basic tasks and don’t need to drain your neighborhood’s power grid.
“The 13th Gen Intel Core family is the latest example of how Intel enables amazing experiences to happen on the PC – at scale and across all PC product segments,” Intel Client Computing Group general manager Michelle Johnston Holthaus said in a statement.
The company’s big boast is that the speed of the Core i9-13900K chips tops out at a ridiculous 5.8Ghz. That’s important because it only tops AMD’s top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 9 7950X chip, which clocks in at 5.7GHz.
Of course, most people probably won’t get the Core i9-13900K, as it will probably be out of the price range of most users. We’re still waiting for exact pricing on the chip, but based on past precedent, expect it to be around $700.
For those looking for something more processor-friendly, Intel will also have the usual Core i5 and Core i7 chips, which get performance gains over their 12th-generation predecessors. In total, Intel says the 13th-generation lineup will have 22 processors and will be available across 125 partner system designs.
In addition to the company’s 13th-generation chips, Intel announced its new Intel Unison software. Designed to better connect your smartphone and your computer, Unison promises improved file transfer capabilities for iOS and Android devices. The company also says you’ll be able to receive text messages, calls and notifications from your Android phone on your computer.
This is not the only software with these types of options. Microsoft offers a similar app, although it only works with Android devices. Apple already allows iOS users to make and receive calls, and send and receive texts from the iPhone on their Macs. Those users can also start apps on their iPhone and pick up where they left off on their Macs.
Intel’s announcements come at a critical time for the company. Gelsinger is trying to return Intel to its position as the world’s leading chip designer and builder. But it will be a tough journey as the company struggles with rivals such as AMD, Qualcomm (QCOM), and Nvidia on the design side and TSMC on the manufacturing side.
Intel reported dismal results in the second quarter, missing expectations and pointing to problems with its execution and declining demand for server chips. At the time, Gelsinger announced that Intel would miss its annual sales revenue by up to $11 billion. The stock is currently hanging just above its 52-week low of $26.81.
“This quarter’s results were below the standards we set for the company and our shareholders. We must and will do better. The sudden and rapid decline in economic activity was the biggest driver, but the shortfall also reflects our own execution problems,” Gelsinger said at the time.
“We are responding to changing business conditions by working closely with our customers while remaining laser-focused on our strategy and long-term opportunities. We embrace this challenging environment to accelerate our transformation.”
Shares of Intel are down 47% year to date. AMD is down 53%, while Nvidia is down 58%.
Will Intel be able to turn things around? That depends on whether the company can meet its ambitious goal of becoming the chip powerhouse it once was and how long the economy will continue to struggle.
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