Data Centers

Intel targets VR market with 8th gen Core processors and mini-PC NUC system

The upgraded Core series processors feature Radeon RX Vega Graphics and 4GB of memory.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Intel announced its 8th Gen Core processor series with Radeon RX Vega M Graphics for virtual reality, gaming, and content creation.
  • Intel's new mini-PC NUC systems come in two version, both sporting the new processors and other features for VR use.

At CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Intel revealed the latest version of its Core processor line with Radeon RX Vega M Graphics and a new mini-PC NUC system—both geared toward running virtual reality (VR) applications.

A heavy-hitter in the chip market like Intel throwing its weight behind VR could help add legitimacy to the technology, especially in the enterprise. And knowing there are Intel chips designed specifically for gaming and VR could spur the development of even more VR hardware.

SEE: Virtual and augmented reality policy (Tech Pro Research)

According to an Intel press release, as part of the 8th generation of Intel's Core processor series, the Radeon-powered update will be available in two distinct options:

  1. 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics (65W total package power)
  2. 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M GH Graphics (100W total package power), which features an unlocked configuration

Intel has been teasing this processor line since late 2017, but it's finally here. The chips feature a quad-core CPU and 4GB of memory. They also use Intel's Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) technology, which the release described as "a high-speed intelligent information bridge between the GPU and HBM2 and reduces the usual silicon footprint to less than half that of discrete components implemented separately."

Essentially, this allows Intel to create even thinner and lighter devices. And on these smaller devices, the processors power up to 3x more frames per second, the release said, allowing for better gaming and VR experiences. It also makes content creation in a program like Adobe Premier Pro up to 42% faster, the release noted.

The new chips could be used to power Windows Mixed Reality headsets and Oculus headsets, for example.

Utilizing this new chip series is the updated Intel NUC (formerly code-named Hades Canyon) mini PC. According to a separate press release, it's great for "VR enthusiasts and workload-heavy content creators," and "it will be Intel's smallest premium VR-capable system in the market."

According to the release, the NUC is also available in two versions:

  1. NUC8i7HVK, based on the unlocked version of the 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M GH graphics, allows overclockers to further improve performance
  2. NUC8i7HNK uses the 8th Gen Intel Core processor with the Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics

Also see

Intel processor 8th gen
Image: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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