Intel’s 9th Gen Core processors are here, and, as expected, they’re simply a refresh of the last generation of chips, with the same 14nm die size the company’s been using since 2014. Performance-wise, Intel says the new chips are squeezing out higher speeds; they’re supposedly up to 10 percent faster than last year’s models. There are also some nice improvements on the more granular side of things for particularly serious users, including the switch back to a solder thermal interface material (STIM) over paste. But for the most part, the new chips have the same things last year’s chips had: more cores. And the reason is pretty simple: Intel still hasn’t managed to move on from its 14nm manufacturing node to the next step, its repeatedly delayed 10nm process. Each processor manufacturing generation is determined by the manufacturing node, which describes the size of the minimum feature on the wafer of silicon. Generally, the smaller the node, the more technology can fit onto a chip, and the better the overall performance. Intel is now on its third generation of products using this old architecture: the 14nm node dates back to 2014’s Broadwell processors, which means that Intel hasn’t advanced to a significantly smaller transistor size in almost half a decade. It’s something that stands in stark opposition to the long-vaunted Moore’s Law — Intel’s guiding star for the last 50 years — that won’t continue to hold for the future. The added benefits of increased transistor count that come from… [Read full story]
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