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Last year, Intel was dealt a massive blow in the form of their long-time collaborator, Apple. Apple ended this partnership due to the development and manufacturing of their own computer chips, the long-awaited M1 processors. This change, alongside the significant praise M1s have garnered since their release, has propelled Apple to be amongst the stiffest competition Intel has faced in the CPU market. For years, Intel has been losing ground on companies like AMD; whose chips are becoming more efficient at a cheaper price, Qualcomm; whose chips dominate the smartphone market, and now Apple. The position gained by these competitors has led some critics to say that Intel is “losing touch” with its identity as a company. They are no longer the cheapest option and thanks to Apple, are also no longer the most cutting edge. That, in conjunction with multiple rollout missteps which delayed releases in the past, has left Intel trailing behind.
However, it was only a matter of time before the largest chip producer in the world stepped up with a response. Intel has announced 4 new families of processors. Among them are the new 12th generation desktop chips – codenamed Adler Lake – and the 11th generation chips – codenamed Rocket Lake. As for the previous chips, the new generation chips push the envelope of a new type of architecture considered “hybrids”.
Building upon the Lakefield CPUs of 2020, Intel is making serious strides by including two sets of cores, large performance, and efficiency-focused. Adler Lake CPUs are going to be geared more towards the everyday consumer. The new design allows the chips to put as much emphasis on efficiency as speed, which was the exact market gap that Apple eyed in designing M1. On the other hand, the Rocket Lake processors are more directed at users who value higher performance such as gamers or content creators. But packaged with the speed, there is an equally hefty price tag to match the hot markets it is designed for. Intel announced that both products will begin rollout by the end of 2021, while Adler Lake has explicitly released that November 19th will be their release date.
Intel’s new releases are a step in the right direction for the tech giant. As mentioned, the tech market, specifically the computer chip market, is the most competitive it has ever been. With many different styled products vying for the attention of customers, Intel needs to return to its roots and prove to its ever-shrinking group of loyalists that it can compete with the shifting landscape. Whether they have the capability of this remains to be seen. Be on the lookout for the emerging alternatives that way take over Intel’s place in the market if they lag any more behind.
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