Intel + AMD Radeon = Slender Gaming Laptops

Long-term rivals AMD and Intel have partnered to work on a new processor that could mean better gaming on laptops.

Intel will produce a Core processor that includes a graphics core running AMD’s Radeon system. It’ll be a sequel of sorts to the existing Intel H-Series. Shipments are scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

From a business perspective, it’s major news given the two companies have been battling for more than 40 years. The theory appears to be that the partnership makes it more viable to target mid-range computer buyers for whom Nvidia chips are too pricey.

From a user perspective, the big development will be getting Radeon graphics capability in a small package that’s better suited to thinner and lighter laptops. Intel is producing the chips and taking responsibility for how it all fits together.

The real key is the power management. The existing system for controlling whether it’s the CPU, GPU or memory that carries out a particular processing task will be extended to also control the power to the various components. As well as taking into account the tasks each is performing, this control will also adjust based on temperature. If everything works as billed, that will mean the maximum graphics performance without the risk of overheating which is a major limitation in ultra-thin laptops.

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