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Intel looks beyond the PC to a 'new era of computing'

The chipmaker isn't just about PCs anymore. It wants to be at the center of all computing, whatever size or shape it takes.

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Intel has unveiled its new X-Series processor, but it's eyeing plenty more than straight PC power.

Intel

Intel doesn't just care about chips any more -- it has bigger fish to fry.

The processor company took to the stage at Computex in Taipei on Tuesday to talk about a "new era of computing" and the role it will play in driving our connected future.

What does that future look like? Well, for starters, it doesn't necessarily have a screen and a keyboard.

The general manager of Intel's Client Computing Group, Gregory Bryant, said Intel is "focusing on devices, connectivity, form factor and performance." And while they're all still key pillars of Intel computing, it was form factor -- a device's size and shape -- that we really saw on display Tuesday.

Here are the highlights.

VR

Love your VR but hate the wires? Intel showed off the first live demo of the HTC Vive using WiGig technology. That means a fully spec'd virtual reality experience without any cables to worry about.

The product will be due for launch in "early 2018."

intel-htc-vive-wigig-computex.jpg

Intel demos HTC Vive... without the cables.

Claire Reilly/CNET

ComputeCard

We saw the ComputeCard at CES this year, but Intel gave us a demo of the credit card-sized computer, which features a processor, storage and connectivity all packed inside.

Case in point: A student could stick it in a tablet and load it up, then pop it out and slide it into a Compute Card-compatible whiteboard for a school presentation.

"The module can be ejected and replaced or upgraded with just the push of button," said Bryant.

Gaming

If you've still got an epic gaming rig at home, Intel has got you sorted with its new X-Series chips, designed for the enthusiast market. With up to 18 cores on the cards, you'll be doing your "extreme megatasking" like a boss.

Read our full Intel X-Series write-up here.

Smart City

The CityBeacon kiosk, powered by Intel.

Claire Reilly/CNET

Want a computer that's bigger than you? Intel showed off a new form factor for the smart city with the CityBeacon kiosk -- a display that stands twice the height of the average Intel engineer and offers info like maps, public Wi-Fi and emergency alerts. We even got a "demo earthquake."

Don't laugh. Taipei treated Computex-goers to a real earthquake five minutes before last year's Intel keynote, so this one hit particularly close to home.

Where is that 8th gen?

Intel is still giving us very little info about its eighth-generation core processors. But today we learned that they'll be in laptops and desktops by the "holiday season" this year.

And, as a new sweetener, we learned that they'll offer a 30 percent performance boost on the previous generation.

Check out the rest of CNET's Computex 2017 coverage here.

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