Leaked 'Amber Lake' Intel processors could be used in 12-inch MacBook refresh

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A leak for an unannounced Dell notebook and a Romanian report may have revealed some details about Intel's "Amber Lake" processors, a collection of chips that could be strong candidates for use in a future MacBook refresh.

A regional website for Dell reveals an upcoming 2-in-1 XPS 13 will sport the 8th-generation Intel Core i5-8200Y and i7-8500Y processors, clocked at up to 3.9GHz and 4.2GHz respectively and equipped with 4 megabytes of cache. The two processors are featured alongside 7th-generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors.

The appearance of the two 8th-generation chips on the product page could be considered a confirmation that Intel will be bringing out the "Amber Lake"-based processors in the third quarter of 2018. So far, Intel has only announced the upcoming chips during Computex, but has yet to provide any details about processors in the line.

A report from Romanian publication NextLab offers up details about three processors under the Amber Lake Y banner. Both the Core i5-8200Y and Core i7-8500Y chips are joined by a third, the Core m3-8100Y, which is seemingly designated as the mobile-oriented option.

The Core i5-8200Y is said to have a base clock of 1.3GHz, rising to 3.9GHz when boosted, while the Core i7-8500Y starts from 1.5GHz and rises to 4.2GHz. The Core m3-8100Y ranges from 1.1GHz as a base clock to 3.4GHz under boost.

All three 14-nanometer chips are dual-core with quad threads, have Intel UHD 625 graphics, and crucially have a low thermal design point of 5 Watts. The low temperature, along with the performance of each chip, gives the processors a good chance of appearing in a refreshed 12-inch MacBook in the future.

Rumors have pointed to an update of the MacBook line, such as the model numbers appearing in Eurasian Economic Commission filings in early July, but it is unknown when such a refresh will occur, nor if there are other changes that will be made to the notebook.

Last week, Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup, adding new six-core processors, options for up to 32GB of RAM, a True-Tone display, and a quieter third-generation keyboard. It is possible that some of the new features, such as the membrane addition to the keyboard, could make an appearance in a new 12-inch MacBook model.