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Intel Skylake CPU is always listening

Computers powered by the sixth-generation Intel Core processor Skylake can be woken with a vocal prompt.

Tying in nicely with Windows 10’s Cortana personal-assistant feature, the newly revealed CPU feature is constantly listening out for your voice.

Just say “Cortana, wake up” or “Hey Cortana” around a sleeping Intel Skylake-powered Windows 10 PC or laptop, and it’ll spring out of hibernation.

As Gizmodo reports, the reason for this is that the Intel Skylake chip features a low-power digital signal processor (DSP). This allows it to be on constant alert without drawing heaps of power.

It’s the kind of feature that we’ve seen in select Android-powered smartphones (such as the Motorola Moto X) before now, as well as on Microsoft’s Xbox One console (provided you have a Kinect peripheral). It’s the first time such a feature will have been seen on computers, however.

Intel’s 14nm revolution

Such a feature was technically possible with last year’s Intel Core M processors, but of course there was no Windows 10 or Cortana software magic to capitalise on it.

There’s no word yet on whether you’ll need any special audio equipment for your Windows 10 computer to make this feature work, and Intel also didn’t mention precisely how much power the feature will draw.

Here’s everything you need to know about Windows 10:

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