Till now, Intel’s 10nm CPUs have been exclusive to the low-power mobile market. The 15W Ice Lake-U and the 9W Y series are the only two lineups to get a taste of Intel’s new 10nm Sunny Cove core architecture. All the other segments: desktop, server, and high-performance gaming laptops are using the older 14nm Skylake core with amped-up core clocks. Despite the souped-up frequencies though, Skylake is still vastly inferior to Sunny Cove in terms of the IPC and the resulting single-thread performance. That’s one of the reasons the Comet Lake U and Y lineups pack twice as many cores as their Ice Lake counterparts.
At long last, it appears that Intel is ready to introduce its 10nm design to the high-performance gaming laptops in the form of the Tiger Lake-H lineup.
These are merely the reference board layout files, and the actual launch date is still at least a year away. For this generation, we’ll have to make do with the Comet Lake-H lineup which is essentially slightly overclocked Coffee Lake with a couple more cores. You can read some of our previous coverage on Comet Lake here:
As for Tiger Lake, you’re looking at the Willow Cove core with an even higher IPC. Pair that with higher core clocks thanks to a more mature node and the Gen12 Xe graphics, and you’ve got a potent chip. While the sub-20W U and Y series Tiger Lake parts top our at 4 cores (8 threads), I expect the H series to feature up to 6 cores at the very least. The higher-end Core i5 and i7 parts will pack up to 96EUs on the GPU side, putting them on the same level as NVIDIA’s MX series dGPUs.
It would be a safe bet to assume that the Tiger Lake-H CPUs will launch in 2021 alongside the Rocket Lake-S chips. Rocket Lake is expected to be another 14nm design, except, it’ll be based on the Willow Cove core. It’s rumored to be a backport of the 10nm core to 14nm. As such, we can expect a high IPC and higher core clocks thanks to the highly mature 14nm node.
Intel is presently prepping its Comet Lake-S and H lineups for launch to go up against AMD’s Zen 2 parts. We should see them hit retail as early as April. The Tiger Lake (U and Y) offerings are expected to launch in the second half of 2020.