Intel had a rather disappointing CES. The only thing we got from Team Blue was that both Tiger Lake and the first Xe prototype, DG1 are “Powered On” and “Working”. That’s about the thin and thick of it. There was no info on a Sunny Cove or Willow Cove port for mainstream desktop PCs, nor an update on Ice Lake-SP. The server segment was addressed after a positive last quarter, but I suspect, the bulk of the orders will be fulfilled by the older 14nm based Cooper Lake parts. Regardless, Intel does have a respectable roadmap for this year, including a slew of 10nm based chips. Let’s dig in:
11th Gen Tiger Lake U and Y (10nm++) for Low Power Notebooks
The most obvious would be the 11th Gen Tiger Lake lineup. These chips are slated for a mid-2020 launch. Succeeding Intel’s first 10nm design, i.e, Ice Lake, Tiger Lake will be based on the Willow Cove core architecture and the more mature 10nm++ node.
A notable increase in IPC (and thereby single-threaded performance) along with a steady boost in core clocks due to the improved process should allow a healthy performance uplift over Ice Lake. Unfortunately, like Ice Lake, Tiger Lake will be limited to low-power notebooks and sleek form-factor laptops. These will be the U and Y series processors with TDPs of 10-15W.
10th Gen Intel Comet Lake-S and Comet Lake-H for Desktop and Gaming Laptops (14nm)
Intel’s desktop processors will see yet another iteration of the 14nm Skylake core. Thanks to some added cache, higher core counts and a small core count bump for the top-end i9 to 10 cores. Unfortunately, that also means a higher TDP and worse thermals. It’ll be interesting to see how Intel tackles that. The H series laptops for the high-performance mobile platform will also retain the same design.
Intel Gen 12 Xe LP Graphics (10nm)
The Tiger Lake chips will be accompanied by the much faster Gen 12 graphics processor. This will also be the first official Intel Xe discrete GPU. With up to 96 Execution Units, it’ll offer performance approaching NVIDIA’s GTX 1050, making the MX lineup all but obsolete. This will be a major step up from Gen11 which features up to 64 EUs.
Lakefield is an interesting chip. It’ll feature a bunch of new technologies: one Sunny Cove core, four Tremont (all 10nm), Gen11 graphics along with I/O and memory stacked one above another using the Foveros packaging technology. These should power some of the thinnest and lightest handheld and convertibles.
Ice Lake-SP and Cooper Lake-SP (10nm and 14nm)
Intel’s Server lineup will be the second to make the leap to 10nm, with the Ice Lake-SP parts succeeding Cascade Lake, along with Cooper Lake, although featuring the same 14nm node will have a higher core count. Ice Lake will be limited to 28 cores. However, both the architectures will leverage the same Whitley platform. As for the socket, there’s a possibility for backward compatibility, but it’s not confirmed yet.
Elkhart, Jasper Lake, and Some Other Lake
There are a few other Lakes based on the 10nm Tremont core that Intel is planning to launch this year, but there’s no clear date of launch. They might be announced at Computex in June, or perhaps in the last quarter. Regardless, we don’t have much info on them at the moment, and it’ll be safe to assume that most consumers aren’t interested in those chips anyhow.