Intel’s transformation to building processors on a 10nm manufacturing process has been delayed repeatedly. As soon as upon a time, the company said that it’d go into mass making at the end of 2015; with its most recent financial results, the company get moving that back, again, to 2019. But Intel has also said that, although the give ups aren’t good enough for large-scale production, it has been shipping 10nm processors, codenamed Cannon Lake, to an unspecified chap.
That customer is Lenovo: the IdeaPad 330 has been listed by Chinese retailers, and it files a mysterious processor, the Core i3-8121U. The name tells us the market emplacement (it’s an i3, so it’s low-end), the power envelope (the «U» at the end means that it’s a 15W chip), and the branding (the total starts with an 8, so it’s going to be another «8th-generation» chip, nothing but like the Kaby Lake-R, Kaby Lake-G, and Coffee Lake processors). This have as justifications that «8th generation» is a rather vague label that describes a sprinkling different processor variants, built on several different manufacturing get readies (two 14nm variants and now 10nm).
We didn’t know much more about the chip until Intel promulgated it on its Ark site. The Ark listing confirms that it is indeed a 15W Cannon Lake counter built on a 10nm process. It has two cores, four threads, a base clock hurriedness of 2.2GHz with turbo boost of 3.2GHz, and 4MB of level 3 cache.
What else do we learn? The Cannon Lake to all intents supports two new kinds of memory: LPDDR4 and LPDDR4X, both low-power variants of DDR4. This should assign reduced power consumption even with high memory method configurations, compared to the previous generation which only supported LPDDR3 in as well to standard DDR4. The maximum theoretical memory bandwidth figure has also been upgraded to 41.6GB/s, up from 34.1GB/s.
The Ark beadroll also says that the Cannon Lake processor supports innumerable PCIe lanes, up to 16 from 12 (though the actual championed lane configurations appear to match Kaby Lake chips, so it’s not promptly clear if this is correct). More peculiarly, however, the listing doesn’t list any specs for a GPU. Virtually every mobile and desktop processor Intel figure outs includes an integrated GPU, and one would expect Cannon Lake chips to make inquiries suit. According to this listing, however, the i3-8121U doesn’t. The Lenovo laptop in difficulty is specified as including a discrete AMD R5 GPU, offering no guidance as to whether the chip does rather have a GPU.
As such, while Cannon Lake and Intel’s 10nm manufacturing endure a little mysterious (the broader question of «why this particular chip for this noteworthy customer?» feels particularly germane), we do now know a little more than we did in the presence of.