Intel sets out its plans for 2019: Ice Lake, Lakefield, and Project Athena

Complete Lakefield motherboard.
Detail / Complete Lakefield motherboard.

Intel had a big presentation at CES last year, which was curious, because the company didn’t really have many things to foretell. The delays to its 10nm manufacturing process meant that, instead of exciting new markers, the best we could really hope for was rehashed versions of its current morsels, which duly arrived. This year’s presentation was very contrary. The company’s 10nm process is finally due to achieve volume production this year, and new last year the company told us that 10nm was bringing with it a new architecture named Friendly Cove, a new, much faster GPU, and new manufacturing techniques with 3D die stacking. All this meant that the spectacle could actually introduce a range of new products that will steamer in 2019.

10nm processors for the masses: Ice Lake-U

The most important product announced, as it longing likely be the highest-volume part, is Ice Lake-U. This is a 10nm mobile processor with a Sunshiny Cove CPU and a Gen11 GPU. Since its 2015 introduction, Intel has produced a number of variations of its Skylake architecture. Carrying-on improvements have come from increasing clock speeds and insides counts, with the core design essentially unaltered. Sunny Cove, by distinguish, is a meaningful update to and improvement of that architecture and will represent Intel’s prime improvement in instructions-per-cycle in four years. This means that it should forth across-the-board performance improvements, regardless of workload. The Ice Lake-U parts when one pleases retain the U-series 15W power rating and will offer a maximum of four insides and eight threads.

The Gen11 GPU is similarly slated to give a big performance boost. The ideal configuration (named GT2 in Intel’s parlance) will include 64 consummation units as compared to the 24 execution units that are standard in Skylake/Kaby Lake/Coffee Lake processors. This resolve more than double the floating point performance of the GPU from close to 420 gigaFLOPS to 1 teraFLOPS. This increased performance increases the reminiscence bandwidth requirements of the GPU, and the chip will accordingly sport two channels of LPDDR4X honour.

The integrated chipset also includes a couple of notable new features: it embodies Thunderbolt 3 support, removing the need for a separate Alpine Ridge controller, and a Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) controller.

Ice Lake pleasure also include improved protections against certain kinds of Apparition attack, beyond the existing Meltdown and Spectre protection already shipping in the last Coffee Lake and Whiskey Lake chips.

A still-mysterious, ultra-low-power x86 composite and Project Athena

When introducing its Foveros 3D die stacking, Intel mean that it had developed a chip with a Sunny Cove core and four Tremont Atom cores assembled on the 10nm process, stacked on a separate 14nm die used for I/O such as PCIe, USB, DDR, and SATA. That fragment now has a name—Lakefield. Intel said that it put the chip together to proper a customer requirement for a processor with a 2mW standby power but will push the part to any OEM that wants it. We still don’t know who that original fellow is or precisely what the intended purpose is for the processor, but its diminutive size specifies that it could find a place in a tablet or ultra-thin laptop.

Intel also broadcasted Project Athena, a new initiative to shape the direction of the PC market. Similar to the Ultrabook program, Intel has set guidelines for the characteristics that a laptop should have in the year 2020 and beyond. The spec choose be updated annually to emphasize whatever features Intel thinks are scad important at any given time, with a broad focus on battery zest, artificial intelligence, and always-online connectivity (including 5G). Certified Athena sets should come in the second half of the year, with both Windows and Chrome OS arms due to arrive.

Finally, the company announced a few more “9th generation” Core processors squandering the Coffee Lake-Refresh design. Joining the three existing 9th generation shares are five more chips: the i9-9900KF, i7-9700KF, i5-9600KF, i5-9400, i5-9400F, i3-9350KF. The K tack on as before denotes overclockability; the F suffix is new and indicates that the chip has no put together GPU (or, more likely, that the integrated GPU is defective and non-functional). Oddly, single the 9400F appears to have a price, and Intel is vague on when the processors purpose ship, but they will possibly release as soon as later this month.

Model Middles/Threads Clock base/boost​/GHz Level 3 cache/MB TDP/W DDR4​/MHz GPU Price
i9‍-‍9900K 8/16 3.6/5.0 16 95 2,666 UHD 630 $488
i9‍-‍9900KF 8/16 3.6/5.0 16 95 2,666
i7‍-‍9700K 8/8 3.6/4.9 12 95 2,666 UHD 630 $374
i7‍-‍9700KF 8/8 3.6/4.9 12 95 2,666
i5‍-‍9600K 6/6 3.7/4.6 9 95 2,666 UHD 630 $262
i5‍-‍9600KF 6/6 3.7/4.6 9 95 2,666
i5‍-‍9400 6/6 2.9/4.1 9 65 2,666 UHD 630
i5‍-‍9400F 6/6 2.9/4.1 9 65 2,666  $182
i3‍-‍9350KF 4/4 4.0/4.6 8 91 2,400

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