Rumor: Lenovo laptop with a Cannon Lake CPU pops up at Chinese e-tailer

Intel's struggles getting its 10-nm fabrication technology up and running have been well documented. The blue silicon juggernaut's CEO admitted in a recent conference call that chips built on the new node wouldn't ship in volume until sometime in 2019. In light of this information, we were somewhat surprised to learn about the appearance of a Lenovo IdeaPad 330 sporting what appears to be a Cannon Lake CPU in Chinese e-tailer JD's product catalog. The machine in question has a Core i3-8121U processor and a ¥3299 price tag (about $450), suggesting that Intel is able to make low-end chips on its 10-nm node.

Source: JD.com

The listing says the chip inside the IdeaPad has a base clock of 2.2 GHz and a turbo clock of 3.2 GHz. This information dovetails with recent rumors about the Core i3-8121U which showed the chip as having two cores and four threads. As a refresher, Intel has included its Turbo Boost feature on only two prior Core i3 models, the second-wave Kaby Lake Core i3-8130U and the Coffee Lake Core i3-8109U.

Kaby Lake-powered IdeaPad 330

The IdeaPad 330 on sale at JD has mostly low-end specs. It carries 4 GB of DDR4 memory, a 500-GB hard drive, and a 15.6″ 1366×768 TN display. The only spec that doesn't scream bargain-basement is the AMD Radeon RX 540 graphics, though the GPU is paired with only 2 GB of its own memory. Mark Tyson at Hexus speculates that the choice to use discrete graphics on such an otherwise-unremarkable laptop may mean Intel is having trouble with the graphics portion of its Cannon Lake chips. The existing IdeaPad 330 models have soldered-on memory plus one SO-DIMM slot, so the memory on the purported Cannon Lake version is probably configured the same way.

Side view of Kaby Lake-equipped IdeaPad 330

The laptop has the sort of connectivity one expects from a contemporary machine in the sub-$500 class: a couple of USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one Type-C connector, Gigabit Ethernet, an audio combo jack, and an HDMI output. Shoppers looking for a laptop to connect to a high-resolution display might want to wait for more details from Lenovo, as the listing doesn't give a version number for the HDMI jack.

The Cannon Lake-packing Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is listed at JD.com for $330 as described above. Buyers can pay extra to get upgrades like more memory and an SSD. We would suggest that American gerbils looking to fire off a Cannon Lake portable wait for more well-rounded machines from a North American retailer.

Comments closed
    • the
    • 2 years ago

    Does this CPU include AVX-512? Really curious what design this is chip is leveraging.

      • Klimax
      • 2 years ago

      AVX12VL to be precise. I doubt it has enough bandwidth to sustain full AVX512.

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        Having AVX512VL does not mean the chip lacks “full” AVX512. It’s just an extension that lets the chip efficiently use the full set of 32 AVX512 registers to also implement AVX2 and even SSE instructions, which is a nice feature.

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        Do you have confirmation of this anywhere? Curious if Intel just migrated the Sky Lake consumer part over without AVX, modified consumer Sky Lake with just AVX-512 or if they’re using the Sky Lake-SP core with both the tile interconnect and AVX-512.

          • Klimax
          • 2 years ago

          Ah, no I don’t have any knowledge. Sorry, to disappoint you. (And I’d love to see AVX512 everywhere, it has very nice instructions and incidentally is also most CISC of x86 family of instruction extensions)

    • the
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]The only spec that doesn't scream bargain-basement is the AMD Radeon RX 540 graphics, though the GPU is paired with only 2 GB of its own memory. Mark Tyson at Hexus speculates that the choice to use discrete graphics on such an otherwise-unremarkable laptop may mean Intel is having trouble with the graphics portion of its Cannon Lake chips.[/quote<] Only trouble would be yields in general. Intel can't sell a single core chip nowadays without being laughed at so the only thing to bin is with GPU and L3 cache. Intel purportedly sells some Cannon Lake chips without an integrated GPU and this is likely one.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      It a chip “works” but just the GPU portion fails the binning (cannot fit even into bottom bin) is that considered yield?

      I would say yes. An iGPU which cannot be used due to poor power and/or performance characteristics is result of the process, hence yield issue.

      If Intel could sell these leading 10nm chips for higher price to offset the price increase that the start of processes tend to bring, they would.

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        I think we are in agreement.

        The distinction I was trying to make is that the GPU design itself isn’t at fault as could be interpreted by the original article. Rather it is the process itself which is having issues and very few things in which to perform binning on.

          • NoOne ButMe
          • 2 years ago

          I did misunderstand you, sorry.

          Issues with GPU are indeed process related… fwiw…

    • NTMBK
    • 2 years ago

    Soooo… You guys ordered one to benchmark, right? I’m curious how much of a trainwreck 10nm is.

    • Stochastic
    • 2 years ago

    The gains from moving to a new node have become so small that I find it hard to get excited about this.

      • blastdoor
      • 2 years ago

      Try harder!

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Seems like a repeat of when 45nm was hella mature to the point where the next node down didn’t win much but density on initial batches.

    • uni-mitation
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<] The existing IdeaPad 330 models have soldered-on memory plus one SO-DIMM slot, so the memory on the purported Cannon Lake version is probably configured the same way. [/quote<] Why? Why? What is the impetus to solder anything on the board as important as system memory so it becomes waste because this society cares little about the environmental harm that rare earth mining does, and the limited resource that is? The human race deserves to go extinct for we have failed to be faithful stewards of our home, our habitat. I am with Louis Rossmann on this. Right to repair laws are essential to safeguard a consumer's choice to do repairs however he/she deems just to his/her property. If you believe in personal property, then a guaranteed right-to-repair law is a necessary logical requisite. uni-mitation

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      I’ll say that I actively avoid laptops that are “too thin” for fear of them not having user-replaceable RAM. Especially since RAM is so expensive these days that >8GB is less common than it should be.

      However, one 4GB stick soldered is fine with me as long as the other slot can (typically) take up to a 16GB stick for 20GB total.

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        Does dual channel still require identical sized sticks, or are we in an exciting new era?

          • NoOne ButMe
          • 2 years ago

          Partially, it has for a while.

          Or did you mean fully?

          I believe it is for the portion of DRAM double the size of the smaller stick dual channel works, overall works much better than single channel, but below dual channel.

      • blastdoor
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]If you believe in personal property, then a guaranteed right-to-repair law is a necessary logical requisite. [/quote<] If we define "personal property" so as to require a "right to repair" then the term "personal property" becomes a very narrow and fairly useless term. I think of "personal property" as "stuff I own" meaning "if someone else takes it away from me that's called theft and they go to jail." For example, I own the microprocessor in my computer. But I cannot repair the microprocessor in my computer. If there's an EMP, it's toast, and there's no way that I can repair it. Does that mean I never owned it? Clearly not. The extent to which a product can be repaired is simply a characteristic of the product. It's not some kind of inalienable right. If enough consumers demand products that are easier to repair (as in, they are willing to pay for the feature), then products with that feature will likely be made. I think what all this "right to repair" stuff boils down to is a vocal minority of people who are unhappy that the non-vocal majority doesn't have the same preferences they do, so they are trying to force their preferences on everyone else through legislation.

        • uni-mitation
        • 2 years ago

        If I understand your position, then are you making the argument from a policy stand-point to allow manufacturers to dictate by force of contract how its manufactured goods are to be repaired? By who they are authorized to be repaired? If the consumer is able to use non-genuine manufacturer parts?

        uni-mitation

          • blastdoor
          • 2 years ago

          Perhaps I misunderstood your argument — it sounded like you were saying that RAM soldered to a motherboard means we have no personal property rights. I was saying that’s silly.

      • YukaKun
      • 2 years ago

      Where do you draw the line though?

      Technically speaking, soldering something doesn’t impede you from trying to fix it. Makes it hella-hard, but not un-repairable. If a diode goes or a capacitor, it would be the same kind of thing.

      Yes, RAM is way bigger and a component on its own, but so are CPUs and VGAs and MoBo Chipsets. Do you want VGAs to have removable GDDR chips? Like in the old times?

      Cheers!

        • uni-mitation
        • 2 years ago

        Where I draw the line is on Apple prohibiting a customer of an Iphone to use non-genuine parts or unauthorized third party repair shops to fix his/her property however she/he deems fit to do to his/her property. I am talking about repairing, not using counterfeit goods which is already illegal and quite different issue. Use of non-genuine parts does not necessarily imply use of counterfeit goods.

        I will gladly grant you the point that it is unreasonable for I to prohibit a manufacturer to manufacture its product however it deems it fit, but then it works the other way around: the manufacturer can’t prohibit me from using non-genuine parts to repair my stuff. If I wasn’t clear in my original post, then allow this opportunity to clarify my position a bit more.

        I will continue to buy from manufacturers that care not to solder system memory, SSDs, graphics cards to motherboards, and phones that have user-removable batteries. I urge others to do their bit to reduce E-waste.

        uni-mitation

          • blastdoor
          • 2 years ago

          What does “prohibit” mean here?

          If it means that Apple sues me for using non-genuine parts then ill admit that I was ignorant of that practice and I give you credit for educating me regarding an important issue.

          If it means Apple just voids the warranty on the phone, then I’ll stick with my original reaction.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    Looks like the first chips are going to be pipe cleaners of sorts for 10nm, problem with milking and tuning 14nm to 14nm+++ is suddenly the new node can’t compete with the turbo clocks. So these low end parts will be first while 10nm is also tuned.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, I think Intel has been saying for a year or two now that “10nm” (as opposed to 10+ or 10++) wasn’t going to match 14+/++ on a few levels (sans maybe density obviously). These smaller dies are probably all they can get out semi-reliably right now.

      That’s fine. They still need to get their act together on 10nm. Hopefully they learned some good lessons the past five years they won’t repeat again.

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