Intel brings 10-nm Ice Lake CPUs, Lakefield SoCs, and more to CES

Intel may have announced six new Core CPUs at its CES keynote in Las Vegas last night, but that's not really the company's most interesting announcement at the show. That title probably rests on the shoulders of four upcoming Intel products based on the company's beleaguered 10-nm fabrication process: the Lakefield low-power client processors, the Snow Ridge network SoC, and Ice Lake chips for every market segment.

Ice Lake was both the first and the last thing that Intel talked about. The code name refers to upcoming 10-nm processors based around Intel's "Sunny Cove" CPU microarchitecture. To be clear, Sunny Cove is Intel's first new CPU core design since Skylake. The main characteristics of the new architecture over its predecessor seem to be increased data security and improved single-threaded performance—instructions-per-clock (IPC) in particular. As extra info, you can read more about Sunny Cove and its machine learning acceleration here.

Intel SVP Gregory Bryant holds up an Ice Lake processor.

Client processors based on Ice Lake will benefit from more than just the new CPU core, though. Intel SVP Gregory Bryant rattled off a whole litany of features built into the chips, including native Thunderbolt 3 support, 802.11ax Wi-Fi, and drastically improved graphics performance thanks to the new "Gen11" graphics hardware. The number of execution units in the IGP ballooned from 24 in Coffee Lake's GT2 graphics to 64 in Ice Lake. Intel says it's targeting 1 TFLOPS for raw compute performance on the new graphics processors.

This man is apparently working on an early Ice Lake server processor.

Toward the end of the show, Intel briefly mentioned that it has Ice Lake parts headed for the datacenter, too. The company demoed an early Ice Lake server chip, fabricated on 10-nm, apparently generating a 3D character in real-time using machine learning. Intel gave frightfully few details about the chips, but noted that they employ the same Sunny Cove CPU cores that will be used in the company's client processors.

Sunny Cove cores will also be appearing in Intel's Lakefield SoCs. Those chips have a trick up their sleeves, though: they contain other types of CPU cores within. For the first time, Intel publicly demonstrated what it calls a "hybrid CPU"—meaning a CPU with more than one type of core inside. Lakefield mates a single Sunny Cove CPU core with four Atom-class cores, then adds in Gen11 graphics, memory, storage, and system components. All that silicon is then squished into a single package using Intel's Foveros 3D chip-stacking technology.

Intel SVP Gregory Bryant holds up a Lakefield system board.

Intel says it made Lakefield at the request of a single unnamed OEM, but that it will be available for any vendor to use in its products. The company showed off some representative designs for the SoC, including a fat phablet and an extremely slim convertible laptop. Given the extreme diminutiveness of the system board (yes, that little thing in the man's hands is the entire system board for an x86-64 PC) we reckon it could show up just about anywhere.

Finally, Intel briefly demoed the Snow Ridge network SoC. The company really didn't share many details about the silicon, but described it as a "network system on a chip" intended to go in 5G cellular base stations. Intel talked up and even briefly demoed the chip's traffic prioritization capabilities, and remarked on the benefits of "having a server at every base station." Based on that information, we'd expect Snow Ridge to be a next-generation Xeon-D processor with lots of integrated network hardware.

All of these chips are on the way, and all of them will be fabricated on Intel's 10-nm process. Ice Lake chips for consumers and machines based on Lakefield should be available by the holiday season this year, while Ice Lake for servers is slated to show up next year. Meanwhile, Intel said it expects that the launch of Snow Ridge in the second half of this year will allow it to take over 20% of the 5G base station market by 2020 and 40% by 2022.

Comments closed
    • Srsly_Bro
    • 7 months ago

    You forgot lies and misinformation in the heading. They brought lots of that.

    #10nmisjustaroundthecorner

    • Unknown-Error
    • 7 months ago

    Clearly this the end of AMD, ARM and the rest. Ice-lake is going bring 2x to 4x IPC with 5+ GHz clock speed. TDP will be half that of all competitors thanks new 10nm process which has 1.5x density and 5x the drive currents of the closest competitor.

    Dump all other stocks! Buy only Intel! You can never go wrong.

    Intel Rocks! Everyone else sucks!

    For further information contact Professor Chuckula

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 7 months ago

      I’ll wait until I heard from the resident Intel insider.

    • drfish
    • 7 months ago

    [quote<]The main characteristics of the new architecture over its predecessor seem to be increased data security and improved single-threaded performance...[/quote<] In other words...wait for it...wait for it.

      • chuckula
      • 7 months ago

      [url<]https://youtu.be/t7mSOJATPig[/url<]

      • Beahmont
      • 7 months ago

      I’ll bite!

      Fish you should have waited!

    • chuckula
    • 7 months ago

    [quote<]Intel says it made Lakefield at the request of a single unnamed OEM[/quote<] While Apple is a popular suspect I doubt it's them. My #1 bet is Microsoft with Google, Dell, and Amazon being runner-ups.

      • DavidC1
      • 7 months ago

      I think its Microsoft too. Apple is trying to push out every supplier anyway.

      The battery life claims for Icelake seems to be pretty good. I think we’ll see rather a nice gain over current parts.

      While some doubt this, when Intel moved to Skylake they abandoned the integrated voltage regulator. Skylake has some cool features to mitigate some of that, and they likely worked even closer with system integrators to reduce the gap even further.

      But iVR is a big deal.

        • tay
        • 7 months ago

        Well consider how much better the A series chip are than core for perf/watt, why would Apple want this?

          • tipoo
          • 7 months ago

          Right now the only data point is that they’re very impressive in the fanless space, but we don’t yet know how they’ll scale up to every part needed in the range (I don’t doubt they have the chops, but whether it can sustain the same efficiency lead through high wattage parts has to be seen). And rumors indicate a timeline closer to Ice Lake, not an interim contemporary like Lakefield, for a switch if it happens.

      • psuedonymous
      • 7 months ago

      Microsoft is a good bet. With Totally-Not-Windows-RT-Again flopping once more just as everyone expected, and with x86-on-ARM doing nothing to prop it up in any effective manner, the low-end Surfaces need a low power x86 chip to run them rather than an ARM SoC.

      • tipoo
      • 7 months ago

      Apple seems to be getting/bothering with less custom requests from Intel of late. Seems like a first step into a cold war if and when an in-house switch happens. They used to be the ones who would request something like Iris Pro, they were the whole reason the eDRAM line happened at first, but then when you look at interesting recent configurations like the “G” packages with Vega that felt like shoo-ins for Apple, never got used by them and so one would assume they weren’t the ones pushing for interesting parts.

    • DancinJack
    • 7 months ago

    Does anyone know if Ice Lake (S) is supposed to be Z370/390? A new socket/chipset?

      • RAGEPRO
      • 7 months ago

      You bet your behind it’s gonna be a new socket and chipset. Those chips have integrated Thunderbolt, Wi-Fi, and support for VRR built-in. Ain’t none of that gonna work on an existing board.

        • DancinJack
        • 7 months ago

        A new chipset wouldn’t blow my mind, but a new socket seems up in the air to me. /shrug

          • chuckula
          • 7 months ago

          Aside from the fact that this is Intel, I’d expectations new socket simply because these chips should have PCIe 4.0 (and maybe 5.0 if we get lucky) and you’ll need updated motherboards for that anyway.

            • DancinJack
            • 7 months ago

            I can’t tell if the PCIe part of this is sarcastic?

            • chuckula
            • 7 months ago

            Why would it be sarcastic? Intel is a big proponent of open interconnect standards like PCIe even as other companies try to go all proprietary (see IBM and Nvidia).

            • Goty
            • 7 months ago

            He may be saying that because AMD is rumored to be implementing PCI-E 4.0 on AM4 CPUs/Motherboards.

            • Klimax
            • 7 months ago

            Ratification was in 2011. About time for implementations being done.

      • Krogoth
      • 7 months ago

      It depends if they incorporate PCIe 4.0 and/or DDR5. It looks like Ice Lake completely revamps everything and it is possible that Intel is going to be changing the CPU packaging.

        • RAGEPRO
        • 7 months ago

        Ice Lake products, at least initially (the first products are apparently going to be Ice Lake-U), are going to be based around LPDDR4X.

          • DavidC1
          • 7 months ago

          LPDDRx doesn’t work for desktops, so Icelake in desktops will use some form of DDR4 memory, unless DDR5 arrives quickly enough they can use it for 2020 desktop products.

          But I will not bet on that. DDR5 requires new controllers. They’ll likely validate higher DDR4 speeds and use that for Icelake.

      • psuedonymous
      • 7 months ago

      New socket.

      For the last decade, Intel have followed the same pattern for CPU and chipset releases: release a new CPU gen and chipset gen on a new socket, then release a second CPU and chipset with the same socket with forward/back compatibility between the two, and then move to a new socket with the next CPU & chipset gen.

      We’ve just had the 2xx series and 3xx series chipsets with 8xxx series and 9xxx series CPUs, so the pattern would be to move to 4xx series chipsets and 10xxx series CPUs on a new socket (which would be followed with the 5xx series chipsets and 11xxx series CPUs on that same socket).

    • Krogoth
    • 7 months ago

    “We will have our sunny day *ahem*revenge. Soon AMD will have nothing left but their massive surplus of glue”

      • chuckula
      • 7 months ago

      Oh please, Intel’s desperate attempt to pretend that the mobile market exists is a comical exercise in futility.

      16 coar desktop processors without those idiotic “integrated” graphics that Intel keeps pushing are the future!

      The only question is: Who is Lisa Su going to kill first tomorrow, Intel or Nvidia??

        • Krogoth
        • 7 months ago

        Elmer’s

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 7 months ago

          Everyone knows there is no substitute for Titebond 1

          • jihadjoe
          • 7 months ago

          You know that could be [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Elmer_%28Oklahoma%29<]a valid Intel codename[/url<].

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