Intel Unveils its 10th Gen, 10nm Ice Lake CPUs
Intel finally unveils its 10nm 10th – Generation Core processors, codename Ice-Lake, which was being delayed for four years as the company struggled to bring its 10nm node online. The year 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the tech giant but the year was a tough one for the chipmaker. The company lost its CEO the same year, struggled with Spectre and Meltdown and also the company failed to shrink its circuits. Now after years of delay we finally have the 10th Gen CPU’s. Let us a take a look at what the 10nm 10th Gen CPU’s have in store for us:
Sunny Cove Architecture:
The heart of the 10th-gen CPU’s is Intel Sunny Cove architecture. It features a quad-core, eight-thread design and speeds up to 4.1GHz. IceLake’s headline feature is an 18% increase in average instruction per Cycle (IPC) throughput compared to the aging Skylake architecture, but the gains are even higher in some applications, with peaks in the 30% to 40% range for some types of workloads.
The sunny cove cores used in the chip helped Intel to achieve a boosted performance helping it to surpass its biggest rival in the chip making world AMD. Recently, AMD sold a 15% improvement in IPC with its Zen microarchitecture on the 7nm process. AMD claims that its new third-gen Ryzen products have already surpassed the Intel’s Skylake single-core performance but with Intel’s new IceLake the company has restored its lead.
Intel Gen11 Graphics
A Gen11 graphics engine which will offer up to 2X performance improvement will take the performance crown from AMD’s APU’s. Intel has also bumped up dual-channel memory support to 4X32 LPDDR4X-3733 and DDR4-3200, which is a big improvement to 60GB/s of throughput that will help boost graphics performance. The Gen11 graphics will reach up to 1.1 GHz and also come in Iris Pro variants.
Thunderbolt 3 is the World’s fastest and most versatile protocol. Thunderbolt always had limited support in laptops because the ports located on one side due to limitations. To broaden the number of devices Intel designed a new dual-side Thunderbolt 3 controller architecture that provides up to 4 ports, two on each side of the laptop. Intel recently contributed the Thunderbolt 3 protocol to the USB committee so it could be integrated into the USB 4 specifications. Intel says that it expects over 30 designs each having different variations to come to the market.
Ice Lake Processors
Here we can see Intel’s Y- and U-series that operate at 9W and 15W , respectively, but the company has not released a word in the maximum power draw of the processors (PL2). Intel has introduced Dynamic Tuning 2.0, a new machine learning-based power delivery technique that uses software running inside the OS to adjust power dynamically based upon the user’s needs.
The big change with this new power management scheme is that it doesn't rely on pre-defined power curves that are created at the factory, instead, the system learns the users' behavior and adjusts power based on the type of workloads that are currently running.
Overall the 10th Gen CPU’s look promising and looks like a more fully upgraded than previous generations. The new Gen CPU’s are not all about faster clock speed but Intel has jumped to a more efficient architecture with a massive leap in graphics quality allowing thin and light laptops to deliver more than what can be expected.