CHIPMAKER Intel has announced that the first processors to be built on its 10nm Sunny Cove microarchitecture will finally debut later this year.
Intel has had well-publicized struggles with the 10nm process. Its first 10nm silicon was originally slated for release in 2015 (!), but technical challenges encountered in shrinking transistors to ever smaller scales led to the launch being delayed years past its original target.
Putting an end to rumours that it finally planned to admit defeat by killing off its much-maligned 10nm process entirely, Intel showed off its first Ice Lake CPUs during its CES press conference on Tuesday and promised a release in time for the holidays.
While specifics have not yet been announced, Intel's Gregory M. Bryant confirmed that the chips will be the first to ship with Gen11 integrated graphics, which Intel claims is "designed to break the 1 TFLOPS barrier", alongside built-in Thunderbolt 3, WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and DL boost (deep learning boost) support.
Thanks to Intel's new Sunny Cove architecture, which enables more operations to be carried out in parallel, the incoming CPUs also promise a major bump in performance, particularly when it comes to AI and machine learning tasks.
Intel is promising that its OEM partners will have Ice Lake devices on shelves by the end of the year, and one of the first will be an updated XPS device from Dell (above).
While we've still got a while to wait for Intel's Ice Lake CPUs, the firm also announced new 9th-gen Core processors; though we're still awaiting specifics. It's also teasing its first 9th-gen H-Series Core chips for notebooks for release in the second quarter of 2019.
During its jam-packed CES presser, Intel also previewed Lakefield, a mobile processor based on the company's new Foveros 3D packaging technology. The integrated SoC boasts has five cores and pairs a 10nm high-performance Sunny Cove core with four Intel Atom-based cores.
Intel claims Lakefield, which will go into production in 2019, will enable PC manufacturers to reduce the size of their PCs even further.
And, in a bid to take on Qualcomm's 'Always Connected' Windows 10 PCs, the chipmaker outlined a new standard for the next generation of notebooks called Project Athena. Devices designed under Athena will, like Qualcomm's alternatives, offer always-on connectivity and power on instantly, and will be prepped for next-gen technologies, such as 5G and artificial intelligence.
Project Athena laptops will arrive by the second half of 2019, in both Windows and Chrome OS options. µ
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