As we move into 2020, there is a lot of talk about what Intel’s 2020 plans will be. Discussions about the expansion of Intel’s 10nm process node products, such as Ice Lake, beyond the mobile platform are often very heated, especially when we have limited information out of the company directly. For CES 2020, Intel has disclosed a couple of products for consumption: moving its 10th Gen mobile CPU line in to 45 W hardware, but we also had a couple of details about the post-Ice Lake hardware, called Tiger Lake.

With the 45 W mobile CPUs, it’s important to note that we are talking about Comet Lake here – Intel’s latest 14++ nm microarchitecture derived from the original Skylake but optimized from the latest Coffee Lake hardware. What this means for users is essentially a small improvement in frequency: Intel isn’t saying that much with what the new CPUs will bring at this point, but they are pointing out that they will be hitting 5.0 GHz with the new 45W Core i7 parts, and more than 5.0 GHz with the Core i9 hardware. I would assume this would mean that Intel is going to introduce both Turbo Boost Max 3.0 and its Velocity Boost technology to the mobile platform, which would target the best cores in the chip as well as use additional thermal headroom to get that extra frequency. Intel did not disclose if the turbo power increases with the new hardware.

We’ve seen a couple of designs already announce they will be using the 45W CPUs: Acer’s ConceptD Ezel and Ezel Pro laptops, along with Lenovo’s Y740S gaming laptop. Intel has stated that it expects its hardware to be in the market soon, with a full disclosure about the platform ‘very soon’, however it turns out that this won’t be in January. To be honest, if we’re so close to launching the product, I’m surprised as to why Intel isn’t disclosing.

The other part to Intel’s disclosure at CES is Tiger Lake. What is Tiger Lake, you may ask – it’s the next mobile platform beyond Ice Lake. Bearing in mind that Intel has been speaking about Ice Lake a while, and we now finally have top tier partners with 1065G7 designs, we’re still waiting for Intel’s mid-tier and lower-tier partners to come out with the platform. So we’re still a long way away from Tiger Lake, unless Intel wants to move beyond Ice Lake quickly.

However, regarding Tiger Lake specifically, Intel did confirm that it has Xe graphics. Whether this is related to the DG1 silicon that the company has spoken about recently isn’t clear, but Tiger Lake is monolithic and the Xe graphics inside will provide full INT8 support for AI workloads (which will be supported through Intel DL Boost). This would be built on the Xe-LP microarchitecture, which is targeting sub-25W power on the GPU. Tiger Lake also continues with AVX-512, but also upgrades the Gaussian Neural Accelerator for voice analysis to GNA 2.0. Intel will say more about Tiger Lake at its press event on Monday.

Intel also briefed us about its new Ghost Canyon NUC 9 kit, which uses Intel’s upgradeable element form factor as well as an 8-inch desktop GPU. The NUC is a full 5.0 liter size, which completely ignores the original NUC size that the platform was built on, however Intel is claiming 9th Gen 45W CPU support up to 5.0 GHz, with upgradeable units coming later. We have a separate article on this.

Carousel image is the Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel, one of the new laptop designs using the new 10th Gen Core H-Series CPUs.

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  • Korguz - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    um... too late....
  • Santoval - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    That's already the case with the clocks of Whiskey, Amber and Comet Lake vs those of Ice Lake-U/Y. Intel canned the desktop (both -S and -H) CPUs of Ice Lake because their yields are horrible at desktop class clocks, and apparently will also can the Tiger Lake ones, replacing them with Rocket Lake-S/H.
    Rocket Lake will have Willow Cores and an Xe iGPU but will be fabbed at 14nm+++++ It will have a much higher clock than what Intel can reach with *any* 10nm variant (10nm, 10nm+ *and* 10nm++) with one important trade-off : a low power efficient and thus a very high TDP, much higher than the equivalent Ryzen CPU. That's the cost Intel will pay for screwing up fundamentally their 10nm node.
  • Santoval - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    edit : "..a low power *efficiency*..."
  • Kevin G - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    I think Intel has missed an opportunity by keeping the systems with eDRAM so selective. Think of how fast a 9900KS would be if it has 256 MB of eDRAM in the same package.

    In fact, Intel hasn't been keen on increasing normal L2 and L3 cache sizes on their consumer chips. Granted that increases die size and thus costs which the consumer market margins are sensitive too. However, with Intel still struggling to get 10 nm out the door in high volume, that would have been a compromise to improve IPC while still on 14 nm.
  • Spunjji - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    I'm not certain, but I *think* the issue there was that the additional cost per processor didn't really map well to the performance boost from the eDRAM. In other words, performance per dollar did not benefit enough.
  • Spunjji - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    I still wonder what they could have got from 32nm with more tweaking - that had a particularly short life compared to 22nm and 14nm, yet the CPUs built on it could clock extremely well. They'd obviously lose out in terms of cache size and complexity compared to more recent CPUs, though, so perhaps it would just have been a wash.
  • Samus - Friday, January 10, 2020 - link

    32nm was a breakthrough for Intel though. Remember they were still on tick tock back then and Sandy Bridge retired 32nm production with a home run.

    Early 22nm parts based on Ivy Bridge were also, in my experience, not as reliable, either. Obviously the process matured by the time Haswell hit, arguably Intel’s most successful architecture of the decade, but I’ve pulled so many failed 3rd gen i3 and i5 CPU’s from systems it almost seems there was a problem somewhere - most of them had malfunctioning GPU’s to the point if the IGFX drivers were installed the system would just BSOD.
  • yannigr2 - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    Are we just giving them ideas now on how to scam their customers? Because if an 8 core processor deactivates cores and becomes a single core from 15 years ago, just so it can push 100-200MHz more, that in my opinion is a scam.
  • ironargonaut - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    Has AMD got one that out performs Intel in laptops yet? Last I read on this site was that the Intel laptop trounced the AMD one in the same system. So, obviously Intel is building/opitimizing CPUs that relate to real world performances for consumers vs. arbitrary benchmarks as you imply.
  • Trikkiedikkie - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    The new ones are coming soon.

    Asus has announced a new line today, with one processsor exclusively for them

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