Intel 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" Launches
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 2 September 2020. Page 1 of 1. 21 Comments

Intel Tiger Lake will soon begin appearing in laptops with an upgraded CPU architecture, the all new Iris Xe (Gen12) graphics, new AI capabilities, Thunderbolt 4, PCI Express 4.0, WiFi 6, and other new functionality. The Gen12 graphics have me most excited but there should be healthy improvements as well on the CPU side and not to mention improved connectivity.

Intel Tiger Lake is better positioned to compete with AMD's current generation Ryzen 4000 (Renoir) series mobile processors but even still the top-end Tiger Lake (U) model still is only four cores / eight threads. TDPs on the new parts range from 7 to 28 Watts.

Intel Tiger Lake is built off "Willow Cove" cores with up to 4 cores / 8 threads and a peak frequency of 4.8GHz. Tiger Lake supports LP4/x-4266 memory up to a 32GB capacity or up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory. Tiger Lake brings with it integrated Thunderbolt 4, PCIe Gen 4, and new AI capabilities. Intel is promoting the new generation of mobile processors as offering up to 24% higher performance over Ice Lake.

On the graphics side the Gen12 Xe Graphics have up to 96 execution units and on the multimedia side are new double media encoders that do include AV1 decode. In addition to AV1 is also HEVC, VP9, and AVC still supported. Iris Xe has a 12-bit end-to-end video pipeline. The Xe Graphics have four display pipes for up to a single 8K60 display or four 4K60 displays. On the gaming side Intel's marketing material indicates as much as "2x higher game FPS" over Ice Lake Gen11 graphics. Tiger Lake Xe-LP graphics with 96 EUs feature a clock frequency up to 1.35GHz and is rated for 2.07 TFLOPs for FP32, 4.16 TFLOPs for FP16, and 8.29 TFLOPs for INT8. In some benchmarks under Windows, Intel is promoting the Core i7-1185G7 with Iris Xe Graphics competing with the NVIDIA MX350 discrete GPU.

The top-end 11th Gen Intel Core processor being announced today is the Core i7-1185G7 with four cores / eight threads, 96 EUs, 12MB cache, 3.0GHz base clock, 4.8GHz single core turbo frequency, 4.3GHz all-core turbo frequency, and 1.35GHz graphics clock. The TDP operating range for the Core i7 1185G7 is 12 to 28 Watts, as is the case for most models while the lower-end SKUs are 7 to 15 Watts. At the bottom end of the Tiger Lake line-up are still 2c/4t models but most of the models being announced today have four cores / eight threads. Hyper Threading is present on all models. Tiger Lake U still lags on core/thread count but the Xe Graphics are quite interesting, the AVX-512 / AI optimizations if those features are important to you, and better media capabilities with AV1 hardware decode compared to Renoir.

The benchmark numbers being distributed by Intel today are all Windows based, to little surprise. Once getting my hands on any Tiger Lake hardware, of course, I'll be running a plethora of Linux tests... Though sadly as usual when it comes to Linux laptop coverage will likely be left having to purchase a retail model. If you are interested in seeing Tiger Lake Linux benchmarks consider showing your support by joining Phoronix Premium or a PayPal tip. I'm quite curious as well how Tiger Lake both for CPU and GPU performance will go up against AMD Renoir under Linux, especially in areas like power management.

Those are the highlights for now. The Linux support for Tiger Lake should be squared away as we've been covering over the past number of months with new patches being mainlined, etc. For those running Tiger Lake on notebooks it would be highly recommended (or required) to run the very latest distributions and in some cases needing to switch to the newer Linux 5.8~5.9 kernel compared to what is shipped by the distribution vendor. Depending upon how the Tiger Lake graphics support is on the shipped Mesa, you may also need to upgrade to Mesa 20.2~20.3. More of those specifics should be cleared up when able to get our hands on a Tiger Lake device but long story short the Linux support is available for Tiger Lake it's just a matter of what software upgrades you may need to perform out of the scope of your Linux distribution in use.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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