Intel Offers Update On 10nm Icelake & Announces Lakefield, Snow Ridge During CES 2019
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 7 January 2019 at 07:45 PM EST. 16 Comments
INTEL --
Intel's CES 2019 press conference is now wrapping up with some interesting announcements and other new information to relay, some of which was also covered at last month's Intel Architecture Day event in California but under NDA until now.

Highlights of Intel's announcements this afternoon included:

- "Lakefield" was announced as a new architecture for a "hybrid CPU" with small CPUs and big CPUs (akin to ARM big.LITTLE), Gen 11.5 graphics, and other modular components built using Intel's Foveros packaging technology. Lakefield has resulted in the company's smallest-ever PC reference motherboard. The Lakefield SoC comes in at 12 x 12 mm and the chip is destined for new, small form factor devices from tablets to laptops.

- Six new 9th Gen Core i3 to Core i9 processors announced today, rounding out the recently released Core i9 9900K.

- 9th Gen mobile CPUs will be coming out next quarter.

- "Project Athena" was announced for an industry-wide innovation program for a new class of mobile systems.

- As reported last month, Intel 10nm "Icelake" products are on track for shipping later this year. They say Icelake will be ready for holiday 2019. During the press conference was their first public presentation of an Icelake SoC with Sunny Cove core and Gen 11 graphics.

- Icelake is bringing an improved image pipeline for better quality and efficiency for machine learning, conferencing, and other purposes.

- Moving onto the chip with Icelake are the image processing unit, Thunderbolt 3 over Type-C, and 802.11ax (WiFi 6). More of Thunderbolt is natively moving onto the chip besides the power delivery. There is also the new deep learning instructions (VNNI) and other Icelake architectural improvements previously covered and known for months.

- Through power efficiency improvements of various components, aiming for laptop/ultrabook battery-life up to 25 hours.

- Intel has begun shipping Cascade Lake Xeons for revenue.

- Intel introducing new class of AI chips for inference, the Intel Nervana Neural Network Processors. Intel Nervana inference processors will be rolling out in H2'2019.

- Intel "Snow Ridge" was announced as a new Intel 10nm SoC for 5G with a particular focus on wireless base stations. This is Intel's first entrance into the base station market and by 2022 are aiming for at least a 40% market-share.

- Intel working with Comcast on bringing 10 Gigabit connectivity to homes.

- Icelake server silicon, succeeding Cascade Lake Xeons and debuting in 2020, was demonstrated publicly for the first time.

Should you be a new Phoronix reader or very infrequent, Intel has been squaring away the Icelake Linux support for quite a while now. With the latest Linux kernel, Mesa, GCC, and other key components, the Icelake support should be pretty much ready to roll upon processor availability. Icelake's Gen11 graphics in particular have me quite excited and the open-source graphics driver support there has been squared away and in recent months the remaining bits seem to be largely squared away. With the major Linux distributions that are non-rolling all having updates out in coming months, the Linux support for Icelake should be ready and widely available ahead of the processors shipping. It will also be interesting, as always, to see how Intel's own Clear Linux performance-optimized distribution can squeeze more performance potential out of this next-generation hardware. Of course, once Icelake is available, there will be plenty of benchmarks and analysis on Phoronix.
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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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