Intel Demonstrates 10nm Products at CES

At its CES press conference, Intel showcased products based on its new 10nm process. In addition to an Ice Lake processor with Sunny Cove cores for laptops, it showed a hybrid chip with Atom and Sunny Cove cores on board.

The first Ice Lake products should be available in the fall, around the holidays. Then it would be ultra-thin laptops equipped with chips that, in addition to 10nm Sunny Cove cores, have built-in 11th generation graphics, Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi connectivity. Intel demonstrated, among other things, image recognition via artificial intelligence with the Sunny Cove cores and gaming on an external Thunderbolt display.

Much earlier this month and with more models to follow in the second quarter, 14nm processors will be coming into ninth-generation Core processors. These are the KF processors that appeared in web stores, which are identical to the current generation of desktop processors, but whose integrated GPU is disabled. This was probably done to be able to sell chips with defective GPUs, but prices are not yet known. The specifications of the KF variants are, except for the GPU, the same as the K variants. In addition, an i5-9400 will also be launched, a hexacore without hyperthreading with a tdp of 65W. There will also be an F variant, and both have a fixed multiplier.

In addition to Ice Lake chips, the company demonstrated Lakefield processors during the presentation. These are also partly produced at 10nm, and use Intel’s Foveros technology with which various chip components can be connected to each other and where Intel can also stack. The Lakefield processors have Intel’s variant of big.Little on board, with four economical Atom cores combined with a powerful Sunny Cove core. Below the 10nm cores is a 22nm chip that provides i/o. Dram chips are also glued on top and connected to the soc, so that a system-in-package is realized. The Lakefield processors should be used in compact systems such as Compute Sticks and tablets.

For the business market, Intel has expanded its Xeon line with Cascade Lake processors that it will ship from the end of 2018. Cascade Lake is socket-compatible with the current Xeon generation and contains up to 28 cores, six memory channels and 48 PCI-e lanes. A maximum of 38.5MB of L3 cache is available, Specter and Meltdown are hardware patched and, like the current generation, the chips are baked at 14nm. Intel also has a 56-core variant available, but it requires a special socket since two Cascade Lake dies are glued together. In a demonstration, Intel showed AI-driven analysis of athletes. Intel calls the technology 3d Athlete Tracking and wants to use it together with Alibaba for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Also 5g chips were not missing during the presentation: Intel demonstrated a 10nm soc for 5g connectivity that it calls Snow Ridge, which should be available for base stations in the second half of the year. Mobileye, Intel’s automotive division, also received attention in the form of a demonstration of the IQ5 board that should facilitate autonomous driving together with Mercedes.