Intel presents Lakefield CPUs with big.Little design and stacked memory

Intel announces Core i5-L16G7 and Core i3-L13G4. The frugal Lakefield chips are made at 10nm and consist of one powerful Sunny Cove core, combined with four frugal Tremont cores. The lpddr4x memory is placed on top of the chip.

Intel classifies the Lakefield processors in the new category Intel Core processor with Intel Hybrid Technology. They are the smallest Intel Core processors to date and they are intended for energy-efficient devices, such as tablets and thin laptops. The chips have a TDP of 7 watts.

The Lakefield processors have dimensions of 12x12x1mm and a stacked design, with the cores and I/O components placed on separate layers using Intel’s Foveros technology. The chips are combined with up to 8GB of lpddr4x-4267 memory, which is integrated on top of the chip.

Intel combines two architectures in one chip for the first time with the Lakefield processors. The CPUs have five cores, one of which is a fast Sunny Cove core and four economical Tremont cores. Intel also uses the Sunny Cove architecture for its Ice Lake processors. The Tremont architecture is the latest generation of Intel’s Atom cores.

The Lakefield processors have a Gen11 GPU, which Intel also puts in its Ice Lake processors. These are variants with 48 or 64 execution units. Intel talks about UHD Graphics, while with the Ice Lake processors the gpus with those amounts of eu’s are referred to as Iris Plus. This may have to do with the limited maximum clock speed of 0.5GHz for the Lakefield GPU. At Ice Lake, that is a maximum of 1.1GHz.

The combination of a powerful core and four economical cores makes the processor smaller and more efficient, according to Intel. Such big.Little designs have been commonplace in smartphone socs for years. The Lakefield chips are 56 percent smaller than the Amber Lake processor Core i7-8500Y, and the standby consumption is said to be 2.5mW, 91 percent lower than the i7-8500Y.

Intel has worked with Microsoft so that Windows 10 can properly divide the tasks between the powerful core and the economical core. Tasks in the foreground are assigned to the Sunny Cove core and things running in the background are handled by the Tremont cores.

A Core i5 and Core i3 appear in the Lakefield series. The chips have the same amount of cores and cache, but the i5 achieves higher clock speeds and has a gpu with more eus. The first device to hit the market with a Lakefield processor is the Samsung Galaxy Book S. It will appear in a number of countries in June. Lenovo’s foldable ThinkPad X1 Fold will be released later this year. Microsoft’s Surface Neo tablet with two screens also gets a Lakefield chip.

Processor cores/threads clock speed Max. Turbo
single core
Max. Turbo
all core
GPU cache tdp
Core i5-L16G7 5/5
1x Sunny Cove
4x Tremont
1.4GHz 3.0GHz 1,8GHz Gen11
64 EUs’
4MB 7W
Core 3-L13G4 5/5
1x Sunny Cove
4x Tremont
0.8GHz 2.8GHz 1.3GHz Gen 11
48 EUs’
4MB 7W

Intel has made a Lego set to show the construction of its Lakefield processors