Intel's first 10nm Ice Lake CPUs are finally coming later this year

Ruben Fields
January 9, 2019

Last night, Intel's CES 2019 press conference focussed heavily on its shift to 10nm, with system-on-chip designs, mobile CPUs, and Xeon server CPUs all confirmed as very much coming soon or soonish depending on the product.

Ice Lake will feature integrated Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).

While we've still got a while to wait for Intel's Ice Lake CPUs, the firm also announced new 9th-gen Core processors; though we're still awaiting specifics.

Further, Intel disclosed new details of its upcoming hybrid CPU, which we now know is codenamed Lakefield. Lakefield has five cores, combining a 10nm high-performance Sunny Cove core with four Intel Atom processor-based cores into a tiny package that delivers low-power efficiency with graphics and other IPs, I/O and memory.

The new processors join the company's three existing "flagship" 9th-generation desktop chips, which launched in October past year - the Core i5-9600K, i7-9700K and i9-9900K - as well as the 9th-generation X-series for HEDT systems.

In the meantime, the company is adding to its existing lineup of 9th generation CPUs.

Intel's latest 5G and AI push is Project Athena, an innovation program with new industry specifications for laptops. Intel promises new experiences with class-leading battery life and performance in slim and light bodies.

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Though it's a bit vague, and perhaps just an exercise in branding to combat AMD mobile, Intel has ready-and-willing big-name sign-ups including Acer, Asus, Dell, Google, HP, Innolux, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung and Sharp.

The first Ice Lake products are going to be laptops and similar and they will become available in OEM partner devices in time for Xmas this year, Intel hopes. Lakefield and Project Athena could help create something just as formative over the next few years.

Out of its Data Center Group came the announcement of Intel's AI-driven Nervana Neural Network Processor for Inference.

In October, Intel launched the first set of the 9th Gen Core desktop processors, including the Intel Core i9-9900K processor. Intel will work closely with OEMs to develop and test Project Athena devices, all of which will be certified before launch. The new models cover the Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 range and include the F-series chips, which have their integrated graphics disabled. This generation will introduce new hardware-based security features as well as performance improvements.

"This network SoC is meant to bring Intel architecture into wireless access base stations and allow more computing functions to be distributed out at the edge of the network", Intel said.

A Neural Network Processor for Training, code-named "Spring Crest", is also set to become available later this year.

Intel has announced a 48-core CPU for data centers, but the most impressive feature brings enhanced performance to database applications.

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