Intel’s 8th-gen line of Core processors includes chips based on the company’s “Kaby Lake Refresh” and “Coffee Lake” architecture, and we’re expecting upcoming “Cannon Lake” chips to be branded as 8th-gen chips as well.
But rumor has it that Intel is on track to launch its first “Ice Lake” processors later this year, and they’ll be some of the first 9th-gen Intel processors manufactured using a 10nm+ process.
It seems like that might not be all that’s new though. Leaked benchmarks suggest that Ice Lake architecture will bring a big boost in integrated graphics performance to laptops.
According to a SiSoft Sandra listing uncovered by TechPowerUp it looks like someone’s testing an “Intel Ice Lake Client Platform” system with an Ice Lake U series processor, DDR4 RAM, and Intel UHD Gen11 graphics.
While Sandra reports the test machine as a desktop, U-series chips are typically 15 watt processors designed for laptops, 2-in-1s, and low-power desktops (like Intel’s NUC line of mini desktops). So it’s possible that the system being tested is an NUC-style computer, or maybe just a hardware sample.
But the listing still provides some interesting details about the Gen11 graphics associated with that Ice Lake-U chip:
- 600 MHz base clock (boost speed unknown)
- 48 execution units
- 383 unified shaders
- Support for up to 6GB of shared memory
- 768kB of L2 cache
By comparison, here’s what you get with the Intel UHD 620 integrated GPU that comes with 8th-gen Kaby Lake-U laptop-class chips:
- 300 MHz base clock (and 1.1 GHz boost)
- 24 execution units
- 192 unified shaders
- Support for up to 3.2 GB of shared memory
- 512kB of L2 cache
Will that be enough to help Intel stave off competition from AMD, which already offers a number of Ryzen Mobile processors with integrated Radeon Vega graphics? That remains to be seen. But Intel did recently hire AMD’s former GPU chief in order to beef up its own discrete graphics technology. So it looks like the company is looking to stay competitive in the GPU space while Intel tries to hold onto its lead in the desktop and notebook CPU space.