The upcoming Intel Lakefield processors will be the first in a new line of processors from the companies to combine CPU cores featuring different architectures. It’s basically Intel’s answer to ARM’s big.LITTLE technology that allows high-performance CPU cores to be paired with cheaper, more energy-efficient cores to balance performance, battery life, and price.
We already knew that Samsung was working on a next-gen Galaxy Book S laptop featuring an Intel Lakefield processor.
According to the listing, a Samsung device with the model number 767XCL will be powered by a previously unannounced chip called the Intel Core i5-L16G7.
It’s a 5-core processor that will likely feature a single high-performance CPU core based on the same “Sunny Cove” architecture as 10th-gen Intel “Ice Lake” chips, plus four efficiency cores based on Intel’s new “Tremont” architecture for low-power Atom/Celeron/Pentium chips.
UserBenchmark says the CPU has a base speed of 1.4 GHz and average turbo boost speeds of 1.75 GHz, but it’s worth taking both of those figures with a grain of salt. First, the listing seems to be based on a single sample. And second, it’s unclear if the clock speeds refer to all 5 CPU cores or just the Sunny Cove or Tremont cores.
The upshot is that Lakefield devices like the upcoming Galaxy Book S should offer a mix of high-performance graphics and strong single-threaded CPU performance thanks to the Sunny Cove + Gen11 graphics combination. But they’ll also be able to fall back on the Tremont CPU cores for energy-efficient multi-threaded performance.
It’s likely that we’ll see Lakefield chips in the sort of low-power thin, light, and possibly fanless systems that currently use Intel Core Y-series processors.
While the Galaxy Book S may be one of the first Lakefield-powered devices to hit the streets, it won’t be alone for long. Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Neo dual-screen mobile computer will also feature a Lakefield processor when it launches later this year.
Meanwhile, it looks like software developers are also getting ready for cheaper devices powered by Intel’s upcoming “Jasper Lake” and “Elkhart Lake” processors. These are expected to be Tremont-only chips… but it’s possible that these processors could also have Intel Gen11 graphics.
References to the new Tremont processors showed up in a Linux patch recently:
- #define INTEL_FAM6_ATOM_TREMONT_D 0x86 /* Jacobsville */
- #define INTEL_FAM6_ATOM_TREMONT 0x96 /* Elkhart Lake */
- #define INTEL_FAM6_ATOM_TREMONT_L 0x9C /* Jasper Lake */
A brief note to the Intel kernel mailing list simply describes Tremont as “Intel’s successor to Goldmont Plus,” the architecture used in current-gen “Gemini Lake” low-power, low-cost processors.