Intel’s new Lakefield processors are the company’s first hybrid processors that combine higher-performance Intel Core CPU cores with energy-efficient Atom cores. They’re basically Intel’s answer to ARM’s big.LITTLE designs.
But Intel goes about things in a somewhat different way by using its new Foveros 3D packaging technology to create a single chip featuring multiple CPU architectures.
Intel has been talking about Foveros and Lakefield since early 2019. Now the company is launching the first two chips in the series and they’re expected to power upcoming thin and light laptops, tablets and devices with dual-screen or foldable designs.
|Processor Number||Graphics||Cores / Threads||Graphics (EUs)||Cache||TDP||Base Freq (GHz)||Max Single Core Turbo (GHz)||Max All Core Turbo (GHz)||Graphics Max Freq (GHz)||Memory|
|i5-L16G7||Intel UHD Graphics||5/5||64||4MB||7W||1.4||3.0||1.8||Up to 0.5||LPDDR4X-4267|
|i3-L13G4||Intel UHD Graphics||5/5||48||4MB||7W||0.8||2.8||1.3||Up to 0.5||LPDDR4X-4267|
By using Foveros technology and combining a single Intel Sunny Cove CPU core (similar to Intel Ice Lake) with four Tremont cores (Atom-based successor to Gemini Lake) and including Gen11 Iris Plus graphics, Intel says the chips offer:
- Up to 1.7X better graphics than a Core i7-8500Y Amber Lake chip with an Intel UHD 615 GPU
- Over 2X faster throughout for AI-enhanced workloads (compared to Core i7-8500Y)
- 12-percent faster single-threaded performance and 24-percent better performance per watt compared with a Core i7-8500Y chip
- Up to 91-percent lower power consumption than Amber lake chips, using as little as 2.5mW during standby.
- Smaller package size (since two logic dies and two layers of DRAM are stacked atop each other)
In fact, Intel says Lakefield chips have up to a 56-percent smaller package area than Amber Lake processors, and can be used on boards that are as much as 47-percent smaller.
Overall, it sounds like we can expect a significant boost in graphics and AI performance when compared to Amber Lake, as well as a more modest bump in single-core performance. While devices with these 7 watt Lakefield chips will probably still lag behind devices with more powerful 15-watt Ice Lake or Comet Lake processors for many tasks, the new chips are designed for thin and light systems like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Book S laptop (coming in June) and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold foldable tablet (coming later this year).
The Microsoft Surface Neo dual-screen computer will also be powered by a Lakefield chip, but it’s not expected to hit the streets until 2021.
It’s interesting to note that Intel is comparing the new processors with 8th-gen Intel “Amber Lake-Y” processors rather than newer 10th-gen chips like the Core i7-10510Y… but I guess it’s not too surprising, since I’m only aware of a single company that actually produces computers powered by those 10th-gen Y-Series processors.