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.

The Intel Core i3-L13G4 and Core i5-L16G7 chips are both 7-watt, 5-core processors with Intel Gen11 graphics.

Processor NumberGraphicsCores / ThreadsGraphics (EUs)CacheTDPBase Freq (GHz)Max Single Core Turbo (GHz)Max All Core Turbo (GHz)Graphics Max Freq (GHz)Memory
i5-L16G7Intel UHD Graphics5/5644MB7W1.43.01.8Up to 0.5LPDDR4X-4267
i3-L13G4Intel UHD Graphics5/5484MB7W0.82.81.3Up to 0.5LPDDR4X-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.

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4 replies on “Intel launches Lakefield hybrid chips for thin and light computers”

  1. This would be perfect in a phone… I wish x86 phones would come back powered by Windows. Phone mode when undocked and full desktop mode when docked. That’s always been my dream smartphone.

  2. The very good news for me . Not calculating monster , but supplying power like arm . Pocket size . ARM for w10 was dead . Intel for phone:) just born . For the serious tusks i5-1030g4 is more optimal .

    1. Intel has been making phone and smartphone chips for a long time. They just did not have a chipset compatible with Windows. This seems like a hybrid Intel/ARM chipset that is more for UMPC than phones.

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