Intel is outlining a few big changes coming to its chips next year. First up is the new “Sunny Cove” architecture that’ll be used to produce next-gen Xeon (server) and Core (laptop and desktop) processors in late 2019.

The chip maker says we can expect higher caches, reduced latency, higher throughput, and support for performing more operations at once that will lead to a significant performance improvement… at least for some tasks.


For example, Intel is promising significant performance boosts for cryptography, compression and decompression, and machine learning (AI), among other things.

Sunny Cove represents the biggest architecture change since Intel’s 14nm Skylake chips first shipped in 2015. As AnandTech points out, the Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, and Whiskey Lake chips Intel has released since then have all basically been variations on Skylake.

Intel’s new Sunny Cove chips will be 10nm processors and the first Intel Core processors based on the new architecture are set to ship in the second half of 2019, followed by “Willow Cove” chips in 2020 and “Golden Cove” in 2021. Those next next-gen chips will offer optimizations and security enhancements, but they’ll be based on the same basic Sunny Cove architecture.

Intel’s new Gen11 graphics will also likely make their debut in Sunny Cove-based Intel Core chips in late 2019, bringing up to twice the performance of today’s Gen9 graphics.

And the company says it’s also developed a whole new way to builds CPUs — vertically. The company will use 3D stacking to make future chips more versatile by allowing designers to “‘mix and match’ technology IP blocks with various memory and I/O elements.”

The company says it will ship the first products built using its 3D stacking technology (called “Foveros”) in the second half of 2019.

via Intel and Ars Technica


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3 replies on “Intel unveils “Sunny Cove” CPU architecture for next-gen chips”

  1. Translation: We can’t get any Lake architecture chip to work well at 10nm, so we’re going to scrap it and move to a new architecture.

  2. Either Intel is trying to pull a Lisa Su, and downplaying/hiding the great performance increases of the new architecture until its launched. Or they really don’t have anything substantial over Coffee Lake, so they will get steam rolled in performance AND price by the likes of Ryzen 3000, meaning a loss in revenue, profits, and market share is unavoidable.

    This sort of reminds me when AMD had barely upgraded Athlon II’s to go with the Bulldozer architecture… whereas their rival Intel caught up to them with the Core2 architecture, and then surpassed them with Core-i architecture. Except this time, the tables have reversed. AMD caught up with Ryzen 1000 (bit of a stalemate at 2000 refresh), and now they look poised to surpass them with their new Zen2 architecture.

    And now Intel’s being challenged to desktops by AMD, to servers by AMD and ARM, and to Ultrabooks by ARM.
    It won’t be long until AMD also crafts a formidable Mobile Chip, and the likes of Apple A12X make a transition into a Macintosh. Nvidia is looking far better, and only needs to price-adjust their products in the incoming months.

  3. According to various other sites,

    “the Sunny Cove CPUs will have hardware mitigation for strains of the nasty Spectre and Meltdown security exploits.”

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