Intel Finally Reveals First 10th Gen Core Processors

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After many years delay, Intel finally reveals its 10 nanometer” ‘Ice Lake’ processors for tablets and laptops

Intel has begun shipping the first of its much delayed 10 nanometer (nm) processors that has been codenamed ‘Ice Lake’.

It said it expects the first systems (mostly thin laptops and tablets) bearing the new chips will be available in “holiday 2019,” which could mean as late as Christmas this year.

Intel has delayed the release of these Project Athena 10nm processors for some time. Last year for example Intel delayed (yet again) the release of its next-generation 10nm chips until the end of 2019.

New processors

That was yet another delay, as Intel had said in the previous quarter that its 10nm chips were being pushed from 2018 to sometime in 2019.

But to give people an idea of how bad a delay this all is, Intel had originally predicted the 10nm Cannon Lake chips would be ready by 2015.

But now Intel has announced that it has begun shipping Ice Lake, its 10th Gen Core processors based on 10nm.

Essentially it promises better battery life, improved performance (especially in the graphics department) and nearly 3x faster wireless speeds.

“No one wants to compromise; people want it all: battery life, performance, responsiveness, connectivity and slick form factors,” said Gregory Bryant, Intel senior VP and general manager of the Client Computing Group.

“Our job is to come together as an industry and deliver incredible and differentiated PCs, purpose built to what real people want. 10th Gen Intel Core processors – our most integrated CPU – and Project Athena are great examples of how our deep investments at a platform level will help fuel innovation across the industry,” Bryant said.

The new processors are also “designed to enable high-performance AI on the laptop, delivering approximately 2.5x AI performance with Intel DL Boost for low latency workloads.”

The new processors include new Intel Iris Plus graphics, based on the Gen11 graphics architecture, nearly doubles performance.

And connectivity has also been tweaked, as the new processors come with both integrated Thunderbolt 3 and integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) for the first time to enable nearly 3x faster wireless speeds.

“Intel’s highly integrated 10th Gen Intel Core processors give OEM partners the freedom to innovate on design and aesthetic by reducing the silicon footprint while still delivering the latest and greatest standards and world-class performance,” said the chip giant. “The new 10th Gen Intel Core processors are now shipping, with OEM systems expected to be available for holiday 2019.”

Bad year

The news of the new processors will be a boost for Intel, after it suffered a torrid 2018.

In June 2018 chief executive Brian Krzanich left the company with immediate effect after he had a consensual relationship with an employee.

And it has emerged that Intel is also being investigated for alleged age discrimination practices against older employees during its massive jobs cull in 2016.

Intel also lost Apple as an important client after it was reported that the iPad maker had lost confidence in Intel’s ability to hit its exacting deadline for 5G modem chips.

Just days after Apple said it would use Qualcomm’s 5G modems, Intel announced “its intention to exit the 5G smartphone modem business.”

“Intel Corporation today announced its intention to exit the 5G smartphone modem business and complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices,” said Intel in April.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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