Intel makes its first 10nm Cannon Lake chips official


Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Intel’s transition to constructing processors on a 10nm manufacturing course of has been delayed repeatedly. As soon as upon a time the corporate mentioned that it’d go into mass manufacturing on the finish of 2015; with its most up-to-date monetary outcomes the corporate pushed that again, once more, to 2019. However the firm has additionally mentioned that, though the yields aren’t ok for large-scale manufacturing, it has been transport 10nm processors, codename Cannon Lake, to an unspecified buyer.
That buyer is Lenovo: the IdeaPad 330 has been listed by Chinese language retailers, and it features a mysterious processor, the Core i3-8121U. The title tells us the market positioning—it is an i3, so it is low-end—the facility envelope—the “U” on the finish signifies that it is a 15W chip—and the branding—the quantity begins with an eight, so it may be one other “8th generation” chip, identical to the Kaby Lake-R, Kaby Lake-G, and Espresso Lake processors. Which means that “8th generation” is a somewhat imprecise label that describes a number of completely different processor variants, constructed on a number of completely different manufacturing processes (two 14nm variants and now 10nm).
We did not know far more concerning the chip till Intel printed it on its Ark web site. The Ark itemizing confirms that it’s certainly a 15W Cannon Lake chip, constructed on a 10nm course of. It has two cores, 4 threads, a base clock pace of two.2GHz with turbo increase of three.2GHz, and 4MB of degree three cache.
What else can we be taught? The Cannon Lake half helps two new sorts of reminiscence: LPDDR4 and LPDDR4X, each low energy variants of DDR4. This could allow decreased energy consumption even with excessive reminiscence system configurations, in comparison with the earlier technology which solely supported LPDDR3 along with customary DDR4. The utmost theoretical reminiscence bandwidth determine has additionally been upgraded to 41.6GB/s, up from 34.1GB/s.
The Ark itemizing additionally says that the Cannon Lake processor helps extra PCIe lanes, as much as 16 from 12 (although the precise supported lane configurations seem to match Kaby Lake chips, so it is not instantly clear if that is appropriate). Extra peculiarly, nevertheless, the itemizing does not embrace any specs for a GPU. Just about each cell and desktop processor Intel makes consists of an built-in GPU, and one would count on Cannon Lake chips to comply with swimsuit. In response to this itemizing, nevertheless, the i3-8121U does not. The Lenovo laptop computer in query is specified as together with a discrete AMD R5 GPU, providing no steering as as to whether the chip does certainly have a GPU.
As such, whereas Cannon Lake and Intel’s 10nm manufacturing stay a bit mysterious (the broader query of “why this particular chip for this particular customer?” feeling notably germane), we do now know a bit greater than we did earlier than.

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