Intel seems to have finally made some progress in transitioning from its seriously dated 14nm process to the 10nm node after multiple years. In a YouTube video, the chip giant demoed the Lakefield mobile processors that will leverage the 10nm fabbing process, and will also be Intel’s first proper SoC in quite a while.
Lakefield is expected to be power efficient while delivering PC-grade performance. This chip will be Intel’s first hybrid design with one high-performance Sunny Cove core and four small ones. This is quite similar to Qualcomm’s big.LITTLE technology where four high-end and four low-power ARM cores are coupled to provide an optimal balance between performance and quality.
The Lakefield SoC will support LPDDR4 memory and will come packed with 1.5MB of L2 cache. The SoC is also supposed to debut Intel’s Gen11 graphics that is speculated to bring a significant performance boost over its predecessor.
Another tasty bit that has been detailed is Intel’s new Foveros packaging technology that allows stacking of components in 3D rather than the traditional 2D fashion. This has helped Intel trim the size of the SoC to 12mm while offering traditional laptop-grade performance in a much smaller form factor.
This piece of news comes directly a day after Intel revealed that Apple will be switching to ARM processors by 2020, thereby cutting all ties with the company. From a PR perspective, it’s a direct attack on Apple’s revered Macbook Air lineup with some of the slimmest and most portable designs ever seen in the mobile PC space.
This hybrid Lakefield design is also supposed to power the Project Athena initiative aimed at creating 11-inch machines that are fast yet efficient.