Intel hosted a launch event on 2nd September for a new range of processors – the next generation of CPUs. Subtitled “Experience how laptop performance will roar”, Intel announced the arrival of 11th Generation ‘Tiger Lake‘ microarchitecture and CPU stack at the event. Additionally, Intel debuted “Intel Evo”, an extension of Project Athena.
Tiger Lake was already previewed by Intel on Architecture Day 2020, with the highlights being the use of the SuperFIN node with the 10nm process of the previous 10th Generation laptop CPUs and the introduction of Intel’s integrated Iris Xe Graphics. This new process improves upon the 10nm process further, and Intel claims that it increases clock speeds by a significant margin, promising better “real-world” results. Both these advancements were touted to be beneficial for thin-and-light laptops, as all the announced products are aimed squarely at portability and efficiency. Intel claims that Xe boasts two times the performance over the previous generation in gaming applications, as well as outperforming the similarly-positioned competition, directly mentioning AMD Ryzen 4800U and Nvidia’s MX350 getting bested by an unspecified Xe integrated GPU. It also includes 8K display support for external display devices.
The announced CPU’s are a full range of laptop parts, catering to entry-level as well as top-end users. All these CPU’s have a maximum TDP of 28W, thereby making it clear that these are not aimed to be paired up with high-end mobile GPU’s, such as Nvidia’s RTX 20 Series in a high-end gaming machine. Thus, the introduced CPU’s are U-series parts. They are meant for thin-and-light laptops, and to reinforce that, Intel also debuted Evo.
Intel Evo Explained
Intel Evo is part of Project Athena, which is an innovation project by Intel that certifies laptop designs that meet some specifications demanded by Intel. It is meant to be a measure of quality for these laptops, as Intel guarantees a better experience with these devices. Intel Evo devices promise:
- Consistent responsiveness on battery.
- System wake from sleep in less than 1 second.
- Nine or more hours of real-world battery life on systems with FHD displays.
- Fast charging with up to a four-hour charge in under 30 minutes on systems with FHD displays.
Intel also announced that more than 150 designs are expected from their partners, including brands like HP, Asus, Acer, Dell, Lenovo, and Razer, alongside other brands. Twenty such models are expected this year from their partners as well. All Intel Evo designs are guaranteed to meet or surpass the standards specified by Intel. Intel also debuted a new typeface for their brand name as seen on the CPU labels themselves, but it seems like it is limited to these latest releases and the Evo brand only for now.
What Intel’s Tiger Lake Announcement Means For Laptops Going Forward
These new launches take Intel’s lead in the laptop CPU space further, to a more assured position than it was in before, and with Xe, they also have resolved their lackluster integrated graphic performance problems. Additionally, Evo sets new standards for laptop design, akin to what Ultrabook did nearly a decade ago. Hopefully, we will see more reliable and robust laptop designs that make laptops more versatile and powerful devices. However, the lack of any announcements of new desktop Tiger Lake CPU’s in this event is a little disappointing, as their dominant market position becomes less and less overwhelming. We’ll have to wait for that later.
Without a release that goes toe-to-toe against Ryzen 3000 series and the upcoming Zen 3, they will continue to lose the commanding position they once had in the entire CPU market. Still, Tiger Lake seems to be a major release, especially combined with Intel Evo, and it shall be seen shortly what its impact has been on laptop design.