Intel announces 10th Gen ‘Ice Lake’ Intel Core processors and Iris Plus graphics

Intel also unveiled design specifications of Project Athena that will boost the efficiency of laptops


Intel took the wraps off its latest 10th Gen ‘Ice Lake’ Intel Core processors at Computex 2019. The announcement comes after Intel showcased its 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900KS special edition processor. The processor range will be between Intel Core i3 to i7, with no details for now on whether we’ll get to see a Core i9 in this generation.

Intel also announced Iris Plus graphics that are based on its Gen11 graphics architecture where it claims double the performance from the previous generation.

The company also revealed details of ‘Project Athena’, its new innovation program to enhance the efficiency and performance of future laptops powered by Intel processors.

Image Credit: Intel

Image Credit: Intel

10th Gen 'Ice Lake' Intel Core processor features

The newest Intel Ice Lake U-Series and Y-series mobile processors are based on the company’s 10 nm process technology, ‘Sunny Cove’ core micro-architecture and its new Gen11 graphics engine. There will be a maximum of four cores and eight threads in the entire range with a max turbo frequency of up to 4.1 GHz and up to 1.1 GHz graphics frequency.

Image: Intel.

Image: Intel.

Starting from the 10th Gen Intel processors, this will be the first time the company has designed its chips for higher AI performance on laptops. By using Intel Deep Learning Boost (Intel DL Boost), the Ice Lake processors are said to perform 2.5 times better in AI workloads. It will ensure that everyday tasks circling around creativity, productivity and entertainment are faster and more efficient on laptops.

The new generation comes equipped with Intel Iris Plus graphics for the first time that is based on its latest Gen11 graphics architecture. Intel claims that graphics performance is almost doubled and it also displayed its performance on several games running at 1080p.

Finally, the 10th Gen Intel Core processors will pack in support for Thunderbolt 3 and Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+). Thunderbolt 3 isn’t new and it will be able to deliver data transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps on laptops. Intel’s Gig+ implementation is rather new and it will enable high wireless speeds of more than 1 Gbps. Do note that in order to achieve such high speeds, the internet service and router needs to support the appropriate standards and protocols.

Intel’s Ice Lake processors are already shipping and the company says that OEM systems or vendors will be delivering laptops into the market soon.

Project Athena

In an attempt to refine and develop better performing laptops, Intel started the ‘Project Athena’ innovation program. The company shared some details and the specifications of the first iteration for laptops.

Intel has come up with a set of requirements called ‘key experience indicators’ or KEI that are based on real-world conditions on laptops rather than being purely raw performance. They include:

  • Consistent responsiveness on battery
  • 16 or more hours of battery life in local video playback mode and 9 or more hours of battery life under real-world performance conditions
  • System wake from sleep in less than 1 second

Some of the specifications include Thunderbolt 3, Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) and OpenVINO AI on PC compatibility. It also includes a set of six modern connected standby metrics that will ensure the system takes instant action, delivers consistent performance and responsiveness, intelligence, battery life, connectivity and form factor.

Although all the requirements and specifications of Project Athena are in place, this is only the 1.0 version of the program. Few vendors including Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo showcased some of its first designs under the program and more are set to follow soon.

Intel Core vPro and Intel Xeon E processors

Intel released 9th Gen Intel Core vPro processors dedicated to professional and business clients for mobile (H-series) and desktop (S-series) PCs. Among the 14 new processors announced, the top Intel Core i9 vPro comes with eight cores and 16 threads touching up to 5 GHz on desktop and 4.8 GHz on mobile.

The company also launched new Intel Xeon E processors for “professional-grade performance” that have real-time data analytics capabilities and platform security features. The 14 new mobile and desktop workstation processors come with up to eight cores and 16 threads, 5 GHz of turbo boost frequency and support for Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), Optane Memory H10 and 128 GB DDR4-2666 ECC memory.

Additionally, Intel announced that the new Intel Core X-series family of processors will be coming this Fall and they will include frequency improvements, increased memory speeds and updated Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0.

The company also showcased a new automated overclocking tool called Intel Performance Maximiser (IPM). While overclocking CPUs can be daunting for the majority of users out there, Intel claims that this tool will make the process easier to play around with the unlocked 9th Gen Intel Core desktop processors. IPM will be a free download and it will join the rest of the Intel tools including Intel Dynamic Tuning Technology, Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, and Intel Graphics Command Center, all part of Intel’s Adaptix Technologies toolkit.

Disclaimer: One of our correspondents was invited by Intel India for Computex 2019 at Taipei, Taiwan. All travel and accommodation expenses were taken care of by Intel.


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