Intel Starts Qualification of Ice Lake CPUs, Raises 10nm Volume Expectation for 2019
During its Q1 earning call, Intel provided an update regarding its 10 nm process technology in general as well as the ramp up of its Ice Lake-U processor for notebooks, the company’s first 10 nm design that will be mass produced and broadly available. Qualification of the new processors will start already this quarter, so systems based on Ice Lake-U will be available by holidays, as promised. Furthermore, Intel believes that it will be able to ship more 10 nm parts than it originally anticipated.
Ice Lake-U in 2019
Intel started production of its Ice Lake-U processors in Q1, but these chips are stockpiled before they are qualified with PC makers. Once the chips are qualified — something that Intel expects to do in Q2 — it can start sales/shipments of these CPUs, which will likely happen in Q3. Considering the lead-time requires to get built systems on to store shelves, Ice Lake-U-based PCs are on track to hit the market in Q4 (something Intel reaffirmed today).
Intel’s Ice Lake-U is a quad-core processor based on the codenamed Sunny Cove microarchitecture (which among other things supports VNNI, Cryptographic ISA instructions, and so on) and featuring Intel’s Gen11 integrated graphics with 64 execution units along with a memory controller supporting LPDDR4X. The CPU will be paired with a chipset natively supporting Thunderbolt 3, 802.11ax Wi-Fi, and a number of other innovations. The whole package is expected to have a TDP of 15 W.
10 nm Xeons in 2020
As for 10 nm ramp in general, Intel is only talking about producing its relatively small Ice Lake-U processors in volumes this year, which is the company’s typical way of ramping up a new node. When it comes to larger server parts, Intel expects to launch 10 nm Xeons in 2020 and implies that rather earlier than later.
This is a breaking news. We are updating the story as we get more details.
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