Update: Intel has sent over a statement clarifying that Lakefield will begin showing up in retail devices in 2020. And in particular that we should expect to see Lakefield devices as part of the Holiday 2020 device refreshes. Intel has stated that the comments made at the event were not specifically talking about a 'Lakefield Refresh' product, but a line of 'refresh products' based on Lakefield, and that we misheard the engineer's comments. It should be noted however that we have parity from other press in the room of our interpretation of the comments made.


At the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) 2019, Intel had two package integration presentations, one on its Omni-Directional Interconnect and one on its 3D stacking Foveros technology. In the first talk, one of Intel’s engineers presenting at the conference said a rather curious thing that hasn’t been previously disclosed.

One of the highlights of 2019 as a whole has been Intel’s disclosures about its new 3D stacking, or ‘Foveros’, technology. The idea here is that using multiple silicon dies stacked on top of each other, you can decrease the overall die size of a chip but also increase the bandwidth if one of the silicon dies is dedicated to cache or memory. In the case of Intel’s first Foveros chip, Lakefield, we have one IO die and one compute die on different process nodes stacked together with additional PoP memory on top of the stacked design. Lakefield has been announced for two products so far, the Samsung Galaxy Book S and the Microsoft Surface Neo, both of which are scheduled to come to market in mid-2020.

Intel’s second announced Foveros chip is its new Xe-HPC architecture based graphics card design for high performance computing. Given the code name ‘Ponte Vecchio’, the new GPU is slated for a late 2021 launch and will use Foveros technology to help build out compute performance across 8 compute dies per slide, and Ponte Vecchio will have two slices per GPU. This GPU is being built primarily for the exascale-class Aurora supercomputer, which is set to be installed in the Argonne National Laboratories in 2021.

So what was the off-hand comment made at IEDM this year? On stage, an Intel Principle Engineer stated that by Holiday 2020, we should expect to see Lakefield Refresh based devices in the market. The engineer did state that first generation of Lakefield was already shipping, and that we should expect to see the next refresh of hardware/devices in finished consumer products by the end of 2020.

Intel is betting on its new Foveros technology, as with its EMIB interconnects, as a corner stone of certain areas of its product portfolio as we roll into the new decade. It will be interesting to see if the cost can be amortized into more price-sensitive areas. During the same IEDM presentation, the same principle engineer also mentioned that the Foveros stacking technology can also lend itself to adding on a modem into that stack – given that Intel recently announced a partnership with Mediatek to provide 5G connectivity for its products, one can make the assumption that at some point we’ll see a Foveros product with a modem too.

Hopefully Intel will disclose more in the early part of 2020.

Related Reading

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Korguz - Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - link

    apparently.. only being able to ship only quad core parts, that are slower then the ones they replace, while in a market that is kind of small.. doesnt count has shiping product.. specially when its not in volume like it would be for mainstream parts
  • trivik12 - Thursday, December 12, 2019 - link

    why do you say slower. Anandtech review shows good performance increase for XPS 13. I have a icelake laptop and its more efficient than previous gen.
  • Fataliity - Thursday, December 12, 2019 - link

    Because it is slower. the 4 core Ice Lake is slower than the 6 Core it's replacing. The single thread is slightly faster, but only because Intel increased the boost time on the Ice Lake for maximum benchmark efficiency. When running longer tests that actually test the chip (like gaming), it actually loses.

    Graphics failed too. They compared a LPDDR4x 4233mhz to a DDR3-1866mhz (Not even DDR4) to get their "2x graphics performance" number, when everyone knows bandwidth is a big factor in onboard graphics. And the fastest Ice Lake I actually saw was 3733mhz Razer laptop.

    Actual performance in real world? 30% increase. Still beaten by Ryzen 3700.
    Temperatures? 90-100C. VERY bad.

    Only winning tests? Single-thread within time frame of boost clock setting in bios. And AVX.
    Complete Failure. Buy a 6core 14nm chip and get a discrete card. Even the 1060 Max-Q is over 2x better.
  • Fataliity - Thursday, December 12, 2019 - link

    Gaming = rendering, or anything that takes longer than 1min 30seconds basically.
  • Fataliity - Thursday, December 12, 2019 - link

    One other thing. All the benchmarks you seen at "release" were Intel slides and not actual benchmarks. They weren't actually tested. Go on youtube and actually look at videos comparing the old systems to the new systems versus 14nm systems with max-q graphics (which you can buy for the same price). You will see, the new systems are not good.
  • HStewart - Thursday, December 12, 2019 - link

    A couple of misleading statements here.

    1. The 4 cores in the Lakefield were never designed to replace 14nm cores - these are basically lower power Atom cores along with single power IceLake core.

    2. The quad core Ice Lake was not decided to replace 6 core 14nm cpu, the ice lakes are lower power cpu designed to be more efficient. I would be curious and would not doubt that a refresh of Ice Lake includes higher watt versions including 6 or 8 cores designed for better performance.
  • Korguz - Thursday, December 12, 2019 - link

    ok there Hstewart.. sure...
  • levizx - Friday, December 13, 2019 - link

    Are you high on something? Ice Lake has only 9/15/28W parts, so show me a 8th/9th Gen 6-core sub-30W part, please?
  • trivik12 - Sunday, December 15, 2019 - link

    Intel did release comet lake-u with 6 core. But so far reviews have favored icelake over comet lake.
  • Korguz - Sunday, December 15, 2019 - link

    " Intel did release comet lake-u with 6 core" oh ?? where ??

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now