Intel Expands 8th Gen Core: Core i9 on Mobile, Iris Plus, Desktop, Chipsets, and vProby Ian Cutress on April 3, 2018 3:01 AM EST
Coffee Lake with Iris Plus at 28W
Intel recently announced its ‘Intel Core with Radeon RX Vega’ processor line, featuring a H-series processor combined with an AMD graphics chip and a sizeable amount of high-speed HBM2 memory connected via Intel’s proprietary EMIB technology. These parts are designed to service the high-end for integrated graphics, going above and beyond any other integrated graphics solution in the past. That used to be a post held by Intel’s processors that used eDRAM, using the Iris, Iris Pro, and Iris Plus branding. Now the Iris line sits in the middle, acting as Intel’s graphics focused products in the mid-power range.
For the launch today, Intel is lifting the lid on four separate Iris Plus-based processors. These all use the Coffee Lake microarchitecture and are built on Intel’s 14++ process. All four of these processors are in Intel’s ‘GT3e’ graphics configuration, which uses Intel’s Gen 9.5 graphics with 48 execution units (EUs) and 128 MB of eDRAM. This is compared to the GT2 configurations seen on most other processors, that have 24 EUs and zero eDRAM.
|Core i7-8559U||$431||4 / 8||2.7||4.5||8 MB||No||2400||48 EUs||300 / 1200|
|Core i5-8269U||$320||4 / 8||2.6||4.2||6 MB||No||2400||48 EUs||300 / 1100|
|Core-i5-8259U||$320||4 / 8||2.3||3.8||6 MB||No||2400||48 EUs||300 / 1050|
|Core i3-8109U||$304||2 / 4||3.0||3.6||4 MB||No||2400||47 EUs||300 / 1000|
Intel has split these new CPUs up into a single Core i7-8559U, which is a quad-core processor with the most L3 cache, two Core i5 parts that are also quad-core but have reduced L3 cache, and a Core i3-8109U processor that is dual core, but with the same amount of L3 cache per core as the Core i7-8559U.
In Intel’s manufacturing parlance, this means that the Core i7 and Core i5 are all ‘4+3e’ units, meaning four cores and GT3 graphics with eDRAM. By contrast, the Core i3 is a ‘2+3e’ processor, with only two cores but the same GT3e graphics with eDRAM as the i7/i5. Based on the design of these processors, the Core i3 sits as the lower binned part: it is manufactured as a 4+3e design, but due to processor defects is only suitable to run two cores. As with most of the other mobile processors, the higher performance parts often get the highest frequency graphics as well. In this case, the Core i7-8559U sits at the top at 1200 MHz.
For the eDRAM, in previous generations Intel has moved from going all parts at 128 MB to having some move down to 64 MB, but now moves back up to all of them having 128 MB again. For the eDRAM implementation, Intel is still using their second generation eDRAM implementation whereby the eDRAM acts as a L4 buffer for supplying the L3 from DRAM through the System Agent – this is compared to the first generation where the eDRAM was a victim cache. This methodology allows the eDRAM to speed up more use cases than just graphics, and the 50 GBps bidirectional bandwidth is certainly a big leap over main DRAM bandwidth (that some OEMs run in single channel mode anyway). Iris Plus processors can also be equipped with discrete graphics, although this is up to the OEM.
The 28W Iris Plus processors will match the other mobile counterparts on chipset, and support the new features such as integrated Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi and native USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) support. We do not know to what extent these are supported, and are waiting on more information. The Iris Pro parts will also support Optane-accelerated storage.
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BillBear - Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - linkActually, we've already seen ARM chips surpass Intel in the server space where Intel is strongest.
FunBunny2 - Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - link"2020 from Intel x86 CPUs to some sort of higher performance ARM processor "
well, they could stamp 12 or 24 or 48 ARM cores on a chip, and call it a CPU. but that would mean they've abandoned single thread performance. it only makes sense if they've some secret multi-threaded sauce, built into macOS (or whatever they end up calling it), that runtime converts from single to multi. that's some Catch 22.
PeachNCream - Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - linkIt sounds like the current intent is to consolidate under iOS across all of their computing devices. I do wonder how you'd reach a x86-comparable performance level with ARM cores. You're right they'd almost have to go crazy into multi-threaded stuff, but there are still some workloads that just don't benefit much. Like I said above though, I'm not really praising the move or particularly excited about it. It's just something that'd be interesting to watch happen.
HStewart - Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - linkA non Intel based Mac will never replace high end mac - that may try it say MacBook Air line - but it likely be very unsuccessful.
SaturnusDK - Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - linkYou underestimate the baa! of the iSheep. They'll buy whatever crap Apple launches.
serendip - Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - linkI was a Macbook and Powerbook user around the time of the PowerPC/x86 transition. Apple handled it well by having the Rosetta translation library; the Intel Core Duo chips back then had enough grunt to handle translated code at a decent speed too. It took a few years before big programs like Photoshop had native Mac Intel ports.
An ARM Macbook with 20 hour battery life and Intel-equivalent performance would be a big seller provided code translation works well and popular apps have native ARM versions. Most Macbooks are used for Web and app development so it won't be hard to recompile code for ARM. I'd say Apple could do this better than the half-baked efforts by Windows OEMs to make Qualcomm PCs.
BurntMyBacon - Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - linkAre we talking low end Apollo Lake or high end Coffee Lake equivalent performance. The former isn't going to have compelling performance in anything beyond (perhaps) Web Apps. The later is a pipe dream. I don't much care for Intel as a company, but do you seriously believe they are so incompetent at designing processors that a company with only 8 year experience designing processors (Apple) is going to double battery life (Macbook) with the same performance while using translation? Catching up to Intel, while not easy, is doable. After all, many of the things Intel did to get to their current performance are now known quantities. Very suddenly passing Intel up doesn't seem plausible as that would require Apple to have design expertise Intel doesn't have. Very suddenly passing them up by such a wide margin ... well I hope it happens as it would spur on competition. However, hope is not in fact a strategy, so I'm not counting on it. More realistically, they could take the AMD approach of offering more cores and trading off single threaded performance for mult-ithreaded performance. That may make it compelling for some use cases.
serendip - Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - link20 hours based on the Qualcomm PCs which a few vendors have demoed. An Apple ARM chip could achieve similar battery life with similar x86 translation performance. If Qualcomm can do it, I would bet that Apple can too, especially as they control both hardware and software on their devices.
fteoath64 - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - linkNot only this. Apple can add special "sauce" in TensorCore chips into the mix and moe specialised co-processors within the Arm CCN that Intel cannot really match. There is much to innovate in that space where Intel just went into "brute force" speed and power-savings just to market their chips over the last few generations. Apple's GPU expertise is also coming to speed so there is much hope there....
HStewart - Saturday, April 7, 2018 - linkUsing AMD for CPU is non-sense - it obvious that Intel has lead on AMD especially in the Mobile CPU and Apple has pretty much abandon the desktop area. Only with iMac Pro with monitor based iMac's are basically now mobile cpu because of size and power.