Tuesday January 08, 2019

Intel Mixes Atom, Core and 3D Stacking in Lakefield

At their CES 2019 press conference, Intel refreshed their desktop processor lineup with IGP-less variants and unveiled the "Sunny Cove" CPU architecture in their laptop Ice Lake SOCs, but one of the most interesting designs Chipzilla displayed at the announcement is undoubtedly "Lakefield." The chip itself uses a "hybrid" CPU design, with 4 small Atom cores, one big Sunny Cove core and graphics all on one slab of silicon. Using their "Foveros" 3D stacking technology, they take that 10nm CPU die and sandwich it between a 22nm "Cache and I/O" die on the bottom and some DRAM stacks on top. The result is an entire SoC with memory squeezed into a 12mm x 12mm package, all of which fits on a motherboard that looks about as large as an M.2 NVMe SSD. Even if you aren't interested in the thin, low power laptops Intel is squarely aiming this system at, these design concepts and technologies will undoubtedly diffuse into Intel's higher-power products. Check out the "Lakefield" video below:

The result is a smaller board that provides OEMs more flexibility for thin and light form factor design and is packed with all the technology people have come to expect from Intel including long battery life, performance and connectivity. Lakefield is expected to be in production this year.