Project Athena – Intel on Tuesday announced its 10th generation core processors at Computex 2019. The processors are built using the 10-nanometer manufacturing process, first for Intel. The chipset giant also shared details on its innovation program codenamed “Project Athena”.
Intel 10th Gen Core Processors
After a long delay, Intel has finally unveiled the 10th gen core chips that will power most upcoming laptops in the coming months. Code-named Ice Lake, the new processors are built using the 10nm process, new “Sunny Cove” core architecture, and its new Gen 11 graphics engine. Intel is promising up to a 2.5-times performance increase with AI tasks compared to its 8th Gen chips.
The new processors include Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs. Ice Lake will feature up to four cores and eight threads and a maximum turbo frequency of up to 4.1GHz. The company says the 10th gen core processors will power thin-and-light laptops and convertible 2-in-1 devices.
According to Intel, the new graphics architecture delivers up to one teraflop of vector compute for heavy duty inference workloads to enhance creativity, productivity and entertainment on highly mobile, thin-and-light laptops. For low-power AI usages on the PC, Intel Gaussian Network Accelerator (GNA) is built into the SoC. The new processors also feature its Gen11 graphics architecture, also known as Intel Iris Plus.
The new chips also support Thunderbolt 3 as well as integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) that promises three times faster wireless speeds. The new 10th Gen Intel Core processors are now shipping, with major OEMs are expected to announce laptops later this year.
Intel also revealed some details about its “Project Athena,” an innovative program that is aimed at making laptops relevant in the age of smartphones. At Computex, it outlines basic criteria for its partners to follow. First things first, the major focus is on battery. Intel wants PC manufacturers to make laptops that will deliver 16 hours of battery backup. Moreover, as per the new KEI engineering metrics developed by Intel, PC manufacturers need to make sure that the system wakes up from sleep in under one second.
Intel has set out basic specifications that PC manufacturers can’t ignore like Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit LTE, far-field voice recognition, and fast charging. OEMs that have agreed to work to the spec include all the big names including Acer, Asus, Dell, and HP, among others.
The 10th Gen Intel Core Processors will bring high-performance artificial intelligence processing to scale with Intel Deep Learning Boost (Intel DL Boost), or special instructions aimed at streamlining AI processing.
The processors are built on the company’s 10-nanometer manufacturing process technology, new “Sunny Cove” core architecture, and its new Gen11 graphics engine.
10th Gen Intel Core processors will range from Intel Core i3 to Intel Core i7, with up to 4 cores and 8 threads, up to 4.1 max turbo frequency, and up to 1.1GHz graphics frequency.
Intel is targeting the 10th Gen Intel Core processors at thin-and-light laptops and convertible 2-in11s. Intel DL Boost will deliver an estimated 2.5 times improvement in AI performance for low-latency workloads.
The new graphics architecture delivers up to one teraflop of vector compute for heavy duty inference workloads to enhance creativity, productivity, and entertainment on highly mobile, thin-and-light laptops.
For low-power AI usages on the PC, Intel Gaussian Network Accelerator (GNA) is built into the SoC.
Intel also said its Gen11 graphics architecture will be known as Intel Iris Plus graphics, which doubles performance compared to Gen9 graphics. It also has 2X HEVC encode and lets you watch 4K HDR in a billion colors. It will let gamers play thousands of titles in 1080p resolution.
The new chips come with integrated Thunderbolt 3 and integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) for the first time to enable nearly three times faster wireless speeds alongside the fastest and most versatile port available. Intel’s Gig+ implementation of Wi-Fi 6 connectivity delivers greater than 1Gbps wireless speeds with enhanced reliability and performance.
The new 10th Gen Intel Core processors are now shipping, with computer maker systems expected to be available for holiday 2019.
Project Athena: Accelerating Innovation
Intel also shared more details on its innovation program codenamed “Project Athena,” including the 1.0 target specification that will usher in the first wave of laptops in the second half of this year.
The company also previewed some of the first designs to come from partners spanning consumer and commercial including Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo.
Based on years of research to understand people’s needs, challenges and expectations of the laptop, the program prioritizes enabling experiences that are reflective of real-world conditions as measured by “key experience indicators” (KEI).
Intel developed the new KEI engineering metrics, used during the program’s verification process, as a way to test and drive consistent experiences on the laptop. Metrics are based on day-in-the-life research of laptop users at home or at work under real-world conditions. Intel’s goal for the new metrics is to work with the ecosystem to drive innovation that noticeably impacts people’s experiences on the laptop and evolve those capabilities year over year.
The first wave of KEI targets includes consistent responsiveness on battery life; 16 or more hours of battery life in local video playback mode and nine or more hours of battery life under real-world performance conditions; and system wake from sleep in less than a second.
The specification that will enable these experiences includes platform-level requirements, such as Thunderbolt 3, Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), OpenVINO AI on PC compatibility and modern connected standby, across six areas: instant action, performance, and responsiveness, intelligence, battery life, connectivity and form factor.
As part of Project Athena, Intel is providing co-engineering support across the ecosystem – with more than 100 companies signed on – and new tools and Open Labs facilities to support verification and testing of laptops.
Project Athena is a multi-year journey, with today’s announcement on the 1.0 target specifications and design previews representing just the beginning.
Intel also announced the special edition 9th Gen Intel CoreTM i9-9900KS processor, which has been fine-tuned to deliver 5Ghz all-core turbo, making it the world’s fastest gaming desktop processor. It is expected to be available by holiday 2019.
For the first time, the company also showed the new Intel Performance Maximizer (IPM), an automated overclocking tool that brings overclocking to the masses by making it easy to dynamically and reliably custom-tune unlocked 9th Gen Intel CoreTM desktop processors based upon its individual performance DNA.
IPM will be free and is part of the Intel Adaptix Technologies toolkit, a collection of advanced software technology tools that help OEMs and consumers maximize platform-level performance and experience.
Finally, the corporate shared updates on 3 additional product lines. Intel launched 14 new 9th Gen Intel Core vPro processors for high-performance mobile (H-series) and desktop (S-series) PCs, the highest performing business processors.
And Intel launched 14 new Intel Xeon E processors for mobile and desktop workstations that are purpose-built with professional-grade performance, real-time data analytics capabilities, built-in platform security features, and remote manageability features as part of the Intel vPro platform.
Plus, Intel announced the new Intel Core X-series family of processors for premium creators will come this fall. These processors will bring frequency improvements, increased memory speed and updated Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0.