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Intel launches new 11th Generation processor, Tiger Lake

The war between Intel and AMD processors entered new dimensions as Intel launched its 11th generation processor through a virtual “Something Big” launch event on September 2, 2020. The chips were previewed at its Architecture Day 2020 event held last August.
|| Sajeeda Feroz

The processor code-named Tiger Lake incorporates Iris graphics, Thunderbolt 4 support, Wi-Fi 6 and a new memory controller, to name a few. Tiger Lake also supports PCIe Gen 4 while offering a big leap in performance, battery life and greater AI acceleration over the previous Ice Lake chips. The company claims that the new 11th Generation line-up offers the “best processor for thin-&-light” laptops and will give a leg up against AMD in the ultra-thin, high-performance range of laptops.

The 11th Gen Intel Core processor is quadcore and is built on the Willow Cove microarchitecture which clocks up to 4.8 GHz compared to 4.0 GHz for the 10th generation cores which is a 20% improvement in processor speed. A maximum single core turbo boost will clock up to 4.8GHz, and a maximum all-core boost will clock up to 4.3GHz .”Willow Cove” chips are part of Intel’s Tiger Lake system-on-chip (SoC). Tiger Lake is the successor to Intel’s Lake Field SoC, and Willow Cove is the successor to Sunny Cove CPUs.

The processors are built on the 10nm node architecture, similar to the current 10th Gen Ice Lake models, but with upgrades to the Willow Core architecture with the new 10nm SuperFin design that Intel states will offer better speeds even with lower power consumption. Intel said that this processor with Iris integrated graphics, with 96 CUs clocking a maximum graphics speed of 1.35GHz is the most powerful version of Intel’s processor till date. Boyd Phelps, VP of Intel’s Client Engineering and Design Engineering Groups, described SuperFin as a new “high-performance 60 [nm] poly pitch transistor that increases drive current, thanks to an improved gate process and gives us higher mobility and lower source drain resistance.”

Intel bets Xe graphics and “integrate platform approach” will enhance core count Rival chipmaker AMD currently leads the race when it comes to raw core count in mobile processors. The AMD Ryzen 4000 series processors can enable 8 cores, clocking speeds reaching up to 4.1 GHz. Intel assures that its upgraded graphics, will assist Tiger Lake, and its four cores, in providing better performance for real-world tasks, such as content creation, photo/video editing, collaboration and PC gaming.

“My aspiration for the new Intel brand is to capture and convey both our business and cultural evolution through a simplified, focused platform that supports our 2030 ambitions while staying true to our history,” Karen Walker, Chief Marketing Officer at Intel, said.

More than 150 designs based on 11th Gen Intel Core processors are expected, including over 20 verified under Intel Evo, from Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook, HP, LG, Lenovo, MSI, Razer, and Samsung, according to Intel.


The Evo Era

Alongside the new chips, Intel is launching a new iteration of its Project Athena certification standard, called “Intel Evo.” Evo will have even higher requirements with a promise that, your laptop will offer over nine hours of “real world” use on a single charge (for 1080p systems), fast charging (for four hours of charge in 30 minutes), Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4, and system wake in “less than a second.” The idea is that users should be able to expect a high-quality machine whenever they see the Evo logo, guaranteed. Intel says that more than 20 Evo-verified designs should be available later this year. Only those laptops satisfying the above criteria will be branded with the Intel Evo.

Intel states this was designed to encourage laptop manufacturers build devices that “aligning innovation to address people’s needs, challenges and expectations of their devices to deliver better experiences on the laptop for years to come.”

Intel Evo partners include Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook, HP, Lenovo, LG, MSI, Razer, and Samsung. Intel presented several laptops that are slated for released in the coming months, including the new Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 5G, which will be the 5G Intel Evo laptop.

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