Despite rival AMD already being on 7nm, Intel has been stuck on the 14nm process for years, but that changes with Ice Lake. Built on its Sunny Cove architecture, the quad-core, eight-thread CPUs can reach speeds of up to 4.1GHz and come in 15W and 9W parts.
Intel says Sunny Cove can perform 18 percent more instructions per clock (IPC) than its predecessor. It also has a larger L1 and L2 cache, improved branch prediction accuracy, and extra execution ports, while bringing a 2.5 times improvement in AI processing.
Connectivity is also improved, with integrated Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), which brings around three times faster wireless speeds with better reliability and performance, while also enabling thinner and lighter laptops.
One of the most exciting elements of Ice Lake is Intel’s new 11th generation graphic architecture—Iris Plus. The company says it almost doubles the performance of its previous best integrated graphics and uses up to 64 execution units at up to 1.1GHz. This translates to 60fps in Rocket League at 1080p, or over 30fps in Fortnite. There’s also support for Vesa Adaptive Sync screen technology, meaning less stuttering and tearing, along with support for HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HEVC/VP9 encoding.
Intel also talked about Project Athena at its Computex presentation. The initiative sees Intel engineers help laptop makers reach standards for everything from performance, responsiveness, AI, battery life, and connectivity. The company previously announced that it is opening three Project Athena Open Labs in Taipei, Shanghai, and Folsom, California to help vendors develop laptops that are compliant with Project Athena specifications.
Intel mentioned its Core i9-9900KS processor, which can hit 5GHz on all cores, and revealed a new overclocking tool called the Intel Performance Maximizer (IPM) that allows both automated and manual overclocks.
Finally, the company announced new Intel Core X-series processors that will arrive in fall, featuring better clock speeds, increased memory speed, and Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0. It also released 9th-gen Intel Core VPro processors for high-performance mobile and desktop workstations that are aimed at businesses and professionals.