Components & Peripherals News

6 Big Announcements From Intel Architecture Day 2020

Dylan Martin

From multiple discrete GPUs shipping within the next year to a historical intranode enhancement for Tiger Lake, the semiconductor giant made several new disclosures to show that it is investing in next-generation design methodologies to help it overcome manufacturing issues.

Intel Promises 'More Than Generational Performance Leap' With Tiger Lake

Intel promises a “more than generational performance leap” as well as massive improvements in graphical and artificial intelligence performance with its upcoming Tiger Lake mobile processors, which are expected to go into more than 50 laptop designs for the holiday season.

The Tiger Lake processors use the company‘s new Willow Cove CPU microarchitecture that is based on the new 10nm SuperFin process and, for the first time, the company’s Xe low-power graphics microarchitecture for its integrated graphics.

Willow Cove improves upon Intel‘s Sunny Cove microarchitecture—which was the basis for last year’s 10nm Ice Lake mobile processors—by significantly increasing the frequency, made possible by optimizing the entire range of the voltage-to-frequency curve.

“We were able to deliver a greater than generational improvement performance by not only dramatically lowering the voltage at which Willow Cove achieves its operating frequencies versus Sunny Cove, but we were also able to extend the range,” said Boyd S. Phelps, vice president of the Client Engineering Group and general manager of the Client and Core Development Group.

“Willow Cove is better, faster and more efficient, enabling generational CPU gains in not only thermal dynamic-limited performance, but also unconstrained performance across the board,” he added.

Willow Cove also includes a redesigned caching architecture that allows it to have a 1.25-MB midlevel cache. The core also uses a new hardware-based security feature to fight against malware, called Intel Control-Flow Enforcement Technology.

Tiger Lake‘s Xe graphics will feature up to 96 execution units to deliver 1,536 flops per clock, and it will also have a significant improvement in performance-per-watt over Ice Lake’s integrated graphics. The company said users can expect “outstanding performance across a breadth of games, including previous unachievable gameplay on some AAA titles” in an ultra-thin laptop form factor. The company demonstrated a clear improvement in frames per second for multiple games running on Tiger Lake’s Xe graphics over the chipmaker’s previous Gen11 integrated graphics.

Tiger Lake‘s other features and improvements include a doubling of the coherent fabric bandwidth, enabling roughly 86 GBps in memory bandwidth; RAM support for LP4x-4267, DDR4-3200 and LP5-5400 RAM; a new version of the Gaussian Network Accelerator for low-power neural inferencing that lowers CPU utilization by roughly 20 percent; and autonomous dynamic voltage frequency scaling for power management. Tiger Lake also has integrated support for Thunderbolt 4.0, USB 4.0 and PCIe 4.0.

Learn More: CPUs-GPUs
Dylan Martin

Dylan Martin is a senior editor at CRN covering the semiconductor, PC, mobile device, and IoT beats. He has distinguished his coverage of the semiconductor industry thanks to insightful interviews with CEOs and top executives; scoops and exclusives about product, strategy and personnel changes; and analyses that dig into the why behind the news.   He can be reached at

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