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Intel told the details of the new line of hybrid processors Tiger Lake

13 August 2020, Thursday By M. Konwar

During the Architecture Day 2020 online conference, Intel shared in-depth details of the new Tiger Lake processor line. A lot of attention was devoted to the Willow Cove microarchitecture, and the goals and objectives of the chipmaker were revealed. 

Intel Tiger Lake
Intel Tiger Lake
Intel Tiger Lake
Intel Tiger Lake

Laptops will be the priority devices for which Intel Tiger Lake processors are being developed. A direct competitor to Tiger Lake will be the Ryzen 4000 series of hybrid chips. The Willow Cove microarchitecture itself is positioned as an evolutionary development of Sunny Cove, which is based on the family of top Ice Lake processors.

Intel noted that initially, it did not plan to make global changes in the Willow Cove architecture, since the radical rethinking will affect the Golden Cove architecture, but still made many innovations in the basis of the Tiger Lake processors. For example, Willow Cove provides for manufacturing using a 10-nanometer SuperFin process, which has improved the energy efficiency of cores that can now operate at a frequency of 5.0 GHz.

The caching system has been redesigned in such a way that its size has increased from 512 KB to 1.25 MB per core, and the L2 cache itself has become non-inclusive. The Control Flow Enforcement protection mechanism is implemented at the kernel level. As for Tiger Lake processors, Intel representatives emphasize their positioning as ideal platforms for ultrabooks and compact laptops. It seems that the entire lineup will be represented exclusively by quad-core models, whose operating clock speeds will be higher than the Ice Lake family. 

Intel Tiger Lake
Intel Tiger Lake
Intel Tiger Lake

The changes also affected the memory bus, which now supports three standards at once: LPDDR4x-4267, DDR4-3200, and LPDDR5-5400 with a maximum bandwidth of 86 GB/s. Notably, Intel used two independent memory controllers in the Willow Cove architecture to improve efficiency. Tiger Lake processors will support Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4.0. 

Separately, the company noted the presence of a graphics core on the Xe-LP architecture with 96 execution units and an independent third-level cache of 3.8 MB. The theoretical GPU performance in Tiger Lake is estimated at 2.5 - 2.7 teraflops, which is 50% higher than the Vega performance in AMD Renoir chips. Xe-LP graphics provide playback of 8K content at a frequency of at least 50 frames per second, supports connection of up to four monitors, 12-bit color depth, Dolby Vision and HDR 10. The maximum picture refresh rate can reach 360 Hz. 

The official presentation of the architecture and family of Tiger Lake processors will take place on September 2. 

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