CES 2019: Intel unveils 10nm PC products for AI and 5G

Intel’s CES announcements included a new mobile PC platform using its Ice Lake processor; PC innovation program Project Athena; hybrid CPU client platform Lakefield; a neural network processor for training called Spring Crest; and a SoC code-named Snow Ridge.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

A new mobile PC platform with 10nm processor Ice Lake

Code-named Ice Lake, Intel has unveiled a 10nm Xeon Scalable server processor that is compatible with its upcoming 14nm Cooper Lake, and is expected to ship in 2020.

During its CES 2019 press conference in Las Vegas on Monday, Intel also announced a new mobile PC platform with Ice Lake, which integrates its Sunny Cove CPU micro-architecture, instruction sets to push the use of AI and Intel Gen 11 graphics.

Ice Lake will support adaptive sync technology and be capable of over 1 teraflop of performance, also integrating Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi 6.

The company is expecting its OEM partners to have devices with Ice Lake by the end of 2019.

The tech giant added that it has begun shipping Cascade Lake Xeon Scalable processors, to be broadly available in the first half of 2019.

PCs with 5G and AI through Project Athena

Intel's latest 5G and AI push is Project Athena, an innovation program with new industry specifications for laptops.

Intel is expecting the first devices using Project Athena to launch in the second half of 2019, with its innovation partners on the project including Dell, Google, HP, Samsung, Microsoft, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Innolux.

"Including 5G and artificial intelligence, Project Athena creates a path forward to accelerate laptop innovation through: An annual spec outlining platform requirements; new user experience and benchmarking targets defined by real-world usage models; extensive co-engineering support and innovation pathfinding; ecosystem collaboration to accelerate key laptop component development and availability; [and] verification of Project Athena devices through a comprehensive certification process," Intel said at CES.

Lakefield: A hybrid CPU client platform

Intel has also provided a sneak peek of its new client platform code-named Lakefield, a hybrid CPU architecture that utilises its Foveros 3D packaging technology.

Lakefield has five cores, merging the 10nm Sunny Cove core with four Intel Atom processor-based cores in a small package.

"This enables combining different pieces of IP that might have previously been discrete into a single product with a smaller motherboard footprint, which allows OEMs more flexibility for thin and light form factor design," Intel explained.

Lakefield is expected to be in production this year.

See also: More CES coverage

Spring Crest: A neural network processor for training

Out of its Data Center Group came the announcement of Intel's AI-driven Nervana Neural Network Processor for Inference.

"This new class of chip is dedicated to accelerating inference for companies with high workload demands and is expected to go into production this year," Intel said, adding that Facebook is one of its development partners.

A Neural Network Processor for Training, code-named "Spring Crest", is also set to become available later this year.


Snow Ridge SoC

Intel is additionally expanding its system-on-a-chip (SoC) range with a 10nm-based SoC code-named Snow Ridge, which it said was "developed specifically for 5G wireless access and edge computing".

"This network SoC is intended to bring Intel architecture into wireless access base stations and allow more computing functions to be distributed out at the edge of the network," Intel said.

Disclosure: Corinne Reichert travelled to CES 2019 in Las Vegas as a guest of Intel.

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