Intel has announced the launch of a pair of Lakefield processors, with the 5-core chips to consist of four Tremont cores for low-power usage, and one Sunny Cove core for burstable loads.
The processor is fabricated on 10nm technology and uses the chip giant's Foveros 3D packaging, which it said in December allows it to break components into "chiplets" to effectively stack them within a small footprint.
Intel said compared to a 14nm Core i7 8500Y processor, the Lakefield chips were up to 56% smaller for package area, up to 47% smaller for board size, and sucked down 91% less power, at 5.2mW on standby. The Lakefields are also able to convert video clips 54% faster compared to the i7 8500Y.
Intel took the wraps off two chips -- the i5-L16G7 and i3-L13G4 -- which will both be 7-watt chips, have five cores, 4MB of cache, and support LPDDR4X-4267 memory. The i5-L16G7 will have a base frequency of 1.4GHz with a single-core turbo maximum of 3GHz and 64 graphic execution units, while the i3-L13G4 will have 0.8GHz base frequency with a single-core turbo maximum of 2.8GHz and 48 graphic execution units.
While Arm has big.Little cores, the hybrid Intel architecture has been labelled Big-Bigger, and has hardware-guided OS scheduling that provides "real-time communication between the CPU and the OS scheduler to run the right apps on the right cores", Intel has previously said.
The first products to use the chips will be the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold and the Intel-version of the Samsung Galaxy Book S.
Although the hybrid design is new, the processors are "fully compatible" with 32 and 64-bit Windows applications, Intel said. By contrast, Windows devices using Arm chips are typically a compatibility crapshoot once a user wants to move beyond web browsing and running Office applications.
Headed in the other direction, Apple is reportedly set to move to Arm chips on its Mac lineup.
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Is this just buying time for a dying platform, or is it a new lease of life for the Mac?