Intel reveals Ice Lake codename for upcoming 10nm+ processor family


The company' Broadwell 14nm processors were introduced in 2014 and 2015, followed by the Skylake family of processors in 2015 and 2016.

Intel plans to divide desktop and laptop by chips.

While we are now speculating on Coffee Lake (14 nm++) and Cannon Lake (10 nm) and how they fit into the product lineup, an entry in Intel's Codename Decoder has revealed that their replacement will be named "Ice Lake" and will be built on the 10 nm+ process.

The current Intel processor in MacBooks is the Kaby Lake, which was released at the beginning of this year. Larger processors from 35W and up will stick with 14nm++ and Coffee Lake. AnandTech speculates that due to the difficulty in developing the 10-nanometer architecture, Canon Lake will be focused on smaller, mobile CPUs that are easier to make when chip yields are poor.

Intel describes the Ice Lake family as a "successor to the 8th generation Intel Core" family. Nevertheless, since the focus now appears to shift towards the data center processors, which is where Intel is making most of its money, it could be expected that the first 10nm chip is going to be a Xeon part. The assumption could now be that Ice Lake would be the first 10nm chip but that is not the case. (Intel works on what's known as a process-architecture-optimization model, which means that it invents a new process, refines it with a new microarchitecture, and then implements further optimization on top - then rinses and repeats).

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Another factor, timing, remains uncertain.

Alas, we could have quite the wait before we see any Ice Lake chips hit the scene.

It's no wonder why Intel is beginning to drop some information, especially with Cannon Lake on the horizon. While we don't entirely know why Intel would split up the laptop and desktop lines, AnandTech has some speculation related to the more technical aspects of the chip design process, which I'd recommend for a read. Is this all, though?

In a vague teaser, which Intel has posted just days before it will unveil its 8th-gen processors, if claimed that the next-gen parts will offer "amazing performance and responsiveness". Maybe. But at least the conversation continues.