Placing a new microarchitecture on the market is always an important venture, but this time it is even more possible because Intel has just gone through a controversial stage due to the wear and tear of the security vulnerabilities we know as Specter and Meltdown.

Under the circumstances, the company at Santa Clara had no choice but to “throw all the meat on the grill.” Not surprisingly, Uri Frank, one of Intel’s engineers responsible for designing the new implementation, says that “the Sunny Cove microarchitecture is the cornerstone on which the future of the Intel Core family of processors rests.” What is special about this new device? We know the details of the first “Ice Lake” microprocessors that will hit the market soon, so they are more tangible now than ever.

Detailed specifications of the Y and U series microprocessors

Before we review the features of the new 10th generation Intel Core processors, it is good for us to briefly remember what are the most interesting improvements introduced by the new microarchitecture. The most overwhelming is, without a doubt, its new 10 nm lithograph, an innovation in integration technology that has decisively contributed to making many of the improvements we will review below feasible.

Image Source: Intel

Of all the improvements that the new Intel microprocessors propose to us on paper, the one that will have a direct impact on user’s experience will be the IPC (it reflects the number of instructions that a CPU is capable of executing in a single cycle of the clock signal). According to Intel, the CPI of the Sunny Cove cores has increased by 18% compared to Skylake.

Also, the new CPU will have a TDP (Thermal Design Power) which will range between 9 and 28 watts and a maximum of four cores and eight threads. On the other hand, the new graphical logic can calculate floating-point operations slightly higher than 1 TFLOP, which according to Intel allows it to move games like ‘DiRT Rally 2’ or ‘Fortnite’ to 1080p at 60 FPS.

Concerning connectivity, Intel has implemented within the package a Thunderbolt 3 controller and another Wi-Fi 6 GIG + that will allow assemblers to dispense with dedicated chips, which should somewhat lower the price of laptops that will incorporate these chips. An interesting note: graphic logic occupies more space than the four CPU cores with Sunny Cove microarchitecture together, monopolizing about 40% of the chip’s surface.

In the image we have above, you can see the detailed specifications and the commercial name of the first Intel Core 10th generation microprocessors for laptops that will hit the market. The Y-series models have a nominal TDP of 9 watts, so we will probably find them in ultralight and more compact laptops. The nominal TDP of the U-series chips amounts to 15 watts (with the only exception of the 28 watts version of the Intel Core i7-1068G7 model), so it is the processors intended for laptops that should offer us such high performance as possible but keeping consumption under control.

Furthermore, the Intel Core i7 and i5 chips have four physical cores and can simultaneously process eight threads, while the core i3 comply with two physical cores and four threads. As regards graphics logic, only the most ambitious models incorporate the new Iris Plus implementation (you can identify them in the image at the top). And finally, the level 3 cache ranges on Y and U series between 8 MB on the Core i7 chips and 4 MB on the Core i3 chips.

The first computers equipped with these microprocessors will begin to reach the market in the coming weeks, so from that moment, we will check how they perform against the previous Intel Core microprocessors and the latest Ryzen third-generation AMD solutions. There is no doubt that exciting months await us if we stick to the microprocessor market.

Images and Information Via Intel