Cannon Lake stumbles into the market: The IdeaPad 330-15ICN is the first laptop with a 10-nm-CPU
The first 10 nm laptop has been announced: When Lenovo introduced a couple of new IdeaPad laptops a few days ago, this release also included the IdeaPad 330-15ICN – "ICN" stands for "Intel Cannon Lake". For those not in the know, Cannon Lake was once upon a time announced as the next big step in Intels release schedule, the first CPU generation to be manufactured in the 10 nm process. Originally, its release was expected in late 2016, almost two years ago.
2016 came and went, as did 2017, with Cannonlake nowhere to be found. As it turned out, Intel had a huge problem with the 10 nm process, the yield-rates were far too low. So Intel delayed the 10-nm-CPUs, killed off its tick-tock-release schedule and released two intermediate CPU generations – Kaby-Lake and Coffee-Lake, which just were minor-refresh-releases of Skylake, the 2016 Intel CPU release.
Intel promised to finally release Cannon Lake this year and they did so at last. Alas, the scope of the Cannon Lake lineup was almost completely cut-down, Intel is treating it more like a test-drive for the 10 nanometer production. This means that Cannonlake will only be released as low-voltage Dual-Core chips.
This also explains why the release of the first PC equipped with Cannon Lake as been so silent: Intels focus lies elsewhere and all the PC-manufacturers mainly rely on Coffee-Lake and Kaby-Lake-Refresh for their mainstream products.
Fittingly, the IdeaPad 330-15ICN is a strange mixture of features: Its a low-end device with a 1,366 x 768 screen, 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB HDD. The only remarkable thing about it is its processor, the Intel Core i3-8121U. This Dual-Core chip has a clock-speed of 2,2 GHz, with a turbo of 3,1 GHz. Signifying the failed-status of Cannonlake, this chip does not include a integrated GPU, as the iGPU is defective on all early Cannonlake ships. Instead, the laptop relies on the AMD Radeon RX 540 for its graphics acceleration.
While its still early, its very likely that Cannon Lake will be a part of the history of Intel as one of its big failures – if all the laptops equipped with it will be like the IdeaPad 330-15ICN.