The Intel Core i5-1230U is a mobile CPU for thin and light laptops based on the Alder Lake architecture. It was announced in early 2022 and offers 2 performance cores (P-cores, Golden Cove architecture) and 8 efficient cores (E-cores, Gracemont architecture). The P-cores support Hyper-Threading leading to 12 supported threads when combined with the E-cores. The clock rate ranges from 1 to 4.4 GHz on the performance cluster and 0.7 to 3.3 GHz on the efficient cluster. The performance of the E-cores should be similar to old Skylake cores (compare to the Core i7-6700HQ). All cores can use up to 12 MB L3 cache. Compared to the similar Core i5-1240U, the 1230U offers a lower base CPU clock speed and only "Essentials" vPro management features.
Compared to the old 7 Watt Comet Lake-Y series (like the i7-10510Y), the performance should be clearly better thanks to the 10 cores and the improved architecture of the P-cores. Compared to the 15 W U-series (like the similar specified Core i5-1235U) the sustained performance will be clearly limited by the 9 Watt TDP. As always, the performance will also greatly depend on the cooling solution, especially for fanless laptops and tablets.
The integrated memory controller supports various memory types up to DDR5-4800, DDR4-3200, LPDDR5-5200, and LPDDR4x-4267. The Thread Director (in hardware) can support the operating system to decide which thread to use on the performance or efficient cores for the best performance. For AI tasks, the CPU also integrates GNA 3.0 and DL Boost (via AVX2). Quick Sync in version 8 is the same as in the Rocket Lake CPUs and supports MPEG-2, AVC, VC-1 decode, JPEG, VP8 decode, VP9, HEVC, and AV1 decode in hardware. The CPU only supports PCIe 4.0 (x8 for a GPU and two x4 for SSDs).
The integrated graphics card is based on the Xe-architecture and offers 80 of the 96 EUs (Execution Units) operating at up to 0.85 GHz.
The CPU is rated at 9 W base power (TDP, PL1) and 29 W max. Turbo power (PL2) and the whole SoC is manufactured on a 10nm process at Intel, which is known as Intel 7.