New Intel 10th gen Ice Lake-U and Ice Lake-Y SKUs can compound AMD's laptop woes

Intel details various Ice Lake U and Y series SKUs for thin and light laptops. (Source: Intel)
Intel details various Ice Lake U and Y series SKUs for thin and light laptops. (Source: Intel)
Intel has detailed a total of 11 new CPUs in the 10th gen 10nm Ice Lake family across the U and Y series. While the U-series is aimed at performance ultrabooks with 15W, 25W, and 28W TDP configurations, the Y-series focuses on battery life with 9W and 12W variants. Most U and Y-series sport the Gen11 Intel Iris Plus Graphics and come with Thunderbolt 3 integrated in the SoC and Wi-Fi 6 integrated in the PCH along with optimizations for AI and local voice applications.

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Intel officially unveiled the 10th gen Ice Lake family during Computex 2019 wherein the company offered a deep dive into the Sunny Cove architecture, updates to the iGPU, on-chip/package Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi 6, and more. Today, Intel detailed the SKUs that the 10th gen Ice Lake series is comprised of and offered some comparative performance metrics against previous generation ULV chips. 

(Source: Intel)
(Source: Intel)

10nm Ice Lake to be available in U and Y series

The 10th gen Ice Lake chips will be available in U and Y series — a slight departure from last year's portfolio that differentiated between Whiskey Lake-U and Amber Lake-Y. A major development this time is the availability of Iris Plus Graphics across most of the U and Y SKUs. All U and Y parts come integrated with Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3 along with support for Intel DL Boost AI acceleration. 

We already know that Ice Lake will be available in 9W, 15W, and 28W TDP configurations. From today's presentation, we get to see that Intel is restricting the 28W TDP to only the top-end Core i7-1068G7 SKU. This is a 4C/8T chip having higher base (2.3 GHz) and boost (4.1 GHz) clocks compared to the rest of the offerings. The remaining SKUs can be configured in 15W or 25W TDP as per requirement. Iris Plus Graphics with 64 EUs is offered in the Core i5-1035G7, Core i7-1065G7, and the Core i7-1068G7 while the Core i5-1035G4 gets the 48 EU version. The Core i5-1035G1 and Core i3-1005G1 make do with the standard UHD Graphics. 

The Y series offer a 9W and 12W TDP configuration choice (up from Amber Lake's 5W) and is designed for ultrabooks where battery life is paramount. Still, the specs are reasonably good including the availability of Iris Plus Graphics with 64 EUs for the Core i7-1060G7 and Core i5-1030G7, and 48 EUs for the Core i5-1030G4 and Core i3-1000G4. The Core i3-1000G1 gets UHD Graphics. The low power requirements of the integrated Thunderbolt 3 solution could prove to be very beneficial for the Y series.

(Source: Intel)
(Source: Intel)
(Source: Intel) Note: Graphics max freq. should be in GHz.
(Source: Intel) Note: Graphics max freq. should be in GHz.


Intel does claim perceivable benefits especially in AI and graphics when compared to the Whiskey Lake-U or Kaby Lake-R generations. We will have to test these claims extensively to see how well they hold up. In the meantime, we did manage to take the 15W and 25W variants of the Core i7-1065G7 for a spin and found that there is a lot of potential in this generation. Our preliminary results showed that the higher TDP might not be really useful from a GPU perspective but does help in better CPU performance. We also saw that the integrated Gen11 Iris Plus Graphics does outperform the AMD RX Vega 10 and things can only get better once drivers mature over time.

(Source: Intel)
(Source: Intel)

There's more to come

Intel's VP Mobile Platform Marketing, Ran Senderovitz, did say during the press briefing that this is just the beginning for Ice Lake. More than 35 designs can be expected to launch this year by various OEMs in both traditional and 2-in-1 form factors including some Project Athena ones. The interesting take from Ran's talk was that Intel will soon offer workload-optimized platforms.

The specifics were not detailed, but Intel is aiming to launch dedicated SKUs for multi-threaded high productivity use cases sometime at the end of August. Could this be an H-series SKU or a better binned top-end U-series that Intel could pass off as a Core i9? We did report about the existence of a 6C/12T Comet Lake-U Core i7-10710U that can boost close to 5 GHz. We'll have to wait and see if this is the chip Intel was alluding to.

Also, over the next year, expect to see announcements for other PC segments such as gaming, content creation, etc. It is not clear whether Intel was referring to Ice Lake coming for different PC segments or the launch of new Tiger Lake and Comet Lake CPUs. Nevertheless, do watch this space for our upcoming reviews of Ice Lake laptops as and when we get our hands on them. 

(Source: Intel)
(Source: Intel)


Intel Press Brief

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 07 > New Intel 10th gen Ice Lake-U and Ice Lake-Y SKUs can compound AMD's laptop woes
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-08- 1 (Update: 2019-08- 2)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.