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What benefits will Mac computers rely on the recently announced Intel processor path?

The future of Apple computers is still in Intel's hands. Indeed, although apples are still cooking their own development plans for microprocessors, up to this point, the MacBook or Mac Pro, iMac, Mac Mini all have to use Intel's solution. Today Intel organized a shareholder conference to talk about the new CPU roadmap and here, we will be able to imagine what the next generation Mac computer would benefit if we continued to use Intel processors.

Ice Lake – Intel's first 10nm CPU generation uses Sunny Cove architecture, greatly improved on single-core:

Intel stayed with 14nm for so long, plus two plus marks from Broadwell – the first, short-lived, microprocessor line produced on the 14nm process, launched in 2014. Skylake (6th generation) continues to advance 14nm process but with newer architecture, but to Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake and Coffee Lake Refresh, they are basically still using Skylake architecture, optimized for power, multiplier, improved IPC not much, the process is still 14nm and Intel added a + sign after the process. Although it has switched to a new cycle, PAO means Process – Architecture – Optimize (optimal) but Skylake can be seen as a transition between the Tick-Tock model and the PAO, it belongs to the node. Tock is an innovation of architecture, Kaby Lake, Kaby Lake Refresh, Coffee Lake, Coffee Lake Refresh and Whiskey Lake, Amber Lake are all belonging to Optimize node, lasting for many years, all 14 nm.

By June this year when Intel officially launched Ice Lake, this was really a significant change. Ice Lake is the first generation of CPUs produced on the 10nm process, officially stepping to the Process node of the new cycle. Intel did not want to be delayed any longer because the 14nm process was over 2 years. In the short term, Ice Lake processors will target mobile devices like laptops, gaming laptops and Ultrabooks.

Ice Lake microprocessors use a completely new microarchitecture called Sunny Cove and it will bring about dramatic improvements in single-threaded single-core performance. Recent improvements in processor speed on Intel's CPU generations are all based on increased clock speeds and additional core but Sunny Cove architecture is expected to make each core faster.

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But the most significant improvement on Ice Lake does not belong to the computational processing cores that belong to the integrated graphics processor (iGPU) to the Intel Gen11 generation. Intel says it delivers twice the performance of existing UHD Graphics 630 using Intel Gen10 architecture. Therefore, the MacBook Pro 13 "which is not equipped with discrete graphics (dGPU) like Radeon Pro will benefit the most. In addition, the new iGPU also speeds up the processing of AI tasks simultaneously. Thunderbolt 3 controller has also been integrated instead of a separate chip solution like the present.

So the next generation MacBooks will be significantly faster in CPU processing performance as well as iGPU. Especially for those who often have to do video editing work, the Ice Lake generation will also make the video decoded / encoded twice faster, thereby reducing waiting time when loading and exporting files. By integrating the Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3 microcontrollers, this means that the MacBook board design will be less cumbersome, without the need for more individual functional chips to become MacBooks. New will be able to be thinner, lighter and can also save more battery.

Apple has just launched the 2019 MacBook Pro, which still uses microprocessors Coffee Lake Refresh 14nm ++ process, so at least next year the new MacBook Ice will appear. The performance of the first Ice Lake CPUs was dissected, I will update in a separate post so you can easily imagine.

So what will be after Ice Lake?

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Tiger Lake – Intel's next generation of 10nm CPUs promises to continue to improve performance, especially with iGPU's graphics performance, AI computing capabilities, and video encoding. It is known that Tiger Lake will be integrated with Intel's next generation graphics technology, Intel Car, no longer Intel Gen11 and it will be Intel's core graphics architecture on a variety of solutions including discrete graphics for PC (codenamed Arctic Sound) as well as Apple desktop solutions like iMac or Mac Pro. Tiger Lake is expected to appear in 2020, not yet clear.

Aside from Ice Lake, another 10nm process microprocessor that was released by Intel later this year is Lakefield. Stacking 3D stacking technology allows Intel to stack the main processor, RAM and other components such as memory, USB microcontrollers and so on, thus creating a small but full-featured package.

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Lakefield is not geared towards traditional clamshell laptops like the MacBook, but small portable devices like tablets, slim 2-in-1 computers, folding screen computers as well as other novel models. It is not clear whether Apple wants to exploit Lakefield because if it comes to iOS mobile devices, Apple has its own SoC as Fusion. However, Lakefield will be very suitable for machines like the MacBook 12 "or MacBook Air which is more about battery life and mobility instead of performance. Taking up less area on Lakefield's board will help Apple There is more space to retrofit batteries.

If Apple wants to exploit Lakefield, it must be at least 2020. Apple rarely uses Intel's first chips to equip its products. That's not to mention the tradition of using Apple's own redundant CPU versions on the MacBook 12 series, the MacBook Air, which will take the next generation of MacBooks to spend more time on shelves.

Intel will need more time to down 7nm, Apple continues to pursue its own microprocessor plan:

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After 10nm, Intel is aiming for 7nm processors in 2021 but will focus on the server and data center fronts with the need for high performance computing and AI processing. Meanwhile Apple A12 has been produced on 7nm process and in 2 years, semiconductor manufacturer TSMC – Apple's SoC manufacturing partner will be ready for the 5nm process. However, it should be noted that Intel and TSMC do not resize the same process, such as Intel's 10nm is very close to size with TSMC 7nm while Intel 7nm will be close to TSMC 5nm.

According to this roadmap, after 2022, Intel will have 7nm processors for end users and if Intel launches in 2021, Apple will not soon bring up commercial products. Therefore, Apple still has a lot of time to implement plans to convert Macs to its own chip platform using ARM architecture.

According to: Macworld


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