Intel Hits Back at ARM With its Long-Awaited 3D-Stacked ‘Lakefield’ Foveros Chips

After months of speculation, rumors, and previews, Intel has finally launched its first 3D Foveros packaged processors.

Officially called the “Intel Core Processors with Intel Hybrid Technology”, this processor is Intel’s answer to ARM and QUALCOMM. Even if you find the official name a bit mouthy, you’ll be happy to know its codename is Lakefield, which is also more popular (for obvious reasons).

This chipset option is a versatile solution for hardware manufacturers that is compatible with ultra-portable, foldable, and dual-screen devices.

Packs in Hybrid Cores and the Compact Foveros 3D Design Tech

Lakefield is also the first chipset that features two major technologies – hybrid cores and a super-compact stacked Foveros 3D design.

At the moment, the company is launching two 7W Lakefield chips: the Core i5-L16G7 and the Core i3-L13G4. 

Since the makeup of these chips is similar to Intel’s 10th Gen Ice Lake chips, we can expect similar features like Wi-Fi 6 support and Intel’s Gen 11 integrated graphics.

The Core i5 is also clocked faster with a 1.4 GHz base frequency, 1.8 GHz all-core frequency, and 3.0 GHz single-core turbo boost speed. On the other hand, the Core i3 has 0.8 GHz base frequency, 1.3 GHz all-core frequency, and a 2.8 GHz single-core turbo boost speed.

Both CPUs will feature a 10nm single Sunny Cove core to handle heavier workloads, and four low-power Tremont cores for less intensive background tasks. This gives you a total of five cores and five threads on a single die.

These are designed to support smaller, ultralight devices – in fact, three options have already been confirmed: the foldable Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold, the Galaxy Book S (the Intel version), and the dual-screen Surface Neo.

Moreover, the chipset arrangement is uncannily similar to ARM‘s Big.Little architecture, making it a direct competitor to the latter.

Talking about Intel’s 3D Foveros stacking technology, it’s certainly quite impressive. When compared to the traditional designs, it’s much more compact thanks to its three-layer breakup. 

You get two logic dies, which comprise five CPU cores, an integrated UHD Graphics GPU from Intel, and several I/O elements that support a computer‘s working. You also get two layers of DRAM.

This combination helps cut down on space by eliminating the need for external memory.

Intel also claims that, in comparison to Core i7-8500Y processor, the chipset takes up to “56 percent smaller package area for up to 47 smaller board size.”

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