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Intel’s first 10nm Cannon Lake chip is a Core i3 processor for notebooks

By Koh Wanzi - on 17 May 2018, 3:28pm

Intel’s first 10nm Cannon Lake chip is a Core i3 processor for notebooks

Image Source: Intel

In April, Intel said that it was facing another round of delays to its 10nm chips. In its quarterly earnings call, the chipmaker said that the bulk of its 10nm manufacturing was being delayed till 2019, even though it had already begun shipping 10nm in low volumes.

Intel has now revealed exactly what that 10nm part is, and it’s the Core i3-8121U, a laptop chip that is now shipping in a Lenovo IdeaPad 330 notebook in China.

This is Intel’s first Cannon Lake chip, and since the processor is now available, Intel has added it to its official ARK repository of chips.

The Core i3-8121U is a 2-core/4-thread chip with a base clock of 2.2GHz and maximum Turbo Boost 2.0 frequency of 3.2GHz. It also has 4MB of L3 cache and a TDP of 15W.

In addition, it supports LPDDR4 memory, boosting the maximum memory bandwidth up to 41.6GB/s, a 22 percent increase from the 34.1GB/s on the Core i3-8130U.

The number of PCIe lanes has also gone up from 12 to 16.

However, despite the ARK listing, we still don’t know everything about the chip. For instance, there are no details on the integrated GPU, or if it even has one. A Chinese retailer lists the Lenovo laptop as having an AMD R5-class GPU inside, and there’s no processor graphics information listed on ARK, so it’s possible that the chip really has no iGPU.

That seems odd for a Core i3 chip, but we may not know for sure until Intel releases further clarification or the chip begins shipping in volume.

Intel’s Cannon Lake chips were originally expected at the end of 2017, but the latest round of delays has pushed them back till 2019.

Intel’s 8th-generation processors mark the fourth generation of chips that remain on 14nm, even if they use an optimized 14nm++ process.

It’s a little confusing that Intel is lumping its first Cannon Lake chip under the 8th-generation family as well, and it seems like it could be a catchall for the 14nm++ and the first 10nm chips.

That said, one can only hope that Intel will use the upcoming Computex show to clarify things and release a clearer roadmap for the path ahead.

Source: Intel

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