Intel announces new 9th Gen desktop CPUs at CES 2019

Intel's new 9th Gen desktop CPUs may have ditched integrated GPUs to take on AMD

Putting an end to rumours that it finally planned to admit defeat by killing off its much-maligned 10nm process entirely, Intel showed off its first Ice Lake CPUs during its CES press conference on Tuesday and promised a release in time for the holidays.

Ice Lake will support adaptive sync technology and be capable of over 1 teraflop of performance, also integrating Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi 6.

What's perhaps most intriguing about them is that five of the six new chips appear to be part of a brand new F-series of processors, which have removed (or most likely disabled) the integrated graphics chip that nearly every mainstream Intel processor now includes.

Intel has also provided a sneak peek of its new client platform code-named Lakefield, a hybrid CPU architecture that utilises its Foveros 3D packaging technology. The big core is a single Sunny Cove core, with four smaller Atom cores available for less-intensive workloads.

The new processors join the company's three existing "flagship" 9th-generation desktop chips, which launched in October a year ago - the Core i5-9600K, i7-9700K and i9-9900K - as well as the 9th-generation X-series for HEDT systems. To be clear, Sunny Cove is Intel's first new CPU core design since Skylake.

Though it's a bit vague, and perhaps just an exercise in branding to combat AMD mobile, Intel has ready-and-willing big-name sign-ups including Acer, Asus, Dell, Google, HP, Innolux, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung and Sharp. Lakefield and Project Athena could help create something just as formative over the next few years.

This 9th Gen Core range is being expanded with six new SKUs, the majority of which we've since learned are repurposed versions of existing SKUs with one key difference: The onboard integrated graphics component of the die is disabled. Laptops based on 9th Gen Core processors will hit the market in the second quarter of this year, but no specifications or architecture names were announced.

Out of its Data Center Group came the announcement of Intel's AI-driven Nervana Neural Network Processor for Inference.

Project Athena Intel's Project Athena focuses on advanced laptops that are going to support 5G and AI.

The mobile chip range stands out as Intel's first "volume" 10nm PC processor, compared to the predecessor's 14nm manufacturing process.

Additionally, Intel announced a new 10nm SoC codenamed Snow Ridge specifically for 5G wireless infrastructure equipment such as base stations. Snow Ridge is expected to be available in the second half of this year. This generation will introduce new hardware-based security features as well as performance improvements. This network SoC is meant to bring Intel architecture into wireless access base stations and allow more computing functions to be distributed out at the edge of the network. The new chip comes with Intel Optane DC persistent memory and Intel DL Boost used to harness AI capabilities.

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