If you’re having a tough time following Intel’s new array of code names, don’t worry, you are not alone. The split between mainstream and U-series and Y-series has us all confused. There’s a Whiskey Lake, and Amber Lake, and at some point in the future a Tiger Lake. Comet Lake, believed to be a future desktop CPU (still on 14nm), looks like it is coming down into that 15W power envelope later this year in Q4.

In our discussions on the Computex show floor with a partner, they identified that upcoming mini-PC products that have previously been built on U-series processors will soon be updated to Comet Lake. Intel’s partner stated that they would be updating the product line with the new CPUs in November, however retail of those machines might not occur until a little bit later.

We did explicitly clarify with the partner that they were specifically talking about Comet Lake, and in the ~15W envelope, just in case we didn't hear correctly. They concurred.

This is an interesting development, because this means that Intel is likely to have two different U-series CPU lines in the market at the same time: the Ice Lake 9W-28W parts announced last week, presumably for the premium and high-end designs, and Comet Lake at 15W for the more budget oriented platforms. Given the rumors regarding Intel’s 10nm yields, and the known issues around the supply of Intel’s 14nm, this could be a way of bridging the gap between the high-cost and low-cost systems.

It will be interesting to see when Intel wants to talk about Comet Lake, either in a 15W form factor or something a little bit bigger. Just don’t ask what version of 14nm it is made on. Just for kicks, it might be called '10th Gen' too.

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  • eva02langley - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    I am literally bugged to see Intel as of this moment. They are like a paralyzed deer just waiting to get hit by a car while starring at the spot lights.
  • The Chill Blueberry - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    Well they've been sniffing glue and saying IoT devices were the future. So yeah, that's about right.
  • III-V - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    They're not wrong about IoT. I'm not exactly in love with the phrase, but the alternative is a bit wordy. Anyway, point is, wireless connections and overpowered hardware have been, and will continue to be, popping up in everything from shoes and to streetlamps and sidewalks.

    But I don't think they're cut out for that market. That's ARM's forte.
  • III-V - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    shoes and refrigerators*
  • TristanSDX - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    Nothing unusual. None process is used exclusivelly, nor 10nm will be. Ice lake have better perf and more features, will be used as high-end, while cheaper, less featured and slower as mid-range. Maybe Intel plan do the same for other line like desktop, that's why do not put all 10nm capacity into just mobile.
  • Santoval - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    Intel reported (in a confusing graph where they compared them indirectly) that Ice Lake-U is *barely* faster than Whiskey Lake-U, with a <4% higher single thread performance. So if Comet Lake-U is going to be at least 4% faster than Whiskey Lake-U (which might just be the case), a bizarre situation will emerge : Comet Lake-U will be faster than Ice Lake-U in CPU performance, while Ice Lake-U will be faster than Comet Lake-U in iGPU performance - not every Ice Lake-U of course, the 48- and 64-shader ones.

    The low CPU performance of Ice Lake-U is due to the very low clocks of Intel's 10nm+ node, which have eaten either all or nearly all the IPC gains of the Sunny Cove architecture. As of this time it's unclear if iGPU clocks will also be affected and to what extent, but I would guess the iGPU block will have much shorter boost clocks.
  • GreenReaper - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    Makes perfect sense. Comets go fast, but aren't especially pretty. Ice can't go fast at all, but looks great sometimes. (Of course, you can get comets made out of ice, but usually there's other gunk in there as well.)

    At least they both have a name which doesn't imply the developers were drunk while making it.
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - link

    I fail to see how a paralyzed deer multiplies product output: Those don't even shit themselves, whereas Intel shows desperate creativity: Nice to see in others, never nice when the knife is at your own throat.
  • azfacea - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    another sign of confidence in the upcoming 10nm node, launching more products on 14nm in Q4 2019. no worries 10nm is on schedule. this and other CPUs will be refreshed in dec 2019 with high quality 10nm sillicon with no MDS.
  • Ironchef3500 - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link


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