Friday, May 26th 2017

Intel "Gemini Lake" SoC Detailed

Intel is giving final touches to its next-generation "Gemini Lake" SoC, which will be sold under the Celeron and Pentium brands, and will succeed the current-generation "Apollo Lake" SoC. Built on a refined 14 nm process, the chip features a TDP of just 6W for the mobile variant, and 10W for the SFF desktop, but boasts of improved performance-per-Watt than its predecessor, translating into direct performance gains.

To begin with, "Gemini Lake" will embed a dual-core or quad-core CPU based on Intel's "Goldmont Plus" micro-architecture. A Goldmont Plus core isn't physically different from the current-gen "Goldmont," but apparently doubles the L2 cache to 4 MB from the existing 2 MB, and takes advantage of process-level improvements to lower power-draw, which Intel is using to bump up the CPU clock speeds.
In addition to the "Goldmont Plus" CPU, "Gemini Lake" embeds a new single-channel DDR4 integrated memory controller with support for higher memory clocks, and hopefully, support for double the maximum system memory amount, which is currently capped at 8 GB for "Apollo Lake." The chip is also said to feature an integrated WLAN controller, with support for 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. It will still rely on an external radio PHY.

The second most important component on the "Gemini Lake" silicon, besides the CPU, is the integrated GPU, which is based on Intel Gen9 architecture, and will feature up to 18 execution units (EUs). This GPU will be tuned for high-resolution displays, and will feature HDMI 2.0 outputs.

Intel could formally announce "Gemini Lake" in Q4 2017, according to a leaked company roadmap.Source: FanlessTech
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8 Comments on Intel "Gemini Lake" SoC Detailed

#1
notb
Rumors about integrated WiFi get more and more serious. This will be very interesting.

I wonder if AMD is even considering competing in this segment. From what we've seen lately, they might have decided to build their whole lineup around Zen cores. A mistake IMO, but who am I to judge? :)
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#2
TheLostSwede
notb said:
Rumors about integrated WiFi get more and more serious. This will be very interesting.

I wonder if AMD is even considering competing in this segment. From what we've seen lately, they might have decided to build their whole lineup around Zen cores. A mistake IMO, but who am I to judge? :)
Do you know how costly this would be for AMD? They own next to no IP when it comes to wireless technology, so they'd either have to pay steep royalties, buy a company that has some good Wi-Fi IP or find a partner to work with that would get a license fee. Not an ideal situation to be in. Also, how does integrated Wi-Fi make sense? It's an ever changing standard and you still need a PHY which is 50% of the cost of the total Wi-Fi cost.
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#3
Jizzler
TheLostSwede said:
Do you know how costly this would be for AMD? They own next to no IP when it comes to wireless technology, so they'd either have to pay steep royalties, buy a company that has some good Wi-Fi IP or find a partner to work with that would get a license fee. Not an ideal situation to be in. Also, how does integrated Wi-Fi make sense? It's an ever changing standard and you still need a PHY which is 50% of the cost of the total Wi-Fi cost.
I agree with the first part, it's not as easy for AMD as it is for Intel.

For the second part, I believe that the majority of products using these SoC will benefit from having it integrated. I also believe they won't be at a disadvantage if they are locked into a wireless standard. Some of us here like to use tinker boards and care about every little detail (myself included) but most sales will be turnkey products.

Like, if I had an IoT project in the office, I'm going to compare products that fit my requirements. How the wireless is implemented is not really important. After 3-5 years, no one is going to upgrade those units to a faster standard. The SoC is too old, the flash memory is giving SMART warnings, and the wireless is now irrelevant. Time to evaluate current products which are faster and/or more efficient to replace the ones in use.

If I wanted to do an IoT project at home, then I care about how it's implemented (maybe). I might be the type of person that appreciates an empty M.2/mPCIe slot so that I can explicitly choose my wireless solution or leave it empty for wired Ethernet.
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#4
notb
TheLostSwede said:
Do you know how costly this would be for AMD? They own next to no IP when it comes to wireless technology, so they'd either have to pay steep royalties, buy a company that has some good Wi-Fi IP or find a partner to work with that would get a license fee. Not an ideal situation to be in. Also, how does integrated Wi-Fi make sense? It's an ever changing standard and you still need a PHY which is 50% of the cost of the total Wi-Fi cost.
How does integrated WiFi makes sense to whom?
To Intel? More profit (market share in WiFi). Intel is good at making money and they're looking for another way.
To me? I guess more mobos will get WiFi :). Moreover, this will be built around an Intel chip, which usually means very good performance and above average drivers (compared to Realtek, Killer and so on).
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#5
Darmok N Jalad
I wonder if and when Thunderbolt is destined for this segment?
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#6
Readlight
I hope they haw for Windows 10 platform drivers and improved speed for Asphalt 8, extreme 60 fps, and good speed for firefock and chrome, On my Atom tablet Internet exploresr is only working fast rendering. for 150 euro extreme good quality tablet.
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#7
TheLostSwede
notb said:
How does integrated WiFi makes sense to whom?
To Intel? More profit (market share in WiFi). Intel is good at making money and they're looking for another way.
To me? I guess more mobos will get WiFi :). Moreover, this will be built around an Intel chip, which usually means very good performance and above average drivers (compared to Realtek, Killer and so on).
I think you missed one important part, there's no integrated PHY, so you might still get Realtek drivers with your Intel integrated Wi-Fi, just as you to today with your Intel integrated Ethernet that's using a Realtek PHY...
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#8
dont whant to set it"'
as in what external PHY, antennae?( just nitpicking as in not that's not impossible[ I think] to have the RF shielding on/within the chip die , costly sure.)
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