Wednesday, December 12th 2018

Intel Unveils a Clean-slate CPU Core Architecture Codenamed "Sunny Cove"

Intel today unveiled its first clean-slate CPU core micro-architecture since "Nehalem," codenamed "Sunny Cove." Over the past decade, the 9-odd generations of Core processors were based on incrementally refined descendants of "Nehalem," running all the way down to "Coffee Lake." Intel now wants a clean-slate core design, much like AMD "Zen" is a clean-slate compared to "Stars" or to a large extent even "Bulldozer." This allows Intel to introduce significant gains in IPC (single-thread performance) over the current generation. Intel's IPC growth curve over the past three micro-architectures has remained flat, and only grew single-digit percentages over the generations prior.

It's important to note here, that "Sunny Cove" is the codename for the core design. Intel's earlier codenaming was all-encompassing, covering not just cores, but also uncore, and entire dies. It's up to Intel's future chip-designers to design dies with many of these cores, a future-generation iGPU such as Gen11, and a next-generation uncore that probably integrates PCIe gen 4.0 and DDR5 memory. Intel details "Sunny Cove" as far as mentioning IPC gains, a new ISA (new instruction sets and hardware capabilities, including AVX-512), and improved scalability (ability to increase core-counts without running into latency problems).
The first products featuring "Sunny Cove" cores is slated as early as by 2019, and will be built on Intel's 10 nm DUV silicon fabrication process. Intel didn't stop at "Sunny Cove," and went on to mention two of its successors. "Willow Cove" is an incremental update, letting its designers eke out more effective IPC by improving on-die caches, transistor optimization, and the addition of new security features. In many ways, "Sunnycove" and "Willow Cove" relate to each other like AMD's "Zen" and "Zen+." The first "Willow Cove" based processors will launch in 2020, based on a refined 10 nm process node.
Lastly there's "Golden Cove," slated for 2021. Here Intel could take advantage of a newer silicon fabrication process (either an extremely refined 10 nm-derivative or even 7 nm EUV), to increase IPC (single-thread performance). In addition, Intel will improve the core's "AI performance" (probably the ability to multiply matrices), and improved host-signal processing for 5G and networking.

Intel's low-power architectures see "Tremont" succeed "Goldmont" in 2019, packing increased IPC, battery management, and network HSP. "Gracemont," slated for 2021, will improve IPC further, and improve "Vector performance," possibly heralding AVX in some form to the low-power architecture. Gracemont is succeeded by "next" mont (Intel hasn't decided a codename yet) in 2022+, with even higher IPC. Source: Anandtech
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57 Comments on Intel Unveils a Clean-slate CPU Core Architecture Codenamed "Sunny Cove"

#1
bonehead123
xxx-Cove, xx-mont, etc...

Code names are great for flashy, techno-babble-filled press releases, vaporware is not.

And neither are moar incremental, miniscule performance increases that come with the least-innovative, lowest-cost approach to design, layout and I/O architectures...

Intel's been talking this same ole same same crapola for many many years, and has yet to deliver anything significantly different than previous generations, except for maybe continually increased prices and flashier retail packaging :(
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#2
efikkan
Calling this a clean-slate CPU core might be quite a stretch, everything presented about the dies looks like logical incremental changes similar to previous generations from Intel.

One important quote from Anandtech which should have been mentioned:
As stated above, these are just the microarchitecture names. The actual chips these cores are in will likely have different names, which means a Lake name for the Core microarchitecture. At the event, Intel stated that Ice Lake would have Sunny Cove cores in it, for example.
It's worth emphasizing that this CPU architecture have been in development longer than any recent x86 architecture from Intel. The Ice Lake core was in fact finished in design 1.5 years ago, but has been held back by a faulty node.
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#3
neatfeatguy
Keep those people that are starting to look to AMD on the ropes that something NEW AND IMPROVED will be coming from Intel. They want you to hang in there and wait for their product before jumping to the competition.....

I guess we wait and see if they can offer something new here or if it's just a very slight improvement over what they currently offer.
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#4
phanbuey
efikkan, post: 3959381, member: 150226"
Calling this a clean-slate CPU core might be quite a stretch, everything presented about the dies looks like logical incremental changes similar to previous generations from Intel.

One important quote from Anandtech which should have been mentioned:


It's worth emphasizing that this CPU architecture have been in development longer than any recent x86 architecture from Intel. The Ice Lake core was in fact finished in design 1.5 years ago, but has been held back by a faulty node.
This makes so much sense. They really spun their wheels for a long time with the lakes.
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#5
biffzinker
Intel is doing Arm's big.LITTLE?
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#6
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
phanbuey, post: 3959388, member: 45008"
This makes so much sense. They really spun their wheels for a long time with the lakes.
maby they should have gotten studded snow tires
Posted on Reply
#7
Metroid
Funny, this initiative was only possible thanks to amd, if it was not for amd then intel would be forever nehalen aka 2006 initiative milking in mode, this is the first time intel is saying it wants to improve its cpu ipc for once in 12 years, that gotta mean something right? hehe
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#8
EarthDog
Funny, their stagnant IPC and performance growth was also due to AMD... thanks? Why in the world would [insert company name here] innovate when the floor was already being wiped up with [insert name of competition] mops?
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#9
ShurikN
Apart from the active interposer, nothing here is that exciting.
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#10
tfdsaf
This is a tablet, mobile chip, so nothing really of note. AMD will continue to dominate on the desktop, server and database markets with their superior CPU's and cheaper prices!
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#11
Zubasa
Anyone notice that in the Intel slide, Tremont and Gracemont is followed by 'Next' Month? o_O
Does Intel even prove read their own PR stuff these days?
Posted on Reply
#12
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
EarthDog, post: 3959405, member: 79836"
Funny, their stagnant IPC and performance growth was also due to AMD... thanks? Why in the world would [insert company name here] innovate when the floor was already being wiped up with [insert name of competition] mops?
because then the idiots wouldn't have a reason to talk shit about [insert company name here] because [competition branded] mops are worthless :roll:

seriously good job on the clickbait title tho nothing '`new'` here move along
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#13
mouacyk
Notice the "Security Features"? Maybe they decided to stop chasing raw IPC with aggressive speculative execution and will be dialing this back a bit, in order to catch up with AMD on the security front. The mitigation performance penalties in I/O were not acceptable.

Otherwise, very meh so far announcement.
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#14
EarthDog
OneMoar, post: 3959412, member: 83420"
seriously good job on the clickbait title tho nothing '`new'` here move along
You may have missed the second article on this............. LOL
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#15
Metroid
Also, take notice that now they want to significatnly improve single thread performance further, because it seems intel is accepting defeat as they cant fight x amd on multithread performance anymore and amd is still 10% behind intel on single thread performance as it stands. Reason people are buying intel right now is for single thread performance and nothing else.
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#16
Vayra86
Clean slate yet they literally showed near-identical slides of good old Skylake next to Sunny Cove.

??

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#17
xorbe
I will be surprised if there's anything "clean slate" here. Smells like PR dept to me. Repartioning / resizing the reservation stations is not ground breaking. They probably did more changes than normal, and went all out on the public statement about it.
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#18
TheLostSwede
Zubasa, post: 3959411, member: 30988"
Anyone notice that in the Intel slide, Tremont and Gracemont is followed by 'Next' Month? o_O
Does Intel even prove read their own PR stuff these days?
Sure did, quite a funny typo.
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#19
Dante Uchiha
EarthDog, post: 3959405, member: 79836"
Funny, their stagnant IPC and performance growth was also due to AMD... thanks? Why in the world would [insert company name here] innovate when the floor was already being wiped up with [insert name of competition] mops?
Yeah, The honest and respectable intel has nothing to do with the lack of resources in the red side. Of course, it's all AMD fault.

It's funny to see someone defending a company that steals, lies and bribes people.
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#20
Metroid
This looks like when apple showed its first commercial computer 40 years ago, nothing was real.
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#21
ShurikN
Clean slate was the jump from Core 2 to Nehalem, or Bulldozer to Zen.
To me this looks more like the jump from Haswell to Skylake.
But who knows, maybe there is more than meets the eye.
Posted on Reply
#23
EarthDog
Metroid, post: 3959442, member: 178915"
Also, take notice that now they want to significatnly improve single thread performance further, because it seems intel is accepting defeat as they cant fight x amd on multithread performance anymore and amd is still 10% behind intel on single thread performance as it stands. Reason people are buying intel right now is for single thread performance and nothing else.
JFC, you are the fluffmeister of AMD... LOL

On a more serious note, Intel is catching up on AMD's 'going wide' thought instead of IPC performance. People really need to step back and see the forest through the trees though. More cores/threads aren't needed by the masses. Hell most enthusiasts will happily run a 4c/8t CPU and not lose any performance. The fact is, to me, both companies CPUs have their merits. AMD is a great offering for those who need more threads at cores at the same pricepoint and is OK in a very slight IPC deficit. Intel just plain old has the fastest around in IPC, is lacking in core count for the same price, and overclocks better than AMD. It does indeed cost more.

So, thanks, AMD, for multiple generations of being dozens of % slower IPC, finally getting into the ballpark and adding more cores and threads people don't need? Again, so few people need the cores/threads, I'd rather them both work on 4-6c/8-12t count CPUs and improving those than simply adding what amounts to useless (for a vast majority) c/t.

Dante Uchiha, post: 3959450, member: 161713"
Yeah, The honest and respectable intel has nothing to do with the lack of resources in the red side. Of course, it's all AMD fault.

It's funny to see someone defending a company that steals, lies and bribes people.
I didn't say it was all AMD's 'fault'.. but simply responding to Metroid's assertion that it was AMD which caused this change. Surely competition is a part of it... nice for AMD to be back in the game. But let's not forget how business works while lambasting the other side.

Competition is good!
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#24
R0H1T
biffzinker, post: 3959391, member: 163731"
Intel is doing Arm's big.LITTLE?

I remember "some" Intel apologists deriding big little as fake (8) cores or something like that :laugh:
Not on this forum but lots of other places, wow is Intel desperate or what :rolleyes:
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#25
theoneandonlymrk
efikkan, post: 3959381, member: 150226"
Calling this a clean-slate CPU core might be quite a stretch, everything presented about the dies looks like logical incremental changes similar to previous generations from Intel.

One important quote from Anandtech which should have been mentioned:


It's worth emphasizing that this CPU architecture have been in development longer than any recent x86 architecture from Intel. The Ice Lake core was in fact finished in design 1.5 years ago, but has been held back by a faulty node.
And that's exactly another site's take on it , clean slate my ass.

It's a further evolved skylake ,bigger caches , more avx extensions and another load unit? , thats it besides a few extra unit's thrown in the av decoder??(thats not even in the cpu) , not the clean sheet design they claim.
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