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Intel "Panther Canyon" NUC Implements "Tiger Lake" SoC with Xe Graphics

Intel NUC 11 Extreme is the spiritual successor to the "Hades Canyon" and "Skull Canyon" NUC, and implements the company's next-generation 10 nm+ "Tiger Lake" processor. Codenamed "Panther Canyon," the NUC 11 Extreme represents a line of ultra-compact desktops with serious computing power, bringing together the company's highest-performance CPU cores and iGPUs. The "Tiger Lake-U" SoC powering the NUC 11 Extreme will reportedly be configured with a 28-Watt TDP, and will come in Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 variants.

The "Tiger Lake-U" processor is expected to combine next-generation "Willow Cove" CPU cores with an iGPU based on Intel's new Xe graphics architecture, in what could be the first commercial outing for both. The NUC 11 Extreme "Panther Canyon" will also support up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory over SO-DIMMs, an M.2-2280 slot with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, and option for Intel Optane M10 cache memory. On the connectivity front, and Intel AX-201 WLAN card provides 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5. A 2.5 GbE wired interface will also be available. These will also be among the first NUCs to feature front- and rear-Thunderbolt ports (possibly next-gen 80 Gbps given that the platform implements PCIe gen 4.0). The NUC 11 Extreme "Panther Canyon" is expected to launch some time in the second half of 2020.

Intel "Rocket Lake" an Adaptation of "Willow Cove" CPU Cores on 14nm?

The "Willow Cove" CPU core design succeeds "Sunny Cove," Intel's first truly new CPU core design in close to 5 years. "Sunny Cove" is implemented in the 10 nm "Ice Lake" microarchitecture, and "Willow Cove" cores are expected to debut with the 10 nm+ "Tiger Lake." It turns out that Intel is working to adapt "Willow Cove" CPU cores onto a 14 nm microarchitecture, and "Rocket Lake" could be it.

Twitter user @chiakokhua, a retired VLSI engineer with high hit-rate on CPU microarchitecture news, made sense of technical documents to point out that "Rocket Lake" is essentially a 14 nm adaptation of "Tiger Lake," but with the iGPU shrunk significantly, to make room for the larger CPU cores. The Gen12 iGPU on "Rocket Lake-S" will feature just 32 execution units (EUs), whilst on "Tiger Lake," it has three times the muscle, with 96 EUs. "Rocket Lake" also replaces "Tiger Lake's" FIVR (fully-integrated voltage regulation) with a conventional SVID VRM architecture.

Intel Ice Lake-SP and Cooper Lake-SP Details Leaked

Brainbox, a Korean media outlet, has gathered information on Intel's newest Ice Lake and Cooper Lake server processors from a presentation ASUS held for its server lineup. With Cooper Lake-SP paving the way for the first server CPU model to be released on the new "Whitley" platform, it is supposed to launch in Q2 of 2020. Cooper Lake-SP comes with TDP of 300 W and will be available with configurations of up to 48 cores, but there also should be a 56 core model like the Xeon Platinum 9282, that has a TDP of 400 W. Cooper Lake-SP supports up to 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, 8 channel memory (16 DIMMs in total) that goes up to 3200 MHz and four Ultra Path Interconnect (UPI) links.

Ice Lake-SP, built on the new 10 nm+ manufacturing process, is coming in soon after Cooper Lake-SP release, with a launch window in Q3 of 2020. That is just few months apart from previous CPU launch, so it will be a bit hard to integrate the launches of two rather distinct products. As far as the specifications of Ice Lake-SP goes, it will have up to 38 core for the top end model, within 270 W TDP. It supports 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes with three UPI links. There is also 8 channel memory support, however this time there is an option to use 2nd generation Optane DC Persistent Memory. Both CPU uArches will run on the new LGA 4189 on the P+ socket.

Intel Clarifies on 10nm Desktop CPUs: Still on the Table, Likely in 2021

Intel in a quick rebuttal to the earlier reports from Monday, clarified that desktop processors based on the 10 nm silicon fabrication node are still on the company's roadmap. "We continue to make great progress on 10 nm, and our current roadmap of 10 nm products includes desktop," the company said in its one-liner. Monday's reports predicted a horror story where Intel would drag its 14 nm "Skylake" derived microarchitecture through to 2022, at which point it would be 7 years old.

The Tom's Hardware report that posts the statement, however, pins 14 nm to still last till 2021, if not the 2022 date predicted in the HardwareLuxx report. Intel will sell "Comet Lake" through 2020, succeeded by "Rocket Lake," which takes up much of 2021. Towards the end of 2021, Intel will release a desktop processor based on its matured 10 nm++ silicon fabrication node, which will lead the company into 2022, when it finally launches 7 nm EUV-based desktop chips.

Intel "Tiger Lake" Supports PCIe Gen 4 and Features Xe Graphics, Phantom Canyon NUC Detailed

Intel is working on its next generation gaming-grade NUC, codenamed "Phantom Canyon." When it comes out some time in 2020-21, it will feature Intel's 10 nm+ "Tiger Lake" SoC. Intel detailed this and more in a leaked presentation to industry partners. It describes the launch of of the company's "Ghost Canyon" NUC in Fall 2019 to succeed the current "Hades Canyon" gaming NUC. This box features a Core i9-9980HK processor and discrete graphics options. It will be succeeded in 2020-21 (late 2020 or sometime 2021), by the "Phantom Canyon" NUC that's in development.

The "Phantom Canyon" NUC is powered by a 28 W 10 nm+ "Tiger Lake-U" SoC that features PCI-Express gen 4. The package also implements Intel's "Gen 12" graphics processor that's derived from the Xe architecture it's currently working on, according to Chinese publication PTTWeb. The NUC will also feature discrete graphics options in the price-range of the current GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060 ($299 to $349). In related news, we see subtle hints that Intel will give its chipset bus a major update in future generations of its desktop and mobile platforms. Apparently, future platforms could feature DMI spread over 8 lanes as opposed to 4 on current platforms, besides the update to PCIe gen 4. This quadrupling in bandwidth compared to DMI 3.0 (PCIe 3.0 x4) is necessitated by the growth in bandwidth-hungry devices such as NVMe SSDs, external Thunderbolt 3 graphics cards, USB 3.2 flash drives, etc.

Intel "Tiger Lake" Architecture Combines Willow Cove CPU Cores and Xe iGPU

Even as Intel banks on 10 nm "Ice Lake" to pull it out of the 14 nm dark ages, the company is designing a fascinating new monolithic processor SoC die that succeeds it. Codenamed "Tiger Lake," and slated to debut in 2020, this die packs "Willow Cove" CPU cores and an iGPU based on Intel's Xe architecture, not Gen11. "Willow Cove" CPU cores are more advanced than the "Sunny Cove" cores "Ice Lake" packs, featuring a redesigned on-die cache, additional security features, and transistor optimization yielded from the newer 10 nm+ silicon fabrication process.

Intel is already boasting of 1 TFLOP/s compute power of the Gen11 iGPU on "Ice Lake," so it's logical to predict that the Xe based iGPU will be significantly faster. It will also support the latest display standards. The "next-gen I/O" referenced by Intel could be faster NVMe, Thunderbolt, and USB standards that leverage the bandwidth doubling brought about by PCI-Express gen 4.0. Here's the catch: much like "Ice Lake," the new "Tiger Lake" chip will get a mobile debut as Tiger Lake-Y or Tiger Lake-U, and desktop processors could follow later, possibly even 2021, depending on how much pressure it faces from AMD.
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