Whereas Coffee Lake (and several generations of "lake" before it) have all been built around Intel's 14nm (nanometer) process and their Skylake micro architecture, Ice Lake moves things up to 10nm and introduces a brand-new core architecture known as "Sunny Cove".
Intel has cut short the turbo boost speed to 4.1 GHz which is less than Whiskey Lake processors (4.6 GHz), but the chipmaker company says that a new and improved turbo management method will compensate for the reduced speed.
Playing games on laptops that are as thin as the MacBook Air is about to get even better soon, and that's not only because some companies are getting ready to export all that heavy graphics processing power to the cloud rather than your machine.
Intel plans to test laptops to ensure they measure up to the standard and will offer OEMs early access to technology such as low power screens to help them meet the goal. In addition to general performance improvements, Intel is touting the graphics capabilities of its new Iris Plus integrated GPU and new AI functionality called Intel Deep Learning Boost.
Connectivity-wise, the new processors feature Thunderbolt 3 and integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), which offers almost 3x faster wireless speeds.
At its Technology Open House event at Computex, the company highlighted its top five innovations which it says will drive "the next wave of computing", and have the potential to radically change the way we use our PCs and laptops. It's unclear what the first Project Athena laptops will be, but the company says it's now deploying the 1.0 target specification, and partners including Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will have them in stores in the second half of the year.
Project Athena aims to deliver on what Intel is calling the "key experience indicators" (KEI) that people are looking for with personal computing. Metrics are based on day-in-the-life research of notebook users at home or at work under real-world conditions. After inventing the "ultrabook" category years ago, the chip maker is now pushing PC manufacturers to innovate on other aspects such as battery life and system wake from sleep. The processors will be in computers by the end of 2019, the company said in a statement. The up to quad-core, octa-threaded 10th Gen chips will offer up to 4.1 max turbo speed. It is expected to be available by holiday 2019.