The upcoming 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake CPUs, which will replace or succeed Ice Lake Architecture, have an integrated Xe Graphics or Xe iGPU. These ‘U’ variant of the Intel CPUs are meant for ultra-thin and ultra-low-power Ultrabooks, Notebooks, and sleek laptops. While Apple recently booked the highest-end current-gen variant of the energy-efficient processors from Intel, these APUs should be reserved for OEMs.
Intel’s upcoming Tiger Lake-based CPUs, which will mark the first time the company offers commercial-grade laptop and Ultrabook processors manufactured on its own 10nm Fabrication Node, are quite interesting. This is primarily because the Tiger lake System on the Chips (SoCs) will go up against the 7nm AMD ‘Renoir’ Ryzen 4000 Series of APUs with Radeon Vega graphics in laptop designs with battery efficiency and thermal performance as a priority. AMD has been offering some very compelling processors for desktops, laptops, and servers with no convincing competition from Intel. This should change with the upcoming 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake Mobility APUs that come with onboard Xe Graphics.
Intel Tiger Lake APUs With Xe Graphics For Workstations To Offer Multiple Benefits?
The Intel Tiger Lake Architecture will be the first time the company finally moves away from the highly mature 14nm Fabrication Node. The upcoming Intel Mobility APUs will be fabricated on the 10nm Frabircation Node. This should offer substantially improved IPC gains while maintaining thermal efficiency. There are multiple configurations of the Tiger lake System on the Chips (SoCs) being designed for portable computing devices that prioritize battery life over raw performance.
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With a variable TDP profile ranging from 9W to 28W, the Intel Tiger Lake appear to be similarly configured to the current-generation Ice Lake CPUs. While the Ice Lake chips were available in 9W and 15W variants, there was one variant with configurable TDP of 28W, which was reportedly reserved by Apple for its upcoming 2020 refresh of MacBook Pro. However, the same situation might not arise with the upcoming Intel Tiger Lake APUs which are being optimized for ultra-thin and extremely lightweight laptops meant for office use or as multi-role devices.
10nm Intel Tiger Lake APUs With Xe iGPU Features:
Tiger Lake will be available in 4+2 design, which means 4-cores and 2-slices of Gen12 iGPU. What this essentially means is that the processor will have 4 primary cores for raw CPU performance, while there are 2 Cores dedicated for the onboard or integrated Gen12 GPU (iGPU). Previous reports about the upcoming Intel APUs indicated that Tiger Lake will launch with up to 768 Shading Units. With such specifications, Intel’s Gen12 graphics architecture would compete with AMD’s Renoir APUs featuring “Enhanced Vega” onboard graphics.It is believed that laptops using the integrated graphics in the upcoming Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake-U processors could offer twice the performance of Ice Lake’s integrated graphics. These processors will have advanced Xe graphics that will support full hardware-accelerated video decoding. Intel Tiger Lake is confirmed to support VP9 and H265/HEV 12-bit decoding. With such specifications, Intel Tiger Lake Xe graphics could be about 2X faster than Gen10 Ice Lake and offer 4X better performance over Gen9.
If the claims are accurate, Intel does appear to have credible mobility APUs to go up against the 7nm ZEN 2 AMD Ryzen Renoir 4000 Series APUs with advanced Radeon Vega iGPUs. However, the company might have to further optimize the Tiger Lake processors in the number of cores and threads, IPC gains, thermal efficiency, and battery endurance to beat AMD before ZEN 3-based Ryzen ‘Vermeer’ 4000 Series chips arrive.