Intel Architecture Day 2020 Reveals New Innovations In Way CPUS, APUs, And GPUs Are Designed, Fabricated

The Intel Architecture Day 2020, a virtual press event organized by the company, witnessed the reveal of several key elements and innovations that will go into the development of next-gen CPUs, APUs, and GPUs. Intel took the opportunity to proudly present some of its most important developments.

Intel offered a detailed view of the new technologies that we had just reported. The company intends to indicate that it is working hard to offer products that not only rival the competitors but are able to work well in multiple industrial and consumer segments. In addition to the 10nm SuperFin technology, Intel also unveiled details of its Willow Cove microarchitecture and the Tiger Lake SoC architecture for mobile clients and provided a first look at its fully scalable Xe graphics architectures that serve markets ranging from consumer to high-performance computing to gaming usages.

Intel Reveals 10nm SuperFin Technology And Claims It Is As Good As A Full-Node Transition:

Intel has long been refining the FinFET transistor Fabrication technology which was commonly referred to as the 14nm Node. The new 10nm SuperFin Technology is essentially an improved version of FinFET but Intel claims there are several benefits. The 10nm SuperFin technology combines Intel’s enhanced FinFET transistors with a Super metal insulator metal capacitor.

During the presentation, Intel offered information on some of the key benefits of 10nm SuperFin Technology:

  • The process enhances the epitaxial growth of crystal structures on the source and drain. This allows more current through the channel.
  • Improves the gate process to drive higher channel mobility, which enables charge carriers to move more quickly.
  • Provides an additional gate pitch option for higher drive current in certain chip functions that require the utmost performance.
  • The new fabrication technology uses a novel thin barrier to reduce resistance by 30 percent and enhance interconnect performance.
  • Intel claims the new tech delivers a 5x increase in capacitance within the same footprint when compared to industry standard. This translates to a significant voltage droop reduction that means improved product performance.
  • The technology is enabled by a new class of “Hi-K” dielectric materials stacked in ultra-thin layers just several angstroms thick to form a repeating “superlattice” structure. This is an industry-first technology that is ahead of the current capabilities of other manufacturers.

Intel Officially Unveils The New Willow Cove Architecture For The Tiger Lake CPU:

Intel’s next-generation mobile processor, code-named Tiger Lake, is based on 10nm SuperFin technology. Willow Cove is Intel’s next-generation CPU microarchitecture. The latter is based on the Sunny Cove architecture, but Intel assures it delivers more than a generational increase in CPU performance with large frequency improvements and increased power efficiency. The new architecture incorporates new security enhancements with Intel Control-Flow Enforcement Technology.

The Tiger Lake APUs are supposed to offer several benefits to consumers who rely on laptops for heavy-duty tasks. The new generation APUs have several optimizations spanning the CPU, AI accelerators, and being the first System-On-Chip (SoC) architecture with the new Xe-LP graphics microarchitecture. The processors will also support the latest technologies such as Thunderbolt 4, USB 4, PCIe Gen 4, 64GB/s DDR5 Memory, 4K30Hz displays, etc. One of the key highlights would be the new Intel Xe ‘Iris’ iGPU solution that features up to 96 Execution Units (EUs).

Apart from the Tiger Lake, Intel also revealed its work on Alder Lake, the company’s next-generation client product. The CPU has long been rumored to be based on a hybrid architecture, combining Golden Cove and Gracemont Cores. Intel indicated these new CPUs, optimized to offer great performance per watt, will arrive early next year.

Intel Has New Xe GPUs Spanning Multiple Industries And Consumer Segments:

Intel’s in-house developed Xe graphics solution has been in the news for a long time. The company detailed the Xe-LP (Low Power) microarchitecture and software. The solution, in the form of an iGPU, has been optimized to deliver efficient performance for mobile platforms.

In addition to the Xe-LP, there’s Xe-HP, which is reportedly the industry’s first multi-tiled, highly scalable, high-performance architecture, providing data center-class, rack-level media performance, GPU scalability, and AI optimization. Available in single, dual for four tile configuration, the Xe-HP will function like a multi-core GPU. Intel demonstrated Xe-HP transcoding 10 full streams of high-quality 4K video at 60 frames per second on a single tile.

Incidentally, there’s also the Xe-HPG, which is intended for high-end gaming. A new memory subsystem based on GDDR6 is added to improve performance per dollar and XeHPG will have accelerated ray tracing support.

Apart from these innovations, Intel also offered details on several new technologies such as Ice Lake and Sapphire Rapids Xeon server-grade processors and software solutions such as oneAPI Gold release. Intel also indicated several of its products are already in the final stage of user-testing.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.

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