As is customary, Intel held their conference prior to CES 2019 opening proper. And to mark the CPU maker’s 50th anniversary, there was a range of announcements on connected computing, CPUs and future tech. Here’s what they had to announce.
The conference kicked off with talk about the next generation of Intel i9 desktop CPUs, all the range from i3 CPUs to the gaming and productivity focused i9 CPUs. Intel launched six new CPUs, as well as the ninth generation of mobile CPUs, due to launch in the second quarter of 2019.
The first 10nm client SOC, dubbed Ice Lake, was revealed. Due for release towards the end of this year, the SOC would have Intel’s 11th generation of integrated graphics, native Thunderbolt 3 integration, Wi-Fi 6 integration (formerly called 802.11ax), as well as other inclusions. It’s designed to be used for thin and light laptops and 2-in-1 devices.
One major difference with Ice Lake is the incorporation of AI processing to help inference-based workloads. This was demonstrated on stage by searching for a series of photos, with an Ice Lake prototype compared against a 2018 Dell XPS 13. A laptop was also shown off running Tekken 7, displayed on a larger monitor through a Thunderbolt 3 cable.
Lakefield, a codename for a hybrid CPU project, also got its first public appearance. It’s the smallest full PC motherboard produced by Intel, with the SOC measuring approximately 12mm squared. “Think below 11-inch form factors, think dual screen, think about designs that may fold, maybe having this in one of the halves of the system,” Intel senior vice president Gregory Bryant said on stage.
Comcast’s Tony Werner made a short appearance to talk about 10 gigabit full-duplex networks, which Comcast is rolling out courtesy of Intel-based products. On the data centre side, Intel has begun shipping their Cascade Lake server-centric Xeon CPUs.
After a brief chat about a CPU-powered 3d motion tracking for athletes, showing off the capacity for processing AI-powered tasks exclusively with a CPU, a new AI chip was unveiled called Nervana. A neural network processor, which is due out in the second half of 2019, is aimed at handling tasks like image classification and image recognition.
The rest of the presentation concentrated on autonomous driving and Intel’s plans over the next few years. Intel’s experimental Project Athena was briefly mentioned during the course of the presser, with a release noting that Chrome and Windows-based devices borne from Project Athena are “expected to be available in the second half of this year”.