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Intel reveals first 10nm Ice Lake processors, coming holiday 2019

Intel kicked off its CES 2019 event with a bang, officially revealing its 10nm Ice Lake chips. The new Ice Lake chips bring a number of big improvements over their predecessors and are expected to launch in mobile PCs during the 2019 holiday season.

One of the biggest improvements coming along with Ice Lake is that Thunderbolt 3 is natively supported on the SoC for the first time. The chips also pack Wi-Fi 6, otherwise known as 802.11ax, the next-generation Wi-Fi standard that is just now starting to make its way into the market. Additionally, the platform packs Gen 11 integrated graphics for improved performance, along with special tweaks to boost machine learning.

Intel's PC partners are already working on early engineering models of upcoming PCs with Ice Lake chips. On stage, Sam Burd, President of Dell's Client Solutions Group, brought out an early prototype of an upcoming XPS 13 featuring an Ice Lake processor.

Project Athena and Lakefield

Looking past Ice Lake, Intel also revealed that it is working on a new initiative called "Project Athena." Similar to its push to make Ultrabooks a household name years ago, Intel is using Project Athena as a platform to rally its partners to develop the "future of mobile computing." While details were scant on what to expect, it seems as if Intel is pushing for new form factors and smaller devices, with practically every big name in the PC industry involved.

Where Intel did provide some more concrete details was with Lakefield, the codename for a new hybrid CPU that combines its 10nm Sunny Cove architecture with four 10nm Atom cores. As Intel explained on stage, the combination different types of processor cores will allow your PC to run more efficiently, handing off big tasks to high-performance cores while keeping smaller tasks relegated to the others.

The result is a set of smaller chips on smaller boards, resulting in better battery life and performance for devices in smaller form factors. In fact, Intel has managed to create its smallest motherboard ever for the Lakefield processor, measuring in a 1x5 inches.

With Project Lakefield, Intel is expecting manufacturers to come up with a wide array of new form factors, runningthe gamut from traditional big-screen devices to small dual-screen devices under eleven inches.

Intel promises we'll hear more on Lakefield throughout 2019.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

27 Comments
  • Which holiday? Lol
  • When "Holiday" is mentioned in a press release, it usually means the November-early January time frame.
  • April Fools Day!
  • I think Qualcomm's ARM processors getting W10 is pushing intel to innovate. This is very good for us consumers.
  • Agree. Glad to see Intel get off their derrieres.
  • Yes, that seems to be particularly evident here: "... Lakefield, the codename for a new hybrid CPU that combines its 10nm Sunny Cove architecture with four 10nm Atom cores. As Intel explained on stage, the combination different types of processor cores will allow your PC to run more efficiently, handing off big tasks to high-performance cores while keeping smaller tasks relegated to the others." Snapdragon did this years ago. People laughed at them for putting 8 cores in a smartphone. Who's laughing now?
  • Could Athena be the chip that powers... wait for it... wait for it...... wait for it...…... ANDROMEDA?
  • Athena isn't a chip
  • I see that Intel is copying ARM's big-little core configuration....not bad. More innovation means we consumers win.
  • I saw that. But also laughed, because they're using Atoms. Atoms don't do instant-on connected standby AFAIK.
  • When they said Atom, it should be their latest generation of Atom (those used in Celeron, like Gemini Lake of previous generation). We don't know yet whether that one will support instant-on connected standby or not. Though it would be disappointment if it doesn't.
  • It would behoove them to at least achieve parity with what Qualcomm is offering. When I'm working on texts for work, I could use the power-saving features of Atom on "standby" and save the high-power cores for Fortnite.
  • And, now I want a new surface with some of this tech....
  • If Ms keeps is rumored time frame, I doubt the next surface will have this new tech. The major redesign is expected this year but the chips won't show up in devices until holiday season but the surface team doesn't want to be first in line to new Intel chips anymore
  • Ah this is true! You are right! I was one of the poor customers to get a Surface Pro 4 when that debacle took place. Man what a bad first impression. I had to replace it because it wasn't acting as "premium" as it was supposed to. A few driver updates later I began to love my Surface. I learned (and I'm guessing Microsoft learned) that jumping on new tech isn't always the best move.
  • I hope amd keeps the pressure on Intel. Intel had the market conquered and got comfortable and could make mistakes like that. Amd needs to put them in a losing position to the point where Intel can't afford to make mistakes like that anymore.
  • I don't. I want Surface with Ryzen.
  • That's a standing desk
  • Interesting, so Project Athena is what Apple "allegedly". is contributing to behind the scenes. As Intel has struggled over years to get to a stage where they can have Smartphone SOC and with the issues they are having with 10nm. But I shall say no more... incase Apple wishes to seize something on the pretext it's counterfeit lol.
  • I hope they know that Athena died, saving Zues. Lol.
  • Hopefully Zeus = Ryzen :>
  • Interesting and exciting news
  • Now that's what I call a good "Comments section" 😅
  • Integrated Thunderbolt 3 was already supposed to come with Kaby Lake CPUs iirc.
    Imo that is the reason why we haven't seen USB Type c in Surface Pro devices yet.
  • can't wait for Ice Lake Phishing!
  • Nice, though I am personally more excited about new Ryzen chips; I have a feeling that Ice Lake will probably have teething pains in the beginning and that the igpu is still not that impressive compared to Ryzen mobile's igpu.
  • Too Little, Too Late!