Due to the global pandemic, this year’s annual Computex event in Taiwan is being held virtually, but all the big-name companies have keynotes to present their latest news and wares. Intel is no different, and this year the hot ticket items stem from an expansion or ‘refresh’ of their Tiger Lake-U series processors (as we exclusively confirmed at AnandTech in April) but also the first fruits of an Intel 5G solution developed through the partnership with MediaTek.

Tiger Lake-U Refresh

At the start of the year, the lay of the land for Intel in the second half of 2021 was confusing. The company was promising to deliver its 12th Generation Core ‘Alder Lake’ portfolio to both desktop and mobile by the end of the year, and there was some confusion as to which market was going to get the hardware first. As Intel ramps up its 10nm product lines, and as silicon supply chain shortages are slowly rectifying themselves, the initial expectation was that Alder Lake was to be introduced first for mobile processors, given that these are usually smaller and easier to bring to market. With the Q1 2021 launch of Rocket Lake (11th Gen) for desktop, it would also make sense to launch a mobile product first as that was launched back in Q3 of 2020 (Tiger Lake-U).

However, as we reported on last month, Intel’s route for processor updates has another stepping stone we hadn’t heard of before. As part of its Partner Connect conference to OEM and retail partners, Intel disclosed that it was preparing a Tiger Lake-U Refresh family for the thin-and-light notebook markets. During Intel’s presentation where the TGL-U refresh was mentioned, it was specified that the refresh will only apply for 15-28 W processors. Today as part of Computex, the first elements of that Tiger Lake-U Refresh are being put in place.

Intel 11th Gen Core Tiger Lake
UP3 Class: 12-28 W
AnandTech Cores L3
MB
Base
MHz
at
12W
Base
MHz
at
28W
1C
MHz
up to
50W
nT
MHz
at
50W
Xe
EUs
Xe
MHz
DDR4 LP4x
i7-1195G7 4C / 8T 12 ? 2900 5000* 4600 96 1400 3200 4266
i7-1185G7 4C / 8T 12 1200 3000 4800 4300 96 1350 3200 4266
i7-1165G7 4C / 8T 12 1200 2800 4700 4100 96 1300 3200 4266
i5-1155G7 4C / 8T 8 ? 2500 4500 4300 80 1350 3200 4266
i5-1145G7 4C / 8T 8 ? 2600 4400 4000 80 1300 3200 4266
i5-1135G7 4C / 8T 8 900 2400 4200 3800 80 1300 3200 4266
i3-1125G4 4C / 8T 8 ? 2000 3700 3300 48 1250 3200 3733
i3-1115G4 2C / 4T 6 1700 3000 4100 4100 48 1250 3200 3733

Normally with a refresh we typically expect a full stack of processors, but this time around Intel is only providing two, at least to begin with. At the top of the stack is the new halo processor, the Core i7-1195G7.

The Core i7-1195G7 represents the first time Intel has enabled 5.0 GHz on a U-class processor (not counting the H35 series which aren’t H-series processors but U-series processors with a stupid name). Intel enables 5.0 GHz through the use of Turbo Boost Max 3.0, which is a ‘favored core’ technology and the best core of the processor can boost that high.

The other specifications of the processor include a 2.9 GHz base frequency (at 28W only, Intel hasn’t given the 12W or 15W base frequency), a 4.6 GHz all-core turbo frequency when inside the turbo window, and a new peak 1400 MHz graphics frequency on the Xe-LP Iris graphics configuration of 96 execution units.

The processor has four cores and eight threads, and supports up to 64 GB of DDR4-3200 or 32 GB of LPDDR4X-4266. In our initial report, we had believed that the refresh processors might be the first to support LPDDR5, given that was part of Intel’s specifications when the Tiger Lake-U platform first launched in Q3 2020. We are still yet to see any Tiger Lake-U processor run with LPDDR5, so here’s hoping it comes to fruition perhaps later this year.

The second processor is the Core i5-1155G7, a new peak Core i5 processor in the family going above the Core i5-1145G7. Like the new Core i7 halo, it beats the incumbent by exchanging base frequency (-100 MHz at 28 W) for peak turbo (4.5 GHz, Turbo 2.0) and all-core turbo (4.3 GHz).

Intel is expecting 60+ new laptop designs with the updated Tiger Lake-U refresh processors this year, creating a total of 250 Tiger Lake-U designs overall in the global market.

Intel 5G Solution 5000

In July 2019, Intel sold its 5G assets to Apple. At the time, Intel had been working on 5G technology for some time, but it was very late to the game. The company had a number of key design wins on 4G, but reports of a lack of performance and power efficiency compared to others in the market. Ultimately Intel decided to sell its faltering smartphone modem business that had never actually turned a profit to Apple in order for Apple to develop its own vertically integrated design. Intel, now without a 5G solution, had to call on third parties for cross-branding. Insert MediaTek.

In November 2019, Intel and MediaTek jointly announced a partnership to bring 5G connectivity to its processors. At the time MediaTek was well underway with its 5G solution, especially with a burgeoning smartphone processor business to support and the need to have a competitive solution with Qualcomm and Samsung. Under the deal, rather than simply rebranding the solution MediaTek created, Intel would be defining its offering in a semi-custom-like arrangement. Today, a long while after MediaTek has been supplying 5G modems with its own mobile processors, Intel is disclosing the first Intel-branded productizable solution out of the partnership, likely based on the T700 announced in the middle of last year.

The Intel 5G Solution 5000 is an M.2 module with an odd size. Rather than being a standard 2230 or 2242 module, which means it would be 22x42mm, the unit is actually 30x52mm. Over a PCIe 3.0 interface, it supports 5G Sub-6 GHz (the wider slower version of 5G), 4G LTE and 3G WCFMA, with global geographical coverage to support the following carriers:

  • AT&T
  • Verizon
  • VDF
  • Telefonica
  • CMCC
  • Swisscom
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • SFB
  • Docomo
  • Orange
  • Sprint
  • CUC
  • CTC
  • Telstra
  • Optus
  • T-Mobile (EU)
  • KDDI

The solution, branded as the Fibocom FM350-GL, is supported in Windows, Chrome, and Linux, and supports 4700/1250 for download/upload over 5G. With 4G LTE, the speeds are 1600/150.

Intel is targeting the platforms for Tiger Lake and Alder Lake, but Acer has already announced a home router/base station with the technology.

NUC 11 Extreme

As a sneak peek, Intel also disclosed the next generation NUC Extreme kit, based on 11th Generation Tiger Lake-H processors. The new design follows Intel’s PCIe Element strategy, whereby most of the machine is on one PCIe card and a full GPU is connected through a combination riser, all in a single box, allowing for a premium gaming experience with a mobile processor.

The preview we saw showcased the new chassis, with Intel’s RGB skull logo. We were told to expect more information later in the year from the NUC team.

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  • ikjadoon - Sunday, May 30, 2021 - link

    Tiger Lake still can’t ship with LPDDR5. Alder Lake won’t ship DDR5 in volume, either.

    “RAM Support” is becoming a weasel word even for Intel’s standards. Which OEM asked for LPDDR5 in Tiger Lake? Any laptop OEMs ready to integrate that?

    LPDDR4X has hit its stride.

    Intel is still happy to announce things they’ll never ship in any serious volume, e.g., Cannon Lake, but it ticks off a buzzword for the next investor meeting.
    Reply
  • HideOut - Sunday, May 30, 2021 - link

    Isn't this Computex 2021, not 2020? Reply
  • Yojimbo - Monday, May 31, 2021 - link

    Why do you say it can't? Decisions on RAM support come down to RAM availability and market demand. I'm sure it can do it, they just choose not to. Reply
  • Wereweeb - Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - link

    That's the point? [LP]DDR5 is still too expensive for anything but servers and flagship products, and will continue being too expensive for another one or two years. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, June 4, 2021 - link

    Seem to be a fair few mobile phones with it! Intel were quoting the performance gains of Xe in LPDDR5 configurations before launch, too, and touting it as a feature.

    To be clear, I don't think it matters much either, just interesting to see their marketing versus reality.
    Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, May 31, 2021 - link

    Thanks Ian! Any word on whether Intel has been able to tweak its 10 nm Superfin process some more? Now would be a good time, before Alder Lake comes down the pipe. Reply
  • sandeep_r_89 - Monday, May 31, 2021 - link

    It says right there in the slides that it's "Enhanced" Super Fin, whatever that means. That's probably the tweaking you're looking for. Reply
  • Wereweeb - Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - link

    10nm+++ Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Friday, June 4, 2021 - link

    I saw that, too. I was asking to see if Ian heard anything about that "enhancement"; as you wrote, whatever that means? Also wonder which CPUs are currently fabbed in "enhanced" SuperFin 10 nm? Just Tiger Lake U, or are there Xeons and 8 Core TLs on that node, too? Reply
  • Everett F Sargent - Monday, May 31, 2021 - link

    In logic, this is called moving the goal posts, mention Alder Lake as an excuse to talk about anything else besides Alder Lake.

    No one will see an Alder Lake CPU for sale until Q1 2022 at the earliest in the retail channel,
    this so-called method dates back to the 6th generation Skylake in the fall quarter of 2015, some might arguably say it even dates back to 5th generation Broadwell in the fall of 2014. Thus. this is deserving of a meme, call it the Seven Stooges, seven generations at 14nm in seven years.

    How many times does Intel have to pre-announce a product only to wait and see it show up several months later. It would appear that even AMD now understands this same Intel bait-and-switch trick (e. g. 5900X and 5950X).

    Oh and I happen to own a killer i9-10980XE system, but it could have been a killer 5950X system if a certain part was readily available. Such are the plans of mice and ...
    Reply

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