Intel unveils next-gen ‘Sunny Cove’ processors and graphics appropriate for 2019 Macs

“Intel today introduced Sunny Cove, its next-generation processor microarchitecture designed to increase performance and power efficiency,” Joe Rossignol reports for MacRumors.

“Sunny Cove microarchitecture, built on a 10nm process, will be the basis for Intel’s next-generation Core and Xeon processors later next year according to the company,” Rossignol reports, “making them appropriate for potential 2019 models of the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, and Mac mini.”

“Intel also unveiled new Gen11 integrated graphics with up to double the performance of its Gen9 graphics paired with Skylake-based processors,” Rossignol reports. “Gen11 graphics will support 4K video streams and 8K content creation in constrained power situations and feature Intel’s Adaptive Sync technology for smoother gaming.”

“It is believed that Sunny Cove processors paired with Gen11 graphics will be called Ice Lake, which succeeds Coffee Lake, Whiskey Lake, Amber Lake, and Cannon Lake,” Rossignol reports. “Intel reaffirmed its plan to introduce a discrete graphics processor by 2020.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: At Intel’s recent Architecture Day, Raja Koduri, Intel’s senior vice president of Core and Visual Computing, outlined a strategic shift for the company’s design and engineering model. This shift combines a series of foundational building blocks that leverage a world-class portfolio of technologies and intellectual property (IP) within the company.

This approach will be anchored across six strategic pillars:

• Process: Access to leadership process technology remains essential to building leadership products. Advanced packaging solutions will enable Intel to continue exponential scaling in computing density by extending transistor density to the third dimension.

• Architecture: The future is a diverse mix of scalar, vector, matrix and spatial architectures deployed in CPU, GPU, accelerator and FPGA sockets, enabled by a scalable software stack, integrated into systems by advanced packaging technology.

• Memory: High-capacity, high-speed storage is crucial for next-generation computing workloads. Intel is uniquely positioned to combine in-package memory and Intel® Optane™ technology to fill gaps in the memory hierarchy to provide bandwidth closer to the silicon die.

• Interconnect: Communication scales from wireless connections for 5G infrastructure to silicon-level package and die interconnects. Only by offering a complete range of leading interconnect products enables the heterogeneous computing landscape at scale.

• Security: With the emergence of new threats, Intel has all the components to build a “better together” security strategy. Intel is uniquely positioned to deliver security technologies that help improve the end-to-end and to make security advancements a key differentiator.

• Software: For every order of magnitude performance potential of a new hardware architecture there are two orders of magnitude performance enabled by software. A common set of tools that can address Intel silicon for developers is critical to exponential scaling.

Q&A with Raja Koduri on Intel’s new strategy for design and engineering here.

Source: Intel

22 Comments

    1. The reality is that Intel tried to do too much at one node change and it bit them very, very badly.

      Intel has great luck in the transitions across the last three or four process node transitions. They went more smoothly for Intel than any other fab.

      So what did Intel do? It became way over confident. It decided that for the move to 10 nm (which is roughly equivalent to everyone else’s 7 nm) Intel decided to include several new methods and implementations and capabilities in this transition. Trying to do all at once was an unmitigated disaster.

      So Intel has fallen back, dropped some of the original requirements for the transition to 10 nm and is currently shipping a few 10 nm chip with the full transition to be done late 2019 and early 2020.

      I don’t expect Intel to make such a huge mistake again any time soon.

    1. Absolutely “Wrong Again”.

      Intel has REPEATEDLY offered upgraded chips over the last few years that Apple has not utilized at all or utilized six months (and in a few cases a year or more) AFTER Intel has started shipping those chips in quantity.

      The old myth that Intel has been constraining what Apple can do with Macs is just that: a myth.

      1. In recent years many of those chips expecially those that were hastily constructed stop gaps for the delayed planned ones gave only marginal improvements ove the immediate previous generation. I don’t agree with Apple taking so long to utilise them true but in reality it’s hardly made anything real difference other than on a psychological level ie its the perception of its users that’s damaged and the company could do with less of that thanks. But beyond that Intel’s inibility to progress their technology in timely fashion for years now has held back Apple as it has other makers. Trouble is Apple lives by its only timelines and has become sadly less nimble over time, it loves control and in that context it has certainly been affected more than most.

      2. “The old myth that Intel has been constraining what Apple can do with Macs is just that: a myth.”

        For far too long. When was the last time the Mac Pro was updated?

        Nuff said…

      3. Oh, can you point me to where I can buy 10nm Cannon Lake chips then? 10nm Cannon Lake was SUPPOSED to ship in 2016, is not currently shipping and was last slated for… late 2019. (a-but I’m sure you’ve got a cache of them, right?) Which likely means 2020, which means volume production in late 2020 and ready for incorporation into Macs by 2021… Now, very likely NEVER to ship as we’re now supposed to expect that they will ship Sunny Cove in 2019.

        What will happen? The same as always, Intel will focus on their money makers, cheap i3’s and i5’s and high end Xeon and will let the low power/high performance chips slide again and again.

        Cannon Lake, Sunny Cove and any other CPU they have will be appropriate for Macs when they are shipping in quantity and not a day before.

  1. Whatever Apple uses it’s going to look extremely second rate compared to AMD’s line up next year.

    I’m going to bag myself either the 48 core Threadripper or the 64 core version $1350 and $1700 respectively according to a leak.

    Even the Budget Ryzens 16 core/32 thread chips are $500 priced competitively and even if these prices are way out by 50% the chips are still better value than anything on Intel’s books.

    The Mac Pro is going to be dead in the water compared to a Threadripper Workstation.

    1. I believe you are right. The 2019 Mac Pro will be in an overpriced & undesirable form factor and it’s specs laughable compared to what’s available in a PC Workstation. And I have prepared for that contingency but still can afford to wait to see what Apple hath wrought.

      1. That is 100% on Apple.

        It’s possible that Apple could ship a Mac Pro based upon 2017 Xeon chips and technologies and charge $15,000 for it. It’s also possible Apple could ship a Mac Pro with cutting edge technologies, but this latter possibility is extremely unlikely given Apple’s Mac releases over the past three to five years.

    2. Threadripper is only better than Intel chips in a few unique circumstances. If those circumstances apply to you, then great for you. Go build a system for yourself based upon Threadripper.

      However, to state that a Mac Pro will be “dead in the water” based upon the performance of an Intel Xeon compared to an AMD Threadripper is just not fact. For the vast majority of users the Intel solution will be better. Go look at independent test sites that compare the current Xeons to the current Threadripper chips — don’t just look at the synthetic benchmarks.

      1. LOL, good try but Intel’s Xeon line is going to get thrashed next year.

        The vast majority of users aren’t a fanboy like you and are quite able to make a decision on real world benchmarks. I’m a 3D artist and various forums I frequent are chomping at the bit for the 7nm Threadrippers which are both high clocked than Intel’s Xeon and have as many as 64 cores. They are going to transform 3D graphics especially workstation level particle and physics sims which means freelancers are going to be lapping them up.

        Apple are completely constrained by Intel’s lacklustre CPU offerings, the Mac Pro will come in a small attractive package and thermally throttle whatever CPU is inside. An 18 Core Xeon is £2500 in the UK compare to the anticipated price of a 48 core TR at $1350!!

        Dead.in.the.water…

        What can Apple offer other than lacklustre Intel CPUs + lacklustre AMD GPUs? Nothing.

        I’m sure fat Phil will mince around the stage proclaiming innovation but there’s no creative professional I know bothered about the Mac Pro or who hasn’t already switched to the PC. It wouldn’t surprise me if Apple cancelled the Mac Pro or it didn’t even arrive until 2020.

        Apple have blown it by believing their own hype and charging ridiculous prices. Pros are not stupid we discovered the grass was actually greener.

  2. No no no! Current processors for the Mac line is not Apple’s way. Years worth of seasoning must’ve also occurred. The older chips are still treated though as “yesterday’s technology at tomorrow’s prices, today!” as far as Apple is concerned.

    1. It’s beancounters and fear. Back in the late 90s and 2000s, Apple was not run by production and finance guys. The guy in charge wanted to be out front in offerings even if there was a chance of being too far out there. (Remember the G4 retrench?)

      Today, Apple is extremely cautious in what technology it presents — almost everyone except Apple’s senior management will say that Apple is overly cautious. This results in Apple shipping technologies that are as much as three to four years behind the leading edge. Even Apples Ax, Tx, and Wx chips are becoming evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

    2. Yeah, gone are the days where Apple would announce shipping a processor like the Intel Core i5-8210Y in something like a MacBook Air before the processor is even listed on Intel’s website.

      /s

  3. So “Interconnect” is a major piece of the plan going forward? Then why…
    No mention of PCIe 4.0
    No mention of Thunderbolt (where’s the 80 – 100 Gbps TB4?)

    I know “5G” is the new “in” thing, but there are other core technologies that are as critical to PCs and workstations — significantly more so than 5G.

  4. “Intel also unveiled new Gen11 integrated graphics with up to double the performance of its Gen9 graphics paired with Skylake-based processors…”

    Isn’t it great when you can get away with making a performance comparison to a couple of generations back?! Twice as fast as compared to a few years ago.

    Using that logic, I am still many times faster than when I was crawling at 8 months old.

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