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Intel has officially confirmed the development of 8-core Tiger Lake-H CPUs, built on 10nm SuperFin process

Intel’s Corporate Vice President of Client Computing Group ‘Boyd Phelps’ just posted a blog post on Medium in which he confirms Intel’s development of 8-core Tiger Lake-H CPU lineup for the year 2021, which are based on the Willow Cove core design.

The Tiger Lake-H CPUs are high-end mobile processors, expected to debut next year. These H-series Core i9 and i7 models will come in 35-45 Watts TDP flavors. ASRock manufacturer already has Intel Tiger Lake-powered NUC 1100-series motherboards in the works, so the Tiger Lake series might also land up in Desktop PCs as well.

Boyd confirmed that the 8-core Tiger Lake CPUs would also have access to 24 MB of LLC cache, stating “We also added a 3MB non-inclusive last-level-cache (LLC) per core slice. A single core workload has access to 12MB of LLC in the 4-core die or up to 24MB in the 8-core die configuration (more detail on 8-core products at a later date).”  

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Intel has already claimed before that the current four-core Tiger Lake-U models, based on the 10nm SuperFin Process, having Willow Cove Cores and Iris XE graphics, can beat AMD’s eight-core Renoir chips in some applications and use cases. If Intel’s projections for its quad-core models are accurate, then these eight-core Tiger Lake SKUs could prove to be very competitive against AMD’s existing Ryzen Mobile ‘Renoir’ lineup, possibly even taking the lead in some of the threaded applications. This remains to be seen though. The Willow Cove core has a mid-level cache of 1.25M. There is also a 3MB cache for each core slice.

The 35W TGL-H models will feature up to 4 cores and 96 GPU Executions Units/EUs, whereas the 45W variants will come in 4, 6 and 8-core configurations. However, since the additional space taken up by the CPU cores is unavailable for other GPU resources, the 45 Watt models will top out at 32 Intel Xe EUs, and will use the BGA1787 socket. The 35 W variants, on the other hand, will use the same socket as Tiger Lake-U, which is BGA 1449. The socket type and CPU configuration for Tiger Lake-H processors was confirmed by Sharkbay over at the PTT Shopping forums.

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We expect the Tiger Lake H lineup to compete directly with AMD’s Cezanne Ryzen 5000H series of processors. Intel’s current 10th gen lineup of 10nm Ice Lake processors addresses the iGPU gaming market. But these Ice Lake Models were having low clock frequencies and poor yields, which limited the performance and the overall core count, maxing out at quad-core chips for laptops.

But with Intel’s new 10nm SuperFin process the clock speed issues have been corrected, and we can see up to 700 MHz increase in both the base and boost frequencies. The production of eight core models also implies that the defect rates are lower, and yields are going to be up.

Coming to some of the technical specs, with the advent of the 10nm SuperFin technology, Intel has added a new high-performance 60 poly pitch transistor to the process that increases drive current with an improved gate process, enabling higher electron mobility while also lowering the source/drain resistance. The new transistor was used in the Willow Cove core, the high-speed coherent fabric, and throughout the memory subsystem. Additionally, the High VT devices were optimized for better leakage, performance and variation, and used in non-high frequency, leakage-sensitive critical IPs.

Intel has also enhanced the performance of MIM-CAP by a staggering five times on Tiger Lake, providing better high current, Di/Dt mitigation, and power rail control for high-performance workloads (Super MIM Capacitor). The new Willow Cove CPU core design also added several new security features to protect it against return-oriented and indirect jump target malicious code.

Intel has carefully redesigned the fundamental circuits to take advantage of the 10nm SuperFin process enhancements. In the end, Intel delivered performance improvement by dramatically lowering the voltage at which Willow Cove achieves its operating frequencies, compared to Sunny Cove and thus extending the frequency range. Hence, expect massive gains in ST power unconstrained performance and TDP-limited performance. ?The new Xe-LP architecture also increases the execution unit (EU) count from 64 to 96 and delivers an architectural improvement in Cdyn of 30–40%. The Tiger Lake processors are also more power efficient, and this will help increase the battery life of the Laptop.

The TGL-H CPU lineup currently supports LP4–4267 and DDR4–3200 memory, but will also support LP5–5400 as it emerges in client platforms in 2021. These processors will also support up to 8K display resolution or multiple 4K displays in low mobile form factor. Intel has added numerous image quality improvements as well as hardware-accelerated support for temporal de-noising and especially for new sensor technologies significantly improving support of HDR sensors and quality. Tiger Lake will launch with initial product support of 4K30 video and 27 megapixels still image,? with the architectural capability to scale in the future to as high as 4K90 and 42 megapixels.

The Tiger lake PCH also integrates the 4th generation converged security and manageability engine (CSME) that improves its crypto algorithms (SHA-384/512, RSA 3K/4K, ECC) to increase resistance to security attacks. It also implements special hardware circuitry that provides more resistance to power and electromagnetic side-channel monitoring. And it introduces control execution technology (CET) to the security processor to help protect against legitimate code misuse through control-flow hijacking attacks.

Stay tuned for more!