Intel fights back with power-sipping Lakefield chip for weird new PCs

CNET | 8/20/2019 | Stephen Shankland
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Intel chip engineer Wilfred Gomes holds a prototype of the company's Lakefield processor for ultrathin laptops at the Hot Chips conference.

Intel is stealing a page from the mobile industry's playbook, developing a new processor code-named Lakefield that breaks new ground when it comes to squeezing significant performance into a tiny package.

Lakefield - Intel - Technology - Foveros - Company

Lakefield uses a new Intel technology called Foveros that lets the company stack different chip parts onto different layers. That lets Intel build a chip that's getting closer to the size of those in smartphones -- 12x12mm for Lakefield. That area of 144 square millimeters is larger than Apple's A12 processor at 83 square millimeters, but it's small enough to permit significantly smaller circuit boards -- in part because since it includes its own memory that no longer takes up separate space.

"The board area of Lakefield is less than half of other boards we have done," said Wilfred Gomes, a senior principal engineer at Intel who spoke at the Hot Chips conference Tuesday on the Stanford University Campus.

Size - Lakefield - Feature - Battery - Life

Small size is swell, but you'll definitely interested in another Lakefield feature: all-day battery life enabled by much lower power usage when a device is waiting on standby. That's one of the key features Intel rival Qualcomm is touting for its effort to bring its mobile chips to the PC market, too.

"I see Lakefield as Intel's answer to Qualcomm's...all-day PCs," said Insight64 analyst Nathan Brookwood.

Intel - Lakefield - Processor - Varieties - PCs

Intel expects its Lakefield processor will enable new varieties of PCs.

Intel has struggled in recent years as the chip industry smartphones became the premium market that attracted top engineers, the latest manufacturing processes and the fastest growth. Intel's years-long effort to power smartphones flopped. In addition, it's had difficulty advancing to new manufacturing technologies that shrink chips two smaller sizes and let designers add new features.

Lakefield

Lakefield represents a new...
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