Coffee Lake with Iris Plus at 28W

Intel recently announced its ‘Intel Core with Radeon RX Vega’ processor line, featuring a H-series processor combined with an AMD graphics chip and a sizeable amount of high-speed HBM2 memory connected via Intel’s proprietary EMIB technology. These parts are designed to service the high-end for integrated graphics, going above and beyond any other integrated graphics solution in the past. That used to be a post held by Intel’s processors that used eDRAM, using the Iris, Iris Pro, and Iris Plus branding. Now the Iris line sits in the middle, acting as Intel’s graphics focused products in the mid-power range.

For the launch today, Intel is lifting the lid on four separate Iris Plus-based processors. These all use the Coffee Lake microarchitecture and are built on Intel’s 14++ process. All four of these processors are in Intel’s ‘GT3e’ graphics configuration, which uses Intel’s Gen 9.5 graphics with 48 execution units (EUs) and 128 MB of eDRAM. This is compared to the GT2 configurations seen on most other processors, that have 24 EUs and zero eDRAM.

AnandTech Cores Base
Freq
Turbo
Freq
L3 vPro DRAM
DDR4
iGPU
EUs
iGPU
Freq
Core i7-8559U $431 4 / 8 2.7 4.5 8 MB No 2400 48 EUs 300 / 1200
Core i5-8269U $320 4 / 8 2.6 4.2 6 MB No 2400 48 EUs 300 / 1100
Core-i5-8259U $320 4 / 8 2.3 3.8 6 MB No 2400 48 EUs 300 / 1050
Core i3-8109U $304 2 / 4 3.0 3.6 4 MB No 2400 47 EUs 300 / 1000

Intel has split these new CPUs up into a single Core i7-8559U, which is a quad-core processor with the most L3 cache, two Core i5 parts that are also quad-core but have reduced L3 cache, and a Core i3-8109U processor that is dual core, but with the same amount of L3 cache per core as the Core i7-8559U.

In Intel’s manufacturing parlance, this means that the Core i7 and Core i5 are all ‘4+3e’ units, meaning four cores and GT3 graphics with eDRAM. By contrast, the Core i3 is a ‘2+3e’ processor, with only two cores but the same GT3e graphics with eDRAM as the i7/i5. Based on the design of these processors, the Core i3 sits as the lower binned part: it is manufactured as a 4+3e design, but due to processor defects is only suitable to run two cores. As with most of the other mobile processors, the higher performance parts often get the highest frequency graphics as well. In this case, the Core i7-8559U sits at the top at 1200 MHz.

For the eDRAM, in previous generations Intel has moved from going all parts at 128 MB to having some move down to 64 MB, but now moves back up to all of them having 128 MB again. For the eDRAM implementation, Intel is still using their second generation eDRAM implementation whereby the eDRAM acts as a L4 buffer for supplying the L3 from DRAM through the System Agent – this is compared to the first generation where the eDRAM was a victim cache. This methodology allows the eDRAM to speed up more use cases than just graphics, and the 50 GBps bidirectional bandwidth is certainly a big leap over main DRAM bandwidth (that some OEMs run in single channel mode anyway). Iris Plus processors can also be equipped with discrete graphics, although this is up to the OEM.

The 28W Iris Plus processors will match the other mobile counterparts on chipset, and support the new features such as integrated Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi and native USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) support. We do not know to what extent these are supported, and are waiting on more information. The Iris Pro parts will also support Optane-accelerated storage.

High-Performance Mobile: Core i9 and Xeon E at 45W High-Performance Desktop: 65W to 35W Coffee Lake CPUs
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  • serendip - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    I was a Macbook and Powerbook user around the time of the PowerPC/x86 transition. Apple handled it well by having the Rosetta translation library; the Intel Core Duo chips back then had enough grunt to handle translated code at a decent speed too. It took a few years before big programs like Photoshop had native Mac Intel ports.

    An ARM Macbook with 20 hour battery life and Intel-equivalent performance would be a big seller provided code translation works well and popular apps have native ARM versions. Most Macbooks are used for Web and app development so it won't be hard to recompile code for ARM. I'd say Apple could do this better than the half-baked efforts by Windows OEMs to make Qualcomm PCs.
    Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - link

    Are we talking low end Apollo Lake or high end Coffee Lake equivalent performance. The former isn't going to have compelling performance in anything beyond (perhaps) Web Apps. The later is a pipe dream. I don't much care for Intel as a company, but do you seriously believe they are so incompetent at designing processors that a company with only 8 year experience designing processors (Apple) is going to double battery life (Macbook) with the same performance while using translation? Catching up to Intel, while not easy, is doable. After all, many of the things Intel did to get to their current performance are now known quantities. Very suddenly passing Intel up doesn't seem plausible as that would require Apple to have design expertise Intel doesn't have. Very suddenly passing them up by such a wide margin ... well I hope it happens as it would spur on competition. However, hope is not in fact a strategy, so I'm not counting on it. More realistically, they could take the AMD approach of offering more cores and trading off single threaded performance for mult-ithreaded performance. That may make it compelling for some use cases. Reply
  • serendip - Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - link

    20 hours based on the Qualcomm PCs which a few vendors have demoed. An Apple ARM chip could achieve similar battery life with similar x86 translation performance. If Qualcomm can do it, I would bet that Apple can too, especially as they control both hardware and software on their devices. Reply
  • fteoath64 - Thursday, April 05, 2018 - link

    Not only this. Apple can add special "sauce" in TensorCore chips into the mix and moe specialised co-processors within the Arm CCN that Intel cannot really match. There is much to innovate in that space where Intel just went into "brute force" speed and power-savings just to market their chips over the last few generations. Apple's GPU expertise is also coming to speed so there is much hope there.... Reply
  • HStewart - Saturday, April 07, 2018 - link

    Using AMD for CPU is non-sense - it obvious that Intel has lead on AMD especially in the Mobile CPU and Apple has pretty much abandon the desktop area. Only with iMac Pro with monitor based iMac's are basically now mobile cpu because of size and power. Reply
  • HStewart - Saturday, April 07, 2018 - link

    "It took a few years before big programs like Photoshop had native Mac Intel ports."

    Wrong... Photoshop originally was created on Mac and later ported to Windows.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Photoshop#Earl...

    ARM MacBook would have many challenges - it would also have to be able to run Windows programs and more importantly able to recompile applications for OS on the same machine.

    Apple has rumors of attempting an ARM based Mac - but so far ARM is using in display controllers for 5K screens and in iOS products. Apples wants people to believe that iPad Pro's are PC replacements - but they no more that glorified iPad's. The new iPad is good example of this and has same Apple Pencil and probably faster that original iPad Pro.
    Reply
  • serendip - Sunday, April 08, 2018 - link

    I remember using Photoshop on the first Intel Macbook in 2006, it was translated from PowerPC code using Rosetta. This was in OS X, not Windows. The OS X Intel (Universal) port arrived two years later. The translated version was surprisingly bearable to use on a Macbook even when compared to the PowerPC native port running on a top-spec G4 Powerbook.

    Rosetta saved the translated code so it wouldn't be so slow on subsequent running. Apple could do the same thing to get OS X Intel code working on an ARM Macbook, just like what Qualcomm and Microsoft are doing on Windows Snapdragon PCs.

    As for coding, Xcode has iOS ARM targets so adding a MacOS ARM variant shouldn't be difficult. I'm not sure about Windows on ARM Macbooks though. Apple might be willing to drive away that user segment because it's so small and niche.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    "A non Intel based Mac will never replace high end mac"

    again. they've been on 3 processors so far.
    Reply
  • HStewart - Saturday, April 07, 2018 - link

    I believe Apple makes it's announcements in June They would be foolish not to release the 6 core mobile MacBook Pro update - they would not wanted to compete with new Windows notebooks using 6 cores.

    On the Apple move for own CPU, I think it only going release in low end Mac line if so - possible in the iOS line. Apple has always blindly want people to believe iPad Pro are desktop replacements - but until those devices can actually successfully run the Mac development tools that allow developers to create iOS applications, Apple is dream - in any ask espected processing power is expected to be very limited.

    Another big concern that Mac line has to live with Windows compatibily - Mac are good for limited purpose - which Apple has been very good at - primary in schools - but also in graphics industry but that is no longer the case. There are other options - especially in schools.
    Reply
  • Tyler_Durden_83 - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    Which sku do you think will power the next nucs (the normal ones, not the gaming oriented hades canyon ofc). Reply

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