Intel Shows Its Tiger Lake CPU Die, Details What’s New & What’s The Same on It’s 11th Gen Mobility Lineup

Hassan Mujtaba

Intel is giving us slightly more information and a first look at its next-generation Tiger Lake mobile CPU this week at HotChips 32. The company already presented its Tiger Lake processor last week with a very high-level overview of the 11th Generation mobility lineup which you can check out over here.

Intel Shows off 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPU Dies, Gives Us A Detailed Look at Everything New With Its Next-Gen Mobility Processors

The Intel Tiger Lake CPUs are based on the 10nm++ process node and feature the company's latest Willow Cove cores. The Willow Cove core architecture is based on the same foundations as the last generation Sunny Cove architecture. It can be seen as a refinement of Sunny Cove in all of the ways possible but at the same time, Willow Cove cores also feature a redesigned chip hierarchy for faster performance throughput.

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The 10nm++ process node is being termed by Intel as the 10nm SuperFin transistor design. Intel itself claims that the SuperFin process delivers the same uplift in performance as a proper node shrink. Intel stated that it had achieved around 17-18% performance uplift over the standard 10nm process node featured on 10th Generation Ice Lake chips while delivering much faster frequencies. You can read our full article detailing the Intel SUPERFin transistor technology over here.

Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPU Block Diagram

Coming to the newly unveiled details, Intel has presented both a block diagram and a die shot of its Tiger Lake CPUs. The block diagram mentions everything that is new over Ice Lake chips & also the parts which have been kept the same.

First, let's take a look at the similarities between Ice Lake and Tiger Lake CPUs. There are a few that include the DDR4 memory controller which supports 3200 MHz speeds with up to 64 GB capacities. Other controllers such as SGX, Fuse, JTAG, SVID, and OPIO are also similar to the ones used on the Ice Lake chips. The display USB Type-C controller also includes DP 1.4 which was also featured last gen.

Tiger Lake CPUs have only a few blocks that are kept similar to Ice Lake. The rest of the chip is all brand new and that can clearly be seen in the block diagram. The major new additions to Tiger Lake CPUs are the Willow Cove cores, Xe LP graphics, and media engine, 12 MB of L3 (last-level cache), a new display engine with support for 8K display (4 pipelines/ 64 GB/s read bandwidth), IPU6 with 6 camera sensors (video up to 4K90, initially at 4K30) and added support for LPDDR5 memory with speeds of up to 5400 MHz (32 GB capacities). The rest of the blocks have received major and minor upgrades over Ice Lake.


Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPU Die Shot With Annotations (Image Credits: @Locuza_):


The Intel Tiger Lake CPUs will use a dual-ring interconnect. The Tiger Lake-U CPU lineup is going to feature up to 4 Willow Cove cores and a Xe-LP integrated GPU engine with 96 EUs or 768 cores in total, running at a frequency of around 1300 MHz. The Tiger Lake CPUs themselves are expected to achieve short burst frequencies of up to 5 GHz which is impressive for its 10nm++ process node.

The 11th Generation Tiger Lake CPU Family - Built For Mobile Laptops & Gaming Notebooks

The Intel Tiger Lake CPUs will be termed as the 11th Generation Core family and would be kept exclusive to laptops and gaming notebooks. The lineup would come in three flavors which would include Tiger Lake-Y, Tiger Lake-U, and Tiger Lake-H. There have been several leaks for Tiger Lake-Y and Tiger Lake-U processors which are being internally tested by various OEMs and laptop vendors who would integrate the CPUs in their next-generation devices.

The Tiger Lake-U family would consist of 15-28W TDP CPUs and would feature 4 cores and 8 threads, albeit at much higher clock speeds with boost nearing 4.50 GHz. These CPUs would also feature GT2 tier, Gen 12 Xe GPUs, and would come in the UP3 (BGA 1499) package. Tiger Lake-U will be the first to hit notebooks on 2nd September as reported earlier.

The documents from the manufacturer mention LPDDR5 support for the said family whereas the rest of the lineup will use either LPDDR4(X) memory. We have seen laptops with LPDDR4 and LPDDR4X memory featured alongside the Tiger Lake-U CPUs so we can expect multiple configurations with few higher-end & the more expensive variants offering LPDDR5 support.

Intel Tiger Lake vs AMD Renoir Mobility CPU Comparisons:

CPU Family NameIntel Tiger Lake-UAMD Renoir U-Series
Family BrandingIntel 11th Gen Core (U-series)AMD Ryzen 4000 (U-Series)
Process Node10nm++7nm
CPU Core ArchitectureWillow CoveZen 2
CPU Cores/Threads (Max)4/88/16
Max CPU Clocks4.8 GHz (Core i7-1185G7)4.2 GHz (Ryzen 7 4800U)
GPU Core ArchitectureXe Graphics EngineVega Enhanced 7nm
Max GPU Cores96 EUs (768 cores)8 CUs (512 cores)
Max GPU Clocks1350 MHz1750 MHz
TDP (cTDP Down/Up)15W (12W-28W)15W (10W-25W)
LaunchMid 2020March 2020

The Intel Tiger Lake-Y family would consist of 4.5-9W TDP CPUs and would feature up to 4 cores and 8 threads. The GPU side would include a GT2 tier, Gen 12 Xe GPU. The Tiger Lake-Y processors will come in the UP4 (BGA 1598) package. The Tiger Lake-Y family would exclusively support LPDDR4X memory.

Then there's the high-performance Tiger Lake-H lineup that would consist of up to 8 core and 16 thread chips based on the new Willow Cove architecture. The CPUs would carry up to 34 MB of cache that's 24 MB L3 (3 MB L3 per core) and 10 MB L2 (1.25 MB per core). Tiger Lake CPUs will come with an asymmetrical 48/32 KB L1 cache and will fully support AVX2 & AVX-512 instructions. Tiger Lake-H CPUs would additionally feature Two-Level Memory (2LM) and SGX (Software Guard Extensions). Intel's Tiger Lake-H family would support DDR4 speeds up to 3200 MHz.

Intel Tiger Lake-H vs AMD Ryzen H-Series High-Performance CPU Comparisons:

CPU Family NameIntel Tiger Lake-HAMD Renoir H-SeriesAMD Cezanne-H Series
Family BrandingIntel 11th Gen Core (H-series)AMD Ryzen 4000 (H-Series)AMD Ryzen 5000 (H-Series)
Process Node10nm SuperFin7nm7nm+
CPU Core ArchitectureWillow CoveZen 2Zen 3
CPU Cores/Threads (Max)8/168/168/16
L2 Cache (Max)10 MB4 MB4 MB
L3 Cache (Max)24 MB8 MB16 MB
Max CPU Clocks5.0 GHz (Core i9-11980HK)4.3 GHz (Ryzen 9 4900HS)4.80 GHz (Ryzen 9 5980HX)
GPU Core ArchitectureXe Graphics EngineVega Enhanced 7nmVega Enhanced 7nm
Max GPU Cores96 EUs (768 cores)8 CUs (512 cores)8 CUs (512 cores)
Max GPU ClocksTBD1750 MHzTBD
TDP (cTDP Down/Up)35W-45W (65W cTDP)35W (45W cTDP)35W (45W cTDP)
LaunchQ1/Q2 2021Q2 2020Q1 2021

Intel also detailed that it's Tiger Lake mobile CPUs can scale all the way from 9W to 65W. We know that Intel is preparing Tiger Lake CPUs for at least three segments. These include Tiger Lake-Y, Tiger Lake-U, and Tiger Lake-H. The Tiger Lake-U CPUs will initially hit the market shelves in various OEM designs next month followed by Tiger Lake-Y later this year. The Tiger Lake-H lineup is planned for the first half of 2020 and is expected to feature TDPs ranging from 35W to 45/W65W (cTDP up). All Tiger Lake CPUs will support PCIe Gen 4, USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4 functionalities.

The 10nm Tiger Lake CPUs would tackle AMD's 7nm Zen 2 based Ryzen 4000 'Renoir' family when they are officially launched on the 2nd of September.

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