Intel has finally, to some degree, sorted out their 10nm CPU process and Ice Lake devices are slowly making their way into various marketing channels in the form of new Windows devices. For whatever reason, Chrome OS developers have made the decision to skip the first generation of 10nm chips in favor of Intel’s second iteration, Tiger Lake. This comes after the Cannon Lake family of processors was scrapped in much the same manner.
When announced, Intel’s Tiger Lake CPU series wasn’t slated for release until 2021 but thanks to the push for Ice Lake’s launch, the former is now rumored to be headed to market in early 2020. In the past, it could be months or longer before we saw a CPU this new landing on a Chromebook. Those days, thankfully, are no more.
At the beginning of August, the groundwork was put in place to begin supporting the newest chipset from Intel and now, it appears that the first Tiger Lake device has a name.
Initially cloned from the Comet Lake board ‘Hatch’, ‘Volteer’ has since been moved to the 10nm Ice Lake platform and more recently, to Tiger Lake. It is very likely that ‘Volteer’ will end up being a reference board or unibuild and not an actually retail device but it’s exciting seeing tech this new in the repositories. Tiger Lake is rumored to bring serious performance enhancements over the previous 14nm Skylake architecture with one of the biggest updates being a completely retooled graphics framework.
Intel’s Core CPUs have used the integrated HD and UHD graphics for, well, a long time. Tiger Lake will be the first Intel CPUs to feature the Xe graphics architecture. Intel has stated that the Xe graphics will deliver up to 4x better performance than the UHD graphics found in 8th gen Kaby Lake processors. For users of Linux on Chrome OS, this will be a huge step forward in the graphics performance department. For an in-depth list of what to expect from Tiger Lake, check out this very informative article from Digital Trends.
This is very exciting stuff, in my opinion. The day is rapidly approaching that we will see Windows and Chrome OS devices releases synchronously with comparable hardware and features. I imagine a day when you go to an OEMs site, pick your device and you OS with no discernible differences between the hardware of the two. Cool stuff.
Source: Chromium Repository