Intel has quietly added two new inexpensive processors into its Comet Lake-U lineup. The Pentium Gold 6405U and Celeron 5205U CPUs will be used for entry-level thin-and-light laptops that need one of the latest-generation processors, but are not designed for performance-demanding workloads.

Intel’s Pentium Gold 6405U and Celeron 5205U are dual-core processors that run at 2.4 GHz and 1.9 GHz, respectively. Both CPUs have TDPs of 15 Watts – the same as the rest of the Comet Lake-U family – and include 2 MB of L3 cache, Intel UHD Graphics, a dual-channel DDR4/LPDDR3 memory controller, and feature 12 PCIe 2.0 lanes for expansion. Both SKUs are considerably cheaper than the rest models in the Comet Lake series (which start at $281): the Pentium Gold 6405U processor carries a $161 recommended customer price, whereas the Celeron 5205U costs $107 when purchased in 1000-units quantities.

Intel Comet Lake-U SKUs
AnandTech Cores
Base GHz 1C Turbo
AC Turbo
i7-10710U 6C/12T 1.1 4.7 3.9 12 MB 15W 620 1150 2666 2933 $443
i7-10510U 4C/8T 1.8 4.9 4.3 8 MB 15W 620 1150 2666 2933 $409
i5-10210U 4C/8T 1.6 4.2 3.9 6 MB 15W 620 1100 2666 2933 $297
i3-10110U 2C/4T 2.1 4.1 3.7 4 MB 15W 620 1000 2666 2933 $281
Pentium 6405U 2C/4T 2.4 - - 2 MB 15W 610? 950 2400 ? $161
Celeron 5205U 2C/2C 1.9 - - 2 MB 15W 610? 900 2400 ? $107

Up until now, Intel’s Comet Lake-U family included only four CPUs, three of which were aimed at premium laptops. The addition of considerably cheaper processors allows Intel to address more market segments with its Comet Lake products by equipping its partners to build cheaper systems using the latest motherboard designs.

Otherwise, as is almost always the case for low-end Core SKUs, these are presumably salvage chips from Intel's operations. The new Pentium and Celeron chips are clocked lower than the Core i3-10110U, allowing Intel to put to work silicon that otherwise wouldn't have been usable as a Core i3. Which for Intel is particularly important at a time where demand for inexpensive U-series mobile CPUs is running high, helping the company please its partners who have suffered from tight supply of Intel’s 14 nm processors in the recent quarters.

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Source: Intel ARK (via SH SOTN)

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  • yeeeeman - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    I highly doubt that after 5 years of 14 nm experience they still have lots of defective chips that can go into this lineup.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    If the volume of duds is low so will availability of these; but when you're making something by the million even a few percentage is enough to be worth selling.

    Also these probably are less duds in the sense of being faulty, than duds as in being the dies that need the most power for a given frequency target; and thus are just the bottom X percent of the yield curve.
  • Kevin G - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    Regardless of process being used or manufacturer, there will always be defective chips due to flaws in the initial silicon wafer.

    The other side is that while these are binned parts, the disabled portions may in fact be fully functional. The reason for their binning could be that they don't conform into the power profiles set by Intel's spec for power consumption. For the mobile world, being off a little by at say 18W vs 15W does matter. Ditto for chips that are fully functional but don't reach as high of clock speeds to adhere to the greater spec.

    In reality, there are likely very few dies outside wafer defects that are not being sold after 5 years of 14 nm experience.
  • drexnx - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    probably a high proportion are fully functional with features fused off for segmentation purposes
  • nico_mach - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    I wonder if people ever check and perhaps Intel just does this in software somehow. Because that's a lot cheaper, and people buying these machines are probably not that curious, and then the rest of the hardware probably can't run the 'real' chip anyway.
  • 29a - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    I imagine the various surface mount components on the bottom control what features are functional.
  • Kevin G - Saturday, November 2, 2019 - link

    At one point, it was indeed software drive locks. Intel experimented with the ability to unlock features via licensing.

    It would be interesting to be able to unlock certain features (ECC, VT-d, clock multiplier) or disable various artificial market segmentation restrictions (Socket 1151 Xeon E's on standard Z390 motherboard etc.).
  • name99 - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    This claim that weaker chips are "salvaged chips" is nonsense that's still propagated because a certain type of person (Intel or AMD, or even QC, fan) is unwilling to accept the reality that companies may in fact want to sell different products at different prices. It seems to be psychologically damaging to them to believe that Intel want to charge them more for 8 fast cores than 2 slow cores, so we get this salvage nonsense as a defense mechanism.

    It's interesting to note that a company like Apple, that produces a run of maybe 350 million A9s seems to have very little need to bin them, to deal with salvaged parts, or to otherwise play these sorts of games. It's almost as though, once you design the chip, modern manufacturing is good enough to ensure that practically every chip meets those specs within a narrow band...

    (I am sure that Intel DOES look for golden chips that it can sell at much higher prices -- design for 4.5GHz, and upsell anything that substantially exceeds this. But that's very different from claiming that there's a huge pool of chips that only reach 3GHz, or for which only 2 of 6 cores are working, or whatever; and that this pool of chips is being downsold.)
  • 29a - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    Apple is a different kind of company they don't make their own chips they just design them.
  • Spunjji - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    Your lack of knowledge about how this works is matched only by your confidence that you understand something you transparently do not.

    Apple's chips are smaller and they charge high margins for their vertically-integrated products.

    Intel do indeed sell CPUs for however much they feel like, but when they introduce a new product lower down a range based on the same die then it will indeed be using binned parts. There's no shame in it and no need to get weirdly defensive and deny the whole process / start attacking straw men.

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