If you’re having a tough time following Intel’s new array of code names, don’t worry, you are not alone. The split between mainstream and U-series and Y-series has us all confused. There’s a Whiskey Lake, and Amber Lake, and at some point in the future a Tiger Lake. Comet Lake, believed to be a future desktop CPU (still on 14nm), looks like it is coming down into that 15W power envelope later this year in Q4.

In our discussions on the Computex show floor with a partner, they identified that upcoming mini-PC products that have previously been built on U-series processors will soon be updated to Comet Lake. Intel’s partner stated that they would be updating the product line with the new CPUs in November, however retail of those machines might not occur until a little bit later.

We did explicitly clarify with the partner that they were specifically talking about Comet Lake, and in the ~15W envelope, just in case we didn't hear correctly. They concurred.

This is an interesting development, because this means that Intel is likely to have two different U-series CPU lines in the market at the same time: the Ice Lake 9W-28W parts announced last week, presumably for the premium and high-end designs, and Comet Lake at 15W for the more budget oriented platforms. Given the rumors regarding Intel’s 10nm yields, and the known issues around the supply of Intel’s 14nm, this could be a way of bridging the gap between the high-cost and low-cost systems.

It will be interesting to see when Intel wants to talk about Comet Lake, either in a 15W form factor or something a little bit bigger. Just don’t ask what version of 14nm it is made on. Just for kicks, it might be called '10th Gen' too.

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  • goatfajitas - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    I love a bit of well placed dark sarcasm in the morning. +1
  • Santoval - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    Intel's 10nm+ yields are rumored to be atrocious, with very low and through the roof thermals. I wonder what exactly they fixed over their original 10nm node (i.e. the node of Cannon Lake, which apparently was so bad they had to ditch both the node and the CPU series), supposedly with the help of ASML.
  • Santoval - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    edit : "very low *clocks*"
  • DanNeely - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    The latest rumor mongering from Charlie at Semi-Accurate is that of the 4 planned 10 nm fabs (old 32/22nm fabs), two have gotten 7nm tooling, and a third 14 nm tools. That leaves their theoretical 10nm capacity at 25% of what was originally planned; and more or less locks it in as a low volume node.
  • Achaios - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link


    At this point, even Intel don't remember what's the correct gen number for this iteration of 14nm.
  • hMunster - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    So how will 15W 10nm Ice Lake compare to 15W 14nm Comet Lake? Will 1st gen 10nm Ice Lake win on everything but price?
  • Santoval - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    Based on the CPU performance comparison between Ice Lake-U and Whiskey Lake-U Comet Lake-U will have higher CPU performance than Ice Lake-U (or, at best, exactly the same performance) while Ice Lake-U CPUs with 48-core and 64-core (but *not* with 32-core) iGPUs will have higher iGPU performance.
    Ice Lake-U will also have higher encoding performance, which is useful for those who like to encode in hardware, but no word yet about AV1 decoding, which might have to wait for Tiger Lake.
  • ikjadoon - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    Ice Lake (read: Sunny Cove) does not have hardware support for AV1.


    2019 is not the year to splurge on a high-end Ultrabook (soldered draft WiFi 6 chipsets like the AX200, soldered CPUs without hardware AV1 support, and middling single-core performance changes).
  • shabby - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    Intel: yes
  • qhd - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    I would love an article that lists and gives a short summary of each Intel CPU that has the word Lake in it. I'm pretty confused.

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