Intel’s ‘3D’ Lakefield chips arrive for foldables and ultrathin laptops

Intel is officially launching its Lakefield processors today, its first chips to combine its Core i3 and i5 hardware together with low-power “Tremont” Atom cores. Officially, they’re called “Intel Core processors with hybrid technology.” The company is positioning Lakefield as the ideal hardware for incredibly thin laptops, like the revamped Samsung Galaxy Book S, as well as foldables like the ThinkPad X1 Fold and dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo.

The hybrid core setup works by combining a more powerful Core-class Sunny Cove core (the same 10nm architecture the 10th Gen Ice Lake chips are based on) with four low-power Atom-class Tremont cores (for a total of five cores and five threads) on a single die. That arrangement allows for a balance of power, efficiency, and battery life that a purely Core or purely Atom setup could achieve.

The Lakefield chipsets are broken up into three layers. Two are logic dies, which contain the five CPU cores, Intel’s integrated UHD Graphics GPU, and the various I/O elements needed for a computer to work. The third bundles in DRAM, which helps further cut down on space. All told, Intel says that the new Lakefield chips take up to “56 percent smaller package area for up to 47 smaller board size” compared to an Intel Core i7-8500Y processor.

To start, Intel is debuting two 7W Lakefield chips: the Core i5-L16G7 and the Core i3-L13G4. And since they share an architecture with Intel’s latest 10th Gen Ice Lake chips, both of the new chipsets also benefit from common features, like Intel’s Gen11 integrated graphics and support for Wi-Fi 6. The Core i5-L16G7 is obviously clocked faster, with a 1.4GHz base frequency, 3.0GHz single-core turbo boost speed, and 1.8GHz all-core frequency. The Core i3-L13G4 has a base frequency of 0.8GHz, a 2.8GHz single-core turbo boost speed, and 1.3GHz all-core frequency.

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