Intel’s first 10nm CPU is a twin-core i3 destined for a mid-range Lenovo

Wake us up when things get more interesting than a 2.2GHz 4MB cache laptop chip, please


Intel’s revealed the existence of a real, actual, coming-to-a-PC-near-you-real-soon-now, CPU built with a ten-nanometre manufacturing process.

The Core i3-8121U Processor popped up on Intel’s ARK database of its products in the last day or so.

Intel’s years late delivering 10nm silicon, having foreshadowed its arrival years back and in April 2018 admitting that it’ll be later still in delivering such CPUs in numbers. But at least it now has something concrete to show for its efforts and angst.

Although not something dazzling.

The 8121U is a 15-watt, two-core affair for mobile devices. It will spend most its time at 2.20 GHz but burst to 3.20 GHz when called upon to do so by Intel’s Turbo Boost technology.

There’s 4MB of cache, 41.6 GB/s of memory bandwidth (about 20 per cent better than its predecessor) and support for up to32G of DDR4-2400 or LPDDR4/x-2400 memory.

Up to 16 PCI 3.0 Express lanes are on offer in the chip, which uses the 8th-gen architecture Intel used to call Cannon Lake but seemingly doesn’t include Intel’s own graphics.

The CPU was noticed in the specs for a new Lenovo Ideapad 330 on a Chinese e-commerce site. Lenovo bills the Ideapad range as “affordable, thin and light laptops … highly reliable for on-the-go productivity.”

Which places the 10nm Core i3-8121U a fair way from the bleeding edge.

Intel probably won’t mind that, because it at least has product in the market. Albeit product that for now appears confined to one device and which doesn’t show off any particular advantage to the 10nm manufacturing process. ®

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