Intel has today officially expanded its selection of 10th Gen Core CPUs with eight new ‘Comet Lake’ processors that cater solely to the laptop market, falling into the company’s low-power U-Series and ultra-low-power Y-Series families.

If this feels like déjà vu, that’s because Intel already announced 11 10th Gen U- and Y-Series CPUs at the start of the month. The difference is that those CPUs are built on Intel’s 10nm Ice Lake platform with Sunny Cove CPU cores and Gen11 graphics cores including Iris Plus implementations, whereas today’s announcement covers 14nm+++ (YEP) Comet Lake processors featuring optimised Skylake CPU cores and (we think) the existing Gen9.5 graphics architecture restricted to UHD implementations only. Simple, eh? Onto the specs!

The standard Core i7/Core i5/Core i3 segmenting continues to be used. However, while Intel introduced a new naming scheme for the Ice Lake offerings, these Comet Lake ones revert to more familiar territory with -U and -Y suffixes. Because reasons.

Intel’s continued 14nm optimisations have now allowed it to produce six-core designs within a 15W power envelope; even the top-end 10nm Ice Lake U-Series CPU is limited to four cores (the focus there is greater IPC, improved graphics, and AI, among other things). 4.9GHz is also a record Turbo speed for this category of CPU. Meanwhile, the U-Series continues to cap out at four-core/eight-thread (4c/8t) designs, but peak Turbo speeds are improved across the board.

The 24 execution unit UHD graphics design, meanwhile, sees no real improvement relative to existing 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-U and Amber Lake-Y CPUs. And yes, this means Y-Series and U-Series are skipping the 9th Gen family entirely.

DDR4 memory speeds for the U-Series have seen improvements relative to the 8th Gen offerings, now capping out at LPDDR4-2933 and DDR4-2666. The Y-Series continues to only support DDR3, capping out at LPDDR3-2133 again.

Another new feature is the integration of Wi-Fi 6 onto the on-package PCH. Thunderbolt 3 continues to be supported, but it is not integrated into the CPU like it is on Ice Lake, so no real change there. Intel is relying on these two features as being a key unifying factor when it comes to 10th Gen-based products.

The CPUs will feature in thin-and-light laptops and 2-in-1 designs, with Intel now promising over 90 10th Gen-based designs coming to market in time for the holiday season this year. Intel has also now confirmed that Project Athena will include models featuring both 10th Gen Ice Lake and 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs - a visual identifier will be used to highlight such models to consumers. No pricing has been announced for any designs using 10th Gen CPUs as of yet.

Sadly, there is still no official word from Intel about 10th Gen offerings for gaming laptops or desktop PCs, but rest assured we’ll bring you that news as soon as we have it.

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October 14 2021 | 15:04