Intel’s elusive Ice Lake architecture shows up on a new Chrome OS platform

Intel’s elusive Ice Lake architecture shows up on a new Chrome OS platform

Intel’s latest generation micro-architecture, Cannon Lake, has barely even released and yet its successor, Ice Lake, has appeared on the Chromium Gerrit on a new Chrome OS platform codenamed “Dragonegg.” Ice Lake will be a 10nm+ refinement on current Cannon Lake’s 10nm process and will ostensibly bring the usual efficiency and power improvements over the current generation.

Intel isn’t shy about its involvement in the Chromium Project. They have a number of engineers directly contributing to the Chrome OS operating system. One of the many benefits of Intel and Google’s open-source relationship is that development on new chipsets can start long before chips hit mass production. Intel seems to be getting trigger happy with the commits, however, as the latest generation architecture available is Kaby Lake on the Pixelbook.

Intel and other chip vendors are vying to get to ever-smaller process nodes (smaller process nodes mean more efficient chips) but, as Cannon Lake was delayed by two years, it is evident that leaps and bounds per Moore’s Law are proving difficult. Generations are now obfuscated by refinements on existing nodes.

Micro-architecture Core generation Process node Release
Skylake 6th 14nm 2015
Kaby Lake 7th 14nm+ 2016
Coffee Lake 8th 14nm++ 2017
Cannon Lake 8th? 10nm 2018
Ice Lake 9th? 10nm+ 2019?

Ice Lake’s appearance on the Chromium Gerrit comes amid reports that Intel is struggling to get high yields from the 10nm process node.

Availability notwithstanding, Ice Lake is on the cutting edge of Intel’s production line and the latest platform development on Chrome OS. We saw Kaby Lake G (Intel chip with AMD Radeon integrated graphics) make its appearance just last week on the Chromium Gerrit. This yet another reminder that development doesn’t stall for production issues.

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