Skip to main content

Intel’s hybrid Lakefield processors may usher in a new era of dual-screen PCs

Intel unveiled its experimental new Lakefield processors last year, and now the company has announced plans to launch them in devices this year. The five-core Lakefield CPU will power traditional power-efficient laptops like Samsung’s Intel variant of the Galaxy Book S, which is launching this month, and exciting dual-screen form factors like Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold, slated to arrive later this year.

Lakefield will be available in Core i5-L16G7 and Core i3-L13G4 variants, each utilizing Intel’s Hybrid Technology. “Hybrid” means it uses both a 10nm Sunny Cove core for heavy workloads and four low-powered Tremont cores designed to extend battery life for less demanding tasks.

Intel will use a “hardware-guided” operating system scheduling approach to drive tasks to the appropriate core. According to Intel, this provides up to a 12% boost in single-threaded performance.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Core i5 version comes with a base clock speed of 1.4GHz and can go as high as 3.0GHz, while the Core i3 starts at 0.8Ghz and goes up to 2.8GHz with maximum single-core turbo. The chips consume just 7W TDP.

Compared to the Y-series processors that preceded it, Lakefield’s use of Foveros 3D packaging allowed Intel to create a chip with a 56% smaller package area and up to 47% smaller board size. The more compact silicon and board footprint means that laptop manufacturers could now use the freed-up space to create slimmer designs, add larger batteries, introduce more features, or even debut dual-screen and foldable form factors.

Like other processors in Intel’s 10th-gen family, Lakefield will also come with Intel’s integrated Gen11 UHD graphics with A.I.-enhanced workloads, as well as support for Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 Gig+ connectivity. The Core i5 model comes with 64 graphics execution units, while the Core i3 has 48 EUs. These features should make Lakefield a solid platform for Intel’s Project Athena specifications. The power-efficient design draws as little as 2.5Mw of power in standby mode, which is a 91% reduction in power consumption compared to the Y-series Core m processors.

Lakefield has similarities to Intel’s older Core m chip, which helped power popular devices like MacBooks, and also kept them stay slim and enhanced battery life. Lakefield has a similar purpose — to help PC manufacturers bring exciting innovation to traditional single-screen and new dual-screen devices. Unlike the competing ARM-based Snapdragon 8cx from rival Qualcomm that powers Microsoft’s Always Connected PC platform, Lakefield’s design allows it to run x86 Windows programs without any performance bottlenecks due to app emulation. Intel’s processor will be able to handle both 32- and 64-bit applications, just like any of Intel’s other processors.

Lakefield’s announcement comes on the heels of rumors of Apple’s potential plans of switching from Intel to ARM processors for its Mac platform. It’s speculated that Apple could announce its plans later this month to developers at WWDC, which would result in the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Mac lines relying on Apple’s custom ARM-based A-series processors.

Editors' Recommendations

Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
ThinkPad X1 Yoga vs. ThinkPad X1 Carbon
lenovo thinkpad x1 carbon 2019 review 4

Lenovo's 14-inch ThinkPad X1 line is tailored for performance and portability, and out of the lineup, the X1 Carbon Gen 7 and X1 Yoga Gen 4 stand out. The former is its premier clamshell laptop while the latter is its premier 2-in-1 -- and both received some significant updates for their respective generations.

While the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a refined version of the traditional ThinkPad build and aesthetic, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga represents a significant departure with a metal chassis and standout look. Which is the better example of a modern ThinkPad? Let's find out.

Read more
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s vs. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Which ThinkPad is better: The X1 Carbon or the T480s?
lenovo thinkpad t480s model logo

Lenovo's ThinkPad is one of the most iconic lines in notebook history, going back decades and representing one of the most recognizable business brands around. They're conservatively designed and well-built, and they offer a few specific design cues that appeal to a specific niche of users. And two models from the range stand out for around $1,000: The ThinkPad T480s and ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

We've pitted the two against each other in multiple categories, taking into account the improvements Lenovo made with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon over last-gen's model. The T480s received a refresh in 2019, too, in the form of the T490. Lenovo has changed its naming scheme since, replacing this range with the more appropriately named T14 and T15.

Read more
Lenovo ThinkPad X390 vs. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X390 review

The Lenovo ThinkPad line is much larger than a single laptop. It's so large, in fact, that Lenovo has multiple different product lines under the ThinkPad brand, from inexpensive Chromebooks to premium mobile workstations. The line also includes multiple 2-in-1 machines, like the ThinkPad X390.

We threw the ThinkPad X390 into the ring with the more traditional ThinkPad X1 Carbon to see how it would hold up. Although both are excellent laptops in their own right, one has a significant advantage in 2021.
Pricing and configurations

Read more