Intel Ice Lake processors will be in laptops before the end of the year


Intel has finally announced that 10nm Ice Lake processors for laptops are shipping now, and should arrive in the best laptops and Ultrabooks later this year. 

This comes after years of pushing back 10nm chips – Intel first announced its Cannon Lake lineup back in 2016. But now Ice Lake is on the way, as part of Intel's Project Athena, announced at Computex 2019, which Team Blue claims will push computing to the next level. 

Project Athena is a multi-year initiative that will see Intel pushing to advance computing in several key areas, including performance, battery life, connectivity and form factor. The idea seems to be to make computing as accessible as using a mobile phone, with the 'instant action' element designed to enable computers wake up from sleep in under a second. 

Intel Ice Lake 10th-generation processors are just the first part of Project Athena, and will work towards achieving these long-term computing goals. These new chips will be based on the Sunny Cove architecture announced back at CES 2019, and will include features like WiFi 6 and much more powerful Intel Gen11 graphics. 


These chips are also unique in that they will integrate WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt 3 into the SoC, which will boost compatibility and should lead to even thinner and ligher laptops. 

As for specs, Intel Ice Lake processors will range from Core i3 to Core i7 and feature up to 4-cores and 8-threads, with turbo boost speeds up to 4.1GHz. And, notably, we'll see GPU clock speeds up to 1.1GHz, which should double previous generations' integrated graphics performance. These integrated GPUs will be capable of 4K HDR video and might even be capable of playing some AAA PC games like Destiny 2.


More than just laptops

Intel didn't forget about desktop products, though. Team Blue is refreshing the Intel Core i9-9900K with the Core i9-9900KS, which will get a turbo speed boost to 5GHz on all cores, which should give the newly announced AMD Ryzen 9 3900X some competition. If you want to get your hands on this beefy processor, you'll be able to get your hands on it towards the end of this year.

To complement this new processor is a new suite of overclocking tools for enthusiasts, called the Intel Performance Maximizer, or IPM. This is an automated overclocking tool, which will let brave enthusiasts push their unlocked K-series processors to the limit. And, don't worry, you can still manually fine-tune your overclocks through this tool. 


For enthusiasts who really want extreme performance we're getting new Intel Core-X processors, through a new generation of HEDT processors. We don't have exact specs for these HEDT processors, but Intel is claiming that we'll see improved clock speeds and Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, which will apparently let more than two cores boost up to the max clocks.

Finally, Intel released 9th-gen Intel Core VPro processors for mobile and desktop, aimed at business professionals, which feature baked-in security features that business demand. For instance, if something goes wrong, IT professionals can gain remote access at the hardware level. These high performance processors for businesses will feature up to eight cores and 16 threads.

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Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.