Intel Unveils Next-Generation 'Sunny Cove' Processors and Graphics Appropriate for 2019 Macs

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Intel today introduced Sunny Cove, its next-generation processor microarchitecture designed to increase performance and power efficiency.


Sunny Cove microarchitecture, built on a 10nm process, will be the basis for Intel's next-generation Core and Xeon processors later next year according to the company, making them appropriate for potential 2019 models of the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, and Mac mini.

Intel also unveiled new Gen11 integrated graphics with up to double the performance of its Gen9 graphics paired with Skylake-based processors. Gen11 graphics will support 4K video streams and 8K content creation in constrained power situations and feature Intel's Adaptive Sync technology for smoother gaming.

Intel did not provide a comparison of Gen11 and Gen10 graphics, paired with Cannon Lake-based processors.

For those who are ever-confused by Intel's roadmap, it is believed that Sunny Cove processors paired with Gen11 graphics will be called Ice Lake, which succeeds Coffee Lake, Whiskey Lake, Amber Lake, and Cannon Lake.

Intel reaffirmed its plan to introduce a discrete graphics processor by 2020, providing Apple with another option beyond its current provider AMD and former provider Nvidia for future MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro models.

Intel has essentially been iterating on its Skylake microarchitecture since 2015, so it is refreshing that the chipmaker is finally moving on to something new. But with rumors of Macs switching to custom ARM-based processors as early as 2020, it might not be long after Sunny Cove that Apple moves on too.

Article Link: Intel Unveils Next-Generation 'Sunny Cove' Processors and Graphics Appropriate for 2019 Macs
 
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cppguy

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If they create an ARM-based Mac, it'll probably be an ultrabook. I seriously doubt their Pro models will go ARM, because there's no software for it yet. It must be a gradual process, because we have to wait for Adobe, AutoDesk, VMware and others to rebuild their software for ARM. Not to mention running a Windows VM. Although Microsoft is moving to ARM as well. But they have the same problem, app compatibility. The whole benefit of Windows is that it can run everything, even games from 1994.
 

chucker23n1

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I'm completely lost with Intel's roadmap. So many delays, changes etc. So what is the great CPU we are all waiting for? Wasn't 10nm meant to be flawed?
Depends on what you're looking for.

It looks like they've rebranded Ice Lake to Sunny Cove.

This should finally give us LPDDR4, which was originally supposed to happen with Cannon Lake, which more or less never shipped. So while Apple eventually moved to DDR4 (rather than LPDDR) for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, meaning they could offer 32 GB but at the cost of reduced battery life, this next generation (to come out later 2019, if even that) will bring 32 or perhaps even 64 GB on LPDDR.

Other than that, we'll see how much bigger single-core gets. Multi-core isn't really an issue; Apple could ship iMacs with Coffee Lake, which would move them to six cores, or with Coffee Lake R, which would give them eight, even.
 

iMi

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What a difference a name makes! As long as the die shrink was called "Ice Lake," it was frozen in place. But now that it's "Sunny Cove...."
...Hmm, "Sunny Cover" sounds like it will have some heat issues. :D
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Depends on what you're looking for.

It looks like they've rebranded Ice Lake to Sunny Cove.

This should finally give us LPDDR4, which was originally supposed to happen with Cannon Lake, which more or less never shipped. So while Apple eventually moved to DDR4 (rather than LPDDR) for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, meaning they could offer 32 GB but at the cost of reduced battery life, this next generation (to come out later 2019, if even that) will bring 32 or perhaps even 64 GB on LPDDR.

Other than that, we'll see how much bigger single-core gets. Multi-core isn't really an issue; Apple could ship iMacs with Coffee Lake, which would move them to six cores, or with Coffee Lake R, which would give them eight, even.
Reading the article, it actually sounds like Sunny Cover is the processor itself and Ice Lake is what the processor paired with integrated graphics will be called. That's what I got out of it.
 

Unity451

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I just hope they don't need something like Rosetta to bridge the connection for all the "older" machines like they did for the PowerPC to Intel switch.
 
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mithion

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I'm confused. Is this going to be 9th gen core architecture or 10th gen? I thought next in line was cannon lake. Are they skipping cannon lake altogether?
 
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TallManNY

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All I want is a modular Mac Pro tower, similar to the 2012 Mac Pro but with new hardware. Please make it happen Apple!
I'm guessing Apple is going to go with modular connected by wires. The Mac Mini with an external GPU and external storage might actually be closer to the future for pro users.
 
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CyberBob859

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I'll believe it when I see it!
Does anyone really trust Intel to deliver on their timelines anymore?

We've had too many "Lucy holding the football" type moments from them to expect Intel to actually come through next year .I would say to NOT expect these products because of the problems they've had hitting 10nm .
 
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sosumi99

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I just hope they don't need something like Rosetta to bridge the connection for all the "older" machines like they did for the PowerPC to Intel switch.
If they go ARM, such a translation layer is inevitable. It takes time for software vendors like Microsoft and Adobe (not to mention all the indie developers on the App store) to migrate over, so they'll have to put in place a compatibility solution. It is going to be a bumpy few years.
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Does anyone really trust Intel to deliver on their timelines anymore?

We've had too many "Lucy holding the football" type moments from them to expect Intel to actually come through next year .I would say to NOT expect these products because of the problems theyvth had hitting 10nm .
My feeling exactly. I don't expect next year's Macs to be able to use these.
 

GeneralChang

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Ah, Intel... as much fun as it has been watching you try to figure out what the heck has been going on now that AMD actually wants to compete, let's hope this'll mark the end of the scrambling period.
 
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chucker23n1

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Reading the article, it actually sounds like Sunny Cover is the processor itself and Ice Lake is what the processor paired with integrated graphics will be called. That's what I got out of it.
Doubt it. They had the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture with the Ivy Bridge shrink, the Haswell microarchitecture with the Broadwell shrink, and now the Skylake microarchitecture with the Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, Whiskey Lake, Comet Lake, Cascade Lake (I'm probably forgetting a few) variants, with no actual shrink. Note that it's Bridge, Well, Lake. The next microarchitecture with its follow-ups is apparently Cove. (The MacRumors article doesn't mention this, but Sunny Cove will be followed by Willow Cove and Golden Cove.)
 

chucker23n1

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I'm confused. Is this going to be 9th gen core architecture or 10th gen? I thought next in line was cannon lake. Are they skipping cannon lake altogether?
There are ninth-gen CPUs already, namely Coffee Lake Refresh.

The marketing generation doesn't match the microarchitecture.
 
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Ries

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10nm 15" 4 core Macbook Air please, it'll be the new MacBook Pro no touch bar saviour!