IIntel_logontel has finally released some news over their 10nm hardware. Sunny Cove is now to replace Skylake in 2019. Intel mentioned two follow up cores called Willow Core and Golden Core which are upcoming.

Cannon Lake and Ice Lake have pretty much been deprecated as Sunny Cove bulldozers problems. The new design has lots to offer.

Intel introduced Sunny Cove, Intel’s next-generation CPU microarchitecture designed to increase performance per clock and power efficiency for general purpose computing tasks, and includes new features to accelerate special purpose computing tasks like AI and cryptography. Sunny Cove will be the basis for Intel’s next-generation server (Intel® Xeon®) and client (Intel® Core™) processors later next year. Sunny Cove features include:

  • Enhanced microarchitecture to execute more operations in parallel.
  • New algorithms to reduce latency.
  • Increased size of key buffers and caches to optimize data-centric workloads.
  • Architectural extensions for specific use cases and algorithms. For example, new performance-boosting instructions for cryptography, such as vector AES and SHA-NI, and other critical use cases like compression and decompression.
Intel 10nm interconnect

Intel 10nm interconnect

Sunny Cove enables reduced latency and high throughput, as well as offers much greater parallelism that is expected to improve experiences from gaming to media to data-centric applications.

Intel announced the “One API” project to simplify the programming of diverse computing engines across CPU, GPU, FPGA, AI and other accelerators. Intel said more will be published next year,

Sunny Cove processors have received a 50% increase in the size of the L1 data cache as well as a larger L2 cache.  This will perk up performance generally. Intel also hopes to get market share back from AMD who has made strides with their Zen lineup.

The new Sunny Cove CPU cores will also greatly increase memory support by increasing the address space from 48 bits to 57 bits. The difference  is an increase from 64 terabytes to 4 petabytes in the new cores. We would have liked a full 64-bit so that hardware can be mapped anywhere. Graphics cards are increasing memory faster than desktops.

Intel confirmed that it is on track to deliver a discrete graphics processor by 2020. Intel has hired quite a few engineers who are working with them to improve the designs with more scalability.

The new integrated graphics architecture is expected to double the computing performance-per-clock compared to Intel Gen9 graphics. With >1 TFLOPS performance capability, this architecture is designed to increase game playability. Intel is now offering 64 EU with Sunny Cove.


Stealing a page from flash memory, Intel demonstrated a new 3D packaging technology, called “Foveros,” which for the first time brings the benefits of 3D stacking to enable logic-on-logic integration. The technology provides tremendous flexibility as designers seek to “mix and match” technology IP blocks with various memory and I/O elements in new device form factors. It will allow products to be broken up into smaller “chiplets,” where I/O, SRAM and power delivery circuits can be fabricated in a base die and high-performance logic chiplets are stacked on top.

The company also showed how SSDs based on Intel’s 1 Terabit QLC NAND die move more bulk data from HDDs to SSDs, allowing faster access to that data. The combination of Intel Optane SSDs with QLC NAND SSDs will enable lower latency access to data used most frequently. Taken together, these platform and memory advances complete the memory and storage hierarchy providing the right set of choices for systems and applications.


Skylake is not much different from processors as far back as Sandy Bridge.  Intel had to redesign the core following the CPU faults in the media in the earlier part of the year.

skylake_vs_sunny_coveNow the front end is spread across the whole bus which gets around bottlenecking problems in addition to dealing with the Spectre and Meltdown faults. The slow of data is now much more linear with no shared logic to prevent surveillance by malicious code. This is intended to make the CPU core much more secure.

It appears that Intel’s engineers had to completely redesign the core which is why the delay into 2019. It takes time to design a new core, make new masks for the steppers and cycle through the process to iron out problems. Yields are a problem which we believe could be mitigated with immersion lithographic techniques.