Ever since the launch of Intel’s 11th Gen Core mobile processors, known as Tiger Lake, back in September, the chips' limited core counts have not gone unnoticed. At a time where its competition is leveraging 8 cores in the same space, Intel seems limited to only 4 in the same 15-28 W power window. At the time, Intel stated that the base Tiger Lake design was aimed to be scalable, and that double sized variants were in the works. Today Intel has confirmed that those double-sized parts will be coming in Q1, in the form of Tiger Lake-H.

Back at Intel’s Architecture Day 2020, lead architect Boyd Philips stated that even though the standard Tiger Lake UP3 design contained four cores and 12 MB of L3 cache, designs with double the L3 cache were in the works. This was instantly interpreted that double core-count versions of Tiger Lake were in the works, given that in the last generation the higher-powered mobile processor line-up had been left to older 14nm processors to fill the gap, and that Intel normally launches products for both 15 W and 45 W at the same time. We had been expecting a fast follow on, with a launch sometime later in Q3'20, but it would appear that Intel has pushed this out to Q1'21. Intel says that these processors will start production and ship in Q1, which likely means that the actual products will come to market in Q2.

Intel has confirmed that these parts will offer up to eight cores and sixteen threads, with a highlight being that the top variants will enable 5.0 GHz turbo frequencies on multiple cores. These processors will also have 20 lanes of PCIe 4.0, which will allow for a full PCIe 4.0 x16 link to a discrete graphics card and a single PCIe 4.0 x4 storage drive at the same time, while also having a separate link for the chipset and IO. We expect these processors to also support PCIe Resizable BAR. And, like their current quad core counterparts, these processors will also have Thunderbolt 4 native support, as well as Wi-Fi 6/6E support through an associated RF module.  

Intel traditionally has a number of overclockable H-series processors, known as HK, however the company has not explicitly stated if any overclocking SKU will make it to market. Typically these H-Series processors target the 45 W market, with a 35 W step-down option. Intel is also announcing today that it has moved its U-series processors, typically 15 W, up into that 35 W market as well (known as H35). We will start to see some overlap between the two, with higher frequency quad-core U-series processors up against eight-core H-series parts.

We wait to see exactly what specifications Intel will target with the new hardware. More detail to come.

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  • ilkhan - Monday, January 11, 2021 - link

    OK intel, you've finally lost me. Announcing a future announcement of a product that won't be available until the next generation *should* be launching? They just decided when tiger lake was released that they should maybe work on an 8 core version?
  • notb - Monday, January 11, 2021 - link

    If you need Tiger Lake U now, just grab the 4-core version - it is doing fine against AMD's latest 8 cores (big lead in ST, just a little behind in MT - also with better interfaces and faster storage).

    8 cores are coming later. "H" is a showcase platform anyway, with marginal sales importance. 8 core U CPU is the actual product that Intel is working on - they will need it when next gen AMD arrives (6700U or whatever).
  • lmcd - Monday, January 11, 2021 - link

    Are you sure Tiger Lake U 8-core is ever coming? I think it isn't, personally. I expect an "8 core" Alder Lake to supplant the need, with a smaller die size due to its Atom cores. Given that on multi-core workloads Tiger Lake can already hit thermal limits with its clocks, I'd actually expect the 4 Atom cores to outperform 4 additional Willow (Sunny?) Cove cores in sustained workloads just off of higher average clockspeed.
  • Deicidium369 - Monday, January 11, 2021 - link

    Yes it's coming - it isn't a year out it's a couple months out... Would be easy to release an AMD version, since it launches in much much lower and much fewer designs - Intel 8c H will be high volume in multiple designs.

    Ice Lake is Sunny Cove on 10nm and Cypress Cove on 14nm (Rocket Lake)
    Tiger Lake is Willow Cove
    Alder Lake is Golden Vove
  • drothgery - Monday, January 11, 2021 - link

    8-core Tiger Lake H (or what used to be called H-series; anyway, 45W-ish) is definitely coming.

    8-core U series is not. I don't think Intel's going to put 8 big cores in a what used to be called U-series part at 10nm; even a 4 Golden Cove + 4 Gracemont Adler Lake is iffy for a sub-30W part, I think.
  • yeeeeman - Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - link

    4+4 alder lake in 15w should work fine, it is made on enhanced super fin.
    As for 8 core tigerlake U, they can do it, but with lower frequencies. In any case, they would have something to gain, in terms of efficiency, with more cores since they could run them at lower frequency. You can see that with 4 vs 6 cores 10th gen skylake based parts.
    They don't do 8 core U parts because it costs extra silicon and given they have issues with 10nm scalability and yields they prefer a smaller die with huge frequencies.
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - link

    How? How are they going to fit 8 of these cores into 15W when they barely fit 4 in?

    They simply don't need to do this - TL is competitive enough with 4 cores at 15W, even with all the throttling.
  • brucethemoose - Monday, January 11, 2021 - link

    I wouldn't call it "a little" behind in MT... Renoir is shockingly good at low clocks in 15W.

    But if you're buying a 15W device, ST perf is probably king anyway.
  • ilkhan - Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - link

    Not available on the chassis I want. Or I would.
  • ilkhan - Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - link

    Honestly I don't care. Zen 3 or 8c tiger lake will be fine. Combined with Ampere it will do the job.

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