Intel is gearing up to hit the likes of Qualcomm with some serious competition, as the company is developing its first-ever set of hybrid processors or system-on-a-chip (SOC).
Intel Lakefield is a new lineup of hybrid processors that squeeze significant performance into a tiny power-efficient package. These hybrid SOCs come with their own integrated memory, I/O interface, wireless connectivity, and, of course, integrated CPUs.
To make this possible, Lakefield uses a new technology called Foveros. This allowed them to stack different chip parts onto different layers. LPDDR4 memory is sitting on top of the processing cores and 11th gen Intel graphics which is laid on top of the I/O die and cache.
This allows for a lot of space-saving which lets Lakefield reside in smaller devices, delivering more power and efficiency in a much smaller package. Because of this, Lakefield operates more like ARM processors found in smartphones rather than traditional CPUs found in desktops and laptops.
At CES 2019, Intel showed off how these processors could even fit on a motherboard almost the size of a USB flash drive.
However, these processors are actually meant for ultrathin PCs, not phones. Intel expects that Lakefield processors will enable a variety of PCs with all kinds of ultra-thin form factors and unusual designs.
It is too early to be pinning down a price range for Lakefield processors, but as for availability, Intel says that production samples should be hitting the shelves by the end of 2019.