Live Blog: Intel Launch Event 2020

Follow our live blog of today’s Intel technology launch event. We’ll learn how laptop performance and experiences are evolving.



Follow our live blog of today’s Intel technology launch event. We’ll learn how laptop performance and experiences are evolving.

8:45 a.m.: Good morning, everyone! I’m Marcus Yam, technology evangelist at Intel, and thank you for tuning in to the live blog of our special event today. We’ll have the live play-by-play for you here, so be sure to keep refreshing this page for the latest update over the next hour.

8:50 a.m.: “Experience how laptop performance will roar.” Hmm… what goes roar… 🦁&🐯&🐻, oh my!

8:55 a.m.: It’s almost showtime! Remember to keep refreshing this page for the latest updates.

9:00 a.m.: Taking the stage… err, well-appointed living room area, is Gregory Bryant, executive VP and GM of the Client Computing Group. At Intel, we call him “GB.”

GB on navigating these times of COVID-19 and the role technology plays in overcoming challenges and adversities: “Our mission of delivering breakthrough technologies to help enrich the lives of every person on Earth has never rung more true, and the PC is a critical part of that.”

It’s the platform of choice to help people focus, help them create, and in the current environment, help them connect and collaborate with friends, family and coworkers around the world. So we have challenged ourselves, working with all our partners in the industry, to advance the PC platform to make it better.

Now rolls a video with voices from Intel and its partners, talking about developing the future of computing together, including Acer, Microsoft, Best Buy, HP, Dell, Google, Samsung, IQIYI,, Tripwire, Adobe, JOYY Inc., IDC, Lenovo and Asus.

Intel chief architect Raja Koduri is the first on this webcast to say the name “Tiger Lake”! 🐅

9:03 a.m.: Now we’re back with GB, but in a lab with several laptops. I feel a drumroll coming.

“Today we are excited to launch the world’s best processor for thin-and-light laptops: our 11th Gen Intel Core processor.”

Nine new high-performance SKUs across Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7, GB announces. “Best processor Intel has ever built… and it certainly rises above all the imitators.”

GB promises that benchmarks are coming to back up this claim across many usages in productivity, creation, gaming, collaboration and entertainment.

Clockspeed reveal! Up to 4.8 GHz.

Xe graphics is here in Tiger Lake’s integrated GPU.

More AI performance, integrated Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6.

GB reveals the starting lineup of systems from Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung (with a 5G modem) and Asus. More than 50 designs in market for holiday, and over 150 designs in total.

Buckle up, we have some performance figures here:

4x faster than competition on productivity workflows using applications like Word and PowerPoint.

The graphics performance from the integrated GPU Iris Xe is better than 90% of all the ultra-thin-and-light notebooks sold last year with discrete graphics.

9:06 a.m.: How did we do it? Boyd Phelps, corporate VP of Client Engineering, is going to tell us. “It’s taken thousands of engineers around the world working together to fundamentally redesign our process to create this new technology,” he said.

It came down to three fundamental moves:

First, redefining the 10nm process with SuperFin, a new high-performance, 60-poly pitch transistor that increases drive current. SuperFin simply said: “This new transistor delivers much more bang for the buck.”

Second, optimized existing high VT transistors to improve leakage, performance and variation. Result: “We were able to lower the voltage of operation across the board. This means we get all the performance of previous generations at lower voltages than most folks believed possible.”

Third, a secret tiger sauce. Phelps shares the recipe base as being a redefined metal stack: “improved resistance of the lower to mid-layers and vias, which are heavily utilized… and added two additional high-performance layers at the top to reach peak frequencies with little voltage roll-off.”

“We also dramatically enhanced the MIM-CAP capabilities by more than 4x to ensure a rapid and solid power deliver response for high CPU intensity workloads.”

What does it all mean? More power headroom that matter the most in compute, resulting in:

Greater than 20% CPU performance improvement

Up to 2x the graphics performance in new Xe graphics architecture

5x better AI performance with new DP4a instructions on the GPU

Plus additional platform capabilities: Nearly 3x faster connectivity with Wi-Fi 6; Thunderbolt 4 with USB4 compliance; the first mobile processor with PCIe Gen 4 enabling direct SSD attached with up with 32 Gbps; and display support for up to four 4K monitors.

9:12 a.m.: We’re back to GB just for a moment to talk about how the aforementioned processor breakthroughs translate into experiences on thin and light laptops. Ksenia Chistyakova, product marketing engineer for AI and media, is going to take us through some of these experiences.

“We are measuring more than just benchmarks,” said Chistyakova. “What’s important is performance on the actual applications that people use every day, so we create scenarios that simulate those common workloads.”

Head-to-head time. Two systems, one powered by AMD’s 4800U, the other an Intel 11th Gen Core processor, both taking old photos and colorizing them using Photoshop Elements and upscaling them using Topaz Gigapixel AI to increase images from 0.3 megapixels to 5 megapixels.

The Intel system is ~100% faster than the AMD one. “Instead of taking over two minutes to complete this task, we’re able to complete it in under 40 seconds thanks to DL Boost on Iris Xe graphics. Not all cores are created equal; the Intel system is faster because of its integrated platform approach.”

Next comparison workload: video processing and exporting in Adobe Premier Pro. The Intel system with 11th Gen Core with Quick Sync Video nets 200% better performance when encoding video in HEVC. “Think of it as rendering a one-minute 4K video in half the time.”

And now for something a little different. Chistyakova place a Microsoft Teams call to a coworker, Chuck. You may recognize Chuck from previous demos at Intel keynotes. Behind Chuck is Yuri running a vacuum, creating a lot of background noise, but the video and sound output on the other end has filtered that all out, leaving just Chuck’s voice.

“Your device can use AI to identify your voice or the voices of your conference call participants so you can stay focused.”

It’s game time. Ultra-portable game time. Racing game GRID in a three-way performance competition between AMD 4800U integrated graphics, an Intel 10th Gen with Nvidia MX350 discrete graphics, and the new challenger 11th Gen Core processor with integrated Iris Xe graphics.

Looking at the frame counters, AMD 4800U reaches around 35 FPS. The Nvidia discrete system hovers around 30 FPS. The Iris Xe graphics on 11th Gen Core is well into the 55 FPS range, resulting in up to 66% better performance. The new challenger is the new champ.

Now a rematch, but this time with Gear Tactics. The AMD system lags behind the Nvidia GPU, which manages in the high 40 FPS range. The Iris Xe floats around 55 FPS again, holding onto the title.

9:19 a.m.: We’re back to GB in the lab, giving a quick recap. “Best creation experience with built-in AI to accelerate creator workflows by up to 2.7x.”

“Best ultra-portable gaming experience, up to 2x higher frame rates on games like Gears Tactics and PUBG that are finally playable at 1080p on ultra-thin-and-light devices.”

“And in a world relying on digital collaboration, a built-in AI engine for video conferencing solutions like background blur and noise removal at much lower power. Yet, we know there is more we can do to transform the PC experience.”

Remember the Project Athena innovation program introduced with 10th Gen? GB hands it over to Chris Walker, corporate VP of mobile computing, to go over what’s new.

“With Project Athena, we’re partnering with the entire ecosystem to innovate beyond the CPU,” Walker said. “This includes the motherboard, component and cooling design technology, enabling miniaturization for new form factors with better performance and battery life.”

“With Project Athena, we’re partnering with the entire ecosystem to innovate beyond the CPU,” Walker said. “This includes the motherboard, component and cooling design technology, enabling miniaturization for new form factors with better performance and battery life.”

In addition to the thousands of hours of first-hand research, Walker said that now more than 150 partners are part of Project Athena, including component vendors, ISVs, OS partners, ODMs and OEMs.

More than 50 verified designs to date from partners such as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung.

With 11th Gen Core will come the next edition of Project Athena. “Designs tested and verified under an intensified methodology based on true-to-life key experience indicators of uses and applications,” with 25 tests in all, that “reflect how we use our laptops every day.”

Constant responsiveness, whether plugged in or running on battery. Waking in less than a second. At least nine hours of battery life. Four hours of battery life from a 30-minute charge. Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6, and high-quality audio and video.

“The laptop evolved,” said Walker.

9:23 a.m.: We’re back to Ksenia Chistyakova to talk PC gaming, recording and streaming – all at the same time – Something reserved for gaming laptops, not thin-and-lights.

Another head-to-head demo, this time Emmy running 11th Gen Intel Core against her father who is using a competitor’s machine. “Let’s look at their streams,” Chistyakova points out. “You can see how fluid and smooth the stream is on Emmy’s system, while the competition can’t keep up, despite having more cores.”

Moving to other use cases, a college student will benefit from 22% faster web browsing over the previous generation.

Content creators can transform a thin-and-light laptop to a workstation setup with a single Thunderbolt 4 cable to connect multiple 4K monitors, each at 60 Hz with HDR capabilities and high-speed drives up to 40 Gbps.

9:27 a.m.: But wait, there’s more! Chief Marketing Officer Karen Walker joins the webcast. “Separately, the impact of 11th Gen Core and Project Athena are profound, but together they are exceptional – so exceptional that they deserve their own platform brand. Today, I am thrilled to introduce Intel Evo!”

“Intel Evo is something entirely new. It starts with a product foundation, 11th Gen Core. Then we layered on thousands of hours of co-engineering work via Project Athena and verified it through Intel’s intense testing methodology. The result is Evo.”

But wait, there’s even Evo more! “We’re not only adding a new platform brand to the family. Say hello to the new Intel!” This comes with a new logo with a modernized look that borrows from the two designs preceding it.

“Our look represents our role as the catalyst for technology that moves the world forward.”

All of Intel’s portfolio of products will be getting an updated look.

9:32 a.m.: GB is here to wrap things up. “What you really see here today is the breadth, scale and commitment of Intel to lead the industry forward. Only Intel has the unmatched assets to do this: thousands of world-class engineers, who touch thousands of designs annually, and develop hundreds of patents. Pair that with a strong ecosystem partnership and the result is we are able to deliver new experiences previously unimaginable.”

9:35 a.m.: And that’s a wrap (for now)! Thank you for joining this live blog. Check out the Press Kit on the Intel Newsroom for additional details, video replays and more on all the news you read here. Also refer to the performance data details and disclaimers.

Tags: 11th Gen Core, Intel Evo, Live blog