Intel is set to give its mobile processors a major bump in L3 cache starting with its Tiger Lake-U lineup due out next year, according to newly leaked data. Assuming the information is accurate, Tiger Lake-U will see a 50 percent increase in L3 cache, going from 8MB to 12MB. That breaks down to 3MB of L3 cache per core on a quad-core CPU (up from 2MB currently).
L3 cache is essentially a slower version of L2 cache, but is much faster than a system's main memory. It used to be built into the motherboard. These days L3 cache resides on the CPU itself and is shared across all physical cores—in this case, each core would get a 3MB chunk of the 12MB allotment. L3 cache can improve performance in a wide range of scenarios, such as gaming.
A 50 percent increase is nothing to sneeze at, provided the leak is legitimate. It comes by way of CPU dump posted to Twitter by InstLatX64.
As shown, the Tiger Lake-U CPU is a quad-core chip with Hyperthreading, meaning four physical cores and four threads of computing muscle. This is an engineering sample, so the final specs could change by the time Tiger Lake-U arrives in 2020. As listed, howver, the ES chip has a 1GHz base clock and 3.4GHz Turbo frequency.
According to the image above, it also features support for Advanced Vector Instructions 512 (AVX-512) instructions, same as with Sunny Cove. Intel pitches AVX-512 as being beneficial for a wide range of workloads and usages, including scientific simulations, financial analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning, 3D modeling and analysis, image and audio/video processing, cryptography, and data compression.
If the leak is accurate, Tiger Lake-U will be getting a graphics upgrade over Sunny Cove, going from Gen11 to Gen12, based on Intel's Xe graphics architecture. Gen12 is the first implementation of Xe, and is expected to deliver a 2x performance uplift compared to the IGP in Ice Lake. Xe stands to be the Intel's biggest architectural revamp in a decade.
While not listed, Tiger Lake-U is said to support PCI Express 4.0, according to a previous leak. The only consumer platform with PCIe 4.0 support right now is AMD's third-generation Ryzen processors, by way of the company's X570 chipset. That will change next year, presumably.
All of this sounds great on paper. How it performs in the real world, however, is a discussion for another day.