Next-Gen Intel Ice Lake has Doubled the L2 Cache Size

Intel Ice Lake CPU benchmark

Intel Ice Lake, the company’s first new CPU architecture in nearly five years, will see some changes when it arrives in 2019/2020. Although the base is still very similar to Cannonlake, the L2 cache is expected to double among other things.

The move is somewhat similar to what Intel did in the server area: Skylake-SP features 4x the amount of L2 cache than the original Skylake core. With Ice Lake though, it will be a more adept solution because of a brand-new CPU design.

Intel Ice Lake Quad Core CPUs Spotted in SiSoft Sandra

According to new entries in the SiSoft benchmark database, Intel Ice Lake architecture supports a native 512 KB of L2 cache per core – which is double from what it has been from Nehalem to Cannonlake. The quad-core processors with 15W TDP in the benchmark thus have 4 × 512KB L2 cache for a total of 8MB L3 cache.

Intel Ice Lake SiSoft Sandra benchmark

This should that the problem of Skylake-X’s lower performance in games as a result of the new cache structure (more L2 and less L3) and Mesh Interconnect will not occur again. Further, as has been the case with every mobile and desktop CPU since Sandy Bridge, Ice Lake will use the ring bus and not the mesh.

With the upcoming CPU generation, Intel is also set to introduce a new integrated graphics unit (iGPU). The update will appear in the consumer space after some time now. The 14nm CPU families, including Skylake, Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake, are all built on Gen 9 graphics, while the 10nm Cannonlake uses a minimally adapted Gen 10 graphics.

The Gen 11 graphics on Ice Lake is a step forward with 60 percent more execution units (EUs) than Cannonlake GT2, according a previous leak.

Intel Ice Lake will be based on the second edition of 10nm process, and unlike Cannonlake, it will serve the full range of products, not just notebooks. The release date remains uncertain, but if recent reports are to be believed, you can expect first Ice Lake chips to appear by the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020.