Ice Lake Processor

What is Ice Lake Processor?

The term Ice Lake signifies the codename of the 3rd generation Xeon and 10th generation server Intel mobile processors. These processors are typically built on the Sunny Cove microarchitecture.

Technically, the Ice Lake CPUs refer to the Process Architecture Optimization, or PAO model, which is produced on the 2nd generation 10 nm manufacturing process of Intel.

Understanding Ice Lake Processor

What is Ice Lake Processor

The Ice Lake processors are designed by the Intel design team in Haifa, Israel, and are based on the Sunny Cove microarchitecture.

These processors typically focus on scalability and single-thread performance improvements using new instructions.

As said earlier, the Intel Ice Lake processors come in different variants, such as the Intel Ice Lake U and Y series, or the client variant, and the Ice Lake SP and X series, or the server class CPUs.

Central Processing Unit

The CPU or Central Processing Unit of the Intel Ice Lake processors comes with Sunny Cove cores that offer the following:


The Intel Ice Lake processor is a package that is complete with the following:


On the Ice Lake SP processors, the features allow higher performance with reference to the Gen 1 processors with improvements in AI inference, which helps in image classification.

Some of the notable features of this specific processor are as follows:

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Top specifications

The Intel Ice Lake server processors can be considered as next-generation processors designed to support next-generation projects.

It offers improved expandability since it allows attaching more peripherals. This eventually helps in optimizing performance and the total cost of ownership as well.

A few other specifications of the top-line SP processors worth noting are summarized as follows:


A notable aspect of the Ice Lake client processors includes the implementation of Intel Gen11 graphics.

There is an increased number of execution units, up to 64 from 24, which is up to 48 in the case of the Gen 9.5 graphics.

This helps in attaining an excess of 1 TFLOPS or Tera Floating Point Operations Per Second of computing performance.

Each of these execution units supports seven threads, which means that it offers up to 512 parallel pipelines.

There is a 3 MB L3 cache that feeds these execution units, which is four times more in comparison to the previous generation.

It also has an improved memory bandwidth, which is enabled by Low-Power Double Data Rate Extended (LPDDR4X) on low-power mobile platforms.

In addition to that, the Gen 11 graphics also incorporates some other useful features that add to its performance such as:

Therefore, there are some variations in some of the design aspects of the Ice Lake server and client class processors.

If you are confused, here are the basic physical and technical differences between the two summarized for your better understanding.

Server processors:

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Client processors:

Ice Lake vs Comet Lake

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Questions & Answers:

What Generation is Intel Ice Lake?

The Intel Ice lake processors typically belong to the 3rd generation of Xeon Scalable processors. However, it also refers to the 10th generation of the Intel Core mobile processors.

Is the Ice Lake Processor Good?

Yes, the Ice Lake processors from Intel are quite good at delivering relatively higher performance.

Its Sunny Cove microarchitecture and PAO or Process Architecture Optimization model offer higher security and efficiency.

Its built-in features allow it to handle IoT workloads and accelerate more powerful AI jobs.

How Many Cores Does Ice Lake Have?

The core count of the Ice Lake processor varies according to the type of it.

For example, the regular Ice Lake or client variant belonging to the Ice Lake Y and U series comes with a  core configuration of 2 to 4, while, on the other hand, the server class CPUs such as those belonging to the Ice Lake SP and X series usually come with a core configuration ranging between 8 and 40.


The Intel Ice Lake processor comes with quite a few significant changes from its predecessors, which improve its functionality and performance.

The design aspect and features included in these CPUs ensure a much improved power delivery with reference to the threshold voltage of the Tri Gate transistors and the CPU cores.