Intel’s Confusing Messaging: Is Comet Lake Better Than Ice Lake?

This year at CES 2020, Intel held its usual pre-keynote workshop for select members of the press. Around 75 of us across a couple of sessions were there to hear Intel’s latest messaging and announcements from the show: a mixture of messaging and preview of the announcements to be made at the keynote. This isn’t unusual – it gives the company a chance to lay down a marker of where it thinks its strengths are, where it thinks the market is heading, and perhaps gives us a highlight into what might be coming from the product hardware perspective. The key messages on Intel’s agenda this year were Project Athena, accelerated workloads, and Tiger Lake.

We’ve covered Tiger Lake in a previous article, as it shapes up to be the successor to Ice Lake later in the year. Intel’s Project Athena is also a known quantity, being a set of specifications that Intel wants laptop device manufacturers to follow in order to create what it sees as the vision of the future of computing. The new element to the discussion is actually something I’ve been pushing for a while: accelerated computing. With Intel now putting AVX-512 in its consumer processors, along with a stronger GPU and things like the Gaussian Neural Accelerator, actually identifying what uses these accelerators is quite hard, as there is no official list. Intel took the time to give us a number of examples.