According to two new Product Change Notifications (PCNs), Intel has discontinued the company's Gemini Lake Refresh (GLK-R) processors. The 14nm Pentium and Celeron-branded chips, launched in 2019, were commonly found inside entry-level and ultra-low powered desktops, laptops, mini-PCs, and AIOs.
The original Gemini Lake (GLK) lineup came out in 2017, leveraging Intel's Goldmont Plus microarchitecture. The 14nm low-power chips, which span up to four cores without Hyper-Threading, were the direct replacements for the chipmaker's Apollo Lake processors at the time. However, given Gemini Lake's prevalence in budget-oriented devices, Intel refreshed the lineup in 2019 with moderately improved clock speeds on the 10W and 6W processors.
Intel retired Gemini Lake in 2020, ending a three-year run for the low-power chips. Therefore, Gemini Lake Refresh has had a slightly longer run, but all good things must end. Intel is handling the discontinuance with two different groups. The first group consists of the Celeron N4120, Celeron 4020, and Pentium Silver N5030, while the latter group encompasses the Celeron J4025, Pentium Silver J5040, Celeron N4020C, and Celeron J4125. Intel's clients have until November 24, 2023, and August 25, 2023, to put in their last orders for the first and second retirement groups, respectively. The chipmaker will ship the former by May 24, 2024, and the latter by February 23, 2024.
Intel Gemini Lake Refresh CPUs
|Processor||Core / Threads||Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||Cache (MB)||TDP (W)|
|Pentium Silver J5040||4 / 4||2.2 / 3.2||4||10|
|Pentium Silver N5030||4 / 4||1.1 / 3.1||4||6|
|Celeron J4125||4 / 4||2.0 / 2.7||4||10|
|Celeron N4120||4 / 4||1.1 / 2.6||4||6|
|Celeron J4025||2 / 2||2.0 / 2.9||4||10|
|Celeron N4020||2 / 2||1.1 / 2.8||4||6|
|Celeron N4020C||2 / 2||1.1 / 2.8||4||6|
Goldmont Plus ultimately has grown long in the tooth and was already been replaced by Tremont in 2020, so it makes sense for Intel to wind down 14nm production and focus on Tremont instead. Tremont powers the 10nm Elkhart Lake and Jasper Lake processors, with the latter being the successors of the Gemini Lake Refresh chips.
Jasper Lake features Tremont cores, which offer a considerable IPC uplift over Goldmont Plus. By Intel's estimates, Tremont has up to 32% higher IPC than Jasper Lake while retaining the same thermal conditions. This means 10W for J-series SKUs that target desktops and 6W for the N-series SKUs that cater to mobile devices. Most of the performance increase is thanks to the Tremont cores since Jasper Lake still maxes out at four cores and only comes with slightly better clock speeds.
With Gemini Lake Refresh almost out of the picture, upcoming really low-budget devices will arrive with Jasper Lake processors as the default. It's excellent news since vendors will have no choice by to use the newer 10nm chips that will offer better performance for budget-conscious consumers.
I am typing on a Celeron 2955U(Haswell) right now on an ancient Chromebook C720 (Running ChromeOS Flex). Still get 8+ hours battery and its my only device besides a Macbook air that sleeps correctly(Close the laptop at 80%, open it a week later still near 80%).
Looking forward to Alder/Raptor Lake-N chips (E-core only chips) and really curious to see what meteor lake strategy is at the budget bottom space, Can Intel afford disaggregation here? AMD isn't supplying much silicon here (Margins must be very low, lowest bin silicon) so I am curious what will fill this space in the future, honestly ARM could do it, but nothing as good as apple yet.
And there's nothing to replace them. I mean I know Tremont exist but I haven't seen anything built on them.
I'm in the market for such a board, but now I'm thinking I should sit tight see if I can find an Alder Lake-N mini-ITX board.
I did find an Elkhart Lake board from Supermicro, but sourcing it remains a challenge (unless I go to ebay).
BTW, since Alder Lake-N has only a single-channel memory architecture, I'm somewhat keen to find a board that uses DDR5. So far, the ones I've seen are DDR4. With Elkhart Lake, all the boards I've seen are dual-channel DDR4.
Beating Haswell i5, and nearly as good as a Skylake i5 all under 12 W.
"For performance, Intel has some pretty wild claims. It splits them up into single thread and multi-thread comparisons using SPECrate2017_int.
When comparing 1C1T of Gracemont against 1C1T of Skylake, Intel’s numbers suggest:
+40% performance at iso-power (using a middling frequency)
40% less power* at iso-performance (peak Skylake performance)* '<40%' is now understood to mean 'below 40 power'
When comparing 4C4T of Gracemont against 2C4T of Skylake, Intel’s numbers suggest:
+80% performance peak vs peak
80% less power at iso performance)peak Skylake performance
We pushed the two Intel slides together to show how they presented this data.
I think one reason it might come as a surprise is that Tremont didn't get a lot of publicity, due to Intel's 10 nm troubles and a pandemic-fueled surge in demand for Chromebooks leading to scarcity of Jasper & Elkhart Lake in other markets. Tremont was a big step forward from Gemini Lake and basically set the stage for what was to come in Gracemont.