Intel Reportedly Reserves 28-W Ice Lake Chips Exclusively for Apple

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Intel's new 10th-Gen Ice Lake chips (not to be confused with the just-announced 10th-Gen Comet Lake-S chips) have received quite some attention for their interesting new chip configuration. The most powerful chip in the lineup was the Core i7-1068G7 -- and we say was because Intel has just removed it from their chip databases, and it has not yet shipped in any products.

In exchange, Intel has added the Intel Core i7-1068NG7 as well as the i5-1038NG7, further confusing the naming of the Ice Lake chips. 

According to the folks at Notebookcheck, the new "N" designation in the Ice Lake processors marks the chips as an exclusive for Apple, which is seemingly confirmed by the Geekbench results for the new MacBook Pro's.

Both these parts carry TDP's of 28W, and so did the now-extinct i7-1068G7. The rest of the Ice Lake-U processors all have configurable TDPs of either 15 or 25W, making it appear that Intel has reserved the 28W parts for Apple.

It's not entirely clear what Intel's motive would be to reserve the 28W Ice Lake CPUs for Apple, but as top-tier parts, chances are they're made from the best-binned silicon. However, it must be noted that Apple hasn't been particularly pleased with Intel's chip development lately (or, lack thereof), consequently further developing its own ARM-based CPUs. As such, we reckon that this is a move from Intel to keep Apple happy, and with its manufacturing shortcomings, it needed to reserve the 28W Ice Lake silicon exclusively for Apple to keep up with demand.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • DZIrl
    Well, we have ridiculous naming on USB 3 side so why Intel should not increase confusion on his side.
  • MasterMadBones
    To me this sounds like they're still struggling to produce these 4.1 GHz Ice Lake CPUs. The 1068G7 never actually existed to begin with, and Intel almost launched it twice. Looks like 4 GHz might be a hard ceiling for either Sunny Cove or 10nm.