Intel's Ice Lake Might Work Its Way Into Desktop PCs

Intel 10th Gen Wafer

Intel 10th Gen Wafer (Image credit: Intel)

A Linux kernel patch from earlier this month, which was spotted by leaker @KOMACHI_ENSAKA, reportedly adds 10nm Ice Lake (ICL) desktop and server processors. Kan Liang, who is a Senior Graphics Software Engineer at Intel, signed off on the patch. 

Despite recent rumors, Intel hasn't given up on its 10nm process node for desktop chips. However, the chipmaker hasn't dropped any specific processors names into its recent statement that it would bring 10nm chips to the desktop. However, the Linux patch does seem rather convincing that Intel's 10nm desktop processors could debut with the Ice Lake architecture.

Linux Kernel Patch, Ice Lake

Linux Kernel Patch, Ice Lake (Image credit: Linux Kernel Mailing List Archive)

There are multiple mentions of the Ice Lake processors in the patch. Komachi believes the key to deciphering the different entries resides in the suffix. There isn't any hard evidence to back this up, though, so we should interpret the product naming scheme with caution.

The IceLake entry presumably refers to desktop chips, while the IceLake_L entry could denote mobile parts. According to the leaker, the IceLake_X entry may stand for Xeon chips, while the IceLake_D entry represents both Xeon D and Xeon E offerings.

We've already seen what mobile Ice Lake chips can do. However, it would be fascinating to see how Ice Lake performs on the desktop when it isn't confined to ultra-low TDP (thermal design power) envelopes like on the mobile parts. And who knows – maybe with some more breathing room, Intel's 10nm processors might actually surprise us.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • jimmysmitty
    The thing shows Ice Lake, Ice Lake X and Ice Lake D. From some digging Ice Lake D is the Xeon embedded version of Ice Lake. I would assume based on previous nomenclature that Ice Lake X would be for HEDT since Cascade Lake X is the new HEDT 10th gen.

    However it would be weird as Ice Lake is technically the 10th gen and Tiger Lake, its successor, should be the 11th gen.

    Ice Lake L is a new one. Not sure what that is.
  • GetSmart
    From one of Intel's own videos on FPGAs, could this be an Intel Ice Lake-SP server or something else?