A Linux kernel patch (opens in new tab) from earlier this month, which was spotted by leaker @KOMACHI_ENSAKA (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) 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.
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.