Intel recently rolled out nine patches for its i915 kernel DRM driver involving the giant chipmaker's forthcoming Elkhart Lake SoC (system-on-chip) that's set to replace the current Gemini Lake lineup, which was introduced in 2017.
Elkhart Lake (EHL) is the codename that Intel is using to refer to its next-generation of SoCs that are reportedly based on the Tremont microarchitecture. Similar to the upcoming Ice Lake processors, Elkhart Lake SoCs are likely to come out of Intel's spanking new 10nm cooking oven as well. However, the biggest upgrade lies within the SoC's integrated graphics (or iGPU).
Existing Gemini Lake SoCs are using the Gen9 graphics processor. The Celeron models carry UHD Graphics 600, while the Pentium models feature the slightly more powerful UHD Graphics 605. As stated in the driver updates, Intel seemingly plans to stick the Gen11 graphics processor into the the Elkhart Lake SoCs, which is a very significant upgrade as far as integrated graphics are concerned.
Intel's Gen11 graphics solution is slated to pump over one TFLOP of compute performance. It conforms to the GT2 (GT standing for graphics technology) design and can pack up to 64 execution units (EUs).
According to last month's GFXBench leak, Gen11 Iris Plus Graphics 940 represents a 77.41 percent upgrade over the previous Gen9 iGPU. Gen11 reportedly beats AMD's Vega 10 by up to 62.97 percent and Vega 11 by around 1.69 percent. Nevertheless, it's too soon to draw conclusions because synthetic benchmarks aren't always a reliable indicator for real-world performance. It'll take proper testing to see whether Gen11 lives up to Intel's promise.
While the idea of gaming on a budget SoC certainly sounds exciting, there's a high possibility that Elkhart Lake chips won't feature the same Gen11 graphics that were leaked. Gemini Lake are low-power processors and designed especially for entry-level and budget devices, and we don't expect Elkhart Lake to break that mold.