HomeWinBuzzer NewsIntel's Lunar Lake CPUs Drop Hyper-Threading for Efficiency Gains

Intel’s Lunar Lake CPUs Drop Hyper-Threading for Efficiency Gains

Focusing on single-threading marks a significant strategic change aimed at efficiency and overall processor performance.

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's upcoming Lunar Lake processors will no longer feature hyper-threading, a move the company disclosed at Computex 2024. This marks a significant strategic change aimed at improving single-threaded efficiency and overall processor performance. Lunar Lake is the codename for Intel's next-generation .
 

Boosted Single-Thread Performance

Intel´s Lunar Lake enhances single-thread performance by refining the P-core architecture without using hyper-threading. This new P-core design, dubbed Lion Cove, features 2.5MB of L2 CPU cache per core and up to 12MB of shared L3 cache. E-cores under the Skymont architecture come with 4MB of shared L2 cache. Furthermore, the new L0 data cache reduces data access latencies and speeds up performance.

First seen in Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake, the hybrid architecture uses a mix of high-performance cores (P-cores) and efficiency cores (E-cores) to distribute tasks based on workload. The initial setup had some inefficiencies, as operating system schedulers frequently favored physical cores over hyper-threads, despite using Intel Thread Director (ITD).

Smarter Task Scheduling, Lower Power Consumption

Improvements in the Intel Thread Director allow it to favor E-cores, called Skymont, for task scheduling, resulting in reduced power usage. This adjustment has led to a 35% decrease in power consumption for applications like Microsoft Teams. The updated ITD can single out the most power-efficient CPUs on Lunar Lake platforms, letting Windows OS use these CPUs efficiently while others remain idle.

Memory in Lunar Lake includes LPDDR5X-8500, available in 16GB or 32GB configurations, embedded directly on the chip package. This setup reduces latency and board space, decreasing power consumption of the memory PHY by 40%.

Unveiled previously at Intel Tech Tour 2023 in Taipei, Taiwan, the Lunar Lake architecture primarily targets mobile platforms and is set to launch in Q3. Skymont E-cores see IPC gains of 38% and 68%, while Lion Cove P-cores offer a 14% improvement of Instructions per cycle (IPC). The integrated Xe2 GPU promises a 50% performance boost.

AI Integration and Fabrication Choices

The Lunar Lake lineup includes a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) capable of 48 TOPS in AI performance, surpassing 's next-gen AI PC standards. Combined with the CPU and iGPU, the system offers 120 TOPS. Intel has partnered with TSMC, employing its 3nm N3B process for the compute tile and the N6 node for the platform controller tile, while Intel handles the 22FFL Foveros base tile.

Beyond mobile applications, these design improvements will be integrated into desktop Arrow Lake processors and Xeon 6 series. The Lunar Lake's top model features four P-cores and four E-cores, arranged on a dual-logic-tile architecture connected to a Foveros base tile using a 25-micron bump pitch for better interconnect density and power efficiency.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.