2020 MacBook Air Using Unannounced 10th Gen Intel Processors

2020 MacBook Air

We know that Apple’s newly launched MacBook Air uses newer, 10th Gen. processors from Intel, but what we didn’t know until now that the company is using unannounced CPU models. Intel may have made these processors specifically for Apple.

Apple’s new MacBook Air uses Intel’s unannounced processors that have smaller package sizes, higher base clock speeds, and higher TDP. These changes would result in better performance, compact laptop size, and probably better battery life.

The three new CPU options that Apple offers for its new MacBook Air: Intel Core i3-1000NG4, Intel Core i5-1030NG7, and Intel Core i7-1060NG7. Note that there’s an N in the model numbers of these processors, which is missing from standard parts.

Base CPU Clock Speed Boost CPU Clock Speed Cores/Threads TDP Configurable TDP
Intel Core i3-1000G4 1.1GHz 3.2GHz 2/4 9W Down To 8W
Intel Core i3-1000NG4 1.1GHz 3.2GHz 2/4 9W NA
Intel Core i5-1030G7 800MHz 3.5GHz 4/8 9W Up To 12W
Intel Core i5-1030NG7 1.1GHz 3.5GHz 4/8 10W NA
Intel Core i7-1060G7 1GHz 3.8GHz 4/8 9W Up To 12W
Intel Core i7-1060NG7 1.2GHz 3.8GHz 4/8 10W NA

Compared to the standard model (Intel Core i3-1030G4), the custom version made for Apple (Intel Core i3-1030NG4) has a higher clock speed (900MHz vs. 1.1GHz) and a higher TDP (9W vs. 10W). The custom parts also forego some features such as support for Intel Optane memory, Intel Trusted Execution, and configurable TDP.

By removing these features, Intel may have been able to reduce the size of processors. If you notice, these CPUs have a physical size of 22mmx16.5mm, while the non-Apple CPUs have a dimension of 26.5mmx18.5mm. Apple’s MacBook Air might be the first laptops to feature Intel’s Ice Lake Y-series processors.

Our Take

While we don’t have any proof of performance differences of these custom CPU parts, we are inclined to believe that higher base clock speeds and TDPs would likely offer better performance. Since Apple orders parts in millions, Intel may have made custom CPU models for the MacBook Air. It is unlikely that we will see these processors in laptops from other manufacturers.

[Via Liliputing]