Intel Bids Gemini Lake Refresh CPUs Farewell

According to two (opens in new tab) new (opens in new tab) Product Change Notifications (PCNs), Intel has discontinued the company’s Gemini Lake Refresh (GLK-R) processors. The 14nm Pentium and Celeron-branded chips, launched in 2019, were commonly found inside entry-level and ultra-low powered desktops, laptops, mini-PCs, and AIOs.

The original Gemini Lake (GLK) lineup came out in 2017, leveraging Intel’s Goldmont Plus microarchitecture. The 14nm low-power chips, which span up to four cores without Hyper-Threading, were the direct replacements for the chipmaker’s Apollo Lake processors at the time. However, given Gemini Lake’s prevalence in budget-oriented devices, Intel refreshed the lineup in 2019 with moderately improved clock speeds on the 10W and 6W processors.

Intel retired Gemini Lake in 2020, ending a three-year run for the low-power chips. Therefore, Gemini Lake Refresh has had a slightly longer run, but all good things must end. Intel is handling the discontinuance with two different groups. The first group consists of the Celeron N4120, Celeron 4020, and Pentium Silver N5030, while the latter group encompasses the Celeron J4025, Pentium Silver J5040, Celeron N4020C, and Celeron J4125. Intel’s clients have until November 24, 2023, and August 25, 2023, to put in their last orders for the first and second retirement groups, respectively. The chipmaker will ship the former by May 24, 2024, and the latter by February 23, 2024.

Intel Gemini Lake Refresh CPUs

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Processor Core / Threads Base / Boost Clock (GHz) Cache (MB) TDP (W)
Pentium Silver J5040 4 / 4 2.2 / 3.2 4 10
Pentium Silver N5030 4 / 4 1.1 / 3.1 4 6
Celeron J4125 4 / 4 2.0 / 2.7 4 10
Celeron N4120 4 / 4 1.1 / 2.6 4 6
Celeron J4025 2 / 2 2.0 / 2.9 4 10
Celeron N4020 2 / 2 1.1 / 2.8 4 6
Celeron N4020C 2 / 2 1.1 / 2.8 4 6

Goldmont Plus ultimately has grown long in the tooth and was already been replaced by Tremont in 2020, so it makes sense for Intel to wind down 14nm production and focus on Tremont instead. Tremont powers the 10nm Elkhart Lake and Jasper Lake processors, with the latter being the successors of the Gemini Lake Refresh chips.

Jasper Lake features Tremont cores, which offer a considerable IPC uplift over Goldmont Plus. By Intel’s estimates, Tremont has up to 32% higher IPC than Jasper Lake while retaining the same thermal conditions. This means 10W for J-series SKUs that target desktops and 6W for the N-series SKUs that cater to mobile devices. Most of the performance increase is thanks to the Tremont cores since Jasper Lake still maxes out at four cores and only comes with slightly better clock speeds.

With Gemini Lake Refresh almost out of the picture, upcoming really low-budget devices will arrive with Jasper Lake processors as the default. It’s excellent news since vendors will have no choice by to use the newer 10nm chips that will offer better performance for budget-conscious consumers.