Today Intel has revealed that the company will be announcing their 8th generation Core processors and associated architecture on August 21st. This announcement of an announcement comes as the company is in the middle of launching the rest of the Core i9 Skylake-X processors, with the announcement essentially set to fill out the rest of the year for the company’s CPU product portfolio.

Intel has in recent times settled into a fairly consistent and roughly yearly release cadence for the Core processor family. Other than Broadwell’s delay, Intel has typically launched a new processor in the summer/fall timeframe for the past half-decade. And as early as an investor meeting in February, the company revealed that we should expect the 8th generation processors in the second half of this year.

Officially, Intel has not published any Core architecture roadmaps in some time, but what is widely expected to be revealed on the 21st is Intel’s Coffee Lake processors. Coffee Lake is a further evolution of Skylake and Kaby Lake, and like its predecessors, the company has already been confirmed that these 8th generation processors will also be made on their 14nm process. Meanwhile back at Computex Intel was talking up a sizable 30% performance gain in SYSmark, though based on Intel’s associated demonstration it looks like that claim is primarily about laptops. Otherwise, what little we know of Coffee Lake is that it will require a new chipset, and desktop processors will not work in existing 200-series motherboards.

The big question, besides official specifications, will be around what launches when. Whether Intel will lead with mobile, lead with desktop, or even launch both at the same time. Intel has traditionally led with mobile, and as a recently as 7th generation Core (Kaby Lake) that was still the case. On the other hand (and rumors aside), the fact that we’ve already seen motherboard manufacturers accidentally confirm information about desktop processors solidly points to desktop parts sooner than later, an interesting turn of events given the still-ongoing Skylake-X launch.

Otherwise, this launch may give us a hint of what to expect for the structure of future Intel processor launches. An announcement like this would normally be made at IDF, which would have taken place the week of August 14th had Intel not discontinued it this year. Intel is plenty capable of launching products outside of IDF (see: Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X), but the loss of IDF changes things significantly. On the one hand, they're no longer under the gun to present something big to the amassed press, investors, and developers. On the other hand, they don't have those same masses conveniently gathered in one location. So it will be interesting to see how Intel handles this launch now that it's a lower-key event.

Finally, given this timing, it remains to be seen how Intel will work their forthcoming first generation 10nm Cannonlake parts into the rotation. Cannonlake was originally expected this year, though it’s anything but clear if that’s still going to happen. However even an early 2018 launch would come only a handful of months after Coffee Lake, and with initial 10nm yields pushing a practical need to start on small die products (e.g. U/Y processors), it’ll be interesting to see how Intel structures their product lineup for these back-to-back transitions.

Source: Intel

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  • hingsunanand - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    There are only 3 factors I would consider for this new processor line. 1st, will there be a xeon ecc option. 2nd, will Intel match the number of PCIE lanes with AMD to 64 lanes. 3rd, will any low core count version be release since my workload is light and do not need anything more then 4 cores.
  • coder543 - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    It honestly sounds like the AMD ThreadRipper 1900X is almost perfect for your workload. Why do you want to wait for Intel to offer something they have no interest in offering? Intel prefers to highly segment their offerings, so getting all of that in one seems unlikely.

    All of AMD's current processors support ECC memory if you get an appropriate motherboard, so, the 1900X offers:

    - 60 usable PCIe lanes
    - quad-channel ECC RAM
    - 8 cores / 16 threads that boosts from 3.8GHz to 4.2GHz (with XFR)
    - easily overclockable, if more is needed

    It's not a quad-core part, of course.

    AnandTech article:
  • peevee - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    15%? They lie. There have not been such generational increase since Sandy Bridge. It is 0% here, 5% there for the last 6 years, and there is no indication it is getting any better.

    Do you remember the time when CPU performance increased 50% every year? More than doubled in 2 years? I do.

    It is all about architecture now, which is simply hit the physics barrier. A completely new computer architecture is needed, and it is totally possible (I have developed one, not von Neumann-derived) to eventually increase performance/W by an order of magnitude.
  • melgross - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    The architecture to Watch is ARM, particularly as done by Apple. They are still managing to give 30 to 50% increases year after year. And while these A series,chips are only equal to the i3 and 15 mobile x86 lines, they also use less than 5 watts for the entire tablet SoC, and less than 3 watts for the iphone version, which includes the GPU, which is itself increasing by 50 to 75% a year.

    I would imagine that if Apple decided to use this for something else, they could figure out a way to work it with 10 Watts, and blow past the mobile i7 too.

    Past that, who knows?
  • peevee - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    Nope. ARM has exactly the same architectural problems, and in fact follows the same improvement pattern as Intel, only a few years later. For example, A73 is almost the same as A72 in terms of performance per watt (more integer but less FP performance in fact).
    You cannot fool physics which prevents further performance and efficiency improvements in the current architecture. But you can change architecture, in the way which is compatible with all the current software (normal software, without the need to rewrite everything like for OpenCL/GPU computing for example), while replacing CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, ISPs and to a point even single-function blocks (the latter with somewhat lower efficiency, but not with 10x-100x lower like the current generation of CPUs).
    Current CPU designers are just stuck on the way set in 1940s, while technology made it completely obsolete.
  • extide - Monday, August 14, 2017 - link

    They are talking SKU to SKU -- so like a 6700K vs a 7700K, so they are including higher clockspeed in there as well -- not just IPC. (And as we know, 6700K -> 7700K was essentially only clockspeed)
  • bodonnell - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    Isn't Coffee Lake coming exclusively to desktop (as hexa and quad core CPUs) and higher end mobile parts (as quad core 15 & 28 W CPUs and up to hexa core 45 W CPUs), with Cannon Lake (10 nm) releasing only mobile small die dual core 6 & 15 W CPUs? I thought I remembered seeing that on an Intel roadmap a while back but it's possible things have changed...

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