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Intel to Launch Multiple Six-core CPUs on Coffee Lake Architecture, i5 Lineup

In what could be a decisive response from Intel towards AMD's recent Ryzen success and core count democratization, reports are making the rounds that Intel is preparing for a shakedown of sorts of its i7 and i5 CPU line-up under the upcoming Coffee Lake architecture. We recently saw (and continue to see) AMD deliver much more interesting propositions than Intel in a pure power/performance/core ratio. And Intel seems to know that its lineup is in dire need of revision, if it wants to stop its market dominant position from bleeding too much.

A report from Canard PC claims that Intel will thoroughly revise its CPU lineup for the Coffee Lake architecture, with an i7-8700K six-core, 12-thread processor being the top offering. This 8700K is reported to deliver its 12 threads at a 3.7 GHz base clock, and a 95 W TDP. These are comparable to AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X processor, which ships with the same six cores and 12 threads under the same TDP, though it has 100 MHz less in base clock speed. However, AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X does retail for about $249 - and you can go even lower to Ryzen 5 1600's $219 - which probably won't happen with Intel's top of the line i7 offering. A slight mention towards the Ryzen 7's 95 W TDP - the same as this reported i7 8700K - even though it has 2 more physical cores, and 4 extra threads.

Acer Notebooks Among First to Feature Core "Coffee Lake" Processors

PC major Acer will be among the first manufacturers to deploy Intel's 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors on its products. The company's Swift 3 notebook, which is already open to pre-orders on Amazon, has one of its CPU options as Intel Core i5-8250U, as discovered by LaptopMedia, in an article. It goes on to describe the i5-8250U as a quad-core chip clocked at 1.60 GHz with up to 3.40 GHz boost, with 6 MB of L3 cache. This is particularly big for the ultra-slim notebook segment as the i5-8250U is among the first quad-core "ultra low power" ("U" suffix) SKUs based on a high performance core, by Intel. The listing doesn't reveal when the notebook will ship.

It's Coffee Lake Again: Intel Six-Core Processor Surfaces on Geekbench

After rearing its head on SiSoft Sandra, it seems that an engineering sample of Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake CPUs has appeared again - this time on Geekbench. Coffee Lake is supposed to be Intel's version of a core-count democratization. It is expected that the company will introduce six-core CPUs to their i7 line of processors (since apparently the i9 moniker is now limited to the company's HEDT solutions). This should bring about a reshuffle of Intel's CPU line-up, though it remains to be seen how the company will go about that way.

Moving on to the actual Geekbench scores, Intel's 6-core, 12-thread CPU delivers a 4,619 single-core score, and a 20,828 multi-core score. This is more or less inline with AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X 6-core, 12-thread processor. However, AMD's solution is clocked higher than this particular engineering sample was (3.6 GHz on the Ryzen 5 vs 3.2 GHz on the Intel Coffee Lake sample, a 400 MHz difference.) This probably means that finalized Intel silicon with come with higher clocks, and therefore, a more commanding performance.

Intel Coffee Lake Six-core Processor Rears its Head on SiSoftware Sandra

After the absence of some further details on Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake mainstream CPU architecture (which is understandable, really, considering how the X299 platform and accompanying processors are all the rage these days), some new details have emerged. Intel's Coffee Lake architecture will still be manufactured on the company's 14 nm process, but is supposedly the last redoubt of the process, with Intel advancing to a 10 nm design with subsequent Cannon Lake.

The part in question is a six-core processor, which appears identified as a Genuine Intel CPU 0000 (so, an engineering sample.) SiSoft Sandra identifies the processor as a Kaby Lake-S part, which is probably because Coffee Lake processors aren't yet supported. The details show us a 3.1 GHz base, and a 4.2 GHz boost clock, with a 256 Kb L2 cache per core and a total of 12 MB L3 (so, 2 MB per core, which is in-line with current Kaby Lake offerings.) The 6-core "Coffee Lake" silicon will be built on a highly-refined 14 nm node by Intel, with a die-size of 149 mm². Quad-core parts won't be carved out of this silicon by disabling two cores, but rather be built on a smaller 126 mm² die.

Intel Announces 9th Gen Core "Cannon Lake" On Track, "Ice Lake" Taped Out

Intel announced that its first CPU micro-architecture built on its upcoming 10 nanometer silicon fab process, the 9th generation Core "Cannon Lake," is on track. In a tweet on the official company account, Intel also announced that its second micro-architecture on the new 10 nm process, codenamed "Ice Lake," is taped out.

In the wake of a competitive CPU lineup by AMD, Intel is frantically upgrading its product lineup, beginning with the new "Basin Falls" HEDT platform early-Summer 2017, followed by its 14 nm "Coffee Lake" 8th generation Core series late-Summer. "Coffee Lake" sees the first six-core SKUs to Intel's mainstream desktop lineup, which has until now, been restricted to dual-core and quad-core parts.

Intel Rushes in a Six-core Mainstream Desktop Processor by September

With AMD Ryzen 5 six-core and Ryzen 7 eight-core chips having blunt the edge of the $329 Core i7-7700K, the upper-end of Intel's mainstream desktop processor line-up has lost competitiveness to Intel's bean-counters. The company is readying a new mainstream-desktop platform, which in all likelihood, heralds a new socket, and the new Z370 Express chipset.

Intel plans to launch this platform by August-September (before Q4 sets in), and it has one big difference - a new six-core part, based on the 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" silicon. Built on a refined 14 nm process, the 6-core "Coffee Lake" chip could feature its TDP rating around the 95W mark for the "K" (multiplier unlocked) part. Quad-core parts could also be carved out of this silicon, with their TDP rated at 65W for the non-K (multiplier-locked) parts. AMD Ryzen 7 1700 eight-core chip with unlocked multipler is rated at 65W. Intel will follow up on its first-wave of "Coffee Lake" chips with additional quad-core and dual-core parts in Q1-2018, besides other 300-series chipsets (likely the H370 and B350).

Intel Pushes Motherboard + Optane Bundles, "Coffee Lake" in August

Back in April, we reported motherboard manufacturer MSI bundling Intel's Optane cache SSD with a few of its mid-range motherboards. While not free, the bundle would be slightly cheaper than the sum of its parts (buying the board and SSD separately). At the time we predicted that other motherboard vendors could launch similar bundles. It turns out that Intel is indeed coordinating motherboard + Optane SSD bundles.

In a bid to boost sales of its 200-series chipset motherboards and Core "Kaby Lake" processors, Intel is coordinating bundles of motherboards across brands with its Optane cache SSDs. Analysts predict that this could be an inventory-clearing exercise by Intel, because it plans to launch its next-generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors by late-August, 2017. "Coffee Lake" will see the introduction of six-core processor SKUs to Intel's mainstream-desktop platform, which is currently led by the quad-core i7-7700K "Kaby Lake."

Intel's Coffee Lake CPUs Likely Compatible With LGA 1151 Motherboards

Another interesting tidbit to have dropped from recent SiSotware leaks on Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake CPUs is that these could be backwards compatible with LGA 1151 motherboards that rock the 200 series chipset (and perhaps even the 100 series.) This last tidbit seems to be a bit of a stretch, even if it does end up being somewhat of a motherboard manufacturer's choice whether or not to issue updated, supporting BIOSes for the most recent Intel processors on their older boards. But why lose so many sales of motherboards equipped with Intel's upcoming, complimentary 300 series chipsets?

This piece of information comes courtesy of SiSoftware Sandra, again, where the 6-core Coffee Lake Intel chip, running @ 3.5 GHz, was tested in a Kaby Lake S platform - which features a 200 series chipset, no less. This means that there is a chance users will have a straight, drop-in upgrade path for Coffee Lake 6-core chips (seems Intel is no longer keeping all of those cores to themselves.) Doesn't that make the world seem a better place?

Intel's Six-core, Coffee Lake CPUs Surface in SiSoftware

Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake architecture, which is now all but confirmed to have been pulled forward by the company in an attempt to staunch the bleeding incurred from AMD's recently launched, table-turning Ryzen processors, has reared its head in SiSoftware. In some benchmarks, what is identified as a 6-core, 6-thread CPU from Intel surface, with a clockspeed @ 3.5 GHz, 1.5 MB L2 cache (256 Kb per core) and 9 MB L3 cache. This L3 cache is quite puzzling, considering how Intel's Kaby Lake architecture features 2 MB of L3 cache per core. If Coffee Lake were to keep most of Kaby Lake's design - which it will - then this chip should feature something along the lines of 12 MB L3 cache. The reduced amount of cache seems to scream at a disabled chip, but this could also be a case of a reporting error.

Intel to Accelerate Basin Falls Unveil, Coffee Lake Launch

According to DigiTimes, sources among Taiwan-based PC vendors have indicated that Intel's upcoming Basin Falls platform, which includes Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors on a new X299 chipset, will be unveiled at Computex 2017 (May 30th, June 3rd), in Taipei - two months earlier than expected. This move comes accompanied by an accelerated launch of the Coffee Lake microarchitecture, which still uses the 14 nm process, to August 2017 from an initial January 2018 launch. If true, this is big in a number of ways - that Intel would bring forward a product launch 4 months has some interesting implications - or at least, confirmations.

Remember that Coffee Lake is supposed to carry an increased number of cores in its mainstream designs. And we all know how Intel's line-up has almost been torn apart by Ryzen's aggressive core and thread-count, with AMD offering more cores and threads than Intel at virtually all price-points. And even if an argument is made regarding Intel's better gaming performance, that's one scenario out of many. Future proofing, professional work, multimedia, all of these assert AMD's dominance in a pure price-performance ratio. I, for one, would gladly give up some FPS in some games and accept an increased number of cores than go the other way around (especially with AMD's platform support and the number of patches that have increased game performance on Ryzen CPUs.)

Following Ryzen's Launch, Intel's CPUs Likely to See Price-Cuts

Let's quietly approach the elephant in the room: Intel's pricing structure will hardly stand the onslaught of AMD's Ryzen, which, if early benchmarks are to be believed, has apparently caught Intel with its pants down. Even purely from the leaks that have been following us non-stop in the last several months, it's obvious that AMD managed to outdo itself in the best way possible, managing to develop an architecture which offers up to 52% more performance than their previous one. Intel, which was enjoying the sun-shaded comfort of carrying a virtual, high-performance x86 monopoly, grew stagnant in innovation, ensuring it would stretch its bottom-line by way of minimal R&D investment - just enough to be able to name their improvements as a "new generation" of processors each year.

This in turn has led to an interesting outlook in the high-performance x86 market: customers aren't blind, and they see when a company is stretching its fingers in their pockets. A stagnant performance increase on Intel's customer processors with almost a decade of single-digit increments and paralyzed core-counts to an (admittedly strong) architecture have taken away a lot of customers' goodwill towards Intel. That Intel still has strong brand cognition is a no-brainer, but it doesn't have as much brand credit these days, on account of the low performance gains, and tick-tock falter, than it did in the days of Athlon 64. AMD has the benefit of being the underdog, of coming up with something new, fresh and performant (with headlines claiming it is the latest revival of a sleeping giant)... and those are all points that put pressure on Intel to reignite interest on its products.

Intel "Coffee Lake" Company's First 6-core Mainstream SKU

Intel's upcoming "Coffee Lake" micro-architecture, or the 9th generation Core processor family by Intel, is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2018. It succeeds the 8th generation "Cannon Lake" family of notebook processors (which likely doesn't see a desktop launch), and the 7th Gen Core "Kaby Lake" socket LGA1151 processors slated for January 2017. While it's not known if mainstream desktop "Coffee Lake" chips will continue to be based on the LGA1151 socket, the possibility is diminishing, looking at a platform layout diagram leaked to the web by, supported by new connectivity interfaces coming out of the CPU package. The biggest selling-point of "Coffee Lake," is its core-count.

The 9th generation Core "Coffee Lake" family could introduce Intel's first 6-core processor to the mainstream desktop platform. The company's first 6-core client part was launched in its LGA1366 HEDT (high-end desktop) platform with the Core i7 "Gulftown" processor, way back in 2010. An increase in core-count from 4 has eluded the mainstream-desktop lineup. The 6-core "Coffee Lake" silicon will be built on a highly-refined 14 nm node by Intel, with a die-size of 149 mm². Quad-core parts won't be carved out of this silicon by disabling two cores, but rather be built on a smaller 126 mm² die. For reference, the quad-core "Kaby Lake" die is expected to be 123 mm², and the current quad-core "Skylake-D" die measures 122.6 mm².

Intel "Coffee Lake" Architecture by Q2-2018, 7 nm Process By 2022?

Intel's silicon fabrication has evidently hit a huge roadblock. It turns out that not just "Kaby Lake," but its two successors "Cannon Lake" and "Coffee Lake" could also be built on the 14 nm node, at best with a few process-level improvements. "Coffee Lake" is the company's 9th generation Core architecture, which is two steps ahead of even the "Kaby Lake" architecture, which is due later this year. "Kaby Lake" makes its way to the 45W mobile (H-segment) and 15W mobile (U-segment), in Q4-2016 and Q3-2016, respectively. The 15W U-segment will be augmented by "Cannon Lake" (8th generation Core) in Q4-2017. By mid-2018, Intel plans to launch "Coffee Lake" across both H- and U-segments.

According to a "Hot Hardware" report, based on a job listing for a systems engineer at the company, Intel could be staring at the scary prospect of holding out on 14 nm for the next three years, only to be relieved by the stopgap 10 nm node, which makes its debut with the 10th generation Core "Tiger Lake" architecture, due for 2019. "Tiger Lake," its succeeding "Ice Lake," and one other architecture could be launched on 10 nm, before finally deploying 7 nm around 2022.
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