Intel 14nm Skylake-EP and 10nm Cannonlake-EP Supported on Purley Platform – Up To 160W TDP, Arriving in 1H 2017

Hassan Mujtaba

Intel is finally planning to replace their Brickland and Grantely platforms with the latest Purley platform which will support the next generation Skylake and Cannonlake processors. Intel Skylake launched in August this year and is gradually making its way into the mobility and desktop market with high-end parts planned for launch in 2017. Today, we can confirm that Purley platform will not only support Skylake but also the Cannonlake chips.

Intel's Purley Platform Supports Skylake-EP and Cannonlake-EP Processors - Arriving in 1H 2017

The new details regarding Purley Platform come from XFastest who were able to score a few roadmaps of Intel server boards up till 2H 2017. We know it from current reports that Broadwell will be the last microarchitecture to be available on the Brickland/Greenland platforms. Intel has planned three tiers of Broadwell server and WS (Workstation) chips that include Broadwell-EX/EN Xeon E7-8800/4800/2800 V4 that arrives in Q2 2016, next up is the Broadwell-EP Xeon E5-2600 V4 which launches in Q1 2016 followed by Broadwell-EP Xeon E5-4600 V4 in Q2 2016. More detailed plans of Intel's latest Broadwell and 2016 workstation/server end launches have been detailed below:

  • Xeon E5 v4 family of processors will be landing in the first half of 2016. This will consist of the Broadwell EP series of processors for one. Which include the Xeon E5 1600 v4 and E5 2600 v4 family of processors for both single and dual socket motherboards. The E5 1600 v4 series will have upto 8 cores whieas the 2600v4 series will rock upto 22 cores and have full support of DDR4 2400 memory. The platform will be compatible with the C610 series chipset. The Broadwell-EP 4S platform (upto 4 sockets on one motherboard) consisting of the Xeon E5 4600 v4 will be launched sometime in Q2 2016.
  • The Xeon E7 v4 family of processors, constituting the Broadwell-EX platform, and the nomenclature range of Xeon E7 4800v4 and Xeon E7 8800 v4 will be launched in Q2 2016. It will also be compatible with the existing Brickland platform.
  • The Xeon Phi x200 series of products (Knights Landing) will be available in Q3 2016. Knight’s Landing was built on the 14nm Process and uses modified silvermont cores (x86 ofcourse). It is also one of the first mass produced components developed for this market segment that features stacked DRAM.


For Skylake, Intel will finally move to a brand new platform known as Purley which will be a scalable and unified platform supporting all 2S, 4S and 8S chips in the Skylake-EP and Skylake-EN lineup. It will feature the Storm Lake Gen 1 architecture which is the name for Intel’s next generation Omni-Path interconnect to be housed on this specific platform while the Lewisburg PCH will be powering the entire platform. The new fabric can deliver up to 100 GB/s interconnect speed with 56% lower latency compared to the current generation Infiniband Inter connect while allowing 48 ports with the new Switch Chip architecture. We can expect up to 28 cores, 56 threads and an insane amount of cache on these processors that will feature 45-160W TDPs with 6 channel DDR4 memory support and 48 PCI-Express lanes per chip. An 8S platform housing these chips will end up featuring 228 cores, 448 threads and 560 MB of L3 cache. The Skylake chips are expected to hit market in 1H 2017 with the new server board designs that include Wolf Pass, Buchanan Pass and Sawtooth Pass. The latest racks will fully support Intel's Skylake-EP Xeon E5-2600 V5, Xeon E5-4600 V5 and Skylake-EX Xeon E7-8800 V5 processors that will be built on the current generation 14nm process node.


Moving to 2018, we will be looking at the 10nm Cannonlake-EP Xeon E5-2600 V6 and Cannonlake-EN Xeon E5-8800/4800/2800 V6 processors. There's little known about Cannonlake at the moment but it seems like Intel will skip Kaby Lake and won't include it in the server/workstation roadmap. The new Cannonlake-EP chips will retain all the features Skylake generation and include some new features too such as higher PCI-e lanes (more than 48), support for PCI-e Gen4 architecture on the latest server boards, higher core count (Up To 32 cores on Cannonlake-EX) and faster clocked DDR4 memory. Both Skylake-EP/EN and Cannonlake-EP/EN will be feature compatibility on the new Socket P so things look really interesting as we move in to 2017. Since HEDT chips are also planned for launch in 2017 (based on Skylake), we can expect a small core count boost with Skylake-E CPU and beyond as several generation of HEDT CPUs have proved that Intel has seen a good demand for processors which integrated more cores and features. Processors like the legacy Core i7-920, Core i7-980X and the recent Core i7-5960X are often termed as the most successful HEDT chips as they offer best value, features and high-end performance in their generation timeline.

Image Credits: HWInsights

“When performance enthusiasts are offered an innovative and enticing new product platform, typically the most affordable and the most premium product SKUs will sell well. The Core i7 980X “Gulftown” (first enthusiast six-core) and the Core i7 5960X “Haswell-E” (first enthusiast eight-core) are both highly successful premium models priced at the $1,000 (USD) mark.

“When a new platform is not enticing, only a small group of enthusiasts will adopt the new platform, typically purchasing the least expensive full-featured model. For Sandy Bridge-E, the most popular SKU was the Core i7 3930K ($583) and for Ivy Bridge-E the more popular SKU was the Core i7 4930K ($555).” via HWInsights

An interesting study by HWInsights revealed that its not higher frequency that determines the success of a high end enthusiast chip nor the price, its the features adopted by new processors. The Core i7-980X was the first CPU to feature 6 cores and had 4 MB more cache but sold at a price of $999 US. This chip, despite the insane pricing was around three-times more popular than the 975 and generated an accumulated value 41% more than the high-bar set by the 920. So far Intel to see a good response to their next generation HEDT lineup, the definitely would have to up the amount of features not only on the platform but also on their latest CPUs.

Product FamilyIntel Xeon E5-2600/4600 V4Intel Xeon E7-8800/4800 V4Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 V5Intel Xeon E7-8800/4800 V5Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 V6Intel Xeon E7-8800/4800 V6
Family BrandingBroadwell-EPBroadwell-EXSkylake-EPSkylake-EXCannonlake-EPCannonlake-EX
Process Node14nm14nm14nm14nm10nm10nm
Xeon PlatformIntel GrantleyIntel BricklandIntel PurelyIntel PurelyIntel PurleyIntel Purley
PCHC610 SeriesC602J SeriesLewisburg PCHLewisburg PCHLewisburg PCHLewisburg PCH
SocketSocket R3Socket R1Socket PSocket PSocket PSocket P
Omni-Path (Interconnect)N/AN/AStorm Lake Gen1Storm Lake Gen1Storm Lake Gen1Storm Lake Gen1
Max Core Count2224262830-32?32-34?
Max Thread Count4448525660-64?64-68?
Max L3 Cache55 MB60 MB65 MB70 MB75-80?80-85?
Max PCI-Express Lanes40 PCI-E Gen332 PCI-E Gen348 PCI-E Gen348 PCI-E Gen3>48 PCI-E Gen3>48 PCI-E Gen3
DDR4 Memory Support4-Channel DDR44-Channel DDR46-Channel DDR46-Channel DDR46-Channel DDR46-Channel DDR4
TDP Range55-145W115-165W45-160W110-160W45-160W110-160W
Launch ExpectedQ1 2016Q2 20161H 2017201720182018
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