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Intel’s 8th Generation Core i7-8000 Series Processors To Feature Performance Greater Than 15% Over 7th Gen CPUs – Launching in 2H of 2017


Intel has revealed during an investors meeting that they expect a good gain in performance from their Core i7-8000 series, 8th generation processors. The new processors would deliver increased performance throughput on the current 14nm process node.

Intel's 8th Generation Core i7-8000 Series Chips To Be More Than 15% Faster Than 7th Generation Processors

Intel mentioned during the meeting that not only is their 8th generation family going to be 15% faster than current processors, but they also utilize an updated version of the 14nm node. It looks like we are looking at another generation of 14nm processors from Intel in 2017. These would be branded as the Core i7/i5/i3-8000 series and would replace the existing 7th generation family.

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The most interesting thing about this info is that Intel calls the whole process as "Advancing Moore's Law on 14 nm". So this means two things, first is that these aren't part of the 10nm Cannonlake family. While Cannonlake chips are expected to launch on mobility platforms this year, the 8th generation processors mentioned in these slides have nothing to do with those parts. Second is that these could be several existing product lines branded as something new.

Our first guess would be Kaby Lake-X but those fall under the Core i7-7000 series branding as leaked yesterday. Next up we have Coffee Lake processors but we shouldn't expect them until 1H 2018. The only thing that would make sense is Skylake-X. But that doesn't makes any sense either since HEDT platforms will feature the older 6th generation Skylake architecture. The dates are also something to take note of. We know that there was no HEDT platform launch in 2H of 2016. Neither did Haswell-E or Broadwell-E launch in 2H 2015 or 2H 2016. So we are still going to make a guess as to what these new 8th generation processors could be.

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Although we aren't exactly sure about what's coming next from Intel that is being mentioned in the slides. But we can confirm that there's Kaby Lake-X, Skylake-X and Cannonlake chips arriving in 2H 2017. Surely, we can think of something but with multiple upcoming product lines, we can't really pin which processor series is Intel specifically referring to.

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There's a slight possibility that Intel could be speeding up the launch time of Coffee Lake processors for launch by the end of this year on desktop platform which would make some sense but all we know from previous reports is that Coffee Lake processors were planned for Q1 2018 (initially). The launch of Ryzen processors from AMD in the coming month may have prompted Intel to accelerate their product lines for the consumer market.

Intel's CEO, Brian Krzanich was very confident that they can tackle Ryzen with Kaby Lake chips as he replied to an analyst from Deutsche Bank Securities. Following is what he had to say:

Ross C. Seymore (Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc): That’s very helpful. I guess as my follow-up, you talked about the ASPs in answering a prior question. I wondered about the competitive intensity in the PC market. You’re taking a more conservative tack than the third-party vendors are forecasting, but your primary x86 competitor is coming out with a new architecture for the first time in many, many years. So, I wonder whether it’s on the ASP or the unit or the market share side how you’re factoring that into your forecast for the year.

Brian M. Krzanich (Intel Corp): Sure. I would tell you that we always look at this environment and say there’s going to be a competitive risk in the environment. And we’re always focused on really, our own product roadmap and making sure that we have the highest performance product. So, when we look at 2017, we still believe that our product roadmap is truly the best ever it’s been.

And as we look at the Kaby Lake and as it really ramps up through 2017, or it came out really just at the end of 2016 and now will ramp with many more SKUs and higher-performance products as we go into 2017. And then we showed at CES the first working 10-nanometer Cannonlake product, which we’re still planning to ship by the end of this year and really ramp into 2018. We still believe that our roadmap and our leadership will continue to give us the performance the customers want and desire. And so that didn’t necessarily factor into that more cautious forecast. That forecast was really much more a function of where we think the PC market really is overall. [Source: SeekingAlpha]

Intel's 7th and 8th Generation Processor Families. (Credits: Benchlife.info)

The one edge Intel would have with the new processors is that they would be 15% faster than Kaby Lake that is an architecture built on the solid foundation of Skylake. Intel gained 10% better performance thanks to the optimized node on Kaby Lake compared to Skylake. Although there were no IPC improvements, the clock speed bump increased the performance by a decent level. We can now expect a 15% general performance increase from Kaby Lake itself. So summing up the total performance gains, we are looking at around 20-30% better performance compared to Skylake on the 8th generation processors which is a good increase for consumers.

The launch plan is in second half of 2017 so we can expect some details at later events such as Computex 2017. It would have been better if Intel shed some light on the processor family but I guess we will have to wait a bit.

Intel Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

 Intel Sandy BridgeIntel Ivy BridgeIntel HaswellIntel BroadwellIntel SkylakeIntel Kaby LakeIntel Coffee LakeIntel Coffee Lake RefreshIntel Comet LakeIntel Rocket Lake
Processor ArchitectureSandy BridgeIvy BridgeHaswellBroadwellSkylakeKaby LakeCoffee LakeCoffee LakeComet LakeRocket Lake
Processor Process32nm22nm22nm14nm14nm14nm+14nm++14nm++14nm++14nm++
Processors Cores (Max)4/84/84/84/84/84/86/128/1610/2010/20?
Platform Chipset6-Series7-Series8-Series9-Series100-Series200-Series300-Series300-Series400-Series400-Series?
Platform SocketLGA 1155LGA 1155LGA 1150LGA 1150LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1200TBD
PlatformDesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGA