Intel Shutters KBL-H, Kaby Lake Refresh Arriving Next Year – 10nm Coffee Lake Platforms, CFL-U, H, S and X On Schedule For 2018

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Dec 31, 2016
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Intel has decided to cancel the KBL-H platform citing a lack of demand and will only be pushing forward with KBL-R which stands for Kaby Lake Refresh. The KBL-H platform was going to be the 18-W, 4+2 platform (where the 4 stands for cores and 2 stands for GT2e graphics) but one that will no longer be seeing the light of day. According to the leaked roadmap by Benchlife.info, it looks like the 10nm based Coffe Lake is still on track for 2018 along with all its sub-platforms.

Kaby Lake-H canceled due to lack of interest, Kaby Lake Refresh arriving in summer 2017, 10nm Coffee Lake on track

The key message by Intel sent out to channel partners cites that the 18W processor has been canceled because: ‘interest is shifting to KBL-R’. Of course, what that actually translates into is that there is very little demand for KBL-H, considering its basically a repetition of the same 14nm process that has been here since Broadwell. Also with Ryzen on the way, Intel needs to shift its focus to its competition or risk losing its market position. It needs to be all hands on deck for blue, or it is going to be rough sailing.

It’s good to see however that Coffee Lake remains firmly on track and set for a 2018 release. While there have been rumblings that the 10nm process ran into trouble, this makes it clear that as of yet, these problems haven’t been large enough to cause a slowdown of schedule. The Coffee Lake platform is also going to be the first one with a 6 Core CPU introduced into the mainstream market. Although the entire paradigm of Intel pricing is probably going to change with the arrival of Ryzen.

All in all, it’s going to be a tough year for Intel because unlike AMD, the former is huge and less steerable as a company. It will need to respond to Ryzen by slashing prices and this is going to eat into the company’s margins. If they chose not to do it and instead take the ‘NVIDIA path’ where they claim to offer a superior product for a premium, this can backfire horribly and end up costing Intel its secure position in the industry. The reason? the Ryzen 8 core processor we saw is just the tip of the iceberg, if you remember there are other Zeppelin based CPUs inbound scaling all the way up to 32 cores, while they are not part of the mainstream spectrum the strain on Intel’s product offerings will clearly show in the mainstream side of things as well.

Kaby Lake is Intel’s 7th Generation of processors of this particular iteration of x86 and Coffee Lake is going to constitute the 8th Generation of Processors. CFL will be the first node shrink since the arrival of Broadwell and will only be pushed out on time if 10nm yields are on track. If they aren’t, we can expect Kaby Lake refresh to last longer than expected and only the mobility variants of CFL arriving near the end of 2018. With this, they will be able to keep up the pretense of a functioning Moore’s Law (or their latest definition of it anyways) even if they are facing bad yields.

Intel HEDT Processor Families:

Intel HEDT Family Gulftown Sandy Bridge-E Ivy Bridge-E Haswell-E Broadwell-E Skylake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X
Process Node 32nm 32nm 22nm 22nm 14nm 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+
Flagship SKU Core i7-980X Core i7-3960X Core i7-4960X Core i7-5960X Core i7-6950X Core i9-7980XE Core i9-9980XE Xeon W-3175X
Max Cores/Threads 6/12 6/12 6/12 8/16 10/20 18/36 18/36 28/56
Clock Speeds 3.33/3,60 GHz 3.30/3.90 GHz 3.60/4.00 GHz 3.00/3.50 GHz 3.00/3.50 GHz 2.60/4.20 GHz 3.00/4.50 GHz 3.10/4.30 GHz
Max Cache 12 MB L3 15 MB L3 15 MB L3 20 MB L3 25 MB L3 24.75 MB L3 24.75 MB L3 38.5 MB L3
Max PCI-Express Lanes (CPU) 32 Gen2 40 Gen2 40 Gen3 40 Gen3 40 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3 44 Gen3
Chipset Compatiblity X58 Chipset X79 Chipset X79 Chipset X99 Chipset X99 Chipset X299 X299 C612E
Socket Compatiblity LGA 1366 LGA 2011 LGA 2011 LGA 2011-3 LGA 2011-3 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 3647
Memory Compatiblity DDR3-1066 DDR3-1600 DDR3-1866 DDR4-2133 DDR4-2400 DDR4-2667 DDR4-2800 DDR4-2800
Max TDP 130W 130W 130W 140W 140W 165W 165W 255W
Launch Q1 2010 Q4 2011 Q3 2013 Q3 2014 Q2 2016 Q3 2017 Q4 2018 Q4 2018
Launch Price $999 US $999 US $999 US $1059 US $1700 US $1999 US $1979 US TBD
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