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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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 FamilySapphire Rapids-X?Cascade Lake-XSkylake-XSkylake-XSkylake-XBroadwell-EHaswell-EIvy Bridge-ESandy Bridge-EGulftown
Process Node10nm ESF14nm++14nm+14nm+14nm+14nm22nm22nm32nm32nm
Flagship SKUTBACore i9-10980XEXeon W-3175XCore i9-9980XECore i9-7980XECore i7-6950XCore i7-5960XCore i7-4960XCore i7-3960XCore i7-980X
Max Cores/Threads56/112?18/3628/5618/3618/3610/208/166/126/126/12
Clock SpeedsTBA3.00 / 4.80 GHz3.10/4.30 GHz3.00/4.50 GHz2.60/4.20 GHz3.00/3.50 GHz3.00/3.50 GHz3.60/4.00 GHz3.30/3.90 GHz3.33/3,60 GHz
Max CacheTBA24.75 MB L338.5 MB L324.75 MB L324.75 MB L325 MB L320 MB L315 MB L315 MB L312 MB L3
Max PCI-Express Lanes (CPU)64 Gen5?44 Gen344 Gen344 Gen344 Gen340 Gen340 Gen340 Gen340 Gen232 Gen2
Chipset CompatiblityC790?X299C612EX299X299X99 ChipsetX99 ChipsetX79 ChipsetX79 ChipsetX58 Chipset
Socket CompatiblityLGA 4677?LGA 2066LGA 3647LGA 2066LGA 2066LGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3LGA 2011LGA 2011LGA 1366
Memory CompatiblityDDR5-4800?DDR4-2933DDR4-2666DDR4-2800DDR4-2666DDR4-2400DDR4-2133DDR3-1866DDR3-1600DDR3-1066
Max TDPTBA165W255W165W165W140W140W130W130W130W
LaunchQ2 2022?Q4 2019Q4 2018Q4 2018Q3 2017Q2 2016Q3 2014Q3 2013Q4 2011Q1 2010
Launch PriceTBA$979 US~$4000 US$1979 US$1999 US$1700 US$1059 US$999 US$999 US$999 US
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