Intel's 8th-generation Core processors will be released in the second half of 2017, the company revealed during its annual Investors Day this past week. The chips, which carry the Coffee Lake moniker, are expected to pack an overall performance increase of 15%.
As reported by Ars Technica, one of the more surprising details to come out of the reveal was that the Coffee Lake chips will be based on the same 14nm process as Intel's previous Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lake chips. This would signal a further shift from Intel's past "tick-tock" cycle, which the company already abandoned by extending the 14nm process for a third generation with its Kaby Lake chips.
In prior generations, Intel would typically stick to a two-year cadence, shrinking die sizes on the "tick" years while debuting new microarchitecture in the "tock" years. Both the "tick" and "tock" releases would signal their own bumps in performance. The fact that Intel is still able to eke out more performance from its 14nm process after four generations is interesting, but it's not clear where those performance gains are coming from.
Performance gains aside, Coffee Lake is expected to include a six-core CPU in the i7 range, which is something previously only seen in the Xeon and Extreme Edition ranges.
It should be noted that Intel is currently working on 10nm chips, dubbed Cannon Lake, but it's unclear when we might see those arrive. That said, the rest of 2017 should prove to be very interesting as competition heats up from AMD's soon-to-be-released Ryzen lineup.
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