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Intel's 8th-generation Core chips are coming in the second half of 2017

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.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

38 Comments
  • Wow
  • Hopefully the next gen of Surface Pro/Book lines will include the new processor.
  • They will probably include Kaby Lake though.
  • Coffee Lake is not meant for laptops and tablets. There's still Cannonlake coming out this year for that fortunately.
  • Just skip the 7th generation, wait for 8th gen.
  • Just skip the 8th, wait for 9th! How about you just upgrade when you are ready to
  • And it won't be that revolutionary of an iteration, reports say.
  • Wonder if the Surface Pro 5 & Surface Book 2 will have these?
  • Extremely unlikely. We're talking late-2017, maybe early-2018 for these things (just a warning because of how Kaby ended up delayed). The new SP and SB should be out months before these CPUs.
  • I think a 10 nm Cannonlake Surface Pro 5 is possible since Intel has already had plenty of time to work on their issues with Cannonlake considering it's already been delayed a year.
  • Intel has been facing delays since 2014 and the launch of Broadwell. Pretty sure Microsoft won't wait to see "if" Intel launches Cannonlake. It's pretty much a given Pro 5/Book 2 will have Kaby Lake.
  • I think you missed the article. This year, they are doing a 14nm Coffee Lake. That's not expected until the second-half of this year, meaning to even get THAT, Microsoft would have to show up to their Spring conference and tell us to wait 3-6 months. To have a SP5 with Cannon Lake, they would have to delay any new hardware for probably another 18 months. 2018 is the soonest we will see Cannon Lake, how is it possible that we'll get it in 2017?
  • This probably shows the known struggles to hit 10nm in the industry. I think the AMD roadmap didn't have them planning for 10nm until 2019. It's sad to see Intel still dragging its feet a bit there, hopefuly Zen pushes them more than they've had to aim for in the last 3-5 years, where Bulldozer (and later, nothing) flailed badly in the consumer space for AMD. That they're talking of a 6-core CPU probably hints at acknowledgement of AMD's improvments. AMD seems to be pushing its high-end market as 8 cores and 16 threads, so Intel probably can't stay on a 4-core, 8-thread setup forever (unless they expect there to be 0 progress in threaded software design). I won't be looking at Coffee Lake myself, as I'm too busy hoping AMD has a winner here and the market makes changes to reflect that.
  • I'm surprised Intel is struggling to reach acceptable 10 nm yields. It seems Qualcomm and Samsung have beaten Intel to 10 nm and are not suffering from the same low yield problems either.
  • Intel's 14nm is equal to samsungs 10nm.
     
  • Is there a reason these companies choose these stupid names for product versions? It's reminding me of marshmallows and lollipops.
  • They're just internal code names. Microsoft famously used mountain ranges; Apple used big cats; Google uses desserts, etc. For consumers they will just see "Intel Core i7 8th Gen" sticker on their PCs and device specifications. If you use Skylake, Coffee Lake, Kaby Lake publicly you're just a tech nerd ;) If you're a true nerd you know that Intel picks the names based on geographical names of towns, rivers or mountains near the location of the Intel facility responsible for chips themselves :P
  • Ah, thanks, I kind of knew that already I think. I guess having Android versions advertised on products as their code names has ruined it for me.
  • I'm still waiting for my 10 core 4 GHz baby...
  • Just great ... after 3 years of Haswell on desktop we'll get 3 years of Skylake on desktop. Whoop-de-doo. At least Coffe Lake is not scheduled for laptops as well. There it's still Cannonlake.
  • AMD really need to do something great with Zen, this stagnation Intel's monopoly is causing is getting tedious.
  • Why would they push out 10nm tech when AMD is so far behind? it's easyer to do some mods that might be used later on, and implement them on smaller nm silicon when AMD cathes them :) Than they would guarantee 1st place for the next few years, while having more time to implement and perfect the 10nm or even smaller tech :)
  • Still 14 nm architecture...no higher efficiency than the previous generation!
  • At this point the only thing urging me to upgrade is modern motherboard technology such as NVMe storage (960 EVO) but that is certainly not a pressing need.  I'm currently running an i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz, with 32GB DDR3 RAM, an 850 Pro SSD and a GTX 1060.  I see no reason to upgrade as this machine meets all my current and foreseeable needs. My wife is still using my old Q6600 @ 3.6GHz with 8GB DDR2, an 850 EVO SSD and 8800GT.  She's not a gamer and that PC is more than enough for her usage.  I still remember upgrading from my 486DX2-66 to a Pentium-166 and it was a very noticeable difference.  Then moving on to my Celeron 300A and overclocking it to 450MHz – that felt like several orders of magnitude improvement.  After that I jumped onto the AthlonXP-M 2500+ and overclocked it to 2.40GHz – that was another leap but it wasn’t a massive improvement.  Later I moved onto the aforementioned Q6600 and true symmetrical multi-processing was a revelation – the system felt buttery smooth, like an system with SCSI disks back in the 90s.  The 2500K was a nice upgrade but nothing has come close to the impact of the Celeron 300A and Q6600 for me.  These days, any relatively-modern CPU with sufficient RAM feels fast enough for most folks; for me the SSD is the most noticeable in day-to-day use.
  • This ^
    To me the SSD is a must have in any modern computer and the true upgrade today. I wouldn't touch a PC with a spinning disk with a ten foot pole. Anything beyond Sandy and Ivy bridge is good on the processor side. But I must have an SSD on my machine, no matter the cost!
  • You're speaking the truth!  I came from ancient pre-DMA IDE & old-school SCSI-2 disks, to Ultra-160 SCSI, then Raptor, VelociRaptor and finally SSDs with the Intel X25-M, Samsung 830, 840 EVO, 850 EVO and 850 Pro.  At work I have a machine with the 960 Pro and it makes me want the 960 EVO for home - yes the difference is noticeable!  Once you have a powerful quad-core CPU and at least 16GB of RAM then the SSD makes the system feel buttery smooth.  The first time I used a dual-CPU system with an Ultra160 SCSI RAID in 1999 I was blown away at how different it felt compared to a single-CPU system with an IDE system drive.  Today’s quad-core systems and NVMe storage were sci-fi realm chatter in that era (makes me feel old and I’m in my 30s)!
  • If she doesn't play any games, the combo you have there, 8800 GT, Q6600 at 3.6 GHz and 8 GB DDR2 plus that SSD will power Windows 10 without a breeze through web content, mild photo/audio/video editing and watching various video content.
  • Yea Windows 10 runs great on that machine.  It started life on Vista (then SP1 & SP2), then moved to 7 (and SP1), then 8, then 8.1 and now 10.  All of these were in-place upgrades and all went through with now issues.  I always prefer clean installs but this used to be our Media Center, the upgrades worked flawlessly and she preferred the smoother transition.  Luckily the Abit IP35 Pro motherboard the system uses allowed the installations of 8.1 and 10 (some motherboard chipsets and CPUs from the 2007/2008 era are missing certain features required for Windows 8/8.1/10).
  • Waiting for Ryzen. 
  • BUT which socket is the 6 core gonna live in? It would be quite revolutionary if they put 6 cores in an LGA1150 package.
  • New socket 2066.
  • Put that in my coffee maker!
  • There is always another chip
  • The intel 3930k was a hex core and was not an extreme edition and is by no means recent. Hex core intel cpus have existed outside of the extreme edition range for a number of years now
  • It was Sandy Brigde-E. So yes, still extreme :P
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  • Whilst Coffee Lake is considered 8th Gen along with Cannonlake, the 6 core Coffee Lake chips are not scheduled to ship until Q2 2018, at least according to my highly reliable roadmap... I'd take a new architecture quad core (Cannonlake) over the 6 core Coffee Lake chips which are based on Kaby Lake...
  • "...as competition heats up from AMD's..." 😂