Today Intel has revealed that the company will be announcing their 8th generation Core processors and associated architecture on August 21st. This announcement of an announcement comes as the company is in the middle of launching the rest of the Core i9 Skylake-X processors, with the announcement essentially set to fill out the rest of the year for the company’s CPU product portfolio.

Intel has in recent times settled into a fairly consistent and roughly yearly release cadence for the Core processor family. Other than Broadwell’s delay, Intel has typically launched a new processor in the summer/fall timeframe for the past half-decade. And as early as an investor meeting in February, the company revealed that we should expect the 8th generation processors in the second half of this year.

Officially, Intel has not published any Core architecture roadmaps in some time, but what is widely expected to be revealed on the 21st is Intel’s Coffee Lake processors. Coffee Lake is a further evolution of Skylake and Kaby Lake, and like its predecessors, the company has already been confirmed that these 8th generation processors will also be made on their 14nm process. Meanwhile back at Computex Intel was talking up a sizable 30% performance gain in SYSmark, though based on Intel’s associated demonstration it looks like that claim is primarily about laptops. Otherwise, what little we know of Coffee Lake is that it will require a new chipset, and desktop processors will not work in existing 200-series motherboards.

The big question, besides official specifications, will be around what launches when. Whether Intel will lead with mobile, lead with desktop, or even launch both at the same time. Intel has traditionally led with mobile, and as a recently as 7th generation Core (Kaby Lake) that was still the case. On the other hand (and rumors aside), the fact that we’ve already seen motherboard manufacturers accidentally confirm information about desktop processors solidly points to desktop parts sooner than later, an interesting turn of events given the still-ongoing Skylake-X launch.

Otherwise, this launch may give us a hint of what to expect for the structure of future Intel processor launches. An announcement like this would normally be made at IDF, which would have taken place the week of August 14th had Intel not discontinued it this year. Intel is plenty capable of launching products outside of IDF (see: Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X), but the loss of IDF changes things significantly. On the one hand, they're no longer under the gun to present something big to the amassed press, investors, and developers. On the other hand, they don't have those same masses conveniently gathered in one location. So it will be interesting to see how Intel handles this launch now that it's a lower-key event.

Finally, given this timing, it remains to be seen how Intel will work their forthcoming first generation 10nm Cannonlake parts into the rotation. Cannonlake was originally expected this year, though it’s anything but clear if that’s still going to happen. However even an early 2018 launch would come only a handful of months after Coffee Lake, and with initial 10nm yields pushing a practical need to start on small die products (e.g. U/Y processors), it’ll be interesting to see how Intel structures their product lineup for these back-to-back transitions.

Source: Intel

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  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - link

    Speaking off the cuff a bit, I'm a bit surprised that Intel picked the 21st for this announcement. With that being the day of the solar eclipse, it's become a mini-holiday for a lot of people. This is particularly the case in Intel's backyard (Oregon), where the zone of totality is only 30 miles or so from Intel's Oregon facilities. Intel's not doing an on-site meeting here or in California (thankfully), but I can only imagine a lot of people in Oregon would have rather had that day off.

    Meanwhile it means that Intel will be competing with the eclipse for public attention. Outside the US that won't be a problem, but inside the US that's another story. Only Intel could pick a fight with the Moon, I suppose...
  • Yaldabaoth - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - link

    Well, if Intel is the Sun, and AMD is the Moon, then... WAITAMINNIT! [Gasp]
  • Manch - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    Maybe they don't want huge attention. Considering the disappointment that was Kaby Lake relatively. Not that its a bad proc by any means but little to no IPC increase, just errata and a clock speed bump and very little in ways of new features. Will Coffee Lake provide something more substantive other than requiring a new motherboard? Or will it be another proc that offers no incentive to anyone to upgrade.

    On another note. I'm disappointed bc I wont be stateside until the 27th. Wish I could see the eclipse. Whoever decided to do this on that day, well your name will be cursed at the water coolers and local bars.
  • Samus - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    I was thinking the same thing. Maybe Intel is taking a page out of Donald's playbook and taking advantage of a distraction (the solar eclipse) with the announcement of what may amount to virtually nothing exciting.
  • Manch - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    AMD 290 or 480 is to AMD 390 or 580 as Kaby Lake is to _______

    a. Coffee Lake
    b. Sky Lake
    c. a & b
    d. a & b with the caveat that you have buy a new MB....

    answer: ...letnI uoy no emahS .yletanutrofnu krow lliw srewsna eseht fo ynA
  • Qwertilot - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    I dunno, rumor seems really pretty solid that they're substantially ramping the core count this time round. Quite a major thing, and a pretty easy one to sell as well you'd think.
    (Much easier than 5-10% IPC.).
  • Manch - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    So just more cores? :/
  • Valantar - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    W00t! Let's all have a round of applause and congratulate Intel on its fantastic achievement of no longer holding back consumer CPU performance to maximize profits. How amazing!
  • Manch - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    This ^^^^ LMFAO!!
  • FreckledTrout - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    Hah, they are still holding back. First they do have core counts increasing which they had already planed years ago with almost perfect timing to counter AMD. Then they have been sitting on Cannon Lake, Ice Lake, and 10nm. Maybe they really have issues on the 10nm node but honestly I think they see more profit not moving there to fast so they those issues are taking there sweet time to get resolved. IM watching to see how fast Ice Lake lands that will tell me how much Intel has been holding back from producing there best product they can.

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