Intel Starts Shipping 7th Gen Kaby Lake CPUs
Samuel Wan / 3 years ago
Until recently, Kaby Lake didn’t even exist at Intel as a product. However, even Intel has run up against the limitations of silicon in recent years. One of the first signs was when the 14nm node shrink took longer than expected, leading to Haswell-Refresh filling in the gap for the delayed Broadwell. Now it seems that even 10nm will face a long road till it hits production. Set to fill in the gap between SkyLake and Cannon Lake, Kaby Lake is set to arrive later this year and Intel has now confirmed it is shipping their 7th gen CPUs.
The release is part of Intel’s new 3-year cycle of Process – Architecture – Optimization that is replacing the old Tick – Tock strategy. After Broadwell introduced 14nm and SkyLake brought a new architecture, Kaby Lake will be the first Optimization from Intel. Given what Intel has revealed, it will likely be tailoring the SkyLake architecture to clock better on 14nm. We will also likely see some small IPC gains like with Ivy Bridge and Broadwell which were supposed to just be die shrinks. Those die shrinks saw some small optimizations, unlike previous ones which mostly just introduced the new process.
Now that Intel has started shipping Kaby Lake to customers, we can expect the new CPUs to arrive on time later this year in Q3 or early Q4. According to Intel, yields have been better than expected which should hopefully mean better prices at launch. SkyLake saw inflated prices at launch due to low supply compared to demand, something Kaby Lake will hopefully avoid. If Zen does arrive this year, it will be interesting to see if AMD will be able to have a competitive CPU face off Intel at long last. I can’t wait to see how both companies have approached their respective challenges.