Cannonlake will hit the markets in 2017
In the prior part of the series, we discussed the launch of Intel’s (INTC) Skylake. We also discussed how Intel’s delay in 10-nm manufacturing led it to postpone the Cannonlake launch to 2017. Intel instead announced Kaby Lake, expected to launch by late 2016, to bridge the time between Skylake and Cannonlake CPUs.
Cannonlake, Intel’s first 10-nm product, is expected to launch in the second half of 2017. Cannonlake is the “tock” in Intel’s “tick-tock” model. Thus, it will have a new micro-architecture with a die shrink from 14-nm to 10-nm. Cannonlake will be replacing the Skylake platform and will utilize the benefits of the same processor architecture on a smaller 10-nm node.
The above presentation shows the Intel PC client platform roadmap that shows the launch timeline of its next generation processors.
Transition to 10 nm is challenging
Commenting on the delay in the Cannonlake launch, Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, shared that he feels the delay in Intel’s 10-nm process indicates two issues. One is that Intel is more focused on the improvement of processors targeted for notebooks and high end tablets. The other reason could be the complexities and challenges associated with the 10-nm micro-architecture.
Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, commented on the company’s process of shrinking to 10 nm, saying, “Once you shrink past 14 nm, current leakage becomes a problem, the chip starts sucking juice when it’s idle, and you start to lose the theoretical benefits of the smaller process.”
On the other hand, IBM (IBM) along with Samsung (SSNLF) and GlobalFoundries have gone as low as 7 nm. However, one thing to note here is IBM’s 7-nm chips are still lab experiments and yet to see production.