Rumor: Intel Coffee Lake will take hexa-core CPUs mainstream in 2018


— 11:54 AM on November 21, 2016

Laptops with Intel's Kaby Lake CPUs inside are becoming more and more common, but the company's seventh-generation CPUs have yet to materialize on the desktop. That's not stopping the rumor mill from dredging up information on products that are further out still. Today's leak comes from BenchLife and contains info about Coffee Lake CPUs, which are purported to come out in 2018. Most tantalizingly, the new chips might come in variants including a six-core desktop part.


Source: BenchLife

What we can glean from Google's translation indicates that Coffee Lake (henceforth known as CFL) come in U, H, S, and X lineups. The H version seems to be aimed at mobile devices, the S version appears to be targeted at desktops, while the X model will be the high-performance model for Socket 2011. BenchLife suggests the U variant has a "4+3e" die arrangement, which we can interpret as a quad-core CPU with Iris Pro graphics and eDRAM on board. The listed die size is particularly large, something that at first sight would indicate a desktop part. However, the U label has historically been reserved for mobile parts, so your guess is as good as ours.

The rumored desktop S parts will come in four- and six-core flavors. Don't expect much in the way of GPU changes in the new lineup, since all the listed variants mention Kaby Lake's "Gen9" graphics architecture. Meanwhile, CFL-H is only available with six cores. Interestingly enough, there's no mention of any dual-core parts at all. That might lead one to wonder if Intel will just keep Kaby Lake humming along to fill out the range of low-end CPUs.


Source: BenchLife

The leaked slide mentions an "LGA 37.5 mm x 37.5mm" socket for CFL-S, but it's tricky to assume that means Intel will continue using the LGA 1151 socket, especially since a new chipset called Cannon Lake will reportedly underpin the CFL chips. Cannon Lake should bring native USB 3.1 support and direct connectivity to NFC readers and fingerprint sensors, in what we presume is a Secure Enclave-like arrangement.

BenchLife says all these new chips will arrive in 2018. The desktop S version will reportedly arrive in February 2018, while the U variant will come in March of that year. Meanwhile, CHL-H should arrive in April 2018.

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