Get your shades ready for August 21. The same day that the moon will be covering the sun over large sections of the United States, Intel will be unveiling its eighth-generation Core CPUs, codenamed Coffee Lake. Intel will be streaming the announcement on Facebook Live starting at 11:00 AM Eastern (8:00 AM PDT).
The company didn't provide much in the way of details, so we'll have to wait and see whether the follow-up to Kaby Lake will follow the familiar release pattern of mobile chips coming first, followed by mainstream desktop chips a few months later, and ending with high-end desktop and server parts. The rumor mill has been churning with speculation that core and thread counts will increase in both laptop and desktop chips. Compatibility between eighth-generation Core models and existing 100- and 200-series motherboards has also been a hot topic.
Intel has touted performance improvements as high as 30% when comparing equivalent Core i7 processors with equivalent CPUs with 15 W TDPs from its seventh- and eighth-generation Core lineups. The footnotes for that comparison do note that the Kaby Lake Core i7-7500U has two cores and four threads, while the unnamed eighth-generation Core i7 has the a four-core, eight-thread arrangement. Based on Intel's admission that its Coffee Lake chips are a fourth product series built on its 14-nm fabrication technology, that performance increase seems unlikely to spring from a similarly-aggressive ramp-up in clock speed. We'll have to wait for August 21 to know for sure.