Trouble With Chipzilla? Intel 10nm Cannon Lake CPU Volume Shipments Delayed Again To 2019

Intel Cannon Lake
It seems as though we've been waiting for Intel's Cannon Lake 10nm processors forever. After all, the company has been on the 14nm process node since 2014, but to Intel's credit, it has made refinements over the years culminating with the release of Coffee Lake. But an actual public release of Cannon Lake has so far been elusive.

We're now learning that Intel won't ship its first Cannon Lake processors until 2019. The announcement was made by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich yesterday afternoon during the company's earnings call. We were supposed to see the first volume shipments of Cannon Lake processors in late 2017, but that never happened. Recent roadmaps had suggested a late 2018 launch, but that too won't be happening given Krzanich's comments.

Intel has been shipping small quantities of Cannon Lake parts this year, but not enough to qualify for a broad launch. Krzanich blames low yields on the delays and says that Intel needs additional time to ensure that it has enough chips to fuel what will likely be a heavy upgrade cycle.

"I was glad to see Intel reset 10nm shipment expectations to volumes in 2019 and believe in the future Intel will try to decouple transistors and nodes from shipping products and really lean into advanced packages," said Patrick Moorhead, Principal Analyst for Moore Insights, while speaking with PC World.

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In the meantime, we can expect yet more refinements at the 14nm process node between now and when Cannon Lake parts are eventually released. That means for the enthusiast side of things, we should expect more Coffee Lake parts, including the rumored Coffee Lake-X HEDT processors that will use the upcoming Intel X399 chipset. 

Also on tap are new 14nm parts that include Whiskey Lake, which Krzanich says will be for client systems. Whiskey Lake reportedly features a 4+2 configuration (four cores + GT2 graphics) and will be built on 14nm++ technology. On the server side, Cascade Lake is a go for a late 2018 launch.

Despite the news about the Cannon Lake delay, Intel did post strong earnings for Q1 2018. The company booked profit of $4.5 billion, which represented a 50 percent uplift year-over-year on revenue of $16.1 billion. Its Data Center Group witnessed a 23 percent surge in revenue, while the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group wasn't far behind with 20 percent growth. The Client Computing Group, however, wasn't nearly as impressive on the earnings front, posting "just" 3 percent growth. 

We should note, however, that the Client Computing Group is still by far Intel's highest revenue generator, coming in at $8.3 billion. The Data Center Group rang in at $5.3 billion, with the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group coming at roughly $1 billion.