Trying to keep track of Intel's ever-changing roadmap is no easy task, but if you are curious what the Santa Clara chipmaker has in store for the immediate future, newly leaked slides may provide some clues. Assuming the slides are accurate, Intel is planning to port its Comet Lake architecture over to the desktop in the first quarter of next year.
Intel just recently announced a spate of Comet Lake CPUs for laptops, with processors mostly spanning 2-core and 4-core variants, save for a single 6-core/12-thread CPU. At present, there are eight Comet Lake chips in total. Half of those are ultra-low power Y-series CPUs, and the other half are low-power U-series chips.
According to the leaked slides, Comet Lake-S is headed to the desktop, with processor options scaling to 10 cores and 20 threads. On the desktop, these will broken down into three tiers instead of two, including 125W, 65W, and 35W options.
Comet Lake-S is set to succeed Intel's Coffee Lake Refresh (Coffee Lake-R) processors in the mainstream segment. These are still 14nm parts (albeit refined), though Intel has chosen to label them as 10th gen parts, same as its 10nm Ice Lake CPUs (which we also expect to migrate over to the desktop at some point).
According to the slides, Comet Lake-S will offer better overclocking capabilities, though to what extent is not yet known. The new CPUs will also require a new motherboard—the slides indicate Intel is moving to a new LGA 1200 socket and 400-series chipset.
Curiously, the slides indicate Intel still will not be embracing PCI Express 4.0 as its rival AMD has done with its X570 chipset. If true, that may be due to Comet Lake-S being a sort of stopgap solution en route to enthusiast-grade 10nm chips sometime down the road, or perhaps its 14nm Rocket Lake line that will debut later in the year.
It remains to be seen how Comet Lake-S will compete with AMD's third-generation Ryzen processors. As currently constructed, the newest Ryzen processors culminate in the Ryzen 9 3950X with 16 cores and 32 threads of computing muscle, with a 105W TDP. In contrast, Intel's top Comet Lake-S processors will have a 125W TDP, according to the slides.