This has been a busy year for both Intel and AMD, both of which have released numerous new processors, including a range of high-end desktop (HEDT) chips for enthusiasts. As 2017 comes to an end, a newly leaked roadmap suggests Intel will be content to ride its Skylake-X architecture through most of 2018, with a new Cascade Lake-X series launching sometime in the fourth quarter of next year.
In case you have fallen behind, Intel recently launched its Core-X series of HEDT processors, broken up into Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X CPUs. Skylake-X is the higher end of the two, scaling all the way up to the Core i9-7980XE, a beastly chip with 18 cores, 16 threads, and a whopping 24.75MB of L3 cache. It also serves up 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes so power users can stuff their systems with multiple graphics cards and NVMe solid state drives that push data through the PCIe bus.
Base on the leaked roadmap that is making the rounds, Cascade Lake-X will succeed Skylake-X towards the end of 2018. No other details are available, though the way it appears on the roadmap suggests it will be a top-to-bottom HEDT solution, rather than splitting things up with two different architectures as Intel did with Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X. Presumably this means Cascade Lake-X will be a refresh of Skylake-X, one that is built on a 14nm+(+) manufacturing process.
Stepping away from the HEDT sector, it also looks like Intel is planning to introduce additional new Coffee Lake-S series chips in the first quarter of next year, along with more 300-series motherboards. Among the new Coffee Lake-S CPUs will be dual-core options for the entry-level market. Interestingly, Coffee Lake-S looks to carry Intel's processor lineup throughout 2018.
So where does Cannon Lake fit into all of this? That's a good question. Intel recently showed off a Cannon Lake wafer to the public for the first time, noting that it expects to launch 10nm products by the end of this year followed by volume shipments sometime in 2018. If and when that happens, it will be interesting to see how Intel positions Cannon Lake next to Coffee Lake/Coffee Lake-S.