Intel Coffee Lake Architecture Details Leak, Highlights 6-core SKUs And Last Hurrah For 14nm

Since Intel disrupted its traditional tick-tock processor release cadence with Kaby Lake, the second consecutive tock behind Skylake and the third generation CPU family based on a 14-nanometer manufacturing process, it's had free rein to mix things up. That makes things interesting when it comes to leaked roadmaps—you never quite know what to expect. For example, there was speculation that Intel would base its upcoming Coffee Lake architecture on Cannonlake and officially enter Intel into the 10nm era for consumer CPUs, but newly discovered info suggests that won't be the case.

New slides show Coffee Lake replacing Kaby Lake in the second half of 2018. It is expected that Intel will have already released processors based on its 10nm Cannonlake architecture at least six months before then, but even so the slides show Coffee Lake being brewed on a 14nm manufacturing process, same as Skylake.


Getting confused with all of these architecture codenames? Before going any further, let's have a look at Intel's roadmap as it currently exists (or at least how we think it exists based on leaked information):
  • Ivy Bridge (22nm) - 2012
  • Haswell (22nm) - 2013
  • Broadwell (14nm) - 2014
  • Skylake (14nm) - 2015
  • Kaby Lake (14nm) - 2016
  • Cannonlake (10nm) - 2017
  • Coffee Lake (14nm) - 2018
What you see is an oversimplified version of a more complicated roadmap that has iterations of each architecture released at various times, such as Broadwell-E, but it's the backbone of Intel's release schedule.

Getting back to Coffee Lake, word on the street is that it will be Intel's first mainstream platform with six-core processor offerings. SKUs with six-cores will have a die size of 149 mm2. There will also be quad-core SKUs, which are expected to have a die size of 126 mm2. In addition, it's said that Intel will release a new platform alongside Coffee Lake. That could be mean a deviation from LGA 1151 to a new socket.

Coffee Lake will be available for both laptop and desktop systems. The mobile parts will feature 15W, 28W, and 45W TDP designs. Those numbers should temper any expectations of big power efficiency gains, which we're more like to see with Cannonlake's mobile parts.

In any event, it's interesting to see Intel plan on yet another 14nm architecture. Intel seems to be confident that the allure of more processing cores in the mainstream space will be enough to sell consumers on a new generation CPU.