Moore’s Law Stumbles As Intel’s 10nm Cannonlake Chips Delayed Until 2017

As the year's pass, the iconic Moore's Law becomes more and more challenged. With Intel's Cannonlake, a 10nm architecture originally expected to release in 2016, we can see proof of that. During the company's latest financial earnings callIntel admitted that it will require more time to deliver processors built on the smaller process.

While this is no doubt disappointing, Intel is still well ahead of most of its competitors. AMD's latest (and greatest?) processors are still built at 28nm -- a process size that'd seem gargantuan at this point if not for the fact that both AMD's and NVIDIA's GPUs are also built at 28nm. Nonetheless, for the next couple of years, Intel will be sticking to the same 14nm process used with its recent Broadwell chips.

Intel Broadwell Mobile Package
Intel's Broadwell Mobile Chip

During the financial call, it was reaffirmed that we'd be seeing Skylake processors in the second-half of 2015. That was originally expected to be next month, but on account of the fact that Broadwell desktop chips are not expected to hit etail until the first or second week of the new month, there could be a chance that the company will choose to push its launch back.

If I were planning to build a PC in the near-future, I'd personally hold off for Skylake, as that will be quite a significant upgrade to Haswell/Broadwell. Notably, it will bring DDR4 to the mainstream, add Thunderbolt 3.0 support, and add a couple of interesting extensions. Next year, we should see an odd release called Kaby Lake, which breaks away from Intel's traditional tick/tock cadence, as it's still 14nm. Cannonlake, as mentioned above, will be the "tick", as it builds off of Skylake/Kaby Lake and shrinks down to 10nm.

Is that enough codenames for you? If there's a key takeaway, it's that the upcoming Skylake is going to be the "big" desktop CPU launch for Intel over the next year-and-a-half. There's also rumored to be a Broadwell-E enthusiast line launching in early 2016, but those rarely add significant new features, and instead build off of the mainstream part by adding more cores and cache. If there's at least one thing to look forward to, it's that DDR4 prices should soon begin to go down thanks to the mainstream Skylake.


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