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October 23, 2018

Intel denies rumors that 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs have been canned

by John_A

Intel

If you were holding off on upgrading your PC to see what Intel’s truly next-gen 10nm CPUs are capable of, you might want to rethink that decision. A new report claims that the notoriously troublesome architecture has been scrapped entirely and will no longer be coming to market in 2019, or ever. However, Intel has since denied the rumors, claiming that production is on track with previously announced timelines.

Intel’s 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs have been troublesome throughout their developmental life cycle. Originally slated to debut in 2016, they were pushed back again and again due to manufacturing difficulties that lead to their yield being far lower than expected and needed. The last report we heard was that they were only likely to appear in serious numbers at the tail end of 2019, but now it’s uncertain whether we’ll see them at all.

Intel has since rejected such claims, stating in a tweet on Monday, October 22, that its yields were improving and that the development of the 10nm standard was ongoing:

Media reports published today that Intel is ending work on the 10nm process are untrue. We are making good progress on 10nm. Yields are improving consistent with the timeline we shared during our last earnings report.

— Intel News (@intelnews) October 22, 2018

The initial rumor came from Semi-Accurate’s Charlie Demerjian, who claimed that Intel has now axed 10nm production entirely. If true, this would be a major step by Intel, suggesting we may have an even longer wait than next holiday season before Intel can offer something beyond its newly launched 9-series range.

Though Intel’s new 9900K, 9700K, and 9600K CPUs are impressive, they aren’t exactly revolutionary. That could be problematic with AMD slated to debut its first 7nm Zen 2 Ryzen CPUs at CES 2019, with a general release estimated to take place later in the year.

With suggestions of big performance gains to be had with AMD’s die shrink to 7nm from existing 12nm Zen+ CPUs, Intel will need to do something special to remain competitive. Cannon Lake CPUs were expected to do just that, but now its future has been brought into question. Intel’s language didn’t name Cannon Lake specifically, so it could be that that architecture has been canceled and Intel is shifting work to its planned “10nm+” successor for Cannon Lake, known as Ice Lake — that is pure speculation on the part of this writer, however.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Intel’s 10nm ‘Cannon Lake’ processors won’t arrive until the 2019 holiday season
  • New Intel CPUs bake in gigabit wireless and Alexa support
  • Intel’s ninth-generation CPUs could launch on October 1
  • New Apple MacBook may appear in September at $1,200
  • Google may launch two Pixelbook 2 laptops in October



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