Intel ‘Coffee Lake’ 8th Gen Core CPUs to Launch on August 21; Core i9 Specifications Revealed

Intel has announced that it will launch its 8th generation Core processors, codenamed ‘Coffee Lake’, at 8:00am PDT (8:30pm IST) on August 21. The launch will be streamed to the public using Facebook Live, and has been timed to precede the much-talked-about total solar eclipse which will occur the same morning. No specifics are known yet, such as the number of models that will be launched and which market segments Intel is targeting first.

Intel’s teaser claims that the 8th generation Core processors will be “blazing fast”, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The company has previously stated that Coffee Lake will improve upon the 7th generation Kaby Lake by 30 percent. Coffee Lake will be the fourth generation to use the 14nm manufacturing process, breaking the three-year Process-Architecture-Optimisation cycle that Intel tried to introduce only last year. Prior to Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake, Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ strategy dictated that the manufacturing process would shrink every alternate year.

Intel was supposed to have launched its first 10nm generation, codenamed Cannonlake, last year, but this was deferred, with Kaby Lake and now Coffee Lake filling in. Intel could move to a “fluid” model using both 14nm and 10nm processes for Coffee Lake processors in different segments. Rumors also point to Intel introducing six-core mainstream desktop processors with this generation, either thanks to thermal and power design improvements, or because of strong competition from rival AMD after years with the highly rated Ryzen CPU line. It is also therefore likely that Coffee Lake will break compatibility with Intel’s current motherboard socket and platform controllers which are common to Kaby Lake and Skylake.

Intel has stated that the launch event on August 21 will include demos of VR and “immersive experiences” that show the power of upcoming 8th generation Core processors. PC manufacturers are expected to demonstrate desktops, laptops and 2-in-1 systems based on these CPUs. Intel is also keen to grab the attention of anyone looking to buy a new PC this holiday season, indicating that products will become available in retail shortly after the launch event.

Intel ‘Coffee Lake’ 8th Gen Core CPUs to Launch on August 21; Core i9 Specifications RevealedIntel has also released the full specifications and launch dates of its top-end Core i9 X-series desktop processors, which offer up to 18 cores. The 12-core/ 24-thread Core i9-7920X will become available on August 28, with a base speed of 2.9GHz, a boost speed of 4.3Ghz on all cores, and 16.5MB of cache memory. The 14-core i9-7940X, 16-core i9-7960X and flagship 18-core i9-7980XE will all become available on September 25. Base/boost speeds are 2.9/4.3GHz, 3.1/4.3GHz, 2.8/4.2GHz, and 2.6/4.2GHz respectively, and the cache amounts come in at 19.25MB, 22MB and 24.75MB respectively.

All four upcoming Core i9 parts can raise their speeds up as far as 4.4GHz on one or two cores if the workload demands it, and official RAM support goes up to quad-channel DDR4-2666 for each. They also share the same 165W TDP, and all have 44 PCIe lanes. Prices range from $1199 (approximately Rs. 76,362) for the i9-7920X to a whopping $1999 (approximately Rs. 1,27,313) for the i9-7980XE.

To see how these new processors stack up against the rest of the Core-X series, check out our complete guide to Intel’s Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs, Motherboards, and Coolers.

Intel 8th Generation Core Series Launched With ‘Kaby Lake Refresh’ CPUs for Laptops

We’ve known for a while now that Intel will be shipping more than one processor architecture under the 8th generation Core brand. We’ve been expecting a fourth 14nm generation codenamed Coffee Lake this year and the much-delayed 10nm Cannonlake generation in early 2018, but now it has come to light that a third architecture will be clubbed into the 8th generation as well. Simply called Kaby Lake Refresh, this will be the basis of the 8th gen’s U-series processors, which are targeted at mainstream and slim notebooks.

Two weeks ago, Intel announced that the first 8th gen Core CPUs will launch at 8:30pm IST tonight, and while the codename ‘Coffee Lake’ was not specifically brought up, it was widely expected that these would be the first models out of the gate. However, Intel has chosen to unveil Kaby Lake Refresh a few hours before the scheduled event.

Four new U-series 15W processors for laptops are being announced: the Core i7-8650U, Core i7-8550U, Core i5-8350U, and Core i5-8250U. While Kaby Lake Refresh is not a major new architecture, Intel is promising a 40 percent performance improvement compared to the 7th generation and up to 200 percent compared to a five-year-old machine. The most significant reason for this is the doubling of core counts from two to four, while actual design and manufacturing improvements contribute to a lesser extent.

Base speeds range from 1.6GHz to 1.9GHz, while boost speeds range from 3.4GHz to 4.2GHz. Cache sizes are also doubled, to 6MB on Core i5 CPUs and 8MB on Core i7 ones. Hyper-Threading remains exclusive to Core i7 models. The integrated GPU is now called Intel UHD Graphics 620 and is completely unchanged compared to Kaby Lake, except for the name change from HD to UHD to reflect its capabilities. The GPUs of Core i5 models run at 1.1Ghz while those of the Core i7 models run at 1.15GHz.

Intel 8th Generation Core Series Launched With 'Kaby Lake Refresh' CPUs for LaptopsAccording to Intel, users can expect up to 10 hours of 4K video playback per charge on a laptop powered by one of these processors, as tested with a 70WHr battery and Windows 10. The company also says that tasks such as photo editing and video rendering are up to 48 percent and 14.7 percent faster on these processors compared to previous-generation ones. However, the major target will be people upgrading from laptops that are several years old. The company is also playing up the benefits of modern experiences such as Windows Hello authentication, voice interaction such as with the Cortana assistant, and stylus input which would not work as well on an older device.

Intel expects that 145 laptop models featuring these four new CPUs will be available in time for this year’s holiday shopping season. There’s no information about how the rest of the 8th generation will shape up, except for a note that desktop processors will launch in fall this year. It is not yet known how different Coffee Lake will be from Kaby Lake Refresh, but it is quite likely that core counts will increaseacross the board both due to improvements in power efficiency and because of competition from AMD’s Ryzen series. It is also likely that Intel will reserve its 10nm process for ultra-low-power fanless Y-series chips.

Attacking the mainstream laptop segment first is an interesting choice for Intel. Previous generations have focused on Y-series models for ultra-light fanless tablets and 2-in-1s, or S-series models for desktops. Releasing these four CPUs under the 8th Generation banner allows Intel to target buyers during the busy US holiday shopping season.

Intel Unveils Drones for Advanced Pitch Analysis at ICC Champions Trophy 2017

Intel on Tuesday unveiled three new technologies that will be used during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 — a major cricket tournament that begins in the United Kingdom on June 1. The new technologies announced on Tuesday are advanced pitch analysis via an Intel drone, a bat sensor powered by an Intel Curie module, and a virtual reality experience for cricket fans who visit stadiums.

The Intel Falcon 8 Drone has been equipped with infrared and HD cameras to be used for pitch analysis during Champions Trophy matches. The drone will offer data on grass cover, grass health, and topology. This will help generate daily pitch reports and commentators will use that to analyse the pitch during live broadcasts of the match on TV and over the Internet. The pitch is one of the most important aspects of cricket and it has the power to decide which way each game swings, so this analysis is likely to prove useful.

Intel Unveils Drones for Advanced Pitch Analysis at ICC Champions Trophy 2017Intel, which is the Official Innovation Partner for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, says the new bat sensor, called Speculur BatSense, can be mounted on any cricket bat and will be able to measure back-lift, bat speed, and follow through for every stroke a batsman plays. Many players will be using this during the Champions Trophy and it will allow for data such as speed of the ball after it hits the bat to be shown on TV.

Intel has plans for these sensors beyond the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. In a statement, Speculur Managing Director Atul Srivastava said, “Coaches can use their insights and expertise along with the bat sensor data to make specific adjustments to a batsman’s technique ultimately helping him perform better.” The company will bring this technology to the market later in 2017 and it will first be available in Australia, India, US, and UK.

Finally, Intel is also going to showcase VR cricket experiences at The Oval (London) and Edgbaston (Birmingham) stadiums. This is a fun experience where people will be able to play cricket in virtual reality. With a VR headset mounted, people can test their batting skills against virtual bowlers. The bat used for this will use Intel’s Curie module and offer data on people’s bat speed and back-lift, among other stats.