Intel had their Q2 earnings today, and while we’ll get to that shortly, some news came out of the earnings call that was interesting. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stated on their earnings call that Intel is now shipping their 7th Generation Core processor, code named Kaby Lake.

Kaby Lake was not even a product not that long ago, but with Intel coming up against the laws of physics with process shrinks, they made the announcement a year ago that they would be adding more architectures per process shrink. The delays in moving to 22 nm and then 14 nm meant that they were missing the anticipated product launches for their OEMs, which left the OEMs with quarters where they would have no new products to sell. In an attempt to smooth out the timelines to a more reasonable cadence, while at the same time coming to grips with the complexity of moving to smaller and smaller processes, Intel announced Kaby Lake as a successor to Skylake, which would build on Skylake and offer additional architectural improvements.

This was big news at the time mostly because Intel’s previous Tick Tock strategy was so successful. To abandon it was certainly an important step for the company, but with Kaby Lake seemingly on-time for a fall launch this year, just a year after Skylake launched, points to the investment being the correct one.

When Intel says they are shipping, they of course mean they are shipping to their device manufacturer partners, so we should start seeing Kaby Lake based computers this fall.

Another interesting point brought up during the call was on yields. Intel has found itself in a situation where it’s inventory levels are higher than they would like them to be, and the answer to this was yields. Intel’s yields improved in Q1, and to quote Stacy J. Smith, Intel’s CFO and EVP, “Frankly, they got a lot better in Q2 as well” which is likely another reason why Kaby Lake is being delivered on-time.

We should learn more about Kaby Lake at Intel’s IDF which is coming up in mid-August.

Source: Intel Investor Call

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  • someonesomewherelse - Thursday, September 01, 2016 - link

    I wouldn't call Sandy Bridge and successors botched... the current situation is closer to the situation just before the first Athlons were released. Intel had the best chips and knew it so the didn't really bother with huge improvements. The Athlon woke them up and made them resume R&D. Now the P4 ultimately proved a failure since it was at best competitive with Amd and any improvements from the later versions were beaten again by the Athlon 64. That's when they realized that the P4 just isn't going to work, found that they actually had a relatively good design (Pentium M), improved it and finally beat AMD.

    Hopefully AMD pulls another Athlon since that's the only way you'll see any real effort from Intel to improve their desktop performance.
    Reply
  • evilpaul666 - Sunday, July 24, 2016 - link

    Any rumors or claims from Intel on IPC improvement, clockpseed, L4 caches, or TDP on the unlocked parts (they're calling them 'S' instead of 'K' now I've heard..'S' used to be the lower TDP locked ones?)? Reply

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