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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  • tamalero - Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - link

    "rebradeons". Which ironically is done by both companies. Reply
  • hemedans - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    what i learn from kabylake leaks is that it will have insane clocks, plus IPC imporovement i wont be suprised if it bring 20 to 30% perfomance increase over skylake. Reply
  • close - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    The leaks showed the i7 7700K at 3.6GHz with Turbo to 4.2GHz. That's a full 400MHz lower base frequency in the ES CPUs at least. It might go up but "insane" clocks they will certainly not have.

    30% increase in performance over Skylake? That's a nice fantasy... If they could get 30% out of some "optimization" it makes you wonder why would they bother with any process shrinks and new architectures.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    *citation needed Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Intel has announced nothing but tiny improvements to the video unit in the GPU and rumors report slight clock speed bumps. That's probably all Kaby Lake is, a new name for the same thing to please the OEMs to please us with ever "new" shiny toys. Reply
  • ikjadoon - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    TBH, I just want better motherboards at launch. Some of the Z170s on launch day had embarrassingly bad UEFIs. I didn't know motherboard design was changing so drastically....that they haven't figured out how to launch it well every damn time. Aren't they bored over at Gigabyte and ASUS and MSI? Motherboards have barely changed in a decade. Reply
  • Cliff34 - Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - link

    I don't want to sound negative but i doubt it. If there are huge IPC improvements Intel marketing would have announce this long time ago. I tried google any update on IPC improvements with Kaby lake and so far I found none other than a few minor additional features (USB 3.1).

    I do hope that there is IPC improvements and even there are any it shouldn't be as much as from Broadwell to Skylake since it is already improved given the same process node.
    Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    I think PPro/PII/PIII/PM had 9 generations (P6, Klamath, Deschutes, Katmai, Coppermine, Tualatin,Banias, Dothan). Netburst had 5 (Willimette, Northwood, Prescott, Prescott-2m, Smithfield), but failed to scaled. Intel went back to P6 architecture (Pro/PII/PIII/PM), modified it heavily and introduced the core architecture, which is now in it's 7th iteration (it's hard to list code names here because they were so different between I-3, I-5, I-7 and whether tit was Desktop or Mobile.).

    Once we throw out the Netburst setbacks, we see a very steady evolution of a singular foundation spanning 20 years..
    Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    I might do one last Desktop with this chip... Depending how good the IGP is and what it's capable of doing in hardware... Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Actually, the P6 core lasted only up to Nehalem/Lynnfield. Intel radically redid it from scratch with the Sandy Bridge generation - that would incidentally be why Sandy Bridge is such a landmark chip that refuses to die. Reply

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