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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  • ikjadoon - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    And, actually, if you game at 120Hz, you need at least 8 very high IPC threads. Very very few CPUs can consistently render under 8.3ms consistently. :( Reply
  • someonesomewherelse - Thursday, September 01, 2016 - link

    You also need a rare and expensive or non existent (4k, 27", 120Hz, non tn...... would be the minimum and if since dreaming never killed anyone what you'd really want is something that covers your entire field of view so either an extremely large screen or some kind of light head set, has a contrast ratio larger than the average human eye (measured at to neighbouring pixels on the same frame), can display a color range that is larger and denser than average human perception (64 bits per subpixel, floating point), 600Hz, higher than human dpi, can track eye movement (you so you can actually make the image focus change as it does in rl, ..... (you need more than average human since some people are obviously above that and you want to cover them too), a gpu capable of rendering this and a cpu that makes something capable of 8 very high ipc threads look like an 8 bit microcontroller vs anything we have now. I mean if we are going for fast let's go all the way. Until we have this, real ai, and much more all running in more than one instance and all powered by a small and quiet machine that can run for days without being connected to the power grid (so either much lower power consumption, much better batteries, porable fusion reactors or a combination of the above) and so on we don't have enough close to enough tech.. Reply
  • someonesomewherelse - Thursday, September 01, 2016 - link

    This just means that you made a smart purchasing decision and that you aren't running the right sw. Try transcoding the 10TB of video I have from a wide variaty of formats/resolutions/bitrates to something more standardized and smaller while retaining quality. Ideally one no holds bared h265 version upscaled to 4k with madvr like enchantments that requires great hw to play, one smaller and easier to decode h265 copy with a few less audio streams for streaming and one even smaller h264 version with a lower resolution and 2 channel audio for playback on shitty devices or over slow networks.

    Then tell me your cpu is fast.
    Reply
  • Jefftex11 - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Since I am not a Semi related engineer, I keep wondering if the graphics side of the cpu could be replaced by heat sink material. The obvious advantage is to provide a heat sink for the thermal burst nature of the processor and hopefully allow more heat conduction surface area for thermal heat flow. Obviously, the chip size has to be same for cost/wafer, but it seems to me that this could allow higher sustained clock speeds which is the path to processor increased IPC. I would appreciate comments from the more knowledgeable people on the issue I am missing because this is so obvious there must be a reason. I assume that there is a minimum chip size just for thermal considerations. I also wonder if Intel assumes that people interested in performance will not use the IG portion of their chip and it is in reality a heat sink of sorts which allows higher IPC. Reply
  • LukaP - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Well given that the IGP sits besides the CPU cores, "cutting it off" and replacing it with dead silicon/heatsink is not a very efficient thing to do, since heat transfer laterally will be very slow.

    But you are not actually hitting completly in the dark. Most modern core designs feature some "dead" silicon around parts that will heat up the most (ALUs/FPUs/vector units/etc) for the very reason you mentioned. that little bit of silicon will both cushion the burst workloads, as well as protect the neighbouring units from the heat produced by the hard working areas.

    Also you are confusing IPC (instructions per clock) with (M)IPS, (mega) instructions per second. IPC will stay the same, for a given workload, no matter the clockspeed (for example, the maximum IPC for a modern CPU will be around 2 for spamfiltering and such workloads, but much lower, around 0.8 for HPC). Whereas MIPS is a function of IPC and clockspeed, basically being the amount of instructions per clock (IPC number) times the number of clocks per second (the GHz).
    Reply
  • Jefftex11 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Thanks for the reply. You are of course correct on IPC my fault. Reply
  • yannigr2 - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    I think people who expect more or much faster cores, will get disappointed again with a +5%.

    It seems - from things that I read - that Intel will be putting more resources on the iGPU (again) and also we will see the company calling the 4 core cups (for example) as 4+2 cpus with the 2 being the GPU cores (something like AMD's 4+8 = 12 compute cores on the APUs). Probably DX12 and multi adapter are playing a role here.

    Any news on that?
    Reply
  • CaedenV - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    I'm not even sure it will hit a 5% gain. I think that 'optimization' in this case means mostly bug fixes and removing redundant design for better power usage. Look at how many OEMs had major sleep/resume issues this last year. I think those OEMs would be quite happy to see those problems addressed and then similar performance in a slightly lower wattage package. Reply
  • ikjadoon - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Agreed. I think people got "excited" because we never had Broadwell, really.... so Haswell -> Skylake was a 8-10% jump. Reply
  • Pneumothorax - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    So Kaby Lake is basically akin to calling a change like 4770k to 4790k a "new generation?" I guess old Intel is copying GPU makers now... Reply

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