Intel’s Cannonlake Chips Allegedly Delayed Until End of 2018

Intel will not release its next-generation Cannonlake processors until the end of 2018, according to supply chain sources that spoke to DigiTimes.

Unsurprisingly, Intel is believed to be facing problems with its 10-nanometer process, leading to a series of delays. Cannonlake chips were initially set to debut as early as 2017, but have been pushed back several times.
However, Intel has reportedly been facing difficulties with its 10nm process. The Cannon Lake processors, originally set for launch in 2017, have seen their launch schedule revised three times: first to the end of 2017 or early 2018, then to the mid-2018, and now the end of 2018, the sources noted.
If Intel doesn't get Cannonlake out until later in 2018, it could be followed shortly by Intel's Ice Lake chips, made on Intel's 10nm+ process. There's already been some confusion about Cannonlake, as Intel has been referring to Ice Lake as the successor to Coffee Lake, making it unclear just how Cannonlake fits in.

According to DigiTimes, some manufacturers are already planning to skip out on the Cannonlake generation to wait for Ice Lake chips, and others are revising their notebook plans following Intel's delays.

As for Apple, Cannonlake delays have the potential to impact upgrade plans for the low-power MacBook models but are unlikely to cause problems for other notebook upgrades.

Cannonlake is a low voltage chipset not appropriate for machines like the MacBook Pro, with the next-generation of those machines like to adopt Intel's as of yet to be released 14nm++ Coffee Lake chips or the eighth-generation Intel chips announced in August, which are part of a Kaby Lake Refresh.

Related Roundup: MacBook
Tags: Intel, Coffee Lake, Cannonlake, Ice Lake
Buyer's Guide: MacBook (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

iPhone 7s Plus Bare Logic Board Surfaces With A11 Chip and Intel Modem Markings

Benjamin Geskin‏ today shared a photo of what appears to be four bare logic boards that are likely for the so-called iPhone 7s Plus.

Alleged logic board likely for iPhone 7s Plus via Benjamin Geskin

We know the logic board is likely for the iPhone 7s Plus because the placement of the screw holes is consistent with the iPhone 7 Plus logic board, while the top narrow portion is wider than the iPhone 7 logic board.

The so-called iPhone 8, meanwhile, is expected to have a stacked logic board design with a L-shaped two-cell battery pack, which effectively rules out this logic board being for the widely rumored OLED display model.

The logic board isn't populated with components, but there are pads etched on it that suggest the iPhone 7s Plus will be powered by an Apple A11 chip, while at least one model appears to have an Intel modem.

We know this because blurry images of the alleged A11 chip were shared by Chinese social media account GeekBar last week, and the rear design of the chip is consistent with the pad on the bare logic board.

Alleged photos of Apple's A11 chip via GeekBar

Apple's A11 chip reportedly uses a new 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process introduced by supplier TSMC, and it will undoubtedly be faster than the A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

As for the modem being supplied by Intel or Qualcomm, the modem pad pattern is virtually identical to the one on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus logic board, and those smartphones are equipped with Intel's XMM7360 chip.

While not pictured, Apple will likely continue to dual source modems from Qualcomm for its upcoming iPhone lineup. Qualcomm's legal dispute with Apple, however, could push more orders in Intel's direction.

The logic board is etched with a "3217" timestamp, corresponding with the 32nd week of 2017, suggesting it was manufactured in early August.

The rest of the logic board is largely the same as the bare iPhone 7 logic board that surfaced last August — and proved to be real.

Alleged iPhone 7s display assembly via Slashleaks

In related news, photos of what could be the iPhone 7s's display assembly have surfaced on Chinese social platform Weibo. If real, the part reveals no surprises for the iPhone 7s, which is expected to look similar to the iPhone 7.

Apple is expected to announce its new iPhone lineup at a September event, potentially alongside a new 4K Apple TV and Apple Watch Series 3.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tags: Intel, A11 chip

Discuss this article in our forums

Intel Launches First Eighth-Generation Core Processors, Paving Way For Quad-Core 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Intel today introduced its eighth-generation Core processor lineup [PDF] coming to notebooks later this year.


The first four eighth-generation processors launching today are U-series chips suitable for the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. They're all 15W chips with four cores and eight threads, paving the way for a quad-core 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The new Core i5 and Core i7 chips have integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, and support both DDR4-2400 and LPDDR3-2133 RAM.

Given the lack of LPDDR4 support, which allows for up to 32GB RAM, a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with an eighth-generation Core processor would likely remain capped at 16GB of RAM. Apple marketing Phil Schiller explained why last year.


Notebooks using the eighth-generation chips can get up to 10 hours of battery life, consistent with the current 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Intel said eighth-generation processors appropriate for desktops like the iMac will be available in the fall, while processors appropriate for the 12-inch MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro are vaguely listed as coming soon.

The eighth-generation Core i5 and Core i7 chips are up to 40 percent faster than the equivalent seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors, according to Intel, based on the benchmark tool SYSmark 2014 SE on Windows 10. That tops Intel's original claim that the chips would be up to 30 percent faster.

The test compared Intel's quad-core Core i7-8550U processor, with a base frequency of 1.8GHz and Turbo Boost up to 4GHz, against its dual-core Core i7-7500U processor with a base frequency of 2.7GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz.

Intel also boasted that its eighth-generation Core processors are up to twice as fast as its equivalent five-year-old Ivy Bridge chips. It said users can output a 106-second 4K video in as little as three minutes with a new PC, for example, versus up to 45 minutes on an equivalent five-year-old PC.

Notably, the eighth-generation processors announced today are not part of the upcoming Coffee Lake family. Instead, they're part of what's being called Kaby Lake Refresh, an iteration of the seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors used in the latest MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac models.

Intel is expected to eventually announce chips based on Coffee Lake's 14nm++ and Cannonlake's 10nm manufacturing processes that join the eighth-generation Core lineup. In other words, a new generation of Core processors no longer immediately correlates to brand new chip architecture.

Intel said the first notebooks with eighth-generation Core processors will be available in September, but it's unclear when Apple will refresh its Mac lineup — probably not soon. For perspective, Intel launched its Kaby Lake processors in January, and the first Macs equipped with the chips were released in June.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tags: Intel, Kaby Lake
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Intel Shares Details on Upcoming ‘Ice Lake’ Chips to Follow Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake

As Intel prepares to unveil its 8th-generation Coffee Lake processors next week, the company has released basic information on an upcoming 10-nanometer "Ice Lake" chip, which will serve as the successor to the 14-nanometer Coffee Lake and 10-nanometer Cannon Lake chips.

Details on the Ice Lake architecture, which will be made on Intel's 10nm+ process, have been shared on Intel's codename decoder.

"The Ice Lake processor family is a successor to the 8th generation Intel(R) CoreTM processor family. These processors utilize Intel's industry-leading 10 nm+ process technology," reads the site.

As AnandTech points out, Intel's decision to share details on Ice Lake is odd because the company has not announced or shared details on Cannon Lake, the first chips that will be built on its 10-nanometer architecture, and Intel is also referring to Ice Lake as the successor to its soon-to-be-announced 14-nanometer Coffee Lake chips, leading to confusion about its upcoming processor lineup and how Cannon Lake fits in.

Intel's current Kaby Lake chips were built on a second-generation 14nm+ architecture, while Coffee Lake is a third-generation 14nm++ architecture. Both Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake are available for both desktops and laptops, but it appears the 10-nanometer Cannon Lake chips succeed Coffee Lake chips in laptops, while desktops won't see 10-nanometer architecture until the release of Ice Lake.

AnandTech speculates that the chip confusion is the result of the difficulty behind developing a 10-nanometer architecture. Intel needs to perfect 10-nanometer chips for smaller processors before moving on to larger desktop processors.
Simply put, the first generation of 10nm requires small processors to ensure high yields. Intel seems to be putting the smaller die sizes (i.e. anything under 15W for a laptop) into the 10nm Cannon Lake bucket, while the larger 35W+ chips will be on 14++ Coffee Lake, a tried and tested sub-node for larger CPUs. While the desktop sits on 14++ for a bit longer, it gives time for Intel to further develop their 10nm fabrication abilities, leading to their 10+ process for larger chips by working their other large chip segments (FPGA, MIC) first.
Intel's 14nm++ Coffee Lake chips will be officially unveiled on August 21, and these are the chips that we are likely to see in Apple notebooks and standard iMac desktops in the coming year, but again, it's unclear how Cannon Lake fits into the lineup and whether those chips will be available for some machines in time for 2018 refreshes.

As the successor to Intel's 8th-generation chips, Ice Lake is not likely to be available until late 2018 or 2019, with an exact timeline to be determined by Intel's success in improving its 10-nanometer architecture.

Tag: Intel

Discuss this article in our forums

iMac Pro May Feature Intel’s Server-Grade ‘Purley’ Processors, ARM Coprocessor

Apple earlier this month unveiled the iMac Pro, a workstation-class desktop computer with up to an 18-core Intel Xeon processor, top-of-the-line Radeon Pro Vega graphics, up to 4TB of SSD storage, and up to 128GB of ECC RAM.


Apple didn't specify exactly which processors will be included in the iMac Pro, but if the blog Pike's Universum is to be believed, it could be powered by Intel's next-generation server-grade Skylake-EX and Skylake-EP processors, which are based on a platform codenamed "Purley."

The blog, which appears to be sourcing its information from firmware files in the macOS High Sierra developer beta, said the iMac Pro will use Intel's new server-class LGA3647 socket, not its high-end, desktop-class LGA2066 socket.

If the information is accurate, it suggests the iMac Pro could have truly server-grade Xeon processors, rather than using Intel's recently announced Core-X series of Skylake and Kaby Lake chips that still use the LGA2066 socket.

The blog added that the new iMac Pro appears to be coming with a Secure Enclave, suggesting it will have an ARM coprocessor like the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for added security. It would also open the door to Touch ID on the iMac Pro, but Apple made no mention of the feature when introducing the computer.


Pike's Universum revealed some of the iMac Pro's tech specs in April, two months prior to it being announced, including that it would have Xeon processors, ECC RAM, faster SSD storage, AMD graphics options, and Thunderbolt 3 ports, but some of the specific details proved to be inaccurate.

Apple said the iMac Pro will be available to order in December, starting at $4,999 in the United States.

Related Roundup: iMac Pro
Tag: Intel

Discuss this article in our forums

Intel Gaining Larger Foothold in iPhone LTE Chip Supply Chain as Apple Distances Itself From Qualcomm

In the wake of Apple's lengthy legal battle with iPhone LTE chip supplier Qualcomm, Apple is believed to be leaning more on Intel as a manufacturer for the iPhone's baseband chip component. The news comes in a report by DigiTimes, which states that Apple's increase of Intel-created wireless chips for iPhones could lead well into 2018, suggesting the so-called iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8 have a higher chance of receiving Intel's chip than Qualcomm's.

Apple sourced both of the manufacturers for wireless chips in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016, with a ratio of around 70 percent sourcing going to Qualcomm and 30 percent going to Intel. Now, Apple is believed to have given each supplier an equal 50 percent proportion of the wireless chip manufacturing for the rest of 2017, and that number could eventually increase to weigh in Intel's favor -- all because of Apple's legal fight with Qualcomm.


Analysts watching the supply chain predict that Apple will eventually give Intel 70 percent of the production capacity in iPhones by 2018, because neither Apple nor Qualcomm are willing "to give in to make peace."
Apple's outsourcing proportion to Intel for the next-generation iPhone baseband chips has risen to about 50% for orders running through the end of 2017 due to the lawsuit between Qualcomm and Apple, which has grown fiercer recently.

Since both Qualcomm and Apple are unwilling to give in to make peace, some market watchers believe Apple is likely to shift even more baseband chip orders away from Qualcomm with Intel to supply over 70% of the baseband products for iPhones by 2018.
Apple and Qualcomm's feud began with a complaint filed by the FTC in January that centered around Qualcomm's anticompetitive patent licensing practices, which the FTC claimed it used to remain the dominant supplier of baseband chips for smartphones. Not long after, Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm over the news of its practices, claiming Qualcomm charged unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with."

After a few quiet months, in April Qualcomm countersued Apple, so Apple decided to stop making royalty payments to its suppliers in relation to Qualcomm's baseband chip technology, igniting a new series of arguments between the companies. Because Qualcomm holds licensing deals with Apple's iPhone manufacturers, and not Apple itself, the move was suggested to hurt Qualcomm to the tune of $500 million, causing the company to adjust its third quarter guidance from $5.3 billion - $6.1 billion in revenue down to $4.8 billion - $5.6 billion.

Qualcomm eventually tried to get an import ban passed that would prevent iPhones from entering the United States, and then decided to file a lawsuit against Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal for "breaching their license agreements" by failing to pay royalties on the use of Qualcomm's technology in the assembly of Apple's devices. Last week, Qualcomm requested an injunction to force Apple's iPhone manufacturers to keep paying royalties during the legal battle.

Due to the ongoing nature of the feud between the two companies, it's expected that the case will continue well into 2017, leading to today's report that Qualcomm might see a greatly reduced presence in the manufacturing of the next-generation iPhones. Even with the bad blood between Apple and Qualcomm, insiders still call Apple's reliance on Intel "a friendship of convenience" more than any kind of long-term partnership, because Intel's chips are said to have "inferior performance" in comparison to Qualcomm's technology.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8 (2017)
Tags: Intel, Qualcomm

Discuss this article in our forums

Intel’s Upcoming Coffee Lake Processors Up to 30% Faster Than Kaby Lake Chips Coming to Mac Notebooks

Intel today said one of its eighth-generation "Coffee Lake" processors delivered more than a 30 percent performance boost over an equivalent seventh-generation "Kaby Lake" processor in recent testing. Both generations of chips are suitable for Apple notebooks, such as the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro.


"We will have more to say about the 8th Gen Intel Core processor in the future but it's exciting to share that in the latest testing, we're seeing a performance improvement of more than 30 percent over the 7th Gen Intel Core processor," said Gregory Bryant, a senior executive at Intel.

Using the benchmark tool SYSmark 2014 on Windows, Intel compared an unreleased Core i7 quad-core processor with an unspecified base clock speed, and Turbo Boost up to 4GHz, against its Core i7-7500U dual-core processor with a base clock speed of 2.7GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz. Both are 15W chips.

Intel aims to make its "Coffee Lake" lineup available to computer makers in the second half of this year, and the eighth-generation processors should provide the usual benefits of faster performance and longer battery life in future Macs.

Apple has yet to update its Mac lineup with Kaby Lake processors in the first place, but the company reportedly plans to announce new 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models equipped with the seventh-generation chips at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

It's still too early to say when we'll see the first Mac with Coffee Lake, but it likely won't be until at least late 2017 or early 2018 given Intel's roadmap.

Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to launch a nondescript "15-inch MacBook" with 32GB of desktop-class RAM. He said the notebook will enter mass production in the early September quarter, but it's uncertain if Coffee Lake processors will be readily available by then.

Intel today also unveiled its Core X-series processor family for desktop computers, ranging from quad-core options to the high-end Core i9 Extreme Edition with 18 cores. The processors, codenamed "Basin Falls," are "coming soon." More details and tech specs are listed in this fact sheet and slideshow.


Apple has promised to release a high-end iMac for professional users later this year, and Intel's new Core X-series processors appear to be appropriate for the desktop computer if the company wishes to use them.

Apple's current Mac lineup uses a mix of Intel's fifth-generation Broadwell and sixth-generation Skylake processors.


Discuss this article in our forums

Intel Looks to Broaden Thunderbolt 3 Adoption by Integrating Into Future CPUs, Eliminating Royalties

Intel today announced that it plans to drive large-scale mainstream adoption of Thunderbolt by releasing the protocol's specification to the industry next year under a nonexclusive, royalty-free license.


The move should help expand the Thunderbolt ecosystem by making the protocol more affordable for technology companies and accessory makers alike. Intel expects third-party Thunderbolt-compatible chip development to accelerate a wide range of new devices and user experiences.

Intel also revealed plans to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into its future CPUs, but it didn't provide a timeline as to when. The all-in-one design will take up less space on a Mac or PC's logic board, and reduce power consumption by eliminating the need for a standalone Thunderbolt controller.
“Apple and Intel have collaborated on Thunderbolt from the beginning, and as the industry leader in its adoption, we applaud Intel’s efforts to integrate Thunderbolt technology into its CPUs and open it up to the rest of the industry,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering.
Intel said Thunderbolt 3 built into the processor could pave the way for thinner and lighter devices, although the current Thunderbolt 3 controller used in Apple's latest MacBook Pro has a package size of 10.7mm×10.7mm, so any logic board space saved would likely be negligible.

The greater benefit will likely come from Thunderbolt 3's increased power efficiency, paving the way for longer battery life.

Thunderbolt 3 carries power, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA over a single port that shares the USB-C connector design, creating one standard for connecting most accessories and peripherals. Apple's latest MacBook Pro has two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports depending on the model.

Thunderbolt 3 can transfer data at speeds up to 40Gbps, allowing for a full 4K movie to be transferred in less than 30 seconds. The interface is suitable for 4K virtual reality experiences on PCs, high-end gaming, and single-cable peripherals such as external displays, docks, and storage drives.


Discuss this article in our forums

Intel Rumored to Debut Basin Falls Platform in May, Launch Coffee Lake Chips in August

Intel plans to move up the launch of its 14-nanometer Coffee Lake processors, introducing them in August of 2017 instead of January 2018. According to DigiTimes, the launch is being moved up because of "increasing competition from AMD's Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors."

The site says Intel will release several K-series Core i3, i5, and i7 processors starting in August, along with its Z370 chipsets. Additional CPUs will come at the end of 2017 or early in 2018.

Intel also plans to unveil its Basin Falls platform, with Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors at Computex 2017, which takes place from May 30 to June 3, which is two months earlier than originally scheduled.


Intel's Skylake-X series features 140W processors with 6, 8, and 10-core architectures, while Kaby Lake X-series features a 112W quad-core processor. Intel also plans to release a 12-core Skylake-X processor in August. Intel's Basin Falls platform could potentially be used in future Mac Pro machines and the rumored high-end server-grade iMac.

Coffee Lake chips appropriate for Apple machines were originally set to launch somewhere around the second quarter of 2018, so if rumors of Intel's updated timeline are true, the launch could be moved forward to either late 2017 or early in 2018.

Coffee Lake chips are manufactured on Intel's 14-nanometer process and will be the fourth processor family to use the architecture after Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lake.

Apple is rumored to have new machines in the works for 2017, including new iMacs, which are likely to use Kaby Lake chips.

Related Roundup: iMac
Tags: Intel, digitimes.com
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy)

Discuss this article in our forums

New iMacs With Up to Xeon E3 Processors, 64GB RAM, AMD Graphics, and Thunderbolt 3 Rumored for Late October

Earlier this week, Apple made the rare move of pre-announcing that it is working on new pro-focused iMac models that will launch later this year.


Apple did not share any specific details about what the upgrades will entail, but if the blog Pike's Universum is to be believed, the next-generation iMac lineup could feature several improvements that make Apple's desktop computer a more powerful workstation for professionals and average consumers alike.

The blog, citing a "little bird" that is "usually pretty accurate," claims the incoming iMac lineup will be available with up to the following tech specs:

Intel Xeon E3 processors: The new iMac will supposedly have up to a pro-grade Intel Xeon E3-1285 v6 processor. Intel has not released that particular chip yet, but based on previous generations of the E3-1285, the processor could essentially be the E3-1280 v6 coupled with integrated Intel HD Graphics P630.

16GB to 64GB of ECC RAM: 16GB of ECC RAM, configurable to 32GB or 64GB, in line with the current Mac Pro. iMacs currently have 8GB of non-ECC RAM, configurable to 16GB or 32GB. ECC RAM can detect and repair errors that cause data corruption and system crashes. No word if it will be DDR3L or DDR4.

Faster NVMe SSDs: The rumor claims the next iMacs will have faster NVM Express PCIe-based flash storage with capacities up to 2TB. The current 4K and 5K iMac models are also configurable with NVMe PCIe-based SSDs or Fusion Drives up to 2TB.

AMD graphics: The new iMacs will supposedly have AMD graphics options to support virtual reality and professional apps. The inclusion of AMD graphics in the next iMac has been rumored previously by Bloomberg. The current 27-inch iMac uses AMD Radeon R9 GPUs.

Thunderbolt 3: Thunderbolt 3 ports would be an unsurprising inclusion in the next iMacs given they already exist on the latest MacBook Pro. Thunderbolt 3 carries power, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA over a single cable, creating one standard for connecting most accessories and peripherals.

The report claims the next iMac models will be unveiled in late October and be accompanied by a brand new keyboard. A previous report said Apple was exploring a standalone keyboard with a Touch Bar and Touch ID, but its release allegedly depends upon how well those features have been received on the latest MacBook Pro.

The blog also claims Apple is working on an 8K external display for Apple's "completely rethought" Mac Pro. This isn't a rumor we've heard before, but Apple did confirm it is working on a new Apple-branded pro display of an unspecified resolution. Dell recently launched a 32-inch 8K display for $5,000.

Another tidbit mentioned in the report is that macOS 10.13 supposedly will not use a mountain or park name anymore, with two alternative names in the running, including one that starts with the letter M. One of Apple's trademarked names that could fit that description is Monterey.

Last, the report said the next high-end Mac mini "won't be so mini anymore," suggesting that the most expensive model might have a larger or taller design. Apple recently said the Mac mini is "important" within its product lineup, but it remained tight-lipped about the prospects of future updates.

Pike's Universum is best known for spotting references to unreleased Macs or upcoming software versions hidden within Apple's operating systems. The blog does not have an established track record of reporting on Apple's plans based on its own inside sources, so this rumor should be treated with caution for now.

Apple last updated the iMac in October 2015, a span of 541 days, per the MacRumors Buyer's Guide.

Related Roundup: iMac
Tags: Intel, Thunderbolt 3, AMD, Pike's Universum
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy)

Discuss this article in our forums