According to a statement made by Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich during the company's quarterly earnings call this week
, the company has begun making shipments of its 7th-generation Core CPUs, codenamed Kaby Lake, to OEMs and system builders. This means that new and refreshed devices will hit stores in the USA well in time for the customary holiday shopping season.
Intel has had a particularly rough time for the past year or so. In addition to having to lay off around 12,000 employees
and pull the plug on its ailing smartphone and tablet CPU business
, the company has struggled with sticking to its mainstream CPU roadmap. Late last year, it was announced that the 10nm Cannonlake
architecture, which was due to replace the current 6th-generation Skylake
, would be delayed so long that a stopgap would be necessary
Intel had to break its two-year "tick-tock" schedule
of introducing a new architecture one year and then shrinking it to a smaller process the next, which allowed it to test architectures and processes independently. Kaby Lake was therefore announced as an "optimisation" of Skylake, to fill in the blank space this year and ensure that Intel's OEM partners would have something new to sell to consumers.
It was later confirmed that Kaby Lake would be marketed as "7th-generation Core", and would not be treated as just a minor refresh. Kaby Lake CPUs are still expected to be drop-in replacements for Skylake parts, and as such OEMs will not have much work to do. Users can expect boosts to overall speed and graphics capabilities, as well as reductions in power consumption reflected in improved battery life for portables.
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