Intel could release its next line of PC chips earlier than previously expected, possibly in an attempt to hit back at AMD. Intel is so used to ruling the roost in PC chips that AMD’s Ryzen chips seemed to come out of nowhere, and all reports points to those chips causing Intel a lot of pain.
Intel said to be planning early release
Citing sources at PC vendors in Taiwan, DigiTimes reports that the chip maker is planning to show off its new Basin Falls chips between May 30 and June 3, which is two months earlier than it had initially been planning to reveal them. That’s the week of Computex, which will be held in Taipei. The Basin Falls platform chips are expected to include the Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X and X299 chipsets. DigiTimes added that the Basin Falls chips are planned for launch at E3, a gaming show set for June in the U.S., and then the official release is said to be planned for the end of that month.
The Skylake-X series is said to contain three 140W processors with architectures containing six, eight and ten cores. The website added that the Kaby Lake-X series includes a 112W quad-core chip. Intel is reportedly planning to launch its high-end 12-core Skylake-X chip in August.
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Coffee Lake chips said to be pulled forward
DigiTimes’ sources also claim that Intel is pulling forward the launch of its Coffee Lake 14-nanometer microarchitecture by several months. The chip maker is said to be planning to launch the Coffee Lake chips in August, although the previous launch was reportedly scheduled for January 2018.
The sources said that Intel initially plans to launch a number of K-series Core i3, i5, and i7 chips in the Coffee Lake line and also the Z370 chips in August. The chip maker is then reportedly planning to launch more CPUs and a few other chipsets at the end of this year and early next year. DigiTimes reports that the chip maker has spent more than $100 million on five machine sets to speed up the manufacturing process on the new Coffee Lake chips.
Fighting back against AMD
This rumor doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given how well-received AMD’s Ryzen chips have been. In a research note dated April 20, Stifel analyst Kevin Cassidy suggested that Intel might be planning to launch its next PC chips early simply to address the competition posed by AMD’s Ryzen CPUs. He believes many expect AMD to take up to 20% of the total PC market share by the end of this year, which certainly makes the threat against the dominant Intel very real.
However, he is very doubtful that AMD will be able to steal such a large chunk of the company’s market share, based on how big the “enthusiast market” is and also its diverse offerings. Thus, he sees a limit on AMD’s share gains.