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Intel Still Stuck on 14nm, Reading 10-Core “Comet Lake” Die

Intel used to be on a “tick-tock” product development schedule when it came to their processors, which then changed to a three-step “process–architecture–optimization” model in 2016. So with that model the 14 nm process should have seen just two micro-architectures, “Broadwell” and “Skylake,” with “Broadwell” being an incrementally improved optical shrink of 22 nm “Haswell,” and “Skylake” being a newer micro-architecture built on a then more matured 14 nm node.

It seems that in 2015-2016 Intel’s fabrication node advancement hit many issues. So we saw the 14 nm node take on three more “generations” of Core processors which includes the 7th generation “Kaby Lake,” the 8th generation “Coffee Lake,” and 9th generation “Coffee Lake Refresh.”

It seems Intel is working on yet another 14 nm die codenamed “Comet Lake”. Intel will only start their 10 nm node towards the end of 2019 and AMD is expected to launch their 7 nm “Zen 2” architecture much, much sooner than that (December 2018). AMD will likely launch its client-segment “Zen 2” parts before Intel’s 10 nm client parts, so Intel is preparing “Comet Lake”.

“Comet Lake” is a 10-core processor die built on 14 nm, and could be the foundation of the 10th generation Core processor family. It is very likely that the underlying core design is the same as “Skylake” (2016) with the same cache hierarchy, with 256 KB per core L2 cache, and 20 MB shared L3 cache.

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