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Intel announces 10nm+ Ice Lake even before it has launched the 10nm Cannon Lake

Intel has revealed its 9th generation of chip named Ice Lake which will be built using 10nm+ process technology. Nothing too spectacular about this except that the revelation comes before the company has even launched its 8th generation of Core processors.

Intel had earlier earmarked Aug 21 as the day it will be launching its Coffee Lake family of chips. Worth mentioning, Coffee Lake will be built using the 14nm manufacturing process. Coffee Lake will be a follow up to the Kaby Lake chips that Intel had launched earlier, and is in fact, part of a bigger 14nm chip family also comprising of the Sky Lake range.

However, Intel is differentiating the various iterations of its 14nm chip offering using the ‘+’ notation. In that respect, the Kaby Lake is considered to be of 14nm+ technology while the forthcoming Coffee Lake due out next week is being referred to as 14nm++, which means it is going to be the most advanced in the range.

What is also startling about Intel’s revelation of the 9th gen 10nm+ Ice Lake family is that it is yet to launch its first 10nm chip named Cannon Lake. As things stand right now, Intel is already heavily delayed with the launch of the Cannon Lake chip given that it was scheduled to happen by end-2016 itself. Now it isn’t likely for the chip maker to launch Cannon Lake before 2018, with the more advanced Ice Lake following thereafter.

However, what has led to the creation of some confusion is the way Intel chose to introduce Ice Lake, as the successor to its 8th gen of Core processor family on its website. How Cannon Lake fits in under such a circumstance remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, there seems some sort of confirmation the new 10nm chip would be exclusive to laptop devices while the Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake will cater to both the laptop and desktop segments. That again might change once the 10nm+ Ice Lake comes on to the scene, allowing Intel to cater to a wider segment of computing requirements.