INTEL 10-NANOMETRE DESKTOP CHIPS could be on their way as the chipmaker has added Ice Lake model numbers into the Linux kernel.
The Linux kernel patch was spotted by chip info leaker @KOMANCHI_ENSAKA on Twitter, with the patch having been signed off by an Intel senior graphics software engineer Kan Liang.
This is by no means conclusive evidence that 10nm desktop parts are on their way. However, it does suggest that rumours of Intel skipping the 10nm process node for its desktop CPUs to pursue a 7nm fabrication process instead are not accurate; in fact, an Intel spokesperson also told us that such rumours were piffle.
[PATCH 5/9] perf/x86/msr: Add more CPU model number for Ice Lake https://t.co/iqiioq12Dr— 比屋定さんの戯れ言@Komachi (@KOMACHI_ENSAKA) 21 October 2019
>Ice Lake desktop and
But thus far, we've not had a particularly clear roadmap as to when we can expect to see 10nm desktop processors. That being said, machines with 10nm Ice Lake laptop-grade processors are only just coming out, and desktop-level CPUs aren't necessarily expected to follow that closely by.
As it stands, Intel already has a fair few chips out or coming out towards the end of the year and the start of 2020, so we'd put a safe bet that 10nm desktop CPUs are still some way off.
We're expecting to see Comet Lake next-gen desktop CPUs at some point, but these are very likely to stick to an improved version of Intel's 14nm Skylake process node, rather than make the jump to 10nm. However, such chips are still set to be noteworthy as they are expected to arrive with up to 10-cores on a silicon slice.
We feel at some point Intel will need to make a jump over to a new process node and next-gen core architecture for its desktop CPUs.
While nanometre numbers are more marketing speak than based on true physics, AMD is now on the 7nm node and that arguably makes it look like Intel is behind it in terms of innovation. It's worth noting, though, that Intel's 14nm processors are still competitive in many workloads with Team Red's latest and greatest CPUs. µ
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