Intel Announces Core X-Series, “Coffee Lake,” Compute Cards, More

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware with 18 Comments

Intel Announces Core X-Series, "Coffee Lake," Compute Cards, More

Intel has unleashed a flurry of announcements tied to the Computex Taipei 2017 trade show. Key among them are a new “extreme” processor lineup called the Core X-Series, a coming 8th generation “Coffee Lake” Core chipset family, and more details about its Compute Card platform.

The Core X-Series is rightfully getting all the press this morning, as Intel is finally taking advantage of the true versatility of the PC architecture and offering enthusiasts what they’ve been clamoring for for years.

“The new Intel Core X-series processor family is our most scalable, accessible and powerful desktop platform ever,” Intel corporate vice president Gregory Bryant explains. “This is by far the most extreme desktop processor ever introduced. With such a wide range of options and price points to match, the new Intel Core X-series processor family delivers the most scalable and accessible desktop platform for the enthusiast community.”

Chips in the Core X-Series will offer up to 18 processor cores and 36 threads, scaling the x86 processor lineup to new heights. With pricing in the $1000 to $2000 range, not including the new motherboard you’ll also need, the keyword here is indeed “extreme.”

“The unlocked Intel Core X-Series processors are designed to scale to your performance needs by using the two fastest cores at higher frequencies and up to 18 cores when extreme mega-tasking is required,” the microprocessor giant notes. “New features include the ability to overclock each core individually, AVX ratio controls for more stability, and VccU voltage control for extreme scenarios. You have a powerful kit for maximizing performance.”

Intel also said today that it will release 8th-Generation “Coffee Lake” Core microprocessors in the second half of 2017, offering yet another iterative technological over previous-generation chips. That is, this next generation is still built on the 14nm processor shared by its predecessor, and Intel won’t be moving to 10nm until next year at the earliest. But the gains aren’t all modest, with about a 30 percent performance gain over today’s “Kaby Lake” processors. Intel says it will share more details about these chips later this year.

As for Compute Card, you may recall that Intel announced this modular computing solution at CES 2017, and third party hardware makers were quick to jump on the bandwagon. Today, Intel shared more information about the specifics of the hardware and revealed many more partner devices coming to market this year.

The Compute Card will be available in a variety of configurations, from low-end Celeron/Pentium-based systems to more capable Y-series Core i3 and i5 variants. Each will ship with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of eMMC (on the low-end) or 128 GB of SSD storage. Hardware makers who wish to integrate Compute Card into their own solutions can now reference a Compute Card Device Design Kit to get started.


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