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Intel’s next-gen Comet Lake processors will reportedly arrive with 10 cores

Gregory Bryant, Intel senior vice president in the Client Computing Group, displays a “Lakefield” reference board during Intel Corporation’s news event at CES 2019 on Jan. 7, 2019, in Las Vegas.
Gregory Bryant of Intel displays a “Lakefield” reference board during Intel’s news event at CES 2019. Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation

Thanks to information gleaned from Intel’s new Linux drivers, we’re starting to learn more about the company’s next-generation desktop processors. Details about Intel’s forthcoming Comet Lake-S desktop and laptop processors are beginning to emerge, suggesting that Intel’s new processor will come with a maximum of 10 cores. Comet Lake-S, which is believed to based on the Skylake micro-architecture, will utilize a 14nm manufacturing process to succeed the current Core i9-9900K chipset.

“The drivers list CML processors, which is the abbreviation for Comet Lake in Intel’s nomenclature,” Guru3D reported based on the code leak from Intel’s Linux drivers. “The [processors] get GT1 and GT2 integrated graphics units (ninth generation of Intel’s integrated graphics chips) and that indicates a fourth gen Skylake architecture.”

For reference, Intel’s ninth-Generation Core i9 9900K currently tops out with eight cores and 16 threads, and the CPU currently powers some high-end PCs, including recently reviewed gaming rigs from Origin PC, Alienware, Digital Storm, Asus, MSI, and more. In the ninth-generation lineup, Intel also offers a 10-core chipset in the Core i9-9820X, and that chipset is used in Corsair’s One i80 smaller workstation. It’s unclear at this time if Intel will continue the trend of reserving its 10-core processing for premium X-series silicon with the launch of Comet Lake-S, or if the company will bring the additional cores to its mainstream processors. The current ninth-generation lineup tops out with an 18-core chipset right now on the Core i9-9980XE. The XE-series is part of Intel’s strategy to combat rival AMD‘s 16-core Ryzen Threadripper chip.

While desktop processors will top out with 10 cores, it’s reported that Intel-powered notebooks will max out with six cores. Intel’s Comet Lake-S chips are expected to launch this year, and it’s believed that Intel is positioning the chip as a competitor to AMD’s Zen 2 architecture found in the Ryzen 3000 series chips. AMD demoed its Ryzen 3000 series chips earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show, demonstrating how the processor’s 7nm architecture consumed less power than Intel’s Core i9-9900K. AMD announced that its processor is the first to support the PCIe 4.0 standard, which will deliver more bandwidth for even speedier connections.

Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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