Intel briefly listed two 10nm Cannon Lake processors in a microcode update document this week, confirming that it has shipped such chips, although we expect it to be in small quantities. Intel has since removed the references to them from the public version of the paper.

Intel has adjusted its 10nm roadmap multiple times in the recent years. Back in 2013, the company planned to make CPUs produced using its 10nm technology available in 2015. Then, the company pushed them to 2016, but that was a minor change. In mid-2015 the chipmaker delayed its 10 nm products to late 2017. Then in early-2016, Intel switched its “Tick-Tock” cadence to “Process-Architecture-Optimization” model, officially prolonging lifecycles of its manufacturing technology nodes and changing its approach to new product development in general. When it comes to 10 nm products, Intel has not made formal announcements about any product family yet, but said earlier this year in a side-presentation to its CES keynote that it had shipped some of them to customers in 2017.

Since the company did not disclose any details about the 10nm CPUs it shipped, it naturally caused further questions on the state of Intel's 10nm process in general and when the Cannon Lake products, expected to be the first on 10nm, were coming. Fortunately, our friends at Tom’s Hardware noticed Cannon Lake processors in the latest version of Intel’s microcode update document earlier this week. After the fact, Intel has since removed the references from the document.

The first version of the document, as it appears, suggests that Intel has shipped Cannon Lake-U CPUs in 2+2 and 2+0 configurations to undisclosed customers. The “2+2” denotes that a chip has two processing cores (the first number) as well as GT2-class graphics (the second number), whereas the “2+0” indicates that a dual-core chip has no iGPU at all. Intel’s “U” series parts, aimed at the 15W notebook market, usually feature an integrated chipset in the CPU package. Therefore, the CNL-U 2+2 and CNL-U 2+0 parts are aimed primarily at mobile and low-power applications.

It is noteworthy that in the recent years Intel has begun commercial roll-outs of its new CPUs starting with ultra-low-power 4.5W Y-series processors, e.g., Broadwell-Y in 2014, Skylake-Y in 2015, and Kaby Lake-Y in 2016. If Intel is launching its U-series chips with a TDP of 15 W first for 10nm, this would indicate a change in policy. So it is surprising to see that Intel has started shipments of Cannon Lake-U, but not Cannon Lake-Y.

A natural question that arises because of the listing is whether Intel has started to ship its CNL-U parts in mass quantities to PC makers. Intel has not disclosed where these parts have been sold, which could be for entry-level low-power laptops, or to certain specific customers and requests with custom/semi-custom CNL products. While a CNL-U 2+2 CPU could be used for inexpensive notebooks, a CNL 2+0 part would fit into applications that either do not require a display controller at all (such as routers, NAS, DAS, etc.), or can use a discrete GPU (a low-end PC with a low-end/outdated dGPU - there are a lot of such machines sold in developing countries, a system for software/hardware development/compatibility tests/etc.). Unfortunately, at this point it is completely unclear where Intel has shipped these 10nm parts. 

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Source: Tom's Hardware

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  • HStewart - Saturday, February 17, 2018 - link

    I just found the following that includes i5-8269U running at 15w with canon lake 10nm chips - this is a 4 core more i5 - this likely with canon lake that the i7 will be higher that 4 cores

    Also base clock speed for i5 is 2.6 with max of 3.6

    My guess this i5 will bee todays i7 mobile quad cores like the 8550U or come very close to it
  • lefty2 - Sunday, February 18, 2018 - link

    WCCFtech is a really awful. You should not take anything seriously from that site. The i5-8269U appears in a Sisoftware database ... and the "proof" that it's 10nm? The fact that it clocks higher! No. It clocks higher simply because it's a 28W part, more than likely the new 28 W Iris for MacBook pro.
  • HStewart - Monday, February 19, 2018 - link

    Yes WCCFtech is bad site for results - but there is other evidence of 6 core mobile Coffee Lake coming out - so it could be that 8269U is part of that generation. I would think if 28W and 4 core, that it could be 10nm - but then that would likely be 9269U part
  • Sahrin - Friday, February 16, 2018 - link

    AMD already sells a quad-core with cTDP at unless Intel has baked some incredible improvements into Cannon Lake (which seems unlikely given the process node change), AMD is in a great position for Zen 2.
  • HStewart - Saturday, February 17, 2018 - link

    Intel's existing quad core 855U is 15W and that is at 14nm - so 10nm is going to be even better.
  • Rayb - Saturday, February 17, 2018 - link

    Haven't u been keeping up? Intel 14nm++ is outperforming 10nm in many metrics done by Intel themselves. That's why they haven't rolled out 10nm in bulk yet, as it figures out to be a wash vs 14nm++. Including process node utility offset, don't expect it to make an impact until Intel is gotten down to 10nm+ and beyond to see real improvements.
  • HStewart - Monday, February 19, 2018 - link

    Intel is not stupid and 10nm is a big step more than any going from 22nm to 14nm. It is suppose more than even the competition claim 7nm. I believe the original designed was primary for low power devices but AMD made Intel think of higher performance and more cores,

    Until Intel officially release 10nm - any metrics on the process are reliable. Especially with all the Intel haters on the internet

    But here is one pc gamer report that 6 core mobile Cannon Lake has better performance than current desktop processors [ as of June 2017
  • HStewart - Monday, February 19, 2018 - link

    EDIT process are NOT reliable.
  • Pork@III - Sunday, February 18, 2018 - link

    Intel Dual Core...back in 2006. This is ridiculous! We live in 2018 now and we in supermulticore mode!
  • HStewart - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - link

    I found the following article on Intel forth coming 10nm process

    this is really technical article to explains the process and significance of this process. It indicates that this is 2.7x increase in density and Intel's 22 -> 14nm increase was only 2.5x. This is suppose the largest density increase in Intel history of CPU's.

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