Intel pushes out the rest of its Kaby Lake processors for 2017’s PCs


Intel released the first of its lightly refreshed Kaby Lake processors late last year, but those chips only covered thin-and-light laptops and convertibles. Today at CES, the company officially took the wraps off the rest of the lineup, including a full range of socketed desktop processors, a number of quad-core laptop chips for gaming laptops and mobile workstations, and a few additional laptop chips with higher clock speeds and better integrated GPUs.

Know your codenames
Codename and year Process Prominent consumer CPU branding Tick/tock
Westmere (2010) 32nm Core i3/i5/i7 Tick (new process)
Sandy Bridge (2011) 32nm Second-generation Core i3/i5/i7 Tock (new architecture)
Ivy Bridge (2012) 22nm Third-generation Core i3/i5/i7 Tick
Haswell (2013) 22nm Fourth-generation Core i3/i5/i7 Tock
Broadwell (2014-15) 14nm Fifth-generation Core i3/i5/i7, Core M Tick/"Process"
Skylake (2015-16) 14nm Sixth-generation Core i3/i5/i7, Core m3/m5/m7 Tock/"Architecture"
Kaby Lake (2016-17) "14nm+" Seventh-generation Core i3/i5/i7, Core m3 "Optimization"
Cannonlake (2017?) 10nm TBA "Process"

There are few surprises here. Broadly, all of these processors feature the same improvements as the Kaby Lake chips we already know about, and almost all of the new chips are simply updated versions of Skylake chips that already exist. Kaby CPUs have slightly higher clock speeds than the Skylake chips they replace, and they're built on a marginally improved manufacturing process Intel calls "14nm+." The integrated GPUs support hardware-accelerated decoding and encoding of 10-bit HEVC/H.265 video streams and decoding of 8-bit VP9 streams. This saves power and CPU cycles and makes 4K playback possible on some systems that wouldn't have been able to handle it before.

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