When new products leak, it’s not often that the leakers are the manufacturers themselves. Intel has detailed a few processors coming to market in their Coffee Lake-S family, which is now also officially a part of the Intel 8th Gen family. The new processors carry the 9000-series badge, will work on existing LGA1151-V3 motherboards using Intel’s 300-series chipsets, and will be here soon enough if the leaked chart is anything to go by.
The leak is part of Intel’s Microcode Update Guidance for 22 June 2018, in which they detail which processors are getting microcode updates through the operating system or the motherboard vendor to mitigate against vulnerabilities like Meltdown. In the update guidance, Intel is still working on getting updates out for the Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Denverton (Atom), Gladden (Intel C-series), Broadwell-H, and Apollo Lake family of processors, but at least these updates will be seeded to consumers eventually. More interesting is the addition of a few 9000-series processors under their 8th Gen family, which is unexpected. It was widely anticipated that Intel would call these “9th Generation” processors to signal a break from the older family which hasn’t been hardened against Meltdown and some Spectre variants on the hardware side.
The new processors are as follows:
Core i5-9400 (six-core)
Core i5-9400T (six-core)
Core i5-9500 (six-core)
Core i5-9600 (six-core)
Core i5-9600K (six-core)
Core i3-9000 (quad-core)
Core i3-9100 (quad-core)
The core counts are not unexpected, and neither are the names. These are direct replacements of the previous Coffee Lake processors with the 8000-series badge. Also listed in the table are two new family names, “Coffee Lake S Xeon E” and “Coffee Lake S x/KBP”. The Xeon-E series is listed in the table as a mobile processor, which would be an interesting play for Intel. Up to now, Xeon processors in notebooks haven’t been exclusively designed for mobile use. The Skylake Xeon E3 family was destined for server, mobile, and embedded uses, but this is a new lineup altogether.
The Coffee Lake S x/KBP listing is also intriguing. Rumours have been flying about lately that Intel might be considering using soldered heatspreaders on their Core i7 lineup coming later this year, in a bid to get away from the bad PR following their use of thermal paste on their high-end processors in the last few years. Moving to solder would save Intel a lot of the headache involved in thermal management, and would give them an edge over AMD because enthusiast-level cooling would no longer need to involve voiding warranties. We don’t have long to wait, I think.