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Intel's 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs Won't Arrive in Mass Quantities Until 2019, Company Says ( 116

Intel said this week that it is once again delaying the mass production of its 10-nanometer "Cannon Lake" chips. The company insists that it is already building the chips in low volumes, but said it "now expects 10-nanometer volume production to shift to 2019 [rather than the end of 2018]." From a report: Intel is on solid footing, in other words, though pesky challenges remain in manufacturing its next-generation 10nm parts. CEO Brian Krzanich acknowledged as much during an earnings call, attributing the delay to difficulties in getting 10nm yields to where they need to be. So rather than push to ship 10nm in volume this year, Intel is giving itself some additional time to sort things out.
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Intel's 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs Won't Arrive in Mass Quantities Until 2019, Company Says

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  • "No really guys. Don't buy that AMD chip yet. We promise that the next-gen chip we're making that will be so much faster than theirs really exists! We only need about 4 more quarters worth of earnings to prove it..."

    • by capSAR ( 5384915 )
      Sounds like business as usual for Intel. I'm looking forward to trying out AMD for the first time, while they might not be perfect as a company I feel a bit better giving them my money.
      • by jwhyche ( 6192 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @01:51PM (#56514833) Homepage

        . I'm looking forward to trying out AMD for the first time,

        You won't be disappointed with AMD this go around. Take a look at the specs for the new 2700X. []

        That is a $329 chip and has better performance than the closest intel chip in that class, the 8700K. The 8700K is also $30 bucks more. Sure there are more powerful intel chips but those chips are in the $1000+ range.

        You can also find AMD chips in that range too but if you are going to do a bitch'n build and not break the bank the 2700X seems to be the way to go.

        • if you are going to do a bitch'n build and not break the bank the 2700X seems to be the way to go.

          If quiet is your thing, the 2700 is also a great choice. 65 watt envelope and even better value.

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @12:52PM (#56514373) Journal
      It's much worse than this:

      First, these are Cannon Lake chips. Remember Cannon Lake, due late 2016? Delayed until late 2017? Delayed until late in the first half of 2018? Yup, that Cannon Lake. Among other things, Cannon Lake was scheduled to introduce LPDDR4, so would be the first Intel mobile chips that could manage 32GB of RAM without using a huge power budget. If you think it's bad for Intel now, wait for the Apple fanboys to notice...

      Second, one of the features that people have been waiting for since it was originally announced in 2016 and was expected to debut with Cannon Lake is Intel's Control-flow Enforcement Technology. This comprises two parts. The first is a set of magic nops that indicate a valid branch target and protect forward control flow arcs (any jump that isn't to a designated landing pad will trap in code marked as supporting the feature). The second is a secure stack. Every call instruction pushes the return address onto the main stack, but also onto a second stack (which is not readable or writeable by normal instructions). Each ret instruction checks the top of both stacks and traps if they disagree. Sounds great? That's what everyone thought last year, but unfortunately it is incompatible with the retpoline Spectre mitigation that is now fairly widely deployed, so CET is now impossible to deploy in the presence of code using retpolines (e.g. Chrome) and so needs to be redesigned very late in the schedule or skipped entirely.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Quad core or desktop Cannon Lake was cancelled loooong ago, so now it's strictly a dual core / quad thread CPU for low power. Thus while this LPDDR4 support is great news it won't be suitable for Macbook Pro. When Cannon Lake production ramps up though it's suitable for the Apple "Macbook".

        Yes I would like to see a high end Apple netbook with 32GB RAM lol, afterall I always run out of RAM way easier than I run out of CPU.
        I bet the PCIe SSD has enough I/O to run slashdot with all its users.

        Interesting will b

        • by edwdig ( 47888 )

          The 8th gen Kaby Lake Refresh processors support 32 GB. Business oriented ultrabooks with 8th gen processors often have 32 GB as an option. Laptops like Thinkpads, Dell Inspiron, HP EliteBook, etc. It's just an option on customized orders. No one's mass producing laptops with that much built in, as the demand isn't there.

      • I am in Europe - we have had a Wine lake and a Milk lake for ages. No sign of Spectre, but I believe the Man from Uncle is still around somewhere (ITV2?)
  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @11:53AM (#56513903)
    Is "sort things out" an euphemism for trying to patch gaping security holes?
    • Is "sort things out" an euphemism for trying to patch gaping security holes?

      They have been sorting this platform out long before the gaping holes were first discovered.

    • Marketing speak for "damage control".

    • No, semiconductor manufacturing has just gotten awfully complicated. If Intel haven't found yet a process integration scheme that gives an acceptable yield, they are not going to put it on the market and sell it for a loss.

      Discloser: I work in the semiconductor industry

    • That, and trying to work EUV into the mix, really nasty stuff. Without EUV, multipatterning is a serious bottleneck.

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @11:59AM (#56513947)
    So, the previous lineup Kaby Lake was also produced in low volumes, and this before the Spectre and Meltdown were revealed to the public, while Intel was aware... It seems 2018 is not the year they're gonna fix these two issues.
    • They probably could fix those issues. The main hold up with the chips is that they've had no end of problems with their 10 nm process and it sounds as though there are still some substantial bugs to be worked out before they can go into full production. If they don't use this as an opportunity to fix the Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities, it would be a terrible mismove on their part.
    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @12:58PM (#56514417) Journal
      Fixing meltdown is fairly simple - don't speculate across ring transitions. That will come with a small performance hit, but only a small one. Fixing Spectre is much harder because Spectre isn't really a vulnerability so much as a class of vulnerabilities with proofs of concept for the easiest things to attack. Fixing Spectre means making sure that no side effects of speculation, including timing, are visible. That means, among other things, no cache fills or evictions during speculative execution, all instructions in flight must be cancelled as soon as they're known not-taken, rename registers must be returned for use as soon as instructions are known to be cancelled, and so on. It might be possible to design a superscalar chip that is not vulnerable to Spectre-like attacks, but I'm sceptical (and I'm doubly sceptical that, if you could, it would perform better than an in-order processor).
      • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @03:31PM (#56515493)

        The best way to describe spectre is that's it's fundamental to how all out of order instruction processors work. All out of order processors will suffer from spectre.

        Getting rid of spectre would require the return to in order execution at a MASSIVE performance penalty, more than 50% and probably closer to 75% drop in compute power. It's mitigateable but it's going to have hundreds of edge cases that will be found for years so it's going to take a long time (years) and a lot of rewriting in the fundamental parts of OS's to negate Spectre based attacks.

        Spectre is fundamental to the design assumptions of all modern processors, as I like to say it's the bug that's going to give and give and give. They probably won't have found most of the edge cases until after 2020 so we should expect yearly/quarterly patches to spectre like attacks for a long time.

        One thing that's not mentioned in a lot of the articles but the timing based attacks that comprise the spectre attacks were discovered years ago. It took several years for someone to find and demonstrate the first version of these attacks but most experts think this is just the beginning and that we're looking toward years of these type of attacks on all aspects of operating systems and CPU's.

        In other words, spectre was just the first timing attack, there will be more, probably a lot more now that there is an actual example of how to do them.

        • Getting rid of spectre would require the return to in order execution at a MASSIVE performance penalty, more than 50% and probably closer to 75% drop in compute power.

          Probably some dumb questions, but anyway:

          (1) Does out-of-order necessarily imply speculative execution?

          (2) Is in-order really that bad, considering all the other advances in processor design?

          (3) What about efficiency? If in-order means the CPU is doing less work in a given time, is it also consuming less power? I.e. is the 50%..75% reduction in absolute computing power, or also efficiency?

          (2) is related to some anecdotal experience that hyperthreading works well on in-order Atom processors. In my u

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Fair questions.

            (1) No. For instance, if you multiply two registers, and then load a constant, two things that have only one outcome, you can run them both in parallel and finish the second one first.

            However, OO really come into its own when coupled with speculative execution, because a lot of instructions can trigger faults. Anything to do with memory, for a start. That's when it becomes really useful to be able to speculatively execute past the possibly troublesome instruction, expecting there won't be a p

          • (1) Does out-of-order necessarily imply speculative execution?

            No, though typically you move to speculative execution before you move to superscalar. Speculative execution is required to get decent performance from any pipelined processor. The difference between the speculative execution in a superscalar and an in-order pipeline is one of degree, rather than kind. There's a fairly common heuristic that you have a branch roughly ever 7 instructions in code compiled from vaguely C-like languages (code that is often quite misleadingly called 'general-purpose' code). I

  • by Anonymous Coward

    14nm has become 70% more compact since the first 14nm products, which translates into whatever mix of power saving or performance increase you use it for.

    Things have not stood still. 10nm will be another incremental step relative to 14nm.

    The Xnm description of processes has become a tool of obfuscation. Gates per square micron might be better.

  • LMOL you were suppose to release this back in 2016. Maybe you should call IBM, they can show you how to do it :)

Keep up the good work! But please don't ask me to help.