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Intel's New Roadmap Revealed: 10nm Ice Lake In 2020, 14nm Cooper Lake 2019

Today Intel finally revealed its new roadmap at its Data-Centric Innovation Summit in Santa Clara, CA. Intel's recent admission that its 10nm process is delayed until 2019 will obviously have an impact on its long-term roadmaps, but the company hasn't shared details about how it will adjust its future plans to accommodate the delays.

Intel's Cascade Lake is coming to market in 2018. The 14nm processors support the long-overdue Intel Optane Persistent Memory, which was originally slated for release with the Skylake Xeon family. Intel integrated a new memory controller in Cascade Lake to support the new Optane DIMMs. This will also be the first generation of Xeon processors with in-silicon mitigations for the Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities. So these chips will likely spur a healthy refresh cycle in the data center.

Intel also says Cascade Lake will have an optimized cache hierarchy, but it didn't provide further details there. Intel's current-gen Xeon Scalable processors already have a "re-balanced" cache hierarchy, so it will be interesting to see what changes the company has made to further optimize the hierarchy. Intel has also added support for DLBoost, which is a new AVX-512 optimization for machine learning applications.

The Cooper Lake-SP processors will come to market in 2019, with the most notable addition being Intel's adoption of Bfloat 16, which is Google's new floating-point format. This exciting development should provide tangible boosts to machine learning operations. The 14nm Cooper Lake processors are widely considered a stop-gap measure by Intel to bridge between current 14nm and the overdue 10nm processors. This generation of processors will likely come with the 14nm++ process, which is yet another iteration of Intel's mature 14nm node.

Intel's Navin Shenoy, the executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel, said that the Cooper Lake-SP platform will be compatible with the forthcoming 10nm Ice Lake-SP processors that will arrive in 2020. That means the new Cooper Lake platform will arrive with the LGA4198 socket on the rumored Whitley platform.

Intel's decision to provide forward socket compatibility between Cooper Lake and Ice Lake processors is a welcome announcement, because Cooper Lake should arrive not long after--especially by the standards of this market. The capability to simply update server platforms from 14nm to 10nm processors should help assuage customers who are reluctant to adopt short-lived product generations.

We're here at the event for technical sessions for the rest of the day and will update this article if we learn more.