Intel hosted its CES 2020 press conference (opens in new tab) three days ago, but there wasn't a peep about Comet Lake-S during the entire event. According to a ComputerBase report (opens in new tab), Comet Lake-S's delay could be attributed to the chipmaker's inability to keep the 10-core chip's power consumption within reasonable limits.
Intel has been squeezing every bit of juice out of the 14nm manufacturing process. More often than not, adding more cores on the same node means new processors will inevitably come with steeper power and cooling requirements. It turns out that Intel might have finally hit a wall with Comet Lake-S.
As we've witnessed, the Core i9-9900K (opens in new tab) can draw over 200W of power when pushed to the edge. The Core i9-9900K only sports eight cores and a 4.7 GHz all-core boost though. The Core i9-10900K (opens in new tab), which is the rumored flagship model in Intel's 10th-generation Comet Lake-S family, comes with two additional cores. The chip seemingly features a 4.9 GHz all-core boost. ComputerBase's sources claim that the forthcoming 10-core Comet Lake-S part can pull over 300W at maximum load. This information is plausible taking into consideration that the processor has a PL2 (Power Level 2) of 250W.
In actuality, the excessive power consumption could explain why Intel might not launch any 10-core mobile Comet Lake parts. In a previous announcement (opens in new tab), the chip maker revealed that the upcoming Comet Lake-H processors only span up to eight cores. It seems strange that Intel would not bring 10 cores to the mobile segment.
Obviously, motherboard vendors are very upset with Intel at the moment. Apparently, the new Intel 400-series motherboards are ready to go, but Intel hasn't been able to optimize the 10-core processor's power draw for smooth operation. Initial speculation put Comet Lake-S's release date somewhere in February. As how things stand right now though, the launch might be pushed to April or May.