Intel's Unreleased 6- and 8-Core 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs Emerge

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Hardware detective @_Rogame has done some fine work digging up information that shouldn't be public: Three test submissions from three Intel processors that fall under the Cannon Lake family of CPUs, but these are very unusual chips. 

None of the processors have an official name, so without further ado, a specifications table:

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Reported Secret Cannon Lake CPU Specs
Header Cell - Column 0 2-Core Cannon Lake6-Core Cannon Lake8-Core Cannon Lake
Cores / Threads2 / 46 / 128 / 16
Base Clock2.2 GHz1.0 GHz1.8 GHz
Boost Clock2.2 GHz1.0 GHz2.0 GHz

What makes these chips particularly interesting is that the Cannon Lake family is officially home to only one CPU; the i3-8121U, which has two cores, four threads, a base frequency of 2.2 GHz, and can boost up to 3.2 GHz. 

Of course, aside from the core counts, none of the specifications in the table above make any sense. The boost clocks are totally nonsensical, and only the 1.8 GHz base clock of the 8-core Cannon Lake chip and 2.2 GHz base clock of the dual-core model bear some semblance of truth. 

However, chances are these CPUs will never make it onto the market. The aforementioned i3 chip was released in 2018, but only after being postponed for years. With appalling performance, Cannon Lake clearly wasn't meant to be, so Intel discontinued the entire family in 2019.

The delays were due to Intel's troubles with 10nm manufacturing, which is a process node that the company has had, and continues to have, significant trouble with -- it's not for nothing that the upcoming high-end Comet Lake desktop CPUs will still be manufactured with the 14nm process node.

Nevertheless, it's intriguing to see that Intel can produce 10nm chips with high core counts -- even leaks for the upcoming Tiger Lake chips show that the 11th-generation 10nm lineup will cap out at a maximum of four cores.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.