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Intel Axes Kaby Lake-G CPUs With AMD's Radeon Vega Graphics (Intel's Response Added)

(Image credit: Intel)

Update 10/08/19, 5:40pm PT: Intel issued a statement in regards to its discontinuation of the Kaby Lake-G processors, which we've added to the bottom of the article.

Original article 10/08/19, 5:00am PT:

Intel announced today that it had discontinued its Kaby Lake-G processors. The Kaby Lake-G processors arrived in 2017 with much fanfare and a bit of confusion, largely because the chips used a discrete Radeon RX Vega M graphics processor paired with Intel's Kaby Lake processing cores, marking an odd collaboration between the two longtime rivals.

Intel's product change notice is rather succinct:

"Market demand for the products listed in the "Products Affected/Intel Ordering Codes" table below have shifted to other Intel products. The products identified in this notification will be discontinued and unavailable for additional orders after the "Last Product Discontinuance Order Date" (see "Key Milestones" above)."

(Image credit: Intel)

The announcement sets January 31, 2020, as the last date for orders, and July 31, 2020, as the date of last shipments. Here are the impacted products, which include all models with Radeon RX Vega M GL/GH graphics:

Marketing NameProduct Code
Intel Core i7-8706GFH8067703417418
Intel Core i7-8705GFH8067703417515
Intel Core i7-8809GFH8067703417615
Intel Core i5-8305GFH8067703417714
Intel Core i7-8709GFH8067703419113
Intel Core i7-8706GFH8067703417418
Intel Core i5-8305GFH8067703417715

The idea behind the chips was bold: A seemingly-unholy collaboration between Intel and AMD that would offer enough graphics horsepower to unseat Nvidia's mobile GPU offerings, but Kaby Lake-G processors never gained the expected level of support from OEM's. Precious few laptops adopted the radical new design, which paired an Intel 14nm Intel processor with a discrete AMD Vega graphics chip on a single package by connecting the two components with a PCIe link.

The Kaby Lake-G chips arrived before Intel announced its own expansive Xe Graphics Architecture that will serve both the consumer and enterprise markets. Intel says its own new graphics architecture will span from entry-level mobile devices to the data center, which apparently doesn't leave room for Kaby Lake-G successors.

A few OEMs did launch leading-edge products with the chips, but successive generations of laptops went with Whiskey Lake-U and Coffee Lake-H processors paired with Nvidia graphics cards instead. Asus was among the last to adopt the chips with its ConceptD 5 laptop.

The tepid uptake isn't surprising, especially because Intel's own nascent GPU initiative foretold a swift end of the Kaby Lake-G chips, likely dissuading OEMs from investing in a dead-end platform even though Intel officially maintained the chips were a multi-generational project. Like we outlined with Dell's XPS 15 2-in-1, these chips required custom cooling solutions, which equate to extended development periods and investment, to wring out the utmost performance.

Intel also used the chips in its NUC series, which we tested in the NUC 8 VR, but later dropped Kaby Lake-G models from its roadmap.

Intel ProcessorsCore i7-8809GCore i7-8709GCore i7-8706GCore i7-8705GCore i5-8350G
TDP / SDP100W100W65W65W65W
Core/Threads4 / 84 / 84 / 84 / 84 / 8
Base Frequency (GHz)3.13.13.13.12.8
Boost Frequency (GHz)4.24.14.14.13.8
L3 Cache (MB)88886
Memory ChannelsDual ChannelDual ChannelDual ChannelDual ChannelDual Channel
Memory SpeedDDR4-2400DDR4-2400DDR4-2400DDR4-2400DDR4-2400
Unlocked CPU, GPU, HBM2YesNoNoNoNo
Discrete GraphicsRadeon RX Vega M GHRadeon RX Vega M GHRadeon RX Vega M GLRadeon RX Vega M GLRadeon RX Vega M GL
Intel HD Graphics630630630630630
Graphics Boost Frequency (MHz)up to 1100up to 1100up to 1100up to 1100up to 1100
Intel vPro TechnologyNoNoYesNoNo

Apparently Intel has no plans to bring newer generations of the chip to market. In response to our queries, Intel released the following statement to Tom's Hardware:

"Intel is refocusing its product portfolio. Our 10th Gen Intel Core processors with Iris Plus graphics are built on the new Gen11 graphics architecture that nearly doubled graphics performance. We have more in store from our graphics engine that will bring further enhancements to PCs in the future."

The statement affirms that Intel will lean on its own proprietary graphics solutions moving forward, which makes sense given the deepening competition between the two historical rivals.

  • bit_user
    These only existed to fill a market niche left by stagnation in Intel's iGPU designs. Now, with Gen11 here and Gen12 on the way, it would be more surprising if they didn't cancel these.

    Also, I think an ulterior motive was to prove their EMIB story.

    It was cool to see this actually happen, but nobody should've expected such a collaboration to continue.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    bit_user said:
    These only existed to fill a market niche left by stagnation in Intel's iGPU designs. Now, with Gen11 here and Gen12 on the way, it would be more surprising if they didn't cancel these.

    Also, I think an ulterior motive was to prove their EMIB story.

    It was cool to see this actually happen, but nobody should've expected such a collaboration to continue.

    Pretty much 100% right here.

    With their own iGPU coming that looks quite decent there is no need for this, especially if they can scale down and use a similar approach when Xe comes out.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore
    Elaborate on this EMIB story you talk about
    Reply
  • StewartHH
    bit_user said:
    These only existed to fill a market niche left by stagnation in Intel's iGPU designs. Now, with Gen11 here and Gen12 on the way, it would be more surprising if they didn't cancel these.

    Also, I think an ulterior motive was to prove their EMIB story.

    It was cool to see this actually happen, but nobody should've expected such a collaboration to continue.

    I believe Kaby Lake G was planned to show that integrations to GPU with CPU on discrete level can be done in mobile, but EMiB was the just the start Foveres was the next step . EMiB is also use for PLA logics which they got when they got Alteres

    So what the next stage of process - likely Gen12 with 11th Generation version of CPU. or possibly 6 or 8 core version of IceLake. I hope that it actually a 8 core or higher version 11 th generation with mobile Xe.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    jasonelmore said:
    Elaborate on this EMIB story you talk about
    Well, just about how you could put dies from different vendors in the same package, similar to how systems currently put them on the same board.

    EMIB is Intel's answer to silicon interposers. The latest on their packaging tech is discussed here:

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-packaging-co-emib-odi-foveros-mdio,39840.html
    Reply
  • StewartHH
    One thing and it maybe just Intel's ARK site, is that 8705G is marked as announce.

    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/130411/intel-core-i7-8705g-processor-with-radeon-rx-vega-m-gl-graphics-8m-cache-up-to-4-10-ghz.html
    Reply
  • bit_user
    StewartHH said:
    One thing and it maybe just Intel's ARK site, is that 8705G is marked as announce.

    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/130411/intel-core-i7-8705g-processor-with-radeon-rx-vega-m-gl-graphics-8m-cache-up-to-4-10-ghz.html
    In fact, 4 of the 7 Kaby-G products are marked "announced", while the rest are marked "launched".

    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/codename/136847/kaby-lake-g.html
    I wonder if they don't meet the criteria for "discontinued" until the last order date passes, or did someone just mess up?
    Reply
  • StewartHH
    bit_user said:
    In fact, 4 of the 7 Kaby-G products are marked "announced", while the rest are marked "launched".

    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/codename/136847/kaby-lake-g.htmlThis is decently been on my mind in last two week, the purpose seem impossible but I feel that God is leading me to do it .
    I wonder if they don't meet the criteria for "discontinued" until the last order date passes, or did someone just mess up?


    My guess is mark discontinue when the next generation is created which I believe will be 10nm + Gen 12 GPU combination
    Reply