Intel’s next generation of processors, called Coffee Lake, hasn’t even secured a release date yet, but that’s not stopping the forward-looking tech giant from teasing the announcement of its next-next-generation chips, and even the ones after that. So, while we wait for news on the eventual launch of Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake after that, we can dream about the CPUs which will surpass them: Ice Lake and Tiger lake.
Intel’s continued improvement of its 14nm microarchitecture has hit some pretty serious snags, delaying the rollout of the aforementioned 10nm Cannon Lake by over a year. At the same time, the company made clear that Kaby Lake wasn’t the last of its 14nm chips, and that a new 14nm++ generation called Coffee Lake was in the works.
Where Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake actually stand in relation to each other is still not entirely clear, but Intel is already talking (ever so slightly) about its successor, which is called Ice Lake. Ice Lake will be built on the 10nm+ process — and just to reiterate, the 10nm process hasn’t even seen the light of day yet — and its successor, Tiger Lake, is expected to be the 10nm++ refinement arriving in 2019.
The reason for the delay, as Ars Technica notes, seems to be that Intel was forced to move manpower off of its 10nm efforts in order to shore up the refinement of the 14nm chips and ready the process for production. Keep in mind, Intel originally projected to have 10nm chips on the market by the end of 2016, with 7nm ready to ship as early as 2017.
Now, that timeline has been pushed back dramatically (7nm isn’t expected to arrive until 2020), so it makes sense that the company already had its naming scheme well thought-out. That said, actually revealing the names of the chips in the timeline makes them seem much closer to availability than they actually are.