Oddball Rumor Claims Kaby Lake will be Delayed until CES
Intel's website published an editorial last week titled "Intel at Computex 2016: 5 Things to Know." In that editorial, they clearly noted that "Intel also talked about the innovation that is coming later this year to PCs, demonstrating 7th Gen Intel Core processors (code named Kaby Lake) for the first time and highlighting some of the advancements in performance, battery and media capabilities to come to premium devices in the second half of 2016. It is another example of how Intel's PC business is foundational to the company's strategy with a commitment to an annual cadence of new products and how it creates critical IP that drives innovation across the entire product portfolio."
Prior to Computex two top Intel executives in charge of PC's and the Internet of Things abruptly left the company. Why does that matter now? Because Intel was on target to deliver good news about Kaby Lake and other developments at Computex. That was the script and Intel didn't want to go into that event empty handed. But only one week later and a supply chain rumor throws cold water on the Kaby Lake schedule.
Hopefully Intel will dispel this latest rumor because many consumers and businesses are planning for Kaby Lake systems for its support for 4K video, better graphics and so forth. I'm one of those planning for a new desktop and I'm not sure that I can wait an extra couple of months.
The Supply Chain Rumor
The latest supply chain report states that "Market watchers originally expected Intel and AMD to launch their new CPU platforms in the third and fourth quarter, respectively, to help boost PC demand in the second half, but both CPU makers have recently postponed their launch schedules to January 2017 at CES 2017 since the upstream supply chain still has serious inventory issues, and market demand has been slow.
Intel's Kaby Lake platform was originally scheduled to launch at the end of the third quarter and AMD's Zen architecture in the fourth. Related brand vendors have been aggressively clearing their inventory of older-generation models and preparing for the new products since May, but will need to delay the plans as both CPU makers have postponed their launches.
Since most vendors still have Skylake and Haswell-based inventory waiting to be digested, while the Kaby Lake architecture does not feature any major improvements from the previous-generation architectures, Intel is not in a hurry to release Kaby Lake-based CPUs until early 2017.
With the delays, the PC supply chain will not be able to begin mass production for the next-generation products until November or December and PC demand is also unlikely to pick up until the first quarter of 2017."
There's no possible motive for such a rumor to emerge so closely after an Intel keynote if it didn't have some kind of direct knowledge of the situation. Is the rumor getting some of the news right? Could Intel's mobile processors be ready in time for Q4 notebooks with desktops scheduled for early January at CES?
Was there a last minute glitch or is there a last minute surprise in the delay? Remember now that Wireless desktops are running a year behind schedule. Could that be the reason for the delay to conveniently fold into CES?
For now there are more questions than answers and a second report is needed to confirm the story either way – so stay tuned.
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