PCs with Cannon Lake CPUs won't be on sale until the very end of 2019

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Intel has confirmed that its long-awaited 10-nanometer Cannon Lake processors will be arriving in volume in the second half of 2019, with consumer PCs carrying the CPUs to be on sale before the year is out (just in time for the holidays, the firm says).

The news came via a conference call with the company following its Q2 fiscal results. If you’ve been following the saga of when Intel will drop down to 10nm Cannon Lake (from the current 14nm processors), you’ll recall that the launch of these chips has been delayed considerably – they were first expected to ship in 2016 – and the latest we heard in April was that they had been delayed to 2019.

So, this isn’t another delay as such, just a confirmation of exactly when in 2019 the launch will happen – but it’s kind of a disappointment seeing as the timeframe sounds pretty much as late as it can be (with consumer PCs launching by December).

Maintaining leadership

Intel isn’t worried though (naturally), and as PC World reports, the firm is confident it can still get more out of its 14nm products in the meantime – Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake are due to land later this year using a fresh spin on the 14nm++ process to eke out some more gains. Intel is confident that these efforts will help it maintain “system leadership”, company executives asserted (as they are duty-bound to).

Note that very small amounts of 10nm chips have started shipping – in the form of low-end processors for Asian laptop manufacturers – but volume production is what really counts, and this is what won’t happen until later on in 2019.

As we’ve heard before, one of the main reasons for the Cannon Lake delay has been the difficulty in refining and honing 10nm yields to be able to hit mass production, which has evidently been a tough task.

It’s also likely that security worries have been laying heavy on the minds of Intel’s engineers, given the whole Spectre and Meltdown debacle, and doubtless there’s been a lot of tightening done on the security front with these processors.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).