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Rumor: Intel and AMD will not launch next-generation processors until 2017

By Ciara Alarcon & Koh Wanzi - on 9 Jun 2016, 4:14pm

Rumor: Intel and AMD will not launch next-generation processors until 2017

According to a recent report from DigiTimes, both chipmakers have postponed the launch of their next-generation CPUs to early 2017, with release announcements scheduled for CES. This is supposedly due to a combination of serious inventory issues in the upstream supply chain, and tepid market demand.

This is contrary to expectations that the new CPUs – Kaby Lake from Intel and Zen from AMD – would launch in the second half of this year. At Computex 2016, ASUS even unveiled its Transformer 3 2-in-1 hybrid featuring a yet-to-be-named seventh-generation Intel Core M processor. But if the DigiTimes report holds true, this may mean we won’t see any devices featuring Kaby Lake until the first quarter of 2017 at the earliest.

Prior to this, there have already been rumors that Zen may arrive only in 2017, so this news isn’t as abrupt as it seems on AMD’s end. As previously reported, the first chips to feature the new Zen architecture have been codenamed Summit Ridge, and will use AMD’s new AM4 desktop processor socket. Desktop Zen chips are expected to arrive first, followed by their server and mobile counterparts.

Brand vendors have supposedly been working since May to clear their inventory of current generation models to prepare for the impending launch, but that is likely to stop now if Intel and AMD are not going to produce any new parts in 2016.

On Intel’s part, Kaby Lake is just an optimized version of the 14nm Skylake architecture, so Intel can afford to wait till early 2017 to launch as it will not deliver any major improvements.

PC manufacturers hoping for a boost in sales with the new CPUs will also be in for a tough time as the supply chain will likely not be able to begin mass production for Kaby Lake and Zen products until November or December, which means that PC demand may not pick up until the first quarter of 2017.

Source: DigiTimes