Intel Kaby Lake: 14nm+, Higher Clocks, New Media Engine

The SKUs

Y-Series

Both the Y- and U-series processors feature a 2+2 configuration, which means that the processors employ two CPU cores and a Gen9+ HD Graphics 615 engine. The beefier SKUs with enhanced graphics cores will come to market early next year. Intel designed the 4.5W Y-series to address the thin and light segment.

Y-Series
Processors
7th Gen
Core i7
6th Gen
Core m7
7th Gen
Core i5
6th Gen
Core m5
7th Gen
Core m3
6th Gen
Core m3
Processor
i7-7Y75
m7-6Y75
i5-7Y54
m5-6Y54
m3-7Y30
m3-6Y30
Socket
FCBGA 1515
FCBGA 1515FCBGA 1515
FCBGA 1515FCBGA 1515
FCBGA 1515
Cores/Threads
2/4
2/42/42/42/42/4
Power
4.5W
4.5W4.5W4.5W4.5W4.5W
Base Frequency (GHz)
1.3
1.2
1.2
1.1
1
0.9
Max. Single-Core Frequency (GHz)
3.6
3.1
3.2
2.7
2.6
2.2
Max. Threaded Frequency (GHz)
3.4
2.9
2.8
2.4
2.4
2
Graphics
HD Graphics 615HD Graphics 515HD Graphics 615HD Graphics 515HD Graphics 615HD Graphics 515
Graphics Base Frequency (MHz)
300
300
300
300
300
300
Max. Graphics Frequency (MHz)
1050
1000
950
850
900
900
Dual Memory Channel
LPDDR3
/DDR3L 1866/1600
LPDDR3
/DDR3L 1866/1600
LPDDR3
/DDR3L 1866/1600
LPDDR3
/DDR3L 1866/1600
LPDDR3
/DDR3L 1866/1600
LPDDR3
/DDR3L 1866/1600
Hyper-Threading
YesYesYesYesYesYes
Smart Cache
YesYesYesYesYesYes
Intel HD Graphics
YesYesYesYesYesYes
Intel Active Management
Yes
Yes
No

TSX-NI
YesYesYesNo
No
No
Pricing - 1000 Units
$393
$393
$281
$281
$281
$281

A glance at the spec sheet implies that little changes between the Skylake and Kaby Lake generations beyond core clock rates, but there are a number of other improvements under the hood, such as a bump from HD Graphics 515 to 615, which provides a nice boost to the max graphics frequency of the m3-7Y30 and i5-7Y54.

The relatively low CPU base frequency increase can be a bit misleading; mobility-focused products tend to employ lower base clock speeds to conserve battery life but provide higher Turbo Boost frequencies to enable a fast and flexible response to taxing workloads. The same trend continues with the seventh-gen products, though Intel did bump the base frequency up 100 MHz across the board compared to the previous generation.

The big performance increase comes in the form of single-core Turbo Boost speeds, which increase by 400-500 MHz. Turbo speeds are an important consideration for mobile use cases due to the need to satisfy instantaneous requests, then switching back down to a lower P-state. Intel also boosted the threaded Turbo Boost frequencies for the entire range.

All of the Y- and U-series products feature Hyper-Threading, and Turbo Boost 2.0 allows the CPU and GPU to scale clock rates based on workload intensity.

Intel also shook up its branding a bit: the Core m7 and Core m5 models experience a name change to i5 and i7.

U-Series

Intel aims the 15W U-series at higher-performance mobility applications, enabling the same 2+2 configuration with HD Graphics 620.

U-Series
Processors
7th Gen
Core i7
6th Gen
Core i7
7th Gen
Core i5
6th Gen
Core i5
7th Gen
Core i3
6th Gen
Core i3
Processor
i7-7500Ui7-6500U
i5-7200U
i5-6200U
i3-7100U
i3-6100U
Socket
FCBGA 1356
FCBGA 1356FCBGA 1356FCBGA 1356FCBGA 1356FCBGA 1356
Cores/Threads
2/42/42/42/42/42/4
Power
15W
15W
15W
15W
15W
15W
Base Frequency (GHz)
2.72.5
2.52.3
2.42.3
Max. Single-Core Frequency (GHz)
3.53.1
3.12.8
N/AN/A
Max. Threaded Frequency (GHz)
3.5
2.6
3.1
2.4
N/A
N/A
Graphics
HD Graphics 620
HD Graphics 520HD Graphics 620HD Graphics 520HD Graphics 620HD Graphics 520
Base Graphics Frequency (MHz)
300
300
300
300
300
300
Max. Graphics Frequency (MHz)
1050
1050
1000
1000
100
1000
Dual Memory Channel
DDR3L
/DDR4
1866/2133
DDR3L
/DDR4
11600/2133
LPDDR3-1866
DDR3L
/DDR4
1866/2133
DDR3L
/DDR4
11600/2133
LPDDR3-1866
DDR3L
/DDR4
1866/2133
DDR3L
/DDR4
11600/2133
LPDDR3-1866
Hyper-Threading
Yes
YesYes
YesYes
Yes
Smart Cache
YesYesYesYes
YesYes
Intel HD Graphics
YesYesYesYesYesYes
Intel Active Management
Yes
Yes
No

TSX-NI
YesYesYesNo
No
No
Pricing - 1000 Units
$393
$393
$281
$281
$281
$281

The seventh-gen U-series bumps up the base frequency by 100-200 MHz and also features higher (300-400 MHz) Turbo Boost rates. The new platform also discards support for LPDDR3. Intel moves from HD Graphics 520 to 620, though its graphics engine clock rates remain static.

Kaby Lake's pricing is the same compared to Skylake SKUs. Intel indicated that it would ship vPro-enabled and Iris Pro (2+3 and 4+4) SKUs in January 2017.

Platform

Intel infused the majority of I/O features into the platform to reduce cost, complexity, and system-level power consumption, and because the processors use a BGA package, there aren't many differentiators. It should also go without saying that the BGA models are not a drop-in replacement for existing devices.

The baseline U-series does not support RAID or Intel Smart Response Technology, but the other features found on the premium lines remain, albeit in a reduced capacity. The premium products support up to 10 or 12 PCIe 3.0 lanes, while Intel restricts the baseline models to 10 PCIe 2.0 lanes. More devices are using the PCIe connection, such as speedy PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 SSDs, so the lanes will find good use in most applications. The premium products also support a total of four 6 Gb/s SATA ports, while the baseline models only support two.

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This thread is closed for comments
102 comments
    Your comment
  • What a boring release. LGA 2011-v3 is my platform of interest.
  • dgingeri
    In other words, total yawnfest.
  • ComputerSecurityGuy
    Yup, Skylake Refresh. Higher clocks. Slightly lower power consumption. Probably saw a demo of Overwatch on Iris Pro 680 (580 with 200mHz or so higher clocks. Overall, probably not a very interesting release. The only hopeful thing is they might bring Iris/Iris Pro to lower end or lower power SKUs.
  • 80-watt Hamster
    Sheesh, why all the negativity? As someone who put together a Skylake platform with an i3, I'm looking forward to more capable -K processors being released for the same socket.
  • txhorn
    Kaby Lake's hardware encode and decode of 4k codecs is significantly better than Skylake. VP9 4k decode is down to 10-20% cpu usage from 70-80% usage. That's pretty awesome for HTPC's and high-res portable battery life.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Typo on page two: "Intel is optimizing its transistors by improving their fin profile with taller fins and a wider gate pitch" That should be a NARROWER gate pitch.
  • digitalgriffin
    $389 for a 2 core 4 thread processor....thanks but no thanks.
  • goblinissimus
    Nothing about USB 3.1 Gen 2, TB3, DP1.3, HDMI 2.0b/HDCP 2.2?
    Also, 12 bit (aka Dolby Vision or DV) HEVC decode would have been nice.
  • digitalgriffin
    You know intel keeps bragging about how you get more battery life. Yet manufacturers keep shrinking the Wh on the batteries and intel keeps raising their prices. You really gain nothing in terms of battery life or cost.
  • 80-watt Hamster
    163358 said:
    $389 for a 2 core 4 thread processor....thanks but no thanks.


    4C8T perhaps you mean? I can't see Intel trying to charge nearly $400 for an i3.
  • spdragoo
    Nope, I thought it was off, too, as that's the price for the 7th-Generation Core i7. However, the table says that even the i7 is only a 2C/4T CPU. But that's because these are the "Kaby Lake-Y", ultra-low power processors...the kind you find in laptops, Ultrabooks, 2-in-1s, & tablets, & the laptops aren't going to be the high-powered gaming/streaming ones either. These are the low-end chips, that aren't expected to be paired with any kind of discrete GPU. So I wouldn't expect a whole lot of performance from them anyway.
  • josejones
    LOL, still no PCIe 4.0 ahh? Geeez
  • ivonakiss
    i5-7200U and i3-7100U have the same price? Why would anyone touch the i3 ?
  • Brian_R170
    Desktop buyers and gamers certainly won't be impressed by these chips, but buyers of thin-and-light laptops will likely appreciate the extra performance and lower power of the fanless-capable Y-series chips.
  • Sizzor
    When are the desktop variant launching ?
  • InvalidError
    1781251 said:
    4C8T perhaps you mean? I can't see Intel trying to charge nearly $400 for an i3.

    Intel's mobile chip pricing (and chip pricing in general) is going out of control. Broadwell chips weren't cheap either. It is as if Intel was begging people to demand more powerful ARM-based laptops and more desktop-like functionality in Android/ChromeOS.
  • prince_13
    only for laptop ? no thanks i wont spend almost $400 for just an 2 cores 4 thread eat it intel !
  • InvalidError
    2291840 said:
    When are the desktop variant launching ?

    "the faster H-series products, which Intel designed for more enthusiast-oriented mobile platforms (like gaming laptops), the S-series (mainstream desktop), HEDT, workstation, and enterprise products are not due until next year."

    In other words, we may have a Broadwell 2.0 here: mainstream desktop chips launching late with no availability and Cannonlake just a few more months out.
  • ComputerSecurityGuy
    Also, desktop Kaby Lake is set to launch about the same time as Zen. That's a disaster waiting to happen. Kaby Lake release day comes and AMD squashes them with a Zen launch.
  • PaulAlcorn
    545051 said:
    Typo on page two: "Intel is optimizing its transistors by improving their fin profile with taller fins and a wider gate pitch" That should be a NARROWER gate pitch.


    That would certainly be the rational approach to increase density, but Intel actually did make them wider, which was a bit of a switch (har) in strategy. I can make the rational assumption that this helps to reduce the channel strain, thus allowing higher voltage/clocks. Unfortunately, we still await more information from Intel (specific measurements, etc.) so that we can provide more accurate information.
  • PaulAlcorn
    1948317 said:
    Also, desktop Kaby Lake is set to launch about the same time as Zen. That's a disaster waiting to happen. Kaby Lake release day comes and AMD squashes them with a Zen launch.


    Excitement!!

    (not sure which way it will go, of course, but exciting either way)
  • 80-watt Hamster
    587530 said:
    Nope, I thought it was off, too, as that's the price for the 7th-Generation Core i7. However, the table says that even the i7 is only a 2C/4T CPU. But that's because these are the "Kaby Lake-Y", ultra-low power processors...the kind you find in laptops, Ultrabooks, 2-in-1s, & tablets, & the laptops aren't going to be the high-powered gaming/streaming ones either. These are the low-end chips, that aren't expected to be paired with any kind of discrete GPU. So I wouldn't expect a whole lot of performance from them anyway.


    Right. I forgot about i3/5/7 not meaning much besides cache and clocks in mobile chips.
  • SteelCity1981
    the biggest improvements were clock speed boost and additional codecs to handle 4k video better but thats pretty much it.
  • TDice
    I just want stuff I can't afford... But this release, I want Nothing to do with. So I am happy that i get to save some more money now ^^ Great Release!