In 2016, the largest manufacturer of central CPUs – Intel company did not carry out any high-profile announcements, much to upset their fans. Of course, the famous “Tick-tock” strategy, according to which every two years, a new micro-architecture comes to market, and every second year the transition to the next finer manufacturing process is performed, has been very good for fans of the brand, receiving new products each year. However, for the chip makers in the absence of real competition from Advanced Micro Devices, a pace proved to be unprofitable, so that Intel decided to upgrade the global strategy, which has become a “Tick-tock-tock”, where the cycle time increased from two to three years, and the phase of transition to the next technological process and the introduction of a new design, the production stage of CPUs based on an optimized architecture of the current generation follows. In this outline entirely fits the current roadmap of chipmaker, where released in 2014 CPU Broadwell marked the development of 14-nm lithography, followed by Skylake release on the basis of a fundamentally new microarchitecture and constructive LGA1151 performance. The next logical step was the release of processors Kaby Lake for mobile devices, which took place without much publicity in the summer of 2016. And, finally took place the long-awaited announcement of a new CPU generation for desktop – Kaby Lake-S, an overview of which you can read in our present material. It should be noted, even before the official release, many details of the novelties “leaked” to the Internet, the more interesting it will be to find out – what of the leak was true? Let’s get started!
CPU Kaby Lake-S can hardly be called revolutionary, since they are a further development of Skylake architecture. But could Intel let the 7th generation of the Core processors to be honored the modest name “Skylake Refresh”? However, the current microdesign is very good and has great potential, so let’s review the main features of the architecture, which got the latest processors from its predecessors. In its maximum configuration, the CPU Skylake Kaby and Lake can have up to four cores, which, thanks to the support of Hyper-Threading technology, can simultaneously execute two computing flows. Each core is equipped with 32 KB of L1 cache for instructions and data, as well as 256 KB of buffer memory of 2nd level. With regard to the compatibility with the SIMD-instructions, the processors Kaby Lake, as well as Skylake, support SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AVX, FMA3 and the AES hardware encryption acceleration, and vector instructions AVX2.0 widely used for processing multimedia content.
Between each other, cores communicate via a bi-directional ring bus, which connects the processing units with the cache of the 3rd level up to 8 MB, the system agent in charge of connectivity of RAM DDR3L/DDR4, chipset, PCI Express 3.0 bus, and digital displays, as well as integrated graphics core, which, according to the schematic image of a silicon crystal, is devoted almost half of the area of the semiconductor substrate.
Kaby Lake-S inherited from its predecessors integrated graphics, which, despite the new name HD Graphics630, has not received fundamental differences compared to HD Graphics530, integrated in the desktop versions of Skylake. Graphics accelerator includes 24 EU (Executive Units – actuators) of 9th generation, unit Intel Quick Sync supports hardware-based decoding and encoding video streams HVEC and VP-9 in resolutions up to 4K inclusive. Built-in video card supports API DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL acceleration of non-graphical computing and provides output images at resolutions up to 4K for three independent digital outputs.