A Chinese web site has posted what it claims is the launch schedule for Intel's upcoming new generation of CPUs, the 14-nanometer Skylake processor.
If this list is accurate, it will be a much more steady rollout than the chaotic Broadwell release, which came later than planned and forced Intel to delay the Skylake release so as not to cannibalize itself. It also means Intel will release four families of Skylake processors in a five month period.
In August to September, Intel will roll out all its Skylake-S processors for traditional desktops. Leading the way will be the Core i7 6700K, which means the CPU clock is unlocked. This makes it considerably easier to overclock. Intel was never deliberately overclocking-friendly but AMD has been for years. Only in the last few generations has Intel gotten the religion.
A bigger batch comes in September, from the Core i7-6700 on the high end to the 35 watt Core i5-6400T. Also in September will be the Skylake-H processors for high-performance notebooks, desktops and all-in-one PCs.
In October and November, Intel will roll out additional Skylake-H SKUs. These appear to be faster processors for higher-end devices, and there is also a Xeon E3 v5 processor. Typically, the E3s go into small-business servers, microservers, low-end servers and entry-level desktop workstations.
Also in September is the Skylake-Y series, which are the Core M based processors aimed at ultra-low power devices like tablets. Three will come in September and another two will come in January 2016.
September and January are also the rollout months for the Skylake-U processors, which replace the Broadwell-U line. These are low-power, dual core chips aimed at inexpensive PCs.
Intel has kept quiet on the speeds and feeds around Skylake, but one benchmark did pop up in the database for SiSoft Sandra, a benchmarking utility. Based on what they found, testers estimated Skylake would offer a 20% performance improvement over Broadwell, which would be impressive.
Skylake also features big changes beyond the CPU. The platform will support PCI Express 4.0, which has double the transfer rate of PCIe 3.0, Thunderbolt 3.0, SATA Express, Iris Pro graphics with Direct3D 12 and support for up to five monitors connected via HDMI, DisplayPort or Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) interfaces. The old VGA interface is gone.
Intel has said nothing beyond that Skylake will ship in the second half of the year. The timing in the Benchlife story would be idea. By September, Microsoft should have Windows 10 finished. Both companies would be ready for back to school shopping and well prepared for Christmas, and the PC business needs a boost desperately. A major upgrade in hardware performance coupled with a major upgrade to Windows should do the trick. Hopefully.