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Intel hopes to improve Coffee Lake CPU availability with news Chengdu plant

By John Law & Koh Wanzi - on 21 Nov 2017, 11:30am

Intel hopes to improve Coffee Lake CPU availability with news Chengdu plant

Image source: Intel.

Intel has said that it will begin testing and assembling its 8th generation Coffee Lake desktop CPUs at a plant in Chengdu, China.

The chipmaker’s 8th generation desktop CPUs have been plagued by supply shortages since launch, and it’s been quite difficult to get hold of one. That’s an unfortunate situation, considering that the Core i7-8700K is one of the best performing mainstream CPUs you can get today.

Now, Intel's looking to address that with its Chengdu plant. In a product change notice to customers, Intel said that they can soon expect parts assembled in China. The change affects the Intel Core i5-8400, i5-8600K, i7-8700, and i7-8700K processors.

However, this only applies to the assembly and test portion of the manufacturing process, and not to the actual fabrication of the CPU dies. The Chengdu facility is certified under Intel’s Copy Exactly! program, so there should theoretically be no issues in bringing it online.

In addition, the program seeks to ensure that the chips are exactly the same regardless of where they’re binned and assembled.

Finally, the fact that Intel is focusing on adding further assembly capabilities, instead of fabrication, may also suggest that that’s where the bottleneck in Coffee Lake’s production lies. It’s no surprise that Santa Clara wants to be able to meet consumer demand, especially given the strong competition from AMD this year.

Source: Intel.