September 7, 2017 // 9:10 a.m.
Intel has announced that it is beginning to wind down its original Skylake microarchitecture, announcing end-of-life dates for its Core i3-6098P, i5-6402P, i5-6600K, and i7-6700K CPUs that will see shipments cease in September next year.
First announced back in 2015, Intel's Skylake microarchitecture was the first in the Core range to feature support for now-standard DDR4 memory. While our review at the time criticised high launch prices and a small incremental performance improvement, the Skylake microarchitecture proved a success - thanks in no small part to rival AMD's inability to offer competition at the higher end of the market, an issue it has since resolved with its Zen microarchitecture.
Even as Intel launches products based around the tweaked Skylake-X microarchitecture, which includes a new mesh layout claimed to offer improved scalability over Skylake, the company is announcing that the original Skylake parts are being put out to pasture. In a Product Change Notification (PDF warning) published this week, Intel has formally put the Core i3-6098P, Core i5-6402P, Core i5-6600K, and Core i7-6700K CPUs on notice in both their retail boxed and chip-only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) guises.
The chips have officially entered what Intel calls its 'product discontinuance programme support' phase this week, which gives the chips approximately a year longer on the market. During that time retailers and OEMs can submit demand notifications to Intel up to early December and orders will be accepted up to the end of March 2018 with the last shipments scheduled for September that year - though any parts ordered or delivered after mid-March will not be eligible for cancellation or return, Intel warns. As a result buyers can expect to see the Skylake parts slowly disappearing from shops' inventories over the coming months, though exactly when supplies will dry up is not known.
The move comes as Intel works to ready its eighth-generation parts, including those based around its Coffee Lake microarchitecture.