In February, Intel announced plans to launch its next wave of Core processors in the second half of this year. The 8th-generation chips, being developed under the codename 'Coffee Lake', will succeed Intel's 7th-gen (Kaby Lake) processors, which are continuing to make their way into new devices, such as Microsoft's recently-announced Surface Laptop and Surface Pro tablet.
At the time of that announcement, Intel said that Coffee Lake chips would offer at least 15% better performance than their predecessors. But today, alongside its unveiling of new high-performance X-Series processors for premium desktops - which include a new Core i9 Extreme Edition with 18 cores - Intel revealed that its 8th-gen chips are performing even better than expected.
The company said that in its latest testing of Coffee Lake, it's "seeing a performance improvement of more than 30 percent" compared with the current generation, based on a SYSmark benchmark. It did add the caveat that "performance estimates are Pre-Silicon and are subject to change", and that such projections have +/- 7% margin of error" - but given that its earlier predictions were based on the same benchmark, it's clear that Coffee Lake performance will still be considerably higher than Intel's initial estimates from February.
Intel didn't disclose any further details about its 8th-generation processors today, adding only that it will have "more to say in the future". Like Kaby Lake, the new chips will be built on a 14nm architecture, and remain on track for launch later this year.