If you suspected Intel processors with AMD graphics weren’t long for this world, you guessed correctly. Intel has discontinued its Core i7 processors based on Kaby Lake-G, explaining to chip buyers that market interest has “shifted to other Intel products.” Vendors have until January 31st, 2020 to place orders, and the last shipments should take place by July 31st, 2020. There’s no sign of a replacement on the horizon, either.
The move isn’t exactly unexpected. Kaby Lake-G was an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” design meant to counter NVIDIA’s laptop graphics by mating an 8th-generation Core processor with an AMD GPU that could outperform Intel’s then-current integrated video. Few PC makers saw fit to use it, though, and follow-ups to those systems that did arrive frequently used the Intel/NVIDIA combo.
There’s less pressure to make strange bedfellows as it is. Intel is planning its own high-performance graphics architecture (Xe), and it’ll be available in everything from basic mobile PCs through to dedicated GPUs for desktops and servers. There won’t be much point to using AMD GPUs when Intel’s in-house hardware should be good enough in the near future. Meanwhile, the Iris Plus graphics in Intel’s Ice Lake processors provides pretty adequate 3D performance as well, so the company has some options until Xe arrives.