Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X could launch as the Core i9 series
A fourth tier in the popular Core ix family of processors may be in the works according to a leaked snapshot of a supposed Intel presentation detailing some upcoming products.
The introduction of a higher tier above the current i7 family may be necessary to more easily differentiate between the eventual ultra-high-end X-series of Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors from the existing i7-7700K and the upcoming i7-7740K and i7-7640K. The top Core i9 model is expected to be the Core i9-7920X with its full set of 12 cores plus Hyper-Threading for a total of 24 simultaneous threads. Other features include 16.5 MB of L3 cache, support for 44 PCIe lanes, and a power-hungry 140 W TDP not unlike the Broadwell-E family.
Meanwhile, the initial batch of Skylake-X processors could come as early as next month. The rumored Core i9-7800X will supposedly be a 3.5 GHz hexa-core offering with Turbo Boost of up to 4 GHz.
The leak should be taken with a grain of salt as Intel has yet to officially announce the new generation of Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors. The timing of this leak, however, gives it some credence as the Broadwell-E i7-6950X was made publicly available a full year earlier in May of 2016. As a result, a proper followup to the Broadwell-E series will likely be announced sooner rather than later.