Over at Twitter, yuuki_ans got their hands on an unreleased SKU from Intel’s Cannon Lake lineup. The size of this CPU is smaller than the i3-8121U (Only released Cannon Lake SKU) showing that this CPU most likely never went through mass production.
Cannon Lake is the codename for Intel’s 10nm lineup featuring their 7th gen CPUs (as a refresh). Many would think that this might have been the 8th generation from Intel. Although, that dream was short lived as the 14nm based Coffee Lake (8th gen + 9th gen) came out prior to Cannon Lake.
This was Intel’s first attempt at the 10nm process node. However, due to yield related problems, Cannon Lake never saw the light of day.
Through a few leaked configurations provided by Videocardz, we are able to see that this CPU features three dies. The smaller (3rd die) measures around 13.72 mm² (4.9×2.8).
The i3-8121U is powered by 2 cores / 4 threads based on the Palm Cove microarchitecture. This happens to be the maximum configuration offered by Cannon Lake. yuuki_ans provided us with a possible motherboard image for this unknown CPU. Weirdly enough such a motherboard will never fit in a mini-PC or a laptop. This was possibly used for testing purposes over at Intel.
Last year in July, Intel removed support for Cannon Lake graphics in the Linux kernel driver (Linux 5.15). Do bear in mind, no Cannon Lake CPUs were shipped with a built-in GPU. This exclusion of graphical support resulted in a reduction of around 1600 lines of code.