Intel's 7th-generation CPUs (Kaby Lake) released in January this year, about 17 months after the preceding generation (Skylake)--a usual transition in the CPU market. However, Intel is ready to reveal its 8th-generation on August 21. And while we don't know of the release window quite yet, this announcement comes much sooner than what we'd expect.
The Kaby Lake processor family was announced this time last year and released five months later. If this next generation (Coffee Lake) follows suit, we could have new Intel chips in early 2018. This also means that Kaby Lake would be supplanted just 12 months after its launch; Intel CPU generations typically run an 18-month cycle.
There's reason to believe that the recent competition from AMD's Ryzen CPU family--which began its roll out in March this year-- is impacting what we see from Intel. AMD has been able to offer comparable gaming performance, more CPU cores for better multitasking and productivity, and competitive pricing.
Intel is still in the process of rolling out its Core i9 series of high-end desktop (HEDT) CPUs, which are part of the company's 7th-generation chips. These HEDT processors typically come out roughly eight months after flagship chips launch, and are targeted towards the enthusiast PC crowd that does more than just gaming. AMD also just released its own line of HEDT processors, called Ryzen Threadripper, which is giving Intel a run for its money as well.
Coffee Lake isn't expected to be revolutionary from an architectural stand point, and it'll use the same 14nm manufacturing process that CPUs have used for a while now. However, the new flagship Core i5 and i7 processors are rumored to pack six cores this time around. We'll know more about Intel's plans come August 21 at 8am PDT.