Output data at 14fps would be JPEG, but the input data from the sensor would still be 14-bit. I don't believe Canon does any kind of downgrading on the bit depth of the ADC units (I've never found any information indicating as much anyway), so I don't believe there is a 12-bit 14fps read mode. The output data rate for JPEG (when writing to the memory card) would certainly be lower, but the input rate into the DIGIC processor would still be 14-bit.
It's difficult for anyone outside of the development team to do any more than speculate, but I'd argue that if the camera can really handle 14 bit readout at 14 FPS, then why force JPEG only on users? The buffer is still there, and if the readout and JPEG engine can keep up with 14 bits, the buffer should be able to too - so instead of forcing JPEGs on the user, why not give them a choice of a smaller buffer depth and raw? Card speeds only become relevant once the buffer fills up, and the target audience of the 1D X should in Canon's eyes be capable of deciding which trade off to choose.
I'm under the impression (falsely or not) that it's JPEG only as the readout doesn't support 14 bit CR2 files at 14 FPS.
The readout is simply transferring charge and converting it to digital numbers. JPEG doesn't come into play until that native signal information has already entered the DIGIC chip, since it is DIGIC that is actually performing the conversion to JPEG. The sensor isn't going to natively spit out 8-bit JPEG data, as that requires processing, like color space conversion, compression and encoding, etc.
Why does Canon limit 14fps to JPEG? I don't know the answer to that. I am just quite certain that neither the sensor nor the off-die ADC units are spitting out JPEG data natively. It could be possible that the ADC units are switching to 12-bit mode at 14fps. Samsung certainly doe it at 15fps. Why Canon even bothers with a 14-bit ADC in the first place when their data barely supports more than 11 bits worth of information because of system noise levels is beyond me. If a 12-bit ADC would allow them to process 17.5fps, without any loss in DR, I don't know why they don't. That said, I've never encountered any information anywhere, including in patents, that indicates Canon switches to 12-bit data output from their ADC units. There could very well be a different reason they had to limit 14fps to JPEG.
Because Canon RAW files include the bias information. And bias information is useful in perform calibration of image.
By the way, 7D2 is dual pixel meaning that they actually had 40.4MP. Now if the dual-pixel operation is perform in analogue form (before the ADC), that mean the data rate will still at 20.2MP level, but if the dual-pixel AF is perform after the ADC, then the data rate will be at 40.4MP level. Just wondering??
Have a nice day.