Intel are set to release a slew of new processors in the second half of this year, culminating in the release of the next-generation 14nm Broadwell chips. Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, spoke at the Maker Faire in California to guarantee that after last year's delay (due to a "defect density issue"), Broadwell CPUs would be released in time for the holidays, “and not the last second of holiday” either.
Surely it follows that with a new chipset should come new chips, right? And with Intel’s latest motherboard chipset, the Z97, having just launched promising support for both the Devil’s Canyon Haswell update and the next-gen Broadwell die-shrink, it’s hugely disappointing not to be sat here extolling the virtues of some fine new processors too.
But what can the new Z97 chipset offer in this first Republic of Gamers board from Asus? Well, to be fair to them quite a lot, but very little of it is actually related to Intel’s latest chipset. Right now these Z97 boards are going to live or die by their feature sets, and in typical RoG fashion Asus has thrown not just the kitchen sink, but an entire Magnet showroom at the Hero.
After having tried to make me care about all-in-one PCs at GDC (sorry guys, I just can’t), Intel have announced a bunch of new processor toys that are on their way either this year or next. From Haswell, to Broadwell, to Haswell-E, we’re looking at a raft of new chips for our machines.
First up we’ll be seeing a bunch of new Haswell parts, code-named Devil’s Canyon. They’ll be slightly higher-clocked versions of the parts we’ve already got - so expect maybe an extra 100MHz on top of the K-series chips.
Last month I sat in front of new Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, as he held up ‘working’ Broadwell silicon on stage at the Intel Developer Forum. I even saw one running in a test system, zipping through CPU benchmarker’s friend, Cinebench. Yesterday, though, he announced during a briefing call about Intel's latest financial results that they would be delaying the production of Broadwell chips until the first quarter of next year. We were then expecting to see Broadwell products knocking around next Spring, but with this slip in production it’s likely to be the Summer of 2014 at the earliest.
The successor to Intel's Haswell CPU technology, "Broadwell", has been revealed and shown working here at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The chip is built using a whole new production process that shrinks Haswell's 22nm transistors down to 14nm. That is tiny.
As you can see from the side-by-side comparison between the low-power Haswell and Broadwell systems-on-a-chip (SoC) in the picture above, there's a big difference in actual size, and because Intel are using their very latest production methods on this new CPU it also should be a good deal less power-hungry than it's older brother.
There have been rumours floating around for the last couple days that Intel is going to end the traditional socketed CPU once the Haswell chip is out of the door. Based upon a supposedly leaked processor roadmap, Japanese site, PC Watch, is claiming to show that Intel will be calling time on the CPU upgrade market.
What they are saying is that the Broadwell CPU, the next-generation chip to follow Haswell, will be sold soldered into the motherboard, doing away with the LGA socket altogether. As the Broadwell lineup will represent the die-shrink down to 14nm from the 22nm Haswell variant, it's possible there may be an architectural need for these CPUs to be permanently attached to the motherboard.