Intel has delayed the production of their next-generation ‘Broadwell’ chips until the first quarter of 2014, following defect density issues affecting the processor’s yield. Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, mentioned that when defects are discovered in CPUs, a set of fixes are inserted; however the fixes for the issues didn’t initially deliver the improvements that were anticipated.
The issues, which according to Krzanich have been fixed, pushed the production of Broadwell back a quarter, from Q4 2013 to Q1 2014. He said that PC customers have a “strong desire to get Broadwell to market”, adding that this “is a small blip in the schedule” while also mentioning that Broadwell’s successor ‘Skylake’ hasn’t been delayed as a result.
Broadwell is a ‘Tick’ in Intel’s ‘Tick-Tock’ philosophy, meaning it’s a shrink of the current CPU microarchitecture (‘Haswell’) to a new manufacturing process (14nm). Intel is the first company to produce chips at 14nm, which will bring a range of improvements to power efficiency and performance.
Leaked roadmaps have always placed the release of Broadwell in 2014 sometime, with the first batch of production scheduled to occur in late 2013 before the delays occurred. Generally speaking it takes Intel six months from the start of mass production to get the chips out on the market, which would place Broadwell’s release in Q3 2014, factoring in the one quarter delay.
It’s rumored that Intel will only release Broadwell-based mobile parts on the BGA platform in 2014, with traditional LGA desktop parts being covered by a Haswell refresh. At this stage it’s unclear whether we’ll see Broadwell in desktop parts in 2014, or at any stage for that matter, but stay tuned in the coming months as more information trickles out.