Getting better for April launch
Several sources close to the motherboard and notebook industries are telling us that Ivy Bridge was delayed for a few months due to yield issues. It was evident that Ivy Bridge would launch later than Sandy Bridge by roughly a quarter and now we know why.
Our sources claim that yields at 22nm are not as great as Intel had hoped for and this is the main reason behind the delay. Sandy Bridge, Intel’s 32nm second generation Core architecture launched at CES 2011 in January 2011, but most parts started shipping in early February.
This time around the launch is expected in the second week of April, and the current launch date, that is not carved in stone is April 8th, a whole quarter behind the last launch. It looks like 22nm transition and 3D transistors are not easy as Intel wanted us to believe. It’s been a while since Intel had any manufacturing issues but in the last few years tick-tock delayed Intel’s product introduction from traditional Q4 launches to Q2 of next year, extending its launch cycle.
Our sources claim that the usual practice would be to see the announcement in January around CES and start selling systems and motherboards early next month. Z77 and a mobile version of a chipset including QS77, QM77 and three versions of HM7x chipsets are reportedly already ready to ship.
Since for the most part Ivy Bridge will compete with Intel’s own with its second generation Core parts, it’s not a big deal for the company, but this slight delay will give AMD more breathing room and help its recovery.