Published in Processors

Intel delays Broadwell


Manufacturing glitch

Analysts have warned that the troubled PC market could suffer after Intel delayed production of its "Broadwell" processors due to a manufacturing glitch.

CEO Brian Krzanich mentioned during Intel's earnings call that Chipzilla had run into some snags with the 14-nanometer process. He said that will push production of Broadwell chips to the first quarter of next year. Broadwell chips were supposed to succeed Intel's 22-nanometer Haswell line of Core processors and were being touted as a cure for cancer.

Intel says the chips will be 30 percent more power-efficient and faster than Haswell. Krzanich said there were problems with the "yield" or the number of good chips the company gets per silicon wafer. Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research said that the announcement means that the chip would be late to get to PC makers, affecting the release dates of their products. Chipzilla Intel has not delayed a major chip release since the Pentium 4 more than a decade ago.

Broadwell's delay won't affect the release of its successor, Skylake, Krzanich said, as Skylake will be based on a brand-new architecture, so this means that Broadwell will have a shorter life. Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy told Network News that problems with Broadwell won't affect the release of other chips for mobile devices made using the 14-nanometer process. It is in the mobile market where Intel needs 14-nanometer the most.

Intel plans to release 14-nm Atom chips code-named Airmont for tablets and smartphones next year. "Broadwell and Haswell are pin compatible, so for the most part this will slide into existing systems.


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