Menu
Intel delays Broadwell chips for PCs and hybrids

Intel delays Broadwell chips for PCs and hybrids

Production of the chips has been delayed by a quarter, which could push back the release of PCs

Intel has delayed production of its "Broadwell" processors due to a manufacturing glitch, something analysts say could postpone the launch of PCs and tablets based on the new chip.

Intel ran into some problems with the 14-nanometer process used to manufacture the chips and will have to fix them before it can resume production, CEO Brian Krzanich said during Intel's earnings call on Tuesday.

"We're planning to begin production in the first quarter of next year," he said.

The Broadwell chips will succeed Intel's "Haswell" line of Core processors, which are manufactured using a 22-nanometer process. The number refers to the dimensions of circuits etched on the chips.

Intel showed a laptop running on Broadwell at the Intel Developer Forum last month. Intel says the chips will be 30 percent more power-efficient and faster than their Haswell counterparts.

Intel normally releases new chips like clockwork on an annual basis, and the manufacturing problems are a rare misstep for the company. Krzanich said there were problems with the "yield" -- or the number of good chips the company gets per silicon wafer.

Analysts said the manufacturing issue could delay the chip's release to PC makers, affecting the release dates of their products.

"The way to look at it is the actual launch [of Broadwell] takes place on a different date," said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research.

Intel hasn't had to delay a major chip release since the Pentium 4 more than a decade ago, McCarron said.

Broadwell is based on the same architecture as Haswell but made with a more advanced process -- something known as a "process shrink" in industry parlance. Broadwell's delay won't affect the release of its successor, Skylake, Krzanich said, as Skylake will be based on a brand-new architecture.

That will mean a shorter lifespan for the Broadwell chips, McCarron said.

The problems with Broadwell won't affect the release of other chips for mobile devices made using the 14-nanometer process, according to Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.

"I don't expect this to impact mobile processors that need 14-nanometer the most," Moorhead said in an email.

Intel plans to release 14-nm Atom chips code-named Airmont for tablets and smartphones next year. It expects the chips to be faster and more power-efficient, which could mean longer battery life for products. Intel competes in mobile devices with ARM, whose processor designs are used in most phones and tablets today.

Tech-savvy users should be able to upgrade their chips from Haswell to Broadwell in some products.

"Broadwell and Haswell are pin compatible, so for the most part this will slide into existing systems," Krzanich said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardware systemsdesktop pcslaptopsintel

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments