Intel Not Releasing 14nm Broadwell CPUs Next Year, Haswell and Haswell-E Will Dominate 2014

Subject: Processors | June 21, 2013 - 09:39 AM |
Tagged: Intel, haswell, cpu, Broadwell, 14nm

Alongside the good news of 8-core Haswell-E parts, VR-Zone revealed an updated Intel road map that makes no mention of the 14nm Haswell architecture die shrink Broadwell. Broadwell was originally intended to be the next "tick" in Intel's yearly "tick-tock" chip release schedule set to release next year. If recent reports are true, this will no longer be the case. Instead, 2014 will be dominated (at least on the Intel side of things) by consumer Haswell and enthusiast-grade Haswell-E chips.

What is going on with Broadwell?

Broadwell is essentially supposed to be a CPU using the Haswell micro-architecture that is built on a (impressively) smaller 14nm manufacturing process. There may be a few minor tweaks to the architecture or updates to the instruction set extensions, but the big difference between Broadwell and Haswell is the die shrink from 22nm to 14nm. The die shrink will allow for better low-power performance and will be beneficial in battery-powered mobile devices first and foremost. Likely as a result of the main benefits being mobile parts, Intel has previously announced that Broadwell chips would be BGA only, which means that there would not be a traditional LGA socket-ed desktop part. Broadwell chips would only come soldered onto motherboards in bare-bones systems, laptops, and tablets for example.

Despite the small architectural differences, the die shrink alone is a monumental task. Intel needs to not only be able to shrink Haswell and its wealth of transistors to 14nm, but it has to do so in a way that allows them to get the yields and power efficiency characteristics that they want. This is extremely hard, and the move to manufacturing nodes below 22nm is going to get exceedingly difficult. Intel accomplished 22nm with its Tri-gate 3D transistors, but with 14nm they are going to have to push beyond that, and even with its huge money vault, physics is working against them in a big way here. As a result of the huge challenges of moving to 14nm, it seems at this point that Broadwell will not be ready in time for a 2014 launch after all. Instead, Intel is now shooting for a 2015 launch of the BGA Broadwell chips alongside the LGA (socket-ed) 14nm Sky Lake processors (the "tock" to Broadwell's "tick").

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Some enthusiasts and media have painted the Broadwell delay to be, at least in part, due to less competition from AMD. That is possible, but I can't help but thinking that slowing down Broadwell is the last thing Intel would want to do. The sooner Intel is able to move its Haswell (and future) micro-architecture-based chips to 14nm and beyond, the sooner AMD is put all that much farther behind. If Intel had managed 14nm Broadwell in 2014, AMD would have been screwed out of a lot of SFF NUC-type systems as well as mobile devices as they would not really be able to compete on performance or power efficiency! (Then Intel could happily focus on trying to bring down ARM in the mobile space, which it seems to want to do heh.) In some internal discussion with PC Perspective's Josh Walrath, I think that Intel would have loved to bring 14nm chips next year but, because of manufacturing process woes, the chips are simply not ready.

The new plan: Refresh Haswell in 2014 with a new Z97 chipset

Now, with the launch of Broadwell moved back to at least 2015, consumers will now be presented with a refresh of 22nm Haswell chips on the consumer side around Q2 2014 and the upcoming launch of enthusiast-platform Haswell-E processors in the second half of 2014.

The Haswell (LGA 1150) refresh will include better binned chips with a lineup that is likely to see a slight speed bump in stock clockspeed across the board as well as an updated Z97 chipset. The new chipset will support 1000 MB/s SATA Express and boot-level malware protection technology in the form of Intel Device Protection and Boot Guard. Granted motherboards using the updated Z97 chipset are not going to be all that alluring to those users already running Z87 chipsets with their Haswell processors. However, users that have not yet upgraded might as well go with the newer chipset and enjoy the small tweaks and benefits that go along with it. In other words, if you were holding out waiting to upgrade to a Broadwell CPU plus motherboard combo, you are going to be waiting at least another year. You will be able to grab a refreshed Haswell CPU and a Z87 or Z97 chipset-based motherboard next year though (which should still be a healthy upgrade if you have a pre-Sandy Bridge system).
Also worth noting is that if you have already upgraded to Haswell, you can rest easy knowing that you have at least another year of your chip being the newest model--quite a feat considering how fast the tech world traditionally moves!

On the other hand, if Haswell just isn't fast enough, there is always Haswell-E to look forward to in 2014! Haswell-E will bring 8-core, 16-thread chips with 20MB of L3 cache (up to ~140W TDP) and the X99 chipset, which should keep the top-end enthusiast market happy no matter the state of Broadwell.

I'm looking forward to more details regarding the 14nm manufacturing process, and hoping that once the chips are on the way the company will be willing to talk about some of the challenges and issues they faced moving to such a small process node (perhaps at IDF? One can hope.) In the mean time, Haswell has another year to shine and make Intel money while AMD works on its HSA and APU strategies.

What do you think about the 14nm Broadwell delay? Does it impact you, or were you waiting for Haswell-E anyway?

Source: VR-Zone

June 21, 2013 | 09:58 AM - Posted by billeman

Still running a (cool temps) Sandy Bridge desktop for now.... I'll probably hold out until 14nm comes along, with hopefully better overclocking and temperature characteristics, the latest 2 releases (Ivy and Haswell) aren't that spectacular, and I'm *guessing* that Haswell-E won't be that cool either.

A long shot maybe, but this may give AMD the possibility to become a little bit more competitive....

June 22, 2013 | 04:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The source for this article is the VR-Zone. That article from June 3rd clearly shows a roadmap for desktops. This skipping of the desktop series has been known for quite some time. The mobile side is moving forward with 14nm that will begin production this fall and begin shipping in the spring of 2014. This article is clearly MISLEADING AND FACTULLY WRONG!

June 21, 2013 | 11:33 AM - Posted by John H (not verified)

We can't call Broadwell out as a 2014 product until we see the mobile roadmap from Intel.

Intel has already said Broadwell is BGA only and for lower power. it's possible they decided to make it a mobile only chip and that it will launch in 2014 for laptops.. which means 14nm in 2014.

Broadwell desktop may just be flat out skipped in lieu of Skylake on desktop ..

This is not unprecedented.. Lynnfield quads stayed on 45nm for a long time before 32nm sandy bridge quads appeared..

June 21, 2013 | 11:54 AM - Posted by ddg4005

I think Haswell will suit Intel's needs on the desktop for quite awhile. As John posted Broadwell might become a mobile-only part for laptops.

June 21, 2013 | 12:34 PM - Posted by dragosmp (not verified)

It may be just that Intel exploits a little while longer their 22nm litography machines.I would say their only real reason to pass to 14nm is to lower the power consumption of Atom, to make it more competitive with ARM.

On the desktop / server they don't have any interest to spend a couple of billions just to get further in front of AMD; imho the part of market they might snatch fom AMD is only the sub 150$ home sector as AMD fans probably won't get an Intel CPU anyway.

My last anti-Broadwell commentary: Haswell can already run 8-11 hours in a Macbook Air, as Ken showed the other day (in OSX). What would be the gain to 14nm? There would be a gain for Intel as the die size would be smaller; Haswell is very small already, the benefit might not outweigh the cost of the litography process.

September 25, 2013 | 04:49 PM - Posted by Beijendorf (not verified)

The gain from the 14nm Broadwell would be not only an increased battery life, but also the introduction of fanless x86 systems. The ultrabooks and hybrids could thus be thinner, be quieter, save more power by not having to run a fan, less prone to damage from dirt and could even be made waterproof.

I see nothing but advantages over the Haswell architecture for mobile users.

June 21, 2013 | 12:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

We haven't seen anything really significant or interesting in the desktop market since Sandy and the roadmaps pretty much have already hinted it'll be dull and boring for us since way back when. Ivy, Haswell, Broadwell, and most definitely Skylake and Skymount will be uninteresting unless you buy CPU's for their integrated GPU's.

I wouldn't hold my breath until at least 2018. See where the mobile market is standing then after the codenames we already know about are released. See if tablets conquered the world. See if Intel is able to push below 10nm by 2015 (doubtful). See how far they want to take this iGPU crap before realizing its just wasting die-space without providing anymore useful acceleration. See where this hUMA/shared GPU+CPU space takes us. So on and so forth. Depending on your perspective (no pun intended), what Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and ARM are doing is either breathtaking or a facepalm boring experiment.

At least they're taking away the motive for upgrading and allowing me to save my pennies for things like a 50GB DL 2x Bluray player, or an All-In-One Printer. I hear those things are the new hotness these days.

June 21, 2013 | 01:07 PM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

The new storage standward is more interesting then the depressing news of a node delay......ALLAN!!!!! *mic flips down*

June 21, 2013 | 01:17 PM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

Oh and yes they might be just shipn us over to Haswell-E with ddr4 and I "assume" the new storage standard. Thats where my brain is wandering.

June 21, 2013 | 02:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Intel is going Tic-Hic-Tock on their release cycle! Intel has a case of the hiccups, and maybe they should take the extra time to work on their graphics drivers! Apple is not standing still, and just may be developing laptops with ARM server type chips married with Nvidia graphics IP for a macbook with 16 ARM 64 CPUs and Nvidia Graphics/GPGPU acceleration! Apple does want to more control over their product's price/development and ARM/Nvidia IP plus Apple's proven CPU design IP, may just shake up, more, the WINTEL PC domination! The days of High Margins High Unit numbers sales are coming to a close for Intel, and they will not have the High unit sales volumns with which to amortise the billion dollar+ development costs that Intel had before the end of the PC haydays! Apple has loads of cash, and has been on a CPU/GPU/EveryThingMobile IP spending spree, of outright buying IP to licensing IP for some time now, and Apple has used this IP to develop in house the A6 CPU!

AnandTech: "The iPhone 5's A6 SoC: Not A15 or A9, a Custom Apple Core Instead"

June 21, 2013 | 02:56 PM - Posted by jjcruz78

Are we ever going to see a solder chip again ? I got upset with the fact that they are using cheap TIM (Dow Corning TC -1996). I know is not going to fix the law of physics less surface area for heat dissipation, but at least allow overclocking a hair more and control the thermals better. I know is a business decision form Intel, but how much of a savings it really is ?

P.S. Ryan, kind of ask about this yesterday (the refresh)on: " This week in Computer Harware" - ep. 223. The real question was, is Intel going to use solder again ? (May be wishful thinking) You Guys are great! and will value your input.

June 21, 2013 | 10:43 PM - Posted by doomOo7 (not verified)

" a macbook with 16 ARM 64 CPUs "
I think that mac users have been pissed of quite enough when Apple decided to go from ppc to intel.
What after that ?
Alpha ?


June 21, 2013 | 11:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not just "a macbook with 16 ARM 64 CPUs", but a macbook with 16 Apple custom 64 bit processors and Nvidia graphics, that just happen to run the ARM instruction set, that Apple licensed from ARM! That's Apple Microcode running the A6 processor and interpreting those ARM instructions on the A6, and Apple did a damn fine job taping out their own CPU!
Just imagine what Apple will be able to do, once they do not have to pay an Intel Tax, and 16 Apple customizied CPUs with Nvidia GPU/GPGPU acceleration would be enough CPU power, and better than Iris graphics for sure!

June 22, 2013 | 02:48 AM - Posted by Klimax (not verified)

Note: It's desktop roadmap only, so it appears 14nm is still on time, but mobile only. (So far no reason why, but that would be that)

June 22, 2013 | 09:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So now that Intel is having thermal problems with the 14 nm process node and the high power high gigahertz desktop node will stop at 22 nm for now, Intel will have to Milk the increase the core count market once again! Desktop CPUs will not be getting smaller circuits but more cores, and with Intel, those more cores will cost even more money!
Intel is going all in on Mobile, but mobile CPUs are not where Intel Leads, especially with Intel's need for high profit Margins! Intel does not have the advantage in a readily available software SDK toolset for the most popular linux based OSs that run the mobile world over ARM, as ARM has had the low power mobile business for so long and been using the custom tailored for low power OS's since day one! The server ARM chips that are now starting to appear on the market, will be modified to work in laptops, and will have sufficient core count, and better graphics, through the licensed IP model, that Nvidia is just now entering! These chips will be able to compete with Intel's lower power lower performing Haswell SKUs that are used in Apple macbooks, and the Ultrabook knockoffs that Intel is trying to use to compete with Apple! Intel will not have the time to best these chips better graphics performence, and the ARM based chips with Nvidia and other IP, will catch up to Intel's process node lead, and beat Intel in power savings, graphics performence, and win handily on the price front!

June 25, 2013 | 08:20 AM - Posted by gmb (not verified)

News writer is an idiot. Broadwell BGA is coming next year.

September 9, 2013 | 06:58 PM - Posted by Donkey (not verified)

I dont know

May 15, 2014 | 05:01 AM - Posted by Onemoa (not verified)

For about half a year I had been waiting to upgrade from my core 2quad 9400 and then I realized there will be nothing major for mid / high range gaming PC's in fact haswell was the best you can get and still is as far as price to proformence ratio and will be for another couple year's.

The fact is nothing new is coming unless you want to spend stupid amounts of money for 2 more cores.

The best thing Intel could do right right now is release a 6 core CPU for the z87/97 MB's being that the z97 is the same exact chip set and is identical in every way to the z87 but intel wanted a new mb to release with the haswell cpu's they just released. So they renamed the z87 to z97 but besides that..

A nice 6 core CPU with no hyper threading so it could be released as an i5 and they could give it a name like black edition and it would only cost about $300. It would spread new light on the z87x motherboards. Give it a stock clock speed of 3.6 and 4.0 turbo boost.

This would be a smart thing to do as it would give people that upgraded to z87x/z97 would be able to get a nice upgrade and would show Intel will support there chipsets.

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