Intel Rumored To Launch Skylake and Broadwell Desktop Processors In Q2 2015

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted May 26, 2014
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It looks like Intel’s recent delay to their Devil’s Canyon and Broadwell processors might have disrupted the Tick-Tock model since the company is now rumored to introduce both Skylake and Broadwell desktop processors in second quarter of 2015 (Q2 2015).Intel Skylake Platform Details

Intel Rumored To Launch Skylake and Broadwell Desktop Processors In Q2 2015

While Intel launched their 22nm Haswell processors last year (Tock), they were supposed to introduce Broadwell early this year however due to issues in 14nm production, the launch was halted till late 2014. Hence, this year, we have only seen an updated Haswell lineup in the form of the Haswell Refresh along with the 9-Series chipset platform. The 9-Series chipset was prepared specifically for Broadwell but due to launch delays, Intel tried into convincing their desktop users with new Refresh and the upcoming Devil’s Canyon processors which have been moved to Q3 2014 and would only be paper launched on 2nd June at Computex. This pits their launch right next to Haswell-E which is Intel’s next generation and high-performance HEDT platform.

With first round of Broadwell chips aimed towards mobility platforms such as AIOs, Ultrabooks, Notebooks, etc, Intel would release their Broadwell socketed processors not until Q1 or even Q2 2015. Now here’s the interesting thing, It is mentioned by CPUWorld that at the same time, Intel would launch their Skylake processors which are the latest Tock of Intel’s microarchitecture family. The 14nm processors would be vastly different compared to Broadwell since they feature a new architecture. What this essentially means is that both Broadwell processors and Skylake processors would launch around the same time which raises questions on the longevity of Intel’s 9-Series but on the other hand, they will already be completing a one year life cycle so it does make sense for Intel to launch their 100-Series platform in Q2 2015 with the arrival of Skylake.

The Intel Skylake processors would be compatible with the latest 100 Series chipset which will replace the (soon to launch) Z97 and H97 chipsets which will be part of 9-Series chip-sets. This means that the upcoming processors will require a new motherboard that features the 100-Series chip-set and we will probably see a new socket too that replaces the current LGA 1150 socket. This is good news but this also means that current users or those who are upgrading to Z97 soon will have to upgrade their PCs again moving in2015 if they want to take advantage of the new processors and DDR4 memory. It will be interesting to see both 9-Series and 100-Series platforms aside each other where one supports DDR3 memory while the other would make use of DDR4.

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It should be pointed that the Intel will launch their Haswell Refresh processors on 10th May followed by Devil’s Canyon on 2nd June 2014 which is the codename for the Haswell Refresh K-Series featuring better TIM between the IHS and CPU die to circulate heat efficiency and better packaging components so that they can overclock to more extent as compared to Haswell. Soon after Haswell, we will see the launch of Intel’s HEDT Haswell-E plat-form which will replace Ivy Bridge-E and introduce DDR4, X99 Chipset and the latest LGA 2011-3 socket based motherboards. Moving in 2014, we will see the first 14nm Broadwell processors for desktop in Q1 featuring the support on current Z97 chipset motherboards.

The platform roadmap pits Skylake desktop parts in 2015 which means that Broadwell would be short lived and we probably won’t see a Refreshed platform like Haswell for Broadwell and instead move directly towards the Intel Skylake processors which will feature new architectural enhancements compared to Haswell and Broadwell.

Moving on with the details, there are several CPU configurations mentioned in the chart not only of Skylake but also Haswell Refresh and Broadwell. The configurations list the following:

Intel Skylake / Broadwell / Haswell Refresh Configuration Chart:

Haswell Refresh U (BGA) Haswell Refresh (LGA) Broadwell H (BGA) Braodwell Y (BGA) Broadwell U (BGA) Broadwell H (LGA) Sykake U  (BGA) Skylake H (BGA) Skylake S (LGA)
Codename HSW-W HSW Refresh BDW-H BDW-Y BDW-U BDW-H SKL-U SKL-H SKL-S
Cores 2 4 / 2 4 / 4 2 2 4 2 / 2 4 / 4 4 / 2 / 4
Graphics GT2 GT2 / GT2 GT2 / GT3e GT2 GT3 GT3e GT2 / GT3e GT2 / GT4e GT2 / GT2 / GT4e

Now these are interesting considering that Skylake will feature GT4e graphics in addition to support for DDR4 memory. Intel Skylake processors will boast a totally new architecture considering they are a Tock when it comes to the Intel Tick-Tock model. The GT4e graphics will feature graphics improvement with more execution units compared to Broadwell which from leaked details is said to mention 48 EUs on GT3e and 24 EUs on GT2 level processors. Broadwell will also be the first processor to introduce GT3e graphics with on-die eDRAM cache on desktop level. Haswell refresh series will also come in different variants such as H/Y/U/S series but will not have many improvements since its based on the same Haswell architecture which launched last year.

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The most notable thing is that Intel will actually feature support for DDR3 memory on the Y and U series Skylake chips while the others including desktop processors will support DDR4 memory as confirmed several times before.

We will also get several new Wireless technology on the 100-Series chipset such as Snowfield Peak (WiFi + Blue-tooth) replacing Wilkins Peak, Douglas Peak (WiGig+ WiFi + BT) replacing Stone Peak and Maple Peak and the Pine Peak plus WWAN LTE chips (XMM 726x) replacing the WWAN XMM7160) for wireless connectivity.  Intel is also introducing the latest Alpine Ridge thunderbolt controller with Skylake pushing speeds of 40Gb/s, double that of last generation. For LAN, Intel will introduce Jacksonville to replace Clarksville.

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