Intel To Offer Socketed CPUs Till 2016 – Skymont Onward Chips to Ship in BGA Packages

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Jan 12, 2013

Socketed CPUs

Would Intel ship or not ship Socketed CPUs with its future generation platforms? This question has been looming the net since the last month after PC Watch revealed a roadmap which showed that the Chip giant would stop its production of Socketed CPUs to be replaced by BGA offerings.

TechReport, confirms through a trusted source which happens to be a motherboard manufacturer that according to their roadmap tells that Socketed CPUs are here to stay but only till 2016. Previously, it was thought that Intel Haswell would be the last generation of Socketed CPUs from Intel. Intel denied the rumor and said that the CPUs would be available till a ‘Foreseeable Future’. AMD also revealed that it is committed to offer Socketed CPUs to its consumers.

No Socketed CPUs after 2016 From Intel?

Two weeks ago, PC Watch once again leaked Intel’s Haswell and Broadwell variants listing which revealed that the transition of Socketed CPUs to BGA packages would happen sooner than expected. The listing shows that while Socketed CPUs would be available in High-End Core i7 and Core i5 Quad Core models, the entry-level Core i3 would be shipped as BGA packaged CPUs. In our very own interview with Intel, the company revealed its plans of transition to BGA packaged CPUs with Broadwell Generation:

Intel Corp. will only offer mainstream desktop chips in BGA packaging, which will eliminate upgrade options as well as increase risks for PC makers.

Both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices supply two different desktop platforms these days, making a very clear difference between mainstream and high-end desktop. Still, mainstream PCs with simplistic processors may easily be upgraded with very fast processors thanks to the fact that the chips are interchangeable and come in the same LGA1155 form-factor. Unfortunately, the ease of upgrade may come to an end in two years as starting from Broadwell generation of central processing units (CPUs) mainstream chips will cease to use land grid array (LGA) and micro pin grid array (µPGA) packages and will only be available in in ball grid array (BGA) form-factors, just like Intel Atom processors.

So its almost confirmed that by Intel’s Skymont generation of processors, the company would get rid of Socketed CPUs and start making soldered systems instead. Skymont would be the 10nm die shrink of 14nm Skylake. Intel Broadwell in planned for 2014 next year with Skylake 14nm hitting shelves in 2015 and also being the last of the Socketed CPUs. Intel is currently shipping CPU in BGA package with its NUC (Next Unit of Computing) PC, so we can see faster iterations of those as the BGA process matures and faster chips arrive.

As far as HEDT platform users are concerned, Intel would keep offering Core i7 and Core i5 variants of its Core series in Socketed CPUs till 2016. Later on they would have to either hop over the BGA bandwagon ending the option to upgrade or move towards the costlier LGA 2011 platform which is getting updated with Ivy Bridge-E in Q3 this year.