Economic Reasons May Decrease Significance of Interchangeable Processors for Intel – Report

Structural Technological and Economic Changes May Eliminate Consumer LGA Chips for Intel

by Anton Shilov
12/24/2012 | 08:35 PM

Growing importance of ultra-thin notebooks that require chips in ball-grid array (BGA) form-factor as well as shift towards low-power micro-architectures will reduce importance of microprocessors in LGA and µPGA packaging for Intel Corp.

 

Nowadays, the vast majority of central processing units manufactured by Intel Corp. come in either land-grid array (LGA) or micro pin-grid array (µPGA) packages and are tailored for maximum performance on the micro-architecture level. When Intel introduces its code-named Broadwell micro-architecture in 2014, the company will shift focus to lowest possible power consumption and the amount of processors with 15W (ultra low voltage, ULV) and ~10W (extreme ULV) thermal design power will increase considerably.

Thanks to increased amount of chips with very low power consumption, the share of ultrabooks, ultrathin laptops and various ultrathin convertibles will get considerably higher than it is today and the demand towards chips in µPGA form-factor will therefore decrease. Considering the ongoing shift to notebooks, the demand towards LGA processors will also get lower by 2014 than it is today.

In a bid to lower the amount of similar chip models in various packages, Intel will either completely cease to make mainstream client chips in µPGA and LGA packages that allow interchangeability of microprocessors, or will at least dramatically reduce their amount, reports PC Watch web-site, sometimes in 2014, when Broadwell-generation chips hit the mainstream market.

The web-site cites sources with knowledge of Intel’s plans as saying that for the company it may simply become economically inefficient to test and package LGA and µPGA products for clients. Eventually, this could lead to extinction of upgradeable PC platforms in general. On the other hand, it is hard to believe into economic inefficiency of certain Intel products, given its dominating position on the market of CPUs and keeping in mind the fact that its smaller rival AMD manages to be almost profitable selling chips in various form-factors.