Intel Changes Plans: Core i “Broadwell” Processors Will Be Available in LGA Packaging, But There Is a Catch

Intel’s 9-Series Chipsets to Open Doors to “Haswell Refresh”, “Broadwell LGA” Platforms

by Anton Shilov
08/29/2013 | 02:38 PM

Intel Corp. has, apparently, once again revised its plans when it comes to desktop microprocessors. Instead of leaping directly to Skylake microprocessors from chips currently known as Haswell Refresh (due in 2014), Intel decided to introduce code-named Broadwell chips for desktops as well. But while Broadwell and Haswell Refresh chips will be compatible with Intel 9-series chipsets, the latter will not support existing Haswell offerings.

 

Roadmaps of both leading makers of x86 microprocessors seem to change quickly these days. Late last year it transpired that Intel Corp. had no plans to release its next-generation code-named Broadwell microprocessors in LGA packaging for mainstream desktop personal computers. The latest documents that emerged on the Internet suggest that the chipmaker has reversed its plans and there will be Broadwell chips in LGA form-factor. But there is a catch: Intel’s 9-series chipsets will support both Broadwell LGA and Haswell Refresh microprocessors, but will lack support of current-generation Core i-series 4000-family “Haswell” central processing units.

Intel plans to introduce its next-generation mainstream desktop platform currently known as Haswell Refresh – which will rely on 9-series core-logic set and improved Core i “Haswell” chips – sometimes in the second half of 2014. At present it is unclear when exactly the world’s largest chipmaker intends to release Broadwell LGA chips, but this could happen sometimes in 2015. What is important is that HSW-R and BRW products will need different 1.05V power source and dissimilar power supply requirements, which directly affect backwards compatibility, reports VR-Zone web-site, which also has published excerpts from Intel documents.

As a result, it looks like current-generation “Haswell” microprocessors from Intel will not fit into mainboards that support Haswell Refresh and Broadwell chips, despite of the fact that the latter will also use LGA1150 sockets.

What remains to be seen is how Intel’s desktop roadmap will look from now on. It is logical to assume that Haswell Refresh platform will be the best desktop offering from Intel in calendar 2014, whereas Broadwell chips will emerge in 2015. Quite naturally, this places Intel’s Skylake micro-architecture powered CPUs into 2016, a delay from originally expected 2015.

Intel 9-series chipsets, which will include such core-logic sets as Z97 and H97 as well as derivatives, will support SATA Express interface for high-speed storage devices, which will bolster performance of high-end SSDs that are currently limited by SATA-6Gb/s. In addition, the core-logic series will support all-new Intel device protection technology with boot guard, which will enhance platform security against low-level malware attacks.

The SATA Express technology will provide a cost-effective means to increase device interface speeds to 8Gb/s and 16Gb/s. The specification will define new device and motherboard connectors that will support both new SATA Express and current SATA devices. The SATA Express connectors will maintain backwards compatibility with current SATA cables and will allow plugging both existing hard drives as well as future SATA Express PCIe-based devices.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.