by Anton Shilov
10/23/2013 | 11:25 PM
Intel Corp. did not originally have plans to release code-named Broadwell chips for the mass desktop market and only release them in ball-grid array (BGA) packages for mobile computers and highly-integrated systems. However, the roadmaps tend to change and according to the latest plans of the world’s largest chipmaker, the code-named Broadwell-K products are now due in late 2014.
The unlocked Intel Core i-series “Broadwell-K” central processing units designed for mainstream enthusiasts will be released very late in 2014, according to an Intel roadmap slide revealed by Chinese VR-Zone web-site. It is noteworthy that the bulk of Intel’s product stack will still be code-named Haswell Refresh products, therefore, the share of next-generation microprocessors will be rather negligible in the overall mix.
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. Mass availability of Broadwell LGA chips is expected 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. 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 beyond 2014. It is logical to assume that Haswell Refresh platform will be the best mass desktop offering from Intel in calendar 2014, whereas Broadwell chips will expand availability 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.