Last week at IDF, Intel spent a lot of time showing off their upcoming CPU architecture Broadwell, which will be a mobile-only CPU when it is released next year, and throughout its life. Anonymous reports out of IDF seem to confirm this, and also claim that from now on Intel will only be refreshing the desktop CPU platform every two years.
This has actually been indicated in the latest leaked Intel roadmaps, where mainstream LGA1150 CPUs are handled by a “Haswell Refresh” going all the way to the end of 2014. Haswell-E will replace the recently launched Ivy Bridge-E late in 2014, and will require a new chipset and socket.
When this roadmap came out, most assumed that Broadwell was delayed until 2015. Instead, it looks like Broadwell will never be released as a socketed CPU. Instead, it will be BGA only, found in tablets, laptops, and perhaps the NUC.
This effectively marks the end of Intel’s vaunted “Tick Tock” development cadence, where they released a new architecture one year, and refined it with a die shrink the next in preparation for the next architecture change. From now on, it looks like that if Intel releases a new desktop CPU, it’ll simply be a version of whatever the top mobile CPU is at the time.
Is this AMD’s chance to win back the hearts of hardcore PC users?