Intel's 'Core M' chip announcement suggests Broadwell-based MacBook Pros won't arrive until 2015

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited December 2014
Intel on Monday announced that its first low-power Broadwell chips will hit the market in limited quantities before the end of the year, and that those processors will be intended for premium tablet- and hybrid-style devices, strongly implying that next-generation chips bound for Apple's popular MacBook Pro lineup won't be available until 2015 at the earliest.




Intel's "Core M" processors are geared toward fan-less, low-power mobile devices that will come in ultra-thin form factors. The chipmaker is targeting its Core M series for devices less than 10 millimeters thick, making it an ideal candidate for Windows-based "convertible" tablet-laptop combinations.

Core M chips appear unlikely to power Apple's powerful MacBook Pro lineup, suggesting that the Cupertino, Calif., Mac maker may be forced to wait until 2015 when more traditional Broadwell chips become available from Intel.

However, it is possible that a Broadwell Core M chip could find its place in Apple's rumored MacBook Air redesign. Reports have claimed that the company is working on a revamped 12-inch model with a high-resolution Retina display.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that the new MacBook model will sport a fan-less design with fewer inputs and outputs, and a new click-less trackpad. Those elements could be well-suited for Intel's Broadwell Core M chips, unlike the MacBook Pro.

Still, Apple's MacBook Air with Retina display remains a rumor. And with no concrete leaks regarding the device, including any sign of components or specific details, it's uncertain whether such a device will make it to market before the end of 2014.




But Intel has said that devices running 14-nanometer Core M chips will arrive in limited quantities this year. While the first Core M computers will be on store shelves for the holiday shopping season, "broader OEM availability" won't happen until the first half of 2015.

Regarding traditional Broadwell chips that would be suited for Apple's popular MacBook Pro lineup, Intel simply said on Monday that products based on the upcoming architecture and 14-nanometer process technology "will be introduced in the coming months." The lack of details from Intel, along with rumors of a Broadwell delay, seem to strongly suggest that more powerful Broadwell chips may not hit the market until next year.

Broadwell is the codename used to refer to a 14-nanometer die shrink of Intel's existing 22-nanometer Haswell architecture. Intel says its new, smaller designs will bring a 30 percent reduction in power consumption while offering the same horsepower.

Faced with a lack of significant chip upgrades from Intel, Apple this year has slashed prices and instituted minor speed bumps with updates to its MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iMac lineups. So far, the company's strategy appears to be working, as Apple set a new June quarter record thanks to cheaper MacBook Air models.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 112
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,825member
    What we need...is a Mac mini based off of this. Yes...were still bitching about this in case anyone is wondering.
  • Reply 2 of 112
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    macxpress wrote: »
    What we need...is a Mac mini based off of this. Yes...were still bitching about this in case anyone is wondering.

    I'd rather a new Mac mini get released this year.
  • Reply 3 of 112
    ...AND in case anyone is reading! C'mon Apple!
  • Reply 4 of 112
    rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    What we need is a Mac Mini based on a high-performance chip, not a low-power chip.
  • Reply 5 of 112

    It struck me at the time and have wondered about it since - Phil Schiller at the introduction of the 5S last year, in reference to the A7 CPU:  "A desktop class processor."

     

    I can't conceive that the statement was just an idle, throwaway hype line.  Apple doesn't do that.   But no follow up on it, until?

     

    And this fiasco with Broadwell just feeds into that.

  • Reply 6 of 112
    bummer... I'm waiting for the 12 inch model...
  • Reply 7 of 112
    "But when, Mr. O'Reilly? When? When?"
  • Reply 8 of 112
    These seem prime candidate for a 12 inch Mac book air, don't they, thin, fan less, devices, sounds easily Mac book air remodel would fit this.
  • Reply 9 of 112
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,375member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rhyde View Post



    What we need is a Mac Mini based on a high-performance chip, not a low-power chip.

    It's not going to happen.

     

    Apple proudly touts the Mac mini as a low-power, quiet, environmentally conscious computer. It's basically a headless MacBook Air with a slightly faster CPU.

     

    The iMac fills the slot for a desktop with a high-performance chip.

  • Reply 10 of 112
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    I am so ready for some new iMacs but the buyers guide says don't buy. When are the next iMac chips going to arrive? I looked at the new low end iMac but couldn't talk myself into it even though it was just for the guest room. I also need a new 27" for my home office.

  • Reply 11 of 112
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rhyde View Post



    What we need is a Mac Mini based on a high-performance chip, not a low-power chip.

     

    Never gonna happen! As much as I want a Mac mini update, we all know Apple's obsessiveness with small, thin, quiet things. The Mac mini will be no exception. I'd all but guarantee if there will indeed be a Mac mini update it will be smaller, use even less power, and possibly be fanless. The only way to do this is to use something like a Broadwell based chip. As much as people are hoping for a smaller Mac Pro type Mac (headless Mac) I seriously doubt the Mac mini will be it. 

     

    That being said...I hope I'm wrong about everything! :)

  • Reply 12 of 112

    I need to upgrade my 2011 13" MBA and was hoping for a thinner, lighter, quieter fanless 12" MBA (rumored).

     

    Hopefully this will happen in 2015; perhaps for the better. I have some scratch set aside for a new iPhone to replace my 4S in September-I'm going at least 32GB and probably 64.

     

    As a separate note, Apple cannot be happy with being at the end of the queue for next gen Intel silicon.

  • Reply 13 of 112
    koopkoop Posts: 337member

    Other than being better on battery life and perhaps ushering in thinner devices, is there anything else about this chips that make this a must have? I mean, MBA's and MBPs are pushing north of 10 hours with moderate use.

     

    I know most people want a MBA with Retina, but I feel like Apple is holding back that technology to differentiate the MBPs. When the Air's get Retina, it's going to cannibalize the more expensive and profitable MBP lineup.

  • Reply 14 of 112
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,276member
    Nah.. They'll all be running "A" processors by then. ;-)
  • Reply 15 of 112
    brlawyerbrlawyer Posts: 828member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post



    What we need...is a Mac mini based off of this. Yes...were still bitching about this in case anyone is wondering.

     

    What Intel is doing is just a repeat of the PowerPC debacle (i.e., IBM not doing its job) - just watch and wait until Apple finally ditches Intel for ARM.

  • Reply 16 of 112
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

     

     

    What Intel is doing is just a repeat of the PowerPC debacle (i.e., IBM not doing its job) - just watch and wait until Apple finally ditches Intel for ARM.




    Exactly! Its gotta be pissing Apple off to no end (again!) that their product lineup is held up by a 3rd party (Intel). This alone will make them want to use their own hardware inside and out so they don't have to rely on a co-dependent. 

  • Reply 17 of 112
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

     

     

    What Intel is doing is just a repeat of the PowerPC debacle (i.e., IBM not doing its job) - just watch and wait until Apple finally ditches Intel for ARM.




    I understand the desire to break free from Intel, but who is going to fab this hypothetical ARM chip for Apple?

     

    14-nanometer is the bleeding edge right now and is the reason Broadwell is late, and all the talk is that the Apple's A8 chip will be 20nm. Apple would be going a generation backwards by adopting ARM for their Desktop/Laptop machines...unless they could convince Intel to make the chips for them, and then they're right back in the same situation.

     

    I just can't see Apple adopting ARM for anything but iOS.

  • Reply 18 of 112
    schlackschlack Posts: 688member
    next mac mini
    1.7 dual core Haswell/Broadwell
    4GB embedded Ram
    128GB SSD
    no fan
    no 2nd HD option
    $600
  • Reply 19 of 112
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    rhyde wrote: »
    What we need is a Mac Mini based on a high-performance chip, not a low-power chip.
    No no no.

    What we need is a Mini, based on the highest-performing laptop chip, because the entire point of the Mini is for it to be quiet. I have two of them and I can only make the cooling in them engage by either running Prime95 or some of the various CPU-burning @HOME projects.

    The missing piece of the puzzle is that Apple doesn't have something between the Mini and the Mac Pro that isn't a iMac with a upgradable GPU.

    Literately, there is nothing that a PCIe graphics card can be put in. But to stick a 600$ video card in a box requires something 10 times larger than a Mac Mini.
  • Reply 20 of 112
    misa wrote: »
    No no no.

    What we need is a Mini, based on the highest-performing laptop chip, because the entire point of the Mini is for it to be quiet. I have two of them and I can only make the cooling in them engage by either running Prime95 or some of the various CPU-burning @HOME projects.

    The missing piece of the puzzle is that Apple doesn't have something between the Mini and the Mac Pro that isn't a iMac with a upgradable GPU.

    Literately, there is nothing that a PCIe graphics card can be put in. But to stick a 600$ video card in a box requires something 10 times larger than a Mac Mini.
    It they created something maybe just simple "Mac" that fit between mini and pro it would fit.
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