Intel CEO says next-gen 'Broadwell' CPUs will launch by end of 2014

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 2014
Whether or not they power any of Apple's 2014 Mac lineup, Intel's next-generation chips dubbed "Broadwell" will arrive in PCs this holiday season, the company's CEO has promised.

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Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich told Reuters this week that while Broadwell CPUs probably will not make it in time for the popular back-to-school shopping season, he could "guarantee" that they will arrive in time for the holidays. Suggesting that availability won't be limited, he added that holiday shipping won't come at the "last minute," either.

Apple is reliant on Intel's chip release schedule if it wants to make significant performance improvements to its next-generation Macs. Last month the company refreshed its MacBook Air lineup with slightly faster chips based on the current generation "Haswell" processors, but the real selling point of the new thin-and-light notebooks was a $100 price cut, bringing the entry-level model down to $899, making it the most affordable mass-market notebook in Apple history.

Krzanich's comments seem to dispel recent rumors, which suggested the first Intel Broadwell chips might not arrive in shipping PCs until early 2015. The next-generation CPUs were originally scheduled to arrive earlier this year, but were faced with delays.

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.

Apple's current MacBook Air lineup boasts up to 12 hours of battery life, which means Broadwell processors could boost uptime on future models to north of 15 hours.

Intel
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich shows concept devices running new Quark CPUs. Image via ABC News.


But with the current MacBook Airs seeing a refresh, it's unlikely that Broadwell chips might come to those models before the end of 2014. Instead, Apple's MacBook Pros could be candidates for a late 2014 Broadwell update, if Intel were able to ship the new CPUs in a timely enough fashion.

Another major Apple notebook expected later this year is an all-new MacBook Air with Retina display. It's rumored that Apple is preparing a new MacBook Air design with a high-resolution 12-inch Retina display that will be offered alongside the current 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs with standard resolution screens.

Given the horsepower needed to push those extra pixels, the rumored MacBook Air with Retina display could be a strong candidate for the added battery life that would come from a Broadwell CPU.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Right. If your monitor, disk, and wifi consume 0% power, then yes you'll totally get another 3 hours... Except thats not how reality works. Expect maybe an hour bump in apple quotes.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    "Apple's current MacBook Air lineup boasts up to 12 hours of battery life, which means Broadwell processors could boost uptime on future models to north of 15 hours."

    That math only works if the CPU is the only thing using the battery. There's also the matter of the screen, memory, the screen, the other non-CPU chips, and of course, the screen.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Do they really need to wait for the next CPU before upgrading computers these days? Things like faster SSDs or new ports (Thunderbolt 2) or Retina displays are more important. CPUs only go up a few percent year after year.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post



    "Apple's current MacBook Air lineup boasts up to 12 hours of battery life, which means Broadwell processors could boost uptime on future models to north of 15 hours."



    That math only works if the CPU is the only thing using the battery. There's also the matter of the screen, memory, the screen, the other non-CPU chips, and of course, the screen.

     

    What laptop has 2 screens?  :p

  • Reply 5 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    Do they really need to wait for the next CPU before upgrading computers these days? Things like faster SSDs or new ports (Thunderbolt 2) or Retina displays are more important. CPUs only go up a few percent year after year.

     

    While I agree with you, I know others wouldn't as of course its all about speed and efficiency. Both you and I know a faster SSD will make a hell of a difference in daily tasks than a faster CPU unless you're doing mostly CPU intensive tasks. 

     

    I think it would be really nice to see all flash storage on every Mac standard (using the PCI-e based flash like the Mac Pro) and Thunderbolt 2 in all new Macs as well. 

     

    I couldn't really imagine the shitstorm that would happen if Apple released an updated iMac or MBP Retina with little to no speed increase in the processor and just the "other stuff" updated. 

  • Reply 6 of 33
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post



    "Apple's current MacBook Air lineup boasts up to 12 hours of battery life, which means Broadwell processors could boost uptime on future models to north of 15 hours."



    That math only works if the CPU is the only thing using the battery. There's also the matter of the screen, memory, the screen, the other non-CPU chips, and of course, the screen.

     

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

     

     

    What laptop has 2 screens?  :p


     

    O_o

     

    The screen is in that list three times, actually, so that even if people miscount they might not also miss the point. There's other things burning through your battery life than just the CPU.

  • Reply 7 of 33
    go4d1go4d1 Posts: 34member
    DDR-4 Seems to be the more significant improvement. I'd like an ETA for that.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    Do they really need to wait for the next CPU before upgrading computers these days? Things like faster SSDs or new ports (Thunderbolt 2) or Retina displays are more important. CPUs only go up a few percent year after year.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by go4d1 View Post



    DDR-4 Seems to be the more significant improvement. I'd like an ETA for that.

    CPU design is closely tied to other key features (memory bus/bandwidth, storage, integrated graphics, etc.).

     

    DDR-4 is not supported by the current Haswell micro architecture. Note that even the Mac Pro with its server-grade Xeon processors has DDR-3 memory.

     

    DDR-4 will arrive with the Broadwell micro architecture.

     

    Based on Krzanich's comments, it is unlikely we will see a major refresh of any of the Mac product lines until the fall. Any updates in the next three months will likely be the minor CPU speed bumps like we just witnessed with the MacBook Airs, or possibly a slightly newer chipset for Haswell. Regardless, these would be incremental upgrades, not a major jump like Haswell-to-Broadwell.

  • Reply 9 of 33
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    A 12" MacBook Air retina makes zero sense. More likely it will be with the exact same screen as the 13" Retina Macbook if it ever does come to the Air lineup. No sense in wasting money on extra parts that don't add any sort of advantage when you already have one from a different product line that'll do the job
  • Reply 10 of 33
    Yawn.

    As a builder of gaming PC's for many years I used to look forward to new processors from Intel to see what performance would bring. It used to be that each new version brought a significant performance increase and often necessitated in me upgrading my motherboard, CPU and RAM. Not anymore. Now all we get are minor improvements each year.

    I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but Apple are now the premier processor designers. The A6 was pretty good but the A7 is a marvel. Apple has been increasing performance by a factor of 2 for the last 3 generations. When is the last time an Intel processor doubled performance over the previous generation?

    And in a few months we'll see the A8 processor. If Apple again doubles performance, it will not only completely humiliate Samsung, Qualcomm and ARM, but will also start challenging (and even beating) Intel's mobile processor.

    Intel has to be scared. Desktop sales are stagnant and mobile is taking off, leaving them scrambling to catch up. Only thing helping Intel (and Qualcomm) out is that Apple doesn't maker their processors available for everyone. Imagine what would happen to Snapdragon sales if OEM's could buy an A6 or A7 instead? It would be devastating to Qualcomm.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    "Apple's MacBook Pros could be candidates for a late 2014 Broadwell update, if Intel were able to ship the new CPUs in a timely enough fashion."

    A guess about a theory based on a possible prediction.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post



    Yawn.



    As a builder of gaming PC's for many years I used to look forward to new processors from Intel to see what performance would bring. It used to be that each new version brought a significant performance increase and often necessitated in me upgrading my motherboard, CPU and RAM. Not anymore. Now all we get are minor improvements each year.



    I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but Apple are now the premier processor designers. The A6 was pretty good but the A7 is a marvel. Apple has been increasing performance by a factor of 2 for the last 3 generations. When is the last time an Intel processor doubled performance over the previous generation?



    And in a few months we'll see the A8 processor. If Apple again doubles performance, it will not only completely humiliate Samsung, Qualcomm and ARM, but will also start challenging (and even beating) Intel's mobile processor.



    Intel has to be scared. Desktop sales are stagnant and mobile is taking off, leaving them scrambling to catch up. Only thing helping Intel (and Qualcomm) out is that Apple doesn't maker their processors available for everyone. Imagine what would happen to Snapdragon sales if OEM's could buy an A6 or A7 instead? It would be devastating to Qualcomm.

     

    I think desktop/notebook processors are as fast as they need to be for the average consumer. Its getting to the point where you don't need any more power than you have and the power that you do have is not even tipping the scale of what the PC/Mac can do. So instead of making them unnecessarily faster, why not make them more efficient? This is where we are today. This isn't the the 90's/early 2000's anymore where MHz/GHz mattered. Today, portability and battery life matters most. The performance is already there. 

     

    That being said, yes I think Intel in the back of its mind has to start thinking about where it wants to go with its processor/chip business. As people start purchasing more and more mobile devices such as iPads their business may start shrinking more and more every year. 

  • Reply 13 of 33
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by go4d1 View Post



    DDR-4 Seems to be the more significant improvement. I'd like an ETA for that.

    Yeah, but DDR4 is only going to be for servers. 

  • Reply 14 of 33
    Intel is messing with Apple, and likely other companies. Apple might be in better position than some because they are not dependent on Intel for iOS devices.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ronbo wrote: »
    Yeah, but DDR4 is only going to be for servers. 

    Are you certain of that? We do see newer RAM hit servers first because of the increased costs but it always hits the mobile markets and with DDR4 being lower power over DDR3 it makes perfect sense for handhelds.


    Here is an article from 6 months ago stating that Samsung had announced DDR4 for mobile.

    Of course, as linked in that article, Samsung also stated that the 64-bit Exynos SoC would make it into the Galaxy S5.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    richlorichlo Posts: 46member

    At this point if SSD is what makes a bigger difference in speed than CPU when will Intel start producing motherboards that can support 256GB of on board memory that is not volatile to eliminate any loss in speed having to travel from CPU to PCI bus. 

     

    I am not an engineer and dont know the details of how this would work but since Apple already makes computers as non upgradeable I would not care if my 256 were SSD or onboard memory.

  • Reply 17 of 33
    ws12ws12 Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by go4d1 View Post



    DDR-4 Seems to be the more significant improvement. I'd like an ETA for that.

    Haswell-E supports DDR4 and it's coming before the end of the year.  So we'll likely see DDR4 with the launch of X99 motherboards.

     

    image

     

    As well, Qualcomm has confirmed LPDDR4 RAM for their Snapdragon 810 SoC which is launching in the first quarter of 2015.

     

    image 

  • Reply 18 of 33
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member

    Well, this is good news. The holiday season this year was looking to be a disaster.

  • Reply 19 of 33
    ws12ws12 Posts: 2member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

     

     

    That being said, yes I think Intel in the back of its mind has to start thinking about where it wants to go with its processor/chip business. As people start purchasing more and more mobile devices such as iPads their business may start shrinking more and more every year. 


    This is part of the reason Intel will have a tick-tock for their mobile chips the next 12 months or so.

     

    End of 2014 - Cherry Trail (14 nm with updated architecture and new GPU)

    Middle of 2015 - Broxton (14 nm with new architecture and new GPU)

     

    End of 2014/Start of 2015 - Broadwell Y series (14nm fanless)

  • Reply 20 of 33
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by richlo View Post

     

    At this point if SSD is what makes a bigger difference in speed than CPU when will Intel start producing motherboards that can support 256GB of on board memory that is not volatile to eliminate any loss in speed having to travel from CPU to PCI bus. 


    Maybe because SSDs aren't that fast yet. PICe is more than enough for now.

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