As reported exclusively by KitGuru early this year, the first central processing units based on the Broadwell micro-architecture will be aimed at ultra-low-power and small form-factor devices and will reach the market in the third quarter. This information was confirmed again this week when a web-site published Intel’s launch schedule for the Broadwell family of chips for client computers.
The first Core i 5000Y-sequence “Broadwell” microprocessors will be released between the 37th and the 40th weeks of the year 2014 (i.e., in September), according to alleged Intel Broadwell launch schedule published by the Chinese version of the VR-Zone web-site. Shortly after that – between the 42nd and the 47th weeks of the year (from mid-October to mid-November) – the world’s largest chipmaker plans to release the Core i 5000U-sequence of chips, according to the schedule. Other microprocessors from the Broadwell family will follow on only in 2015.
The first wave of the Broadwell processors will belong to the so-called Y-series of offerings, which have extremely low thermal design power, 11.5W in case of the current-gen chips. The Core i-series 5000Y chips (BDW-Y 2+2) will feature two x86 cores with Hyper-Threading, Intel HD Graphics with 24 execution units, 3MB of cache, dual-channel memory controller as well as core-logic placed on the same piece of substrate as the processor. At present such chips undergo various qualification tests at PC makers.
The second wave of the Broadwell-based offerings will fit into the U-series microprocessors, which feature thermal design power between 15W and 28W and are aimed at thin and mainstream laptops. The Core i-series 5000U system-on-chips (SoC) (BDW-U 2+2) will have similar configuration as the ultra-low-power products: two cores with HT, Intel HD graphics with 24 execution units, 3MB of cache, dual-channel DDR3 DRAM controller and integrated core-logic.
The third wave of the Broadwell microprocessors will be available in February or March, 2015. These system-on-chips will also fit into the Core i-series 5000U line. Unlike the first two versions of the Broadwell, the BDW-U 2+3 dual-core chips will feature advanced GT3 graphics core with 48 execution units.
As it appears, when it comes to the code-named Broadwell, Intel's first family of central processing units made using 14nm fabrication process, the company decided to address the ultra-low-power and low-power devices first and keep the Haswell Refresh microprocessors for mainstream personal computers until higher-performance 14nm chips arrive. Such approach allows the company to start manufacturing the commercial Broadwell processors from the smallest versions of the products with two cores and simplistic graphics engine. Such tactic allows the company to ensure maximum production yield.
Intel did not comment on the news-story.
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KitGuru Says: It is unknown whether Intel will keep the 11.5W thermal design power (TDP) for the Broadwell Y-series (BDW-Y), or will try to lower it by a couple of watts. What is truly interesting is whether Intel will attempt to further cut-down scenario design power (SDP) of special versions of Broadwell-Y designed for fanless tablets and 2-in-1s from current 4.5W (in case of the Core i5-4202Y and the Core i3-4012Y) to something even lower. If the company manages to further reduce SDP, then we should expect iPad-like tablets based on fully-fledged high-performance x86 microprocessors.