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Intel speeds-up introduction of unlocked Core i5/i7 ‘Broadwell’ processors

Intel Corp. has pulled-in introduction of its next-generation mainstream enthusiast-class microprocessors code-named “Broadwell-Unlocked” and “Broadwell-K” by several months, according to a slide the chip giant allegedly demonstrated to its partners earlier this week. The slide also confirms that Intel plans to introduce its code-named “Skylake-S” microprocessors for desktops already in the first half of next year.

Intel’s new Core i7 and Core i5 “Broadwell Unlocked” microprocessors with unlocked multipliers in LGA1150 packaging compatible with existing platforms based on Intel 9-series chipsets are to be introduced already in the second quarter of 2015, according to a slide that Intel showed at its technology conference for partners in Athens, Greece. Slides from the presentation were published by a member of AnandTech forums on Wednesday.

Previously it was expected that Intel’s high-performance desktop chips based on the “Broadwell” micro-architecture would be launched in July, August or September, 2015. Apparently, the company has managed to pull-in introduction of its new chips by several months.

intel_broawell-k_roadmap

The most advanced versions of Intel “Broadwell” microprocessors for client PCs will feature up to four x86 cores with the Hyper-Threading technology, Iris Pro graphics processors with up to 48 execution units, up to 8MB of last level cache (LLC), up to 128MB of high-speed eDRAM off-die cache, dual-channel DDR3 memory controllers and so on. The “Broadwell” family of central processing units is made using 14nm fabrication process.

In a bid to offer performance improvement over existing Core i7-4790K “Devil’s Canyon” microprocessor (four cores with HT, 4GHz, 8MB LLC), the alleged Core i7-5770K “Broadwell Unlocked” will have to run at a frequency that is higher than 4GHz.

The slide from Intel’s technology conference also reaffirms the company’s plans to roll-out “Skylake-S” processors for desktops in the Q2 2015. The chips will feature LGA1151 packaging and will rely on platforms based on Intel 100-series chipsets. The co-existence of the “Broadwell Unlocked” and “Skylake-S” products on the market will likely cause a lot of confusion among end-users. Intel’s “Skylake-S” platforms will offer an all-new CPU micro-architecture (with AVX 3.2, 512-bit extensions and so on), native SATA Express support (which means they will support advanced SSDs with 2TB/s or even 4TB/s read speeds), Thunderbolt 3.0 (40Gb/s) and DDR4 memory option, but will not offer overclockability (since Intel has no plans to release Skylake processors with unlocked multiplier in Q2 2015). By contrast, Intel’s “Haswell-K” and “Broadwell Unlocked” will offer overclockability, but will not feature native SATA Express support and will continue to rely on DDR3 memory.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.

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KitGuru Says: The fact that Intel decided to pull-in introduction of the “Broadwell Unlocked” processors may indicate that the company has finally managed to solve its yield issues with the 14nm fabrication process. While this is a good news, it also means that there is going to be a mess on the market of desktop computer platforms next year.

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