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Specifications of Intel ‘Braswell’ revealed, but chips to be delayed

Intel Corp.’s code-named “Braswell” microprocessors promise to offer increased performance and improved feature-set to entry-level desktop PCs next year. Unfortunately, actual configurations or performance estimates for the “Braswell” chips have never been released. A good news is that thanks to an unofficial report we now know what to expect from the “Braswell” family, but a bad news is that the processors will be delayed.

As expected, “Braswell” system-on-chips will integrate two or four x86 cores based on the “Airmont” micro-architecture (Intel’s second-generation low-power architecture with out-of-order execution) as well as an eighth-generation graphics core (similar to that inside the “Haswell” chips) with 16 execution units, reports CPU-World web-site. The “Braswell” SoC will also feature 1MB or 2MB L2 cache, a dual-channel DDR3 memory controller, a security engine as well as modern I/O interfaces. Both x86 and graphics core of the “Braswell” processors will support “burst” mode.

Architecturally, the “Braswell” system-on-chips resemble existing Atom “Bay Trail-D” products, so expect tangible, but not dramatic, performance improvements thanks to better micro-architecture, higher clock-rates as well as “burst” mode that dynamically increases frequencies when performance is needed. Besides, 14nm process technology will also lower power consumption of the “Braswell” chips.

intel_braswell_slide

Originally Intel implied that the “Braswell” chips would hit the market in the first quarter of 2015, but then reports about slight delays emerged. CPU-World now reports that current RTS [ready to ship] dates of Braswell microprocessors are June – August, 2015. It is explained that the setback is caused by slower than expected sample validation.

Intel did not comment on the story.

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KitGuru Says: Keeping in mind that Intel has had a fair amount of problems with general-purpose 14nm process technology, it will not be a surprise that the company is also fixing its 14nm SoC fabrication process to improve yields. At least, if you delay shipments from January to August, it just does not look like this is only because of “slower than expected sample validation.”

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