During the GDC 2014 being held in San Francisco, Intel has officially presented some innovations related to the processors they released in 2014 (Haswell-E, Haswell Refresh and Pentium 20th anniversary), and showed the first details of the 14-nanometer Broadwell 2015.
In a presentation by Lisa Graff, vice president of the company’s Platform Grou, the company also confirmed its commitment with the Mini-PC platform as a "the reinvention of the classic desktop computers" with products such as the Intel NUC, as well as a new generation of AIOs all-in-ones. These aim to revitalize the desktop computer market.
Intel has also officially unveiled at the GDC 2014 the Haswell-E, the first Intel processor with to eight physical cores available to the regular consumer, the most powerful on the market. We’ve already offered extensive information on these Haswell-E and the new Intel X99 Wellsburg that will feature support for new DDR4 memories and the highest technology available with 16 native processing threads. Available during the second half of 2014, they will likely be officially released at the June Computex in Taiwan.
Intel also confirmed the Haswell Refresh, an update of the current platform with twenty new models of Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors, compatible with LGA 1150 socket motherboards by updating the BIOS, and featuring the new chipsets Z97 and H97.
The new top model of the Haswell series, the Core i7- 4790, is worth noticing. This processor has four cores and eight processing threads, with working frequencies ranging from 3.6 to 4 GHz, 8 MB of L3 cache, an integrated Intel HD 4600 GPUA with maximum core frequency of 1200 MHz and a DDR3 graphic memory controller (up to 1600 MHz).
The company will also release the Intel Haswell Mobile 2014, new models among which we can find the ultra-low voltage Y and U series, intended for high-end laptops and Ultrabooks. They will be available during the second half of the year as well.
Another innovation has been the announcement of the Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the brand. It will be model with an unlocked processor that will support motherboards with chipsets series 8 and 9. We have no more data.
Finally, Intel revealed the first details about their future Broadwell platform, with a new architecture and an impressive 14mn manufacturing process, the most advanced in the market. Like Haswell, Broadwell will have variants for all market segments (tablets, AIO, laptops and desktop computers), except for the sector the Haswell-E components will cover.
Intel did not offer too much information about these new Broadwell devices, supposedly set to be released at the CES on January 2015. Rumors talk about a major detail that may be key to the future of the PC. It is a “locked” model with an Iris Pro GPU that seems to confirm something we already talked about: the transition from LGA to BGA formats. Not every Intel processor will be like this and the Haswell-E are there to show it, but the current trends were born by using the BGA with the micro welded to the motherboard, thus eliminating the possibility of re-using it, compared to the Land grid array sockets ( LGA ) and micro pin grid array (μPGA).
Not everything is bad news, and that further integration should mean lower prices and lower consumption. We just hope that Intel keeps sockets “classic”, thinking about high-end desktops. We believe that they will.