Broadwell Intel Chip Delayed, Beware PC Delays

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During Intel's Tuesday earnings call, the company announced a delay in production for its Broadwell processors, according to PC World. The setback is due to a manufacturing glitch, which analysts assert may postpone the launch of technologies based on the germinal chip.

CEO Brian Krzanich reported that the problem stemmed from the 14-nanometer process with which the chips are created and production will resume once fixes are implemented. “While we are comfortable with where we are at with yields, from a timing standpoint, we are about a quarter behind our projections," Krzanich said. "As a result, we are now planning to begin production in the first quarter of next year.”

Manufacturing problems are rare for Intel, which regularly releases new chips annually. In this case, Kraznich blames "yield" problems, or how many good chips can be produced from each silicon wafer. The last delay of a major chip was for the Pentium 4, over 10 years ago.

The Broadwell is the successor of the Haswell line of Core processors. The Haswell uses a 22-nanometer process; talking nanometer processes refers to the dimensions of circuits inscribed on the chips.

Intel promises 30 percent more power-efficiency and speed over the Haswell. That is, once the Broadwell is released. The snowball effect of a delayed chip may stall release dates for PC makers.
Intel reported fiscal 3rd quarter numbers Tuesday, with a top-line revenue of $13.5 billion and a net income of only about 20 percent, at $3 billion.

Krzanich has had a little over five months as CEO, succeeding Paul Otellini, who racks up 40 total years at Intel. Unanimously elected to the head post, Krzanich started at Intel in 1982 and was most recently chief operating officer as of January 2012.

Rather than bemoaning the Broadwell via Facebook on Tuesday, Intel waxed nostalgic, celebrating 30 years of Mario at an Intel-built interactive Museum of Mario.

[Images via Intel Facebook.]

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