Could Broadwell be in for another delay?
Last October, Intel announced that a "defect density" problem had pushed back the production of 14-nm Broadwell processors by one quarter. Under the new schedule, production was supposed to begin in the first quarter of 2014.
According to DigiTimes, that change would have meant a third-quarter release for Broadwell—but we won't see Broadwell in that time frame. A new, still-unannounced delay has pushed back initial availability until the fourth quarter, the site says, and "mass shipments" now won't happen until the first quarter of next year.
The news comes from DigiTimes' ever-nebulous "sources from the upstream supply chain," so it's safe to take it with a pinch of salt. Still, the information is specific enough to seem credible.
DigiTimes' sources blame the "slow digestion" of Haswell processor inventories for the delay. They expect "limited availability" of Broadwell chips in the fourth quarter, with only U- and Y-series models to be around at first. (Those will likely be mobile parts, based on the prefixes.) Pentium- and Celeron-branded Broadwell models may not follow until early 2015.
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised by another delay. Intel may be working hard to catch up to ARM in the tablet space, but it's under comparatively mild competitive pressure in laptops and desktops, where AMD isn't putting up as much of a fight as it once did. AMD's new Kaveri processors still trail Haswell in some CPU performance tests, and based on the last desktop roadmap we saw, AMD doesn't have much else coming this year except for a low-wattage "Beema" chip. Beema will succeed Kabini in low-power desktops and mobile systems, and it will be joined by an even lower-power offering, "Mullins," which will fight it out with Intel's Bay Trail in tablets.