Last month, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told investors that next-gen Broadwell processors would be available in products selling in the second half of this year. Six months is a wide window, but Krzanich narrowed it down when speaking to Reuters at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California this weekend. Krzanich conceded that Broadwell-based machines are unlikely to be on shelves in time for the back-to-school season. Systems would need to be selling in July or August, he said, and "that's going to be tough."
Broadwell appears to be a lock for the holidays, though. Krzanich told Reuters: "I can guarantee for holiday, and not at the last second of holiday."
The initial Broadwell chips will likely be focused on mobile systems. Scheduling details published by VR-Zone's Chinese alter-ego suggest that "Y 2+2" and "U 2+2" platforms will be the first to arrive. U-series chips are low-power offerings targeted at ultrabooks, while Y-series chips have tighter thermal envelopes and are aimed at tablets and convertibles. The "2+2" designations suggest we're looking at dual-core chips with GT2-class integrated graphics.
The document posted at VR-Zone indicates that the production of "2+3" U-series parts with upgraded integrated graphics may not begin until the very end of the year. Desktop variants that trade the mobile SoC for a CPU-and-chipset combo will reportedly come even later. They're scheduled for production in the March/April 2015 timeframe, and they might not be available for purchase until this time next year.
Interestingly, I only see one socketed Broadwell derivative listed at VR-Zone. This "4+3e" config likely has quad cores and GT3 graphics backed by embedded DRAM. There are three different desktop Broadwell flavors with BGA packages, according to the slide, including variants with two or four cores and GT2 or GT3e integrated graphics. We've known for some time that Intel intends to have some Broadwell desktop CPUs soldered onto motherboards, and it looks like most of the family will come in that form.