Reports: Broadwell-E slips to 2016, but Skylake-S sampling already

Haswell-E is barely out the door, and already, the rumor mill is rumbling about a delay to its successor. According to VR-Zone Chinese, Broadwell-E won't begin sampling until the second quarter of 2015. The site says mass production is scheduled for the first quarter of 2016, which represents a slip from the timeline shown on at least one leaked roadmap from earlier this year. Google's translation doesn't mention anything about VR-Zone's source, but the story does include an official-looking block diagram.

The leaked image suggests Broadwell-E will be similar to its forebear, with "up to" eight CPU cores, 40 PCIe lanes, and 20MB of cache. Support for quad-channel DDR4-2400 memory is also listed—but with only one DIMM per channel. Hmmm.

Although Broadwell-E will be fabbed on a newer 14-nm process, it will reportedly have the same 140W power envelope as Haswell-E. Given the relatively smooth transition from Sandy Bridge-E to Ivy Bridge-E on X79 motherboards—and the Broadwell compatibility boasted by Z97 boards—there's good reason to believe the claim that Broadwell-E will work in existing X99 mobos. Ideally, support will require no more than a firmware update.

In a separate VR-Zone story, "upstream sources" say Skylake-S processors are now sampling to Intel's partners. Those sources provide a picture of one of the LGA1151 chips, which has more contact points than Haswell and a very different array of resistors on the bottom of the package.

The samples making the rounds are said to have Turbo clocks up to 2.9GHz and TDP ratings as high as 95W. The Google translation is a little rough, but it also mentions support for both DDR3 and DDR4 memory. Sadly, "the first batch of processors are not overclocked version." Enthusiasts may have to make do with a K-series refresh based on Broadwell.

At IDF last month, Intel said it expected to start mass-producing Skylake silicon in the second half of next year. The VR-Zone story suggests Skylake-S could arrive as early as the second quarter, but I'm not sure I'd trust unnamed sources over an official statement from the chip giant. Thanks to SH SOTN for the tip.

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