Since the introduction of Intel's "Tick / Tock" model in 2007, the company has successfully released a major new architecture one year, and then a die shrink the next. Well, according to leaked documents, 2014 looks to be the first year where Intel skips a beat, as Broadwell, Haswell's original successor, has been replaced with "Haswell Refresh".
In these documents, Ivy Bridge-E is still slated to launch in Q3 of this year, which for those looking for six-core parts not two generations behind is really good to see. However, due to significant changes in the silicon, current X79 motherboards are unable to support these upcoming chips.
In Q2 2014, "Haswell Refresh" gets pushed out, alongside the Z97 and H97 chipsets. So far, this is all the information that's been revealed, so we can only speculate at this point what it's going to bring. We're confident it's not going to bring a die shrink, unless "Haswell Refresh" is Intel's disguise for Broadwell (highly unlikely as the company hasn't done anything like that in the past). The fact that new chipset will be issued leads us to believe these won't be mere speed-bumped chips, either.
While it's a little unfortunate to see the Tick phase of this current generation missed, the fact that Intel has kept so consistent since Tick / Tock's introduction is simply mind-boggling. With this delay, it can be assumed that the challenges of shrinking our CPU dies down are growing at a rapid rate. Given that, this might not be the first pushback we'll experience.
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