Intel keeps Skylake PC processors on schedule for next year

Intel is still trying to pin down an exact release date for Skylake

Delays in Intel's production of the upcoming Broadwell chip won't push back its successor, Skylake, still expected next year.

On Tuesday, Intel shot down suggestions of any delay to Skylake, saying it was on schedule to ship some time next year. Intel currently ships PC chips code-named Haswell, which will be followed by Broadwell and then Skylake.

Intel is still trying to finalize the exact release date of Skylake, and it will be pinned down in the second half this year, said Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, during an earnings call.

The decision will be made based on "process readiness and product readiness," Krzanich said.

Questions about Skylake's release date came up following a delay of Broadwell, which will be in some thin and light PCs this holiday season but not broadly available in laptops and desktops until early next year. Intel releases new chips on a yearly basis, and issues around ramping up Broadwell's shipments might have had a rollover effect on successor chips like Skylake, pushing it into 2016. Broadwell's shipments were affected by manufacturing issues on the 14-nanometer manufacturing process that will be used to make it.

Skylake, which is based on a brand-new microarchitecture, also will be made using the 14-nanometer process. Intel hasn't otherwise shared much about Skylake, other than that the chip will be able to use DDR4 memory. Intel's efforts to free wires from PCs will also start with Skylake: In 2016, the chip maker will deliver a Skylake-based reference design that will enable wireless docking, charging, display and data transfers.

Intel typically improves performance and reduces power consumption with every new chip. Skylake is expected to be faster and more power efficient than Broadwell, and there are expected to be improvements on graphics also. At Computex last month, Intel showed Broadwell chips in tablets thinner than the iPad.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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