Intel has previously said that its next-generation lineup of 14-nanometer Broadwell chips, expected to be used in future models of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro with Retina display and iMac, would be ready by the holiday season. According to a new Chinese report out this morning, however, the processors could be pushed back until early-to-mid 2015 because of multiple delays.
While the chip maker is working on its low-power Broadwell Core M processor for release in 2014, Intel will not begin production of the U and H series of chips until much later this year. That is expected to push back the release date of the chips until at least early next year, making them unavailable to Apple for use in next-generation Macs until that time.
“As a result, the Broadwell U 2+3 dual-core chips with GT3 (HD 5000 or Iris) graphics, likely slated for use in the MacBook Air and the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, won’t be ready to ship until February of 2015. The Broadwell H 4+3e quad-core chips with Iris Pro graphics designed for the larger Retina MacBook Pro and iMac won’t be shipping until July 2015 at the earliest.”
The reason for the delays is said to be difficulties with the 14-nanometer manufacturing process. Intel’s Broadwell processors were originally expected to enter production in late 2013, before being pushed back to Q1 2014 and then Q3 2014. The delays are believed to be having an impact on Apple’s own release plans, as each Mac refresh is often centered upon new Intel processors.
Intel says that its Broadwell chips, the fifth-generation of Core processors, will be up to 30 percent faster and more power efficient than the current Haswell series found in Macs and PCs. That should allow for better performance and improved battery life on future Macs. Apple last refreshed the MacBook Air in April, the iMac just three weeks ago and the Retina MacBook Pro in October 2013.