Intel's Socket Swan Song?
Are you the type that enjoys getting up to your elbows in computer parts and the thought of buying a PC from Dell repulses you? Well then, there's a new rumor based on a supposedly leaked Intel roadmap that shows Intel may be moving from socketed CPU's to permanently soldered designs. If true that would spell the end of CPU upgrades and the end of upgrade paths.
The move is said to be related to an attempt to reduce form factors, a benefit for ultrabooks, as well as to lower the electrical resistance of the CPU to motherboard connection thus reducing TDP on their processors.
The next upcoming processor design from Intel is called Haswell and it's due out in the latter half of 2013. According to our supposed Intel roadmap, 3 of the 5 Haswell designs are socketed with the remainder being soldered designs.
According to the leaked chart, after Haswell comes Broadwell in 2014 and all those designs are soldered. What's interesting to note is the question marks in the final column of the chart. Reading the TDP (power dissipation) numbers it's obvious that the designs that follow the Haswell enthusiast and value CPU families are still up in the air.
The question marks probably say more about future Intel CPU designs than anything else on the chart.
With the explosion of tablet and smartphone devices there's an obvious trend toward more integrated SoC (System on a chip) configurations. Since few of us will ever see the inside of our mobile devices let alone upgrade the processors, the roadmap seems viable. That doesn't necessarily mean that Intel is throwing out the baby with the bathwater, however.Continued on the next page