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Intel denies BGA-only processor plan rumours

Intel denies BGA-only processor plan rumours

Intel has promised that its processors will, 'for the foreseeable future,' include both LGA and BGA package types.

AMD's statement that it will continue to support the enthusiast market with socket-friendly processor packaging appears to have tipped Intel's hand, with the chip giant finally breaking silence on the matter and pledging its own support to the market.

Following the leak of a roadmap for Intel's future processor families which showed only ball-grid array (BGA) packaging and no land-grid array (LGA) chips - meaning the roadmapped parts would need to be permanently soldered onto a motherboard - rumours spread that Intel was abandoning the user-replaceable CPU market in favour of embedded-style non-replaceable parts.

AMD was quick to jump on said rumours, issuing a statement that assured chip buyers that AMD wouldn't be abandoning socketed processors any time soon, cleverly positioning the company as the enthusiast-friendly alternative to mean old Intel and its locked-down BGA-only product plans.

Those plans, of course, were unconfirmed: the leaked roadmap may well have represented only a part of Intel's future product plans, or - and as seems likely - a separate branch of mobile-friendly parts which will be replaced with BGA and LGA parts once more when Intel's tick-tock development cycle passes by once more. Intel didn't help calm the storm by sticking to its traditional refusal to comment on what the company likes to dismiss as 'industry rumour and speculation,' the traditional line that comes when queries about unannounced products are sent to the company's press office.

Intel has had to do something, however, and do something it has: the company has ended its stony silence on the matter and in doing so broken with a long-standing refusal to comment on products that have not yet been announced. Speaking to Maximum PC, the company denied claims that LGA sockets were on the out. 'Intel remains committed to the growing desktop enthusiast and channel markets,' Intel's Daniel Snyder told the site, and will continue to offer socketed parts in the LGA package for the foreseeable future for our customers and the enthusiast DIY market.'

Snyder went on to explain that he would not be commenting on 'long-term product roadmap plans,' leaving paranoiacs to wonder whether the rumoured BGA-only Broadwell parts are far enough in the future to escape Intel's promise to produce LGA processors - but, for now, it looks like this rumour can be put to bed.

32 Comments

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r3loaded 6th December 2012, 09:47 Quote
Looks like Charlie Demerjian was full of crap as usual.
mi1ez 6th December 2012, 10:47 Quote
Can't say I'm surprised by this.
Shirty 6th December 2012, 11:25 Quote
Factoid: Charlie is made of exquisitely painted faeces, bound together by some form of primordial goo. Bear this in mind when interpreting his "work".
borandi 6th December 2012, 12:05 Quote
Sounds like you didn't understand the plans at all. The rumours were never 'BGA only' for Broadwell and beyond.
theshadow2001 6th December 2012, 13:29 Quote
Shock, horror. Conveniently controversial click generating rumour turns out to be wrong. There's a turn up for the books.
Snips 6th December 2012, 14:04 Quote
I find it sad that AMD needed to jump on a rumour to somehow strengthen their position. They should get on with product research and delivery instead of piss poor PR.
thil 6th December 2012, 14:43 Quote
Given that Intel changes their socket every five minutes, would it even matter if they started welding CPUs to mobos?
ZeDestructor 6th December 2012, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thil
Given that Intel changes their socket every five minutes, would it even matter if they started welding CPUs to mobos?

Means I can't mix and match CPUs with mobos. If BGA CPUs hit enthusiast desktop, it would very likely end up with with 3 or so CPU/motherboards per cycle. Using current Ivy Bridge + Asus motherboard equivalents, here's what I would expect:

3570K + Z77 equivalent as the "cheap" option
3820K + sabertooth as "medium" option
3960X + ROG as top-of-the line option

No in-betweens becomes near-impossible....
Harlequin 6th December 2012, 15:27 Quote
very very PR speak , intel very cagey - as allways about the future,

broadwell is far enough away to be covered by the facet of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intel
'Intel remains committed to the growing desktop enthusiast and channel markets,' Intel's Daniel Snyder told the site, and will continue to offer socketed parts in the LGA package for the foreseeable future for our customers and the enthusiast DIY market.'


foreseeable future - 18 months is ` long term`. that an broadwell will be moving to MCP , making it incompatable to Haswell sockets anyway
azazel1024 6th December 2012, 15:40 Quote
Not really, unless you want to be lying, foreseeable future means as far out as you've made any concrete plans. Considering Broadwell is pretty deep in to the planning stages, that is certainly within the Foreseeable future. Heck, Broadwell's successor probably could be convered under Foreseeable future as well.

Beyond that, who knows (Intel probably doesn't have any concrete plans on packing, contact count, etc much past Broadwell/Silverwell).
phoenixck 6th December 2012, 15:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
very very PR speak , intel very cagey - as allways about the future,

broadwell is far enough away to be covered by the facet of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intel
'Intel remains committed to the growing desktop enthusiast and channel markets,' Intel's Daniel Snyder told the site, and will continue to offer socketed parts in the LGA package for the foreseeable future for our customers and the enthusiast DIY market.'


foreseeable future - 18 months is ` long term`. that an broadwell will be moving to MCP , making it incompatable to Haswell sockets anyway

I think you've hit the nail on the head, all they mean at the moment is the next cpu architecture wont be BGA (though I wouldn't be surprised if some cpu/mobo combos did turn up).
I've always liked AMD, but haven't had a CPU from them for years, as they just cant compete at the moment.I just wish AMD could find a niche, like gaming processors, or low TDP CPU's (wishful thinking I know). They can't compete atm in almost any market and them relying on intel to go BGA only will mean intel wont just to spite them.
Harlequin 6th December 2012, 15:49 Quote
Intel allready supply IB server parts as BGA - its a growing market
rollo 6th December 2012, 15:58 Quote
Intel can do what they want they hold 90% + of the current Desktop / Server CPU market, The fact is if they make a decent smartphone / tablet chip they could easily pick up apples cpu business for smartphones and tablets. ( looking at a 100mil chips a year easy) They already have distribution deals for its Macbook Range.

In 18months Intel will have chips that are capable of hitting Apples power requirements for its next products. Intel could easily offer them a better deal than what Samsung are doing at the present minute, Not sure if i was Samsung id be entirely happy with that comming to pass.

We could easily see the next big battle between Apple and Samsung been Intel on one side and Arm on the other. With Apple and Intels Resources would anyone really bet agaist them producing a chip that could blow everything away in the mobile space ( Theres already mobile cpus that are hitting insane performance figures produced by intel. They are rumored to be making a 10 watt chip this year if they get that to 5 watt ( the average smartphone cpu is 5 watts) they could snatch a tonne of business.
PCBuilderSven 6th December 2012, 16:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
They are rumored to be making a 10 watt chip this year if they get that to 5 watt ( the average smartphone cpu is 5 watts) they could snatch a tonne of business.

But by the time they've got that to five watt, ARM based processors will be at 2.5W (or twice as powerfull and still 5W), at which point Intel will begin redoveloping theirs to 2.5W...
Elton 6th December 2012, 16:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
Intel allready supply IB server parts as BGA - its a growing market

It's probably cheaper too, configurations that are created "specifically" for a certain purpose. Plus in any case, it's to cash in on the rather lucrative server business anyhow.
phoenixck 6th December 2012, 16:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCBuilderSven
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
They are rumored to be making a 10 watt chip this year if they get that to 5 watt ( the average smartphone cpu is 5 watts) they could snatch a tonne of business.

But by the time they've got that to five watt, ARM based processors will be at 2.5W (or twice as powerfull and still 5W), at which point Intel will begin redoveloping theirs to 2.5W...

Indeed I think without a massive change in their business model (which might be coming up considering they seem now to be focusing more on mobile chips) Intel will almost always lag behind arm in terms of development, just as AMD play catchup to intel in the desktop market (not very well mind you), intel play catch up to arm in the mobile department.
Harlequin 6th December 2012, 16:52 Quote
rasberry pi


model a is 2.5w and model b is 3.5w - allready being done

samsung galaxy Y uses the same soc as the pi , so 2.5w is allready in use;

intel coming in at 10w have a huge way to go
ZeDestructor 6th December 2012, 17:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
Intel allready supply IB server parts as BGA - its a growing market

Not according to ark.intel.com . All current server chips I can be bothred looking up use LGA something (1155,1356,1366,1567,2011). There are a few CPUs that use BGA, but nothing on mainstream desktop/server is BGA.

EDIT: Ivy Bridge isn't in anything but the lowest-end servers and workstations.... Everyone is still using Sandy Bridge/Sandy Bridge-E on midrange/high-end servers. No idea where you get your info from....
Harlequin 6th December 2012, 17:20 Quote
ZeDestructor 6th December 2012, 17:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
http://ark.intel.com/products/series/53495


http://ark.intel.com/products/family/59138


seems i can be bothered to check server chips

FCLGA1155 = LGA1155 and FCLGA2011 = LGA2011.

EDIT: Intel calls a BGA part BGA*, like so: http://ark.intel.com/products/37264/

EDIT2: FCLGA = Flip-Chip Land Grid Array. Flip-Chip referring to how the die is flipped with the die's contact at the bottom (unlike in the old days when the connections were on the top of the die)
Harlequin 6th December 2012, 17:29 Quote
http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced?Embedded=true

again , intel calls embedded option - embedded....
ZeDestructor 6th December 2012, 17:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced?Embedded=true

again , intel calls embedded option - embedded....

Optional, not main. And secondly, some BGA parts are not embeddable, like the SU9600 I linked earlier, so the point is moot anyways.
Harlequin 6th December 2012, 17:34 Quote
which brings me back to my original post which you disagreed with:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
Intel allready supply IB server parts as BGA - its a growing market

the option for BGA is allready available.
ZeDestructor 6th December 2012, 17:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
which brings me back to my original post which you disagreed with:



the option for BGA is allready available.

Not in mainstream servers. No good sysadmin that I know of wants BGA. Some niche servers like those used in control systems do, but that's a small market and has remained relatively stable for years at this point but practically all rackservers and datacenters with their own fully custom machines use non-BGA simply because its much easier to swap out a CPU compared to swapping out an entire motherboard.

EDIT: BGA has always been available, very few situations want to deal with the messiness.
Harlequin 6th December 2012, 17:46 Quote
i`ve shown that the option is available and your still arguing? why?

My point , which i have supplied intel links for , is that BGA is allready available for server xeon chips.
rollo 6th December 2012, 23:16 Quote
As harle has pointed out intel already do supply BGA even if its in Low quantities at the moment.

Most mainstream servers run such custom motherboards that the ability to pre supply them with cpus is mute. not talking workstation here. We are talking 16 + cpus on a mobo.

BGA will work well in the following markets.

Consumer dell style boxes
Laptops ( Apple and its Ilk )
Smartphones
tablets
Low to mid range Servers ( the ones most companys run or employ others to run, if your company has 100 employees it likely has a low server.) We are not talking national security style servers here.

So a pretty wide ranging market there. ( like 70% of the total market for cpus id guess) We poor enthusiasts are 0.8% or below lol.

The ones missing are all run on custom boards with custom software. ( Think Banking, GCHQ, CIA )
ZeDestructor 7th December 2012, 00:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
BGA will work well in the following markets.

Consumer dell style boxes
Laptops ( Apple and its Ilk )
Smartphones
tablets

Already happening. Not much room to saturate anymore. Some laptop lines will remain highly modular (Latitude/Precision, Thinkpad T/W/X, EliteBook) since they are generally bought by the hundreds by large companies. RMA each is a pita when you can just swap out faulty parts immediately and RMA the parts/buy new parts in your own time/schedule.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Low to mid range Servers ( the ones most companys run or employ others to run, if your company has 100 employees it likely has a low server.) We are not talking national security style servers here.

Those are actually those most likely to want flexible CPU choice: You may be using it as a backup server, so you want a massive RAID array but not much CPU power or bandwidth, or you may be using it as a more "general purpose" multifunction box providing one off-site backup and serving webpages (yay VMs!) or you may simply have a few hundred of these cheap boxes in your GPU farm and want a fast CPU to keep up with things. Al in all, servers need flexibility, something not possible with soldered parts.

EDIT: words. All the words.
Gradius 7th December 2012, 05:07 Quote
Nonsense about i7-3960X just go for i7-3930K.
ZeDestructor 7th December 2012, 05:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
Nonsense about i7-3960X just go for i7-3930K.

Well, with BGA in the enthusiast market... you won't really have a choice...
Snips 7th December 2012, 09:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
Nonsense about i7-3960X just go for i7-3930K.

Well, with BGA in the enthusiast market... you won't really have a choice...

Show me now were BGA is in the mainstream enthusiast market now and confirmed for the future?

This is a nothing topic brought to the forefront by AMD wanting to sound ahead of the game who reacted to a "rumour" and have been caught 'red' faced.

'Intel remains committed to the growing desktop enthusiast and channel markets,' Intel's Daniel Snyder told the site, and will continue to offer socketed parts in the LGA package for the foreseeable future for our customers and the enthusiast DIY market.'
Shirty 7th December 2012, 10:15 Quote
Quite.

Just to add to this, there is no point whatsoever trying to assign any meaning to "the foreseeable future", it might mean 2 years it might mean 15. Conjecture will get you nowhere.

What I would say is that the chances of Intel ever ditching the discrete market completely are minimal, they'd be marginalising part of their customer base which is rarely a good business move.
fluxtatic 8th December 2012, 06:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Intel can do what they want they hold 90% + of the current Desktop / Server CPU market, The fact is if they make a decent smartphone / tablet chip they could easily pick up apples cpu business for smartphones and tablets. ( looking at a 100mil chips a year easy) They already have distribution deals for its Macbook Range.

Too late, I'd say. The A6 processors are Apple's own design. They just spent god knows how much time and money doing a whole lot of hand layout on the A6. They hold an ARM Architecture license - a whole lot of companies hold the other ARM license (and I can't recall what it's called) - essentially, a license to manufacture ARM's designs. The license Apple holds allows them to use the ARM instruction set. The actual design of the processor is up to the licensee (although I'm sure ARM offers design consultation for a price, as well.)

I wouldn't be entirely surprised if Jobs greatly resented leaving that much control in the hands of an outside vendor - Intel, in this case. I have to wonder if Apple would go sniffing around AMD should worse come to worst for the green team (not that Intel would allow it, since they hold refusal rights to AMD's x86 license.)

The other downside to both sides would be the pissing match over profits - Apple and Intel are both known to make good-to-great margins on hardware. Even as amazed as I am at some Apple hardware prices (at least, it'd be a cold day in hell before I dropped $1700 on a 13" laptop), there's a finite limit to how high you can push the price of iDevices. Especially with there being real competition from Android vendors (and hopefully Windows Phone, someday) - Apple hasn't exactly been setting the world on fire with the latest iOS devices.

Also, and I am no grammar nazi by any stretch, but in your other comment - the point is moot, not mute. The point isn't silent, it's irrelevant. Grammatically, I consider that mistake as grave a sin as 'irregardless'.
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