Intel has confirmed that production of it 14nm Broadwell chip will be delayed by three months due to production delays. Intel’s new chief executive Brian Krzanich tried to pass off the issue as a “small blip” in the firm’s schedule.
Intel confirmed the delay as part of its Q3 earnings announcement, explaining that it had pushed the production of the new chipset back by three months.
“From a timing standpoint, we're about a quarter behind our projections. As a result, we're now planning to begin production in the first quarter of next year,” said Krzanich, speaking on an earnings call.
Krzanich later elaborated that the issue was caused by problems in the production of the chip, which had taken longer than expected to resolve.
“As we developed these technologies [we were] continually improving the defect densities and those resulted in a yield – the number of die per wafer that you get out of the product,” he said.
“As you insert a set of fixes in groups you'll put four or five, maybe sometimes six or seven fixes into a process and group it together and run it through, and you'll expect an improvement rate. Occasionally, as you go through the fixes don't deliver all of the improvement you thought. We had one of those.”
He said the firm was now confident it had resolved the issue and that production was back on track, although behind schedule.
“We have gone back now and added additional fixes, gotten back onto that curve, so we have confidence that problem is fixed because we actually have data that is fixed,” Krzanich said. “We and our OEM partners have a strong desire to get Broadwell to the market. This is a small blip in schedule and we'll continue on from here.”
The news of the delay came amid fairly good financials for the third quarter of 2013 for Intel, which saw a rise in revenues of five percent from $12.8bn to $13.5bn compared with the second quarter of 2013 and a rise in income from $2bn to $3bn over the two sequential quarters.
But this was flat on the same period in 2012, when revenues were $13.5bn and net income was $3bn. Year-on-year income from major business units was mixed, with PC Client Group sales down 3.5 percent to $8.4bn, while Data Center Group revenues were up 12.2 percent year-on-year to $2.9bn.
These were both up on Q2 though, by 3.5 and 6.2 percent respectively, suggesting a return to strength and setting the firm up strongly for the upcoming Christmas period where it – and device manufacturers – will be hoping sales of phones, tablets, laptops and PCs using its chipsets increase.
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