PCs armed with Intel's upcoming energy-efficient "Broadwell" processors reportedly will be on the shelves by the holidays, according to CEO Brian Krzanich.
However, Krzanich, attending the Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif., May 17, told Reuters that while Broadwell will start shipping in time to appear in products for the entire holiday shopping season, it will miss back-to-school sales.
"I can guarantee for holiday, and not at the last second of holiday," the CEO told Reuters. "Back to school—that's a tight one. Back to school, you have to really have it on-shelf in July, August. That's going to be tough."
Broadwell is the 14-nanometer successor to the current "Haswell" chips and will offer greater performance and as much as a 30 percent improvement in energy efficiency. It also will offer greater graphics capabilities than its predecessor.
Intel officials originally expected to begin shipping the x86 chips late last year, with Broadwell-powered products coming to market in the first half of 2014. However, issues with manufacturing caused a delay in shipping the processors. Intel executives in April, in announcing first-quarter financial numbers, said products with Broadwell would be in stores by the end of the year.
Intel officials are looking to Broadwell to help turn around the PC market by fueling new PC form factors, including 2-in-1 systems, convertibles and hybrid machines. The global PC market has been under pressure for several years, with sales declining as consumers and business users have opted to spend their technology dollars on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
PC and component vendors like Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Hewlett-Packard and Dell have worked to expand their reach into areas outside of desktops and notebooks. Intel is pushing its low-power Atom platform for mobile devices and in September 2013 introduced a new chip family—Quark—aimed at embedded systems, wearable devices and the Internet of things.
Gartner and IDC analysts in April said that worldwide PC sales in the first quarter continued to decline, but less than expected. They said Microsoft's deadline for ending support for the aged Windows XP operating system contributed significantly to slowing the slide, particularly in commercial PCs.
Officials with both Intel and AMD said in April that their PC-related businesses also began to stabilize in the first three months of the year. Intel's PC revenues only fell 1 percent in the quarter. Krzanich said during a conference call in April that the Windows XP situation helped as businesses refreshed their systems, but added that other issues also played a role, including the new PC form factors, falling prices and an aging PC installed base.
"So it's a combination of factors that's really driving the stabilization" of the PC market, Krzanich said in April.