CHIPMAKER Intel will push back the launch of its Ivy Bridge processors to June.
Intel's successor to Sandy Bridge has been widely rumoured to have hit delays, but the firm had remained quiet until now. Intel EVP Sean Maloney told the Financial Times that the launch of Ivy Bridge had slipped from April, saying, "I think maybe it's June now."
Maloney said the delay of Ivy Bridge was due to fab issues rather than demand. Ivy Bridge wafers will be spun out using the firm's latest 22nm 'tri-gate' process node, which Intel introduced to much fanfare 10 months ago.
Although Maloney laid the blame for the Ivy Bridge delay on production, the repeated delays haven't hurt Intel because AMD's Bulldozer chips are simply not competitive against Chipzilla's high-end and enthusiast parts. Intel certainly won't lose any sleep while milking its Sandy Bridge line of chips for a few more months.
Switching over to more urgent matters, Maloney said Lenovo's K800 Medfield powered smartphone will come to Europe four months after its launch in China, which is expected to be in April. While Intel can afford Ivy Bridge production delays, it can't lose any more time getting devices using its Medfield Atom chip out the door.
However, Intel's Ivy Bridge delay is not good for the chip industry, whichever way you look at it. Taking Maloney's word at face value, and there's no reason why we shouldn't, it underlines the problems chip designers will face with increasingly smaller and more complex process nodes. But those who take a more cynical view will say that this delay is a result of weak AMD competition. µ