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Intel's 'Broadwell' chips may beat their chests with 18 cores

Intel Broadwell
Intel's next generation chip will stack truly tiny 14nm cores

Although Intel's latest line of Haswell chips just hit motherboards earlier this year, early reports are already flying that the chip maker's next Broadwell architecture will come with 18 cores in tow.

Vr-zone has word that a new Intel chip possessing six more cores than anything currently on market could be implemented on the upcoming Broadwell-EP or EX Xeon chips.

The publication posited that Intel would simply pile on more cores on each die instead of speeding them up. It's a move we could see Intel pulling as an evolution of its multi-core strategy, which has already introduced the freshly minted 22nm Ivy Bridge and Haswell parts.

Intel's next line of chips supposedly will be produced with a 14-nanometer microarchitecture process. In addition to 18-core chips, we could see eight-to-10 core chips powering high performance desktop and fast-core workstations that push speeds above 4GHz - and that's before any overclocking shenanigans.

Better at everything

The Vr-zone report goes on to speculate that future processors will run with faster RAM, bumping up the top spec from DDR3-1866 to DDR4-2400. The new chipset will also supposedly support up to 16 memory DIMMs or modules at the same time.

All this power won't come at the expense of energy hogging PCs and devices, however. CPU World reported that the Broadwell microarchitecture will mainly aim at the mobile computing crowd with a special low wattage "Y" lineup. This way users' pants and hands won't be burned with anything that uses enough electricity to push past a 4.5 Watt thermal envelope.

Across the CPU isle, AMD's Kaveri APU plans to be the end all, be all of CPU/GPU combos this coming January. Unlike Intel, AMD is more interested in buffing up its onboard GPU power and backing it with games designed for the architecture through Mantle.

If Intel has something truly 18 core on its road map, you can bet we'll see it or at least have an early look during CES 2014.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is the Hardware and Roundups Editor at IGN Entertainment. Prior to IGN Entertainment, he worked at TechRadar.