Earlier this month, I took a look at Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) newly refreshed public road map for its server processor line. The road map didn't offer much in the way of exact launch timing for these new products, but we were able to glean the "big picture." Thanks to Digitimes, however, we now have more precise information regarding the launch timelines of Intel's next generation server processors.
Broadwell and Skylake in the third quarter of 2015
Digitimes alleges that Intel will be introducing not one, but two, variants of its Xeon E3 processor lineup. The first one, the Xeon E3-1200 v4 series will be based on Intel's Broadwell microarchitecture, which is a 14-nanometer refresh of the 2013 Haswell microarchitecture. More interestingly, though, is that Intel is also reportedly planning to launch Xeon E3-1200 v5 processors based on the next-generation Skylake microarchitecture.
If this road map is true, it would be a very interesting move on Intel's part. The E3-1200 v4 seems as though it would offer lower performance, but it could be attractive to customers looking to upgrade current Xeon E3-1200 v3 based systems to new processors without replacing the motherboard.
The Xeon E3-1200 v5 should offer significantly more performance as a result of the brand new CPU and GPU architectures. This should be a more compelling platform for customers buying new systems.
Haswell-EX/EP 4S in the second quarter of 2015
The E3 processor mentioned above is typically aimed at systems that only have one processor. For systems that require two or four processors, Intel offers the Xeon E5 family. For systems that require more than that, Intel provides the Xeon E7 lineup.
Intel launched the two-processor versions of its Haswell-based Xeon E5 during the third quarter of 2014. According to Digitimes, it will launch variants capable of working in four processor configurations during the second quarter of 2015. It will reportedly also launch the even higher-end Xeon E7 Haswell-based processors in that same quarter.
Digitimes claims that this launch timeline is designed to give clients "more time to transition to the new platform." Interestingly enough, Intel launched both its Xeon E7 and four-processor Xeon E5 products based on the prior-generation Ivy Bridge architecture during the first quarter of 2014, so this would imply a product cycle of about a year and a quarter.
What's going on with micro-servers?
Digitimes reports that Intel plans to launch its Xeon D (is that D for dense?) processor, which is Intel's highly integrated system-on-chip based on its Broadwell processor core, during the second quarter of 2015. This launch timeframe should allow Intel to remain extremely competitive against solutions from the prominent ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) server chip contenders.
Interestingly enough, Digitimes did not report anything about the next-generation Atom-based Microserver part, which is codenamed Denverton. I suspect, that Intel won't be launching this product until the third quarter of 2015 at the very earliest.
Foolish bottom line
Intel's server chip lineup, from top to bottom, remains strong. While there are continued fears among investors that Intel may lose its grip on the server chip market as ARM-based competitors march in, I think that Intel will defend its position with what seems to be an unmatched product portfolio.
Ashraf Eassa owns shares of ARM Holdings and Intel. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.