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Rumor: Intel prepping next-gen Skylake chips for August debut, may curtail Broadwell sales

Chip giant Intel is reportedly targeting August of this year for the initial rollout of its next-generation Skylake microarchitecture, a timeline that likely means Apple's high-end Macs will skip the oft-delayed Broadwell line.




The rollout would begin with Skylake-S— which includes the desktop flagship Core i7 6700K— according to a purported Intel document published by Chinese blog BenchLife. Skylake-U, -Y, and -H would follow in September, with specific versions trickling out until January 2016.

Broadwell's desktop components are expected to be largely stepped over. The Broadwell-based Core i7-5775C and Core i5-5675C could bow this summer, but would be replaced with Skylake parts shortly thereafter.

Apple has moved to the Broadwell-Y Core M line for its new 12-inch MacBook, while the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro were refreshed with Broadwell-U CPUs. The 15-inch MacBook Pro family continues to use Haswell chips, however, as mobile quad-core Broadwell components have yet to see the light of day.

Given that Apple refreshed the 15-inch MacBook Pro with faster Haswell parts earlier this week, it seems likely that the most powerful Mac laptops will skip Broadwell entirely and instead go directly to Skylake. The same is likely true for the Mac Pro, though there is not yet any word on the next-generation Xeon E5.

Skylake, the 14-nanometer "tock" in Intel's tick-tock architectural strategy, is expected to bring improvements in efficiency and performance alongside some new features.

Chief among those is adoption of the WiGig standard, which enables wireless gigabit-speed communications. Combined with the Rezence wireless charging standard— of which Intel is a major backer— this is expected to enable more useful wireless experiences for peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and monitors.