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'Intel' Articles

Apple to Use Intel Modems in AT&T iPhone 7, Qualcomm Modems for Verizon and China

Multiple rumors have claimed that Intel will supply at least a portion of LTE and Wi-Fi modems for the iPhone 7 series, alongside existing supplier Qualcomm, and a new report offers a closer look at how the orders will be divided between the companies. Bloomberg reports that Intel modems will be reserved for AT&T iPhone 7 models, and some other versions of the smartphone sold in other countries, while Qualcomm is said to remain a supplier of modems for Verizon and all Chinese models. The wording suggests that Qualcomm may retain orders in some other regions as well.Choosing Intel’s part for an important role in the product that generates about two-thirds of Apple’s annual revenue may represent a calculated gamble by the company. Bringing in second-source suppliers is a long-established practice by device makers looking to make sure they’re in a better position to negotiate on price. However, analysts such as Stacy Rasgon at Sanford C. Bernstein have said that Qualcomm’s modems remain ahead of Intel’s offerings in performance when measured by how much data they can get from the network into the phone.Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf previously hinted that the chipmaker would be losing modem orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors, although it is reportedly still "retaining a major chunk" of Apple's business rather than being dropped as a supplier entirely. Taiwanese website DigiTimes recently reported that Intel would supply "up to 50 percent" of modems for the iPhone 7 series, while CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri told investors in

Intel's 'Kaby Lake' Processors Still on Track for Late 2016 Launch

Intel's next-generation Kaby Lake processors are still on track for a late 2016 launch and are set to enter production by the end of this quarter, according to an announcement made by Intel at Computex. Earlier this year, Intel announced it was no longer adhering to its "tick-tock" processor release cycle, which saw it alternating between shrinking chip fabrication processes and building new architectures each year. Kaby Lake, rather than being built on a smaller process, will be the third member of the 14-nanometer family after Broadwell and Skylake, and is the successor to Skylake. Kaby Lake is considered a semi-tock with optimized microarchitecture. It supports Thunderbolt 3 and native USB 3.1, but it will not feature support for DisplayPort 1.3, so Macs with Kaby Lake chips will remain unable to drive 5K displays over a single-stream cable. According to Intel, Kaby Lake will feature advancements in performance, battery, and media capabilities. Intel's last two chip releases were plagued with delay after delay, which is likely the reason why the company decided to move away from its long-running tick-tock policy. Several of Apple's Macs, including the Retina MacBook Pro, have been impacted by Intel's chip delays over the last few years with unusual update cycles and long periods of time between updates. With Kaby Lake chips set to debut in late 2016, it is possible refreshed Macs released late in the year could take advantage of the new processors, depending on when Kaby Lake chips appropriate for each Mac launch. iMacs, for example, are likely to be

Intel to Supply Up to 50% of Faster LTE Chips for iPhone 7

Intel will supply up to 50 percent of faster LTE chips, manufactured by TSMC and KYEC, for the iPhone 7 series expected to launch in September, according to DigiTimes.Intel will itself package the modem chips for the upcoming new iPhones, but have contracted Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and tester King Yuan Electronics (KYEC) to manufacture the chips, the sources said.Apple's current LTE chip supplier Qualcomm previously hinted that it would be losing LTE modem orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors, which increasingly points towards Apple and Intel respectively. Multiple rumors have hinted at the switch from Qualcomm to Intel since early 2015. CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri issued a research note in March that said Intel has secured a "significant portion" of the LTE chip orders, likely in the range of 30 to 40 percent of production. Qualcomm is expected to be tasked with the remaining orders, but it will no longer be the primary supplier. Intel reportedly has 1,000 or more employees working on preparing its 7360 LTE modem for the next-generation iPhone. Intel's 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] features faster theoretical downlink speeds up to 450 Mbps, uplink speeds up to 100 Mbps, and support for LTE category 10 and 29 LTE bands overall. For customers, the switch to Intel modems means the iPhone 7 could have faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s series by adopting LTE-Advanced for downlink

Intel Wants to Replace 3.5mm Headphone Jack With USB-C Audio

Intel this week announced plans to usher in the adoption of an audio USB Type-C connector that would replace the standard 3.5 millimeter analog jack and eventually be capable of digital audio transmission (via Anandtech). The plans were announced during the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) in Shenzhen, China, where the semiconductor manufacturer set out its project to develop USB Type-C Digital Audio. Intel remained vague about the digital conversion, but set out broad aims to update the USB Audio Device 2.0 protocol specifications to include up-to-date audio features, while simplifying discovery and improving power management, with plans to release the revised specification in the second quarter this year. Intel hopes that the improved USB-C audio specification would eventually amount to a standardized connector replacement and eliminate the traditional audio jack from laptops, smartphones and tablets, eventually ushering in a transition to fully digital audio. From a consumer perspective, this could mean higher-quality audio output, more remote control possibilities on headsets, potential biometric health data tracking (such as in-ear heart-rate monitoring), and supplied power for features like active noise-cancelling without the need for dedicated batteries. The news comes amid iPhone 7 rumors suggesting Apple is also looking to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on its future mobile devices, however speculation gravitates towards Apple replacing it with a proprietary Lightning port capable of transmitting audio. With no headphone jack, wired headphones would

Qualcomm Hints at Apple's Switch to Intel for LTE Modems in iPhone 7

Qualcomm shares are currently trading lower after the chip maker suggested during an earnings call Wednesday that it will be losing orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors. Analysts believe that customer will be Apple, according to Bloomberg, following rumors that the Cupertino-based company will rely on Intel to supply the majority of LTE modems for the iPhone 7, which is expected to be announced at a media event this September.Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer Steve Mollenkopf told analysts he is “assuming” that a major customer will give orders to a rival, indicating a potential loss of business for the company. […] Samsung already uses multiple suppliers, leaving only Apple to make this change.In early March, CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri issued a research note claiming that Intel has secured a "significant portion" of LTE chip orders from Apple, likely in the range of 30 to 40 percent of production. Pajjuri believes Qualcomm will likely be tasked with at least a portion of the remaining orders. Intel reportedly has 1,000 or more employees working on preparing its 7360 LTE modem for the next-generation iPhone. Intel's 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] features faster theoretical downlink speeds up to 450 Mbps, uplink speeds up to 100 Mbps, and support for LTE category 10 and 29 LTE bands overall. The switch to Intel LTE chips means the iPhone 7 could have even faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s

Intel to Cut 12,000 Jobs Amid Declining PC Market

Intel has announced a major corporate restructuring that will see 11 percent of its workforce laid off as the company intensifies its focus on its data center and smart connected computing businesses. The move is being billed as a profitable and efficient evolution of the company away from its traditional PC sector base toward more high-growth areas, broadly defined as its cloud-powering hardware and Internet of Things businesses. These areas reportedly made Intel $2.2 billion in revenue growth last year, making up 40 percent of its operating profit and offsetting its decline in the PC market. Combined with its gaming, home gateway, memory and connectivity businesses, the initiative will fuel a "virtuous cycle of growth", said Intel, but the move comes at the cost of up to 12,000 jobs globally. The company said the layoffs will be completed by mid-2017 through a combination of voluntary and involuntary departures as it re-evaluates its programs and consolidates its sites worldwide. Intel forecasts that the initiative will deliver $750 million in savings in 2016 and annual run rate savings of $1.4 billion by the middle of the following year. While Intel's press release makes no mention of its latest microprocessor uptake in the PC market, the company did recently confirm the end of its highly successful decade-long "tick-tock" strategy of annually delivering new processors, after chip updates stretched beyond the yearly cycle in recent generations and began affecting Apple's product launch cycles. The launch of Intel's Kaby Lake 14-nm microarchitecture was

Mac Update Cycle Faces Uncertainty as Intel Abandons Tick-Tock Strategy

In its latest 10-K annual report (PDF) filed last month, Intel confirmed the end of its long-heralded "tick-tock" strategy of delivering new microprocessors to the market. Intel originally introduced the product cadence to the world in 2006 with the launch of the "Core" microarchitecture, alternating "ticks" of shrinking chip fabrication processes with "tocks" of new architectures. Over the past ten years, Intel has successively delivered new processor families based on this tick-tock cycle on a nearly annual cycle from its 65 nm manufacturing node all the way up until recently. The tick-tock release cycle allowed Intel to reestablish dominance in both the consumer and enterprise CPU markets and had given OEMs such as Apple a regular update cycle to rely on for annual product updates. But with chip updates stretching about beyond a yearly cycle in recent generations, Apple's product launch cycles have started to be affected. In the face of the difficulties in maintaining the tick-tock cadence, Intel has announced that the launch of Kaby Lake this year as the third member of the 14-nm family following Broadwell and Skylake will mark the official end of the tick-tock strategy. Instead, Intel will move to a new "Process-Architecture-Optimization" model for the current 14 nm node and the 10 nm node. As part of our R&D efforts, we plan to introduce a new Intel Core microarchitecture for desktops, notebooks (including Ultrabook devices and 2 in 1 systems), and Intel Xeon processors on a regular cadence. We expect to lengthen the amount of time we will utilize our 14nm

Intel's Upcoming Ultra-Fast Optane SSD May Come to MacBooks

Last summer, Intel announced 3D Xpoint, a new class of memory labeled as a "major breakthrough in memory process technology." 3D Xpoint is 1,000 times faster and more durable than NAND Flash storage, as well as 10 times denser than the DRAM chips used in computers.The innovative, transistor-less cross point architecture creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually. As a result, data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to faster and more efficient read/write processes.Intel has promised that the first 3D Xpoint (pronounced "crosspoint") product will be coming in early 2016 in the form of its Optane solid state drives, which may be of interest to Apple. According to Macworld, 3D Xpoint is compatible with NVM Express (NVMe), an SSD protocol that offers improved latency and performance over the older AHCI protocol. Apple's Retina MacBooks already use NVMe technology, and it's likely Skylake Macs set to be released across 2016 will also support NVMe. With NVMe compatibility built into 3D Xpoint, Apple could adopt Intel's Optane solid state drives for super fast performance speeds that significantly outpace what's possible with current SSDs. As Macworld points out, Apple is often an early adopter of emerging technology, having been the first company to implement Thunderbolt and chip technology from Intel. While Intel is planning to make its Optane SSDs available in 2016, the technology is unlikely to see widespread adoption right away. 3D Xpoint

Intel to Produce 'Significant Portion' of LTE Modem Chips for iPhone 7

CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri has corroborated multiple reports claiming that Intel will supply LTE modems for the iPhone 7, according to a research note obtained by NDTV. Pajjuri said that Intel has secured a "significant portion" of the LTE chips, likely in the range of 30 to 40 percent of production. Qualcomm will likely be tasked with the remaining orders.While Apple is looking to cut some reliance on Qualcomm, the company doesn't plan to completely turn away from the chipmaker. On the contrary, the analyst believes that the company will "share shift back" to Qualcomm in 2017.Intel reportedly has 1,000 or more employees working on preparing the Intel 7360 LTE modem for the iPhone 7 lineup. The 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] from Intel features faster theoretical downlink speeds up to 450 Mbps, uplink speeds up to 100 Mbps, and support for LTE category 10 and 29 LTE bands overall. In layman's terms, that means the iPhone 7 could have even faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus by adopting LTE-Advanced, which pushed downlink speeds up to a theoretical max of 300 Mbps. Apple currently sources all of its LTE modems for iPhones from Qualcomm, including the MDM9635 chipset in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which offers theoretical downlink speeds up to 300 Mbps and uplink speeds up to 50 Mbps. Qualcomm has been Apple's exclusive supplier of LTE modems for over three years. In the future, Apple may create a system-on-a-chip

Intel Launches New Skylake Chips Appropriate for 15-Inch Retina MacBook Pro

As noted by AnandTech, Intel this week quietly released an updated processor price list which includes several new Skylake chips that could be used in an updated 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The direct upgrade path for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro would use the following quad-core chip options: a 2.6 GHz Core i7-6770HQ, a 2.7 GHz Core i7-6870HQ, and a 2.8 GHz Core i7-6970HQ, all coming in at the same price points as the Haswell variants currently used in the MacBook Pro. Perhaps a more intriguing but less likely scenario involves a series of new mobile Xeon E3 chips. These chips could offer even better CPU, graphics, and memory performance, although pricing becomes an issue with the highest-performing chip in the family. As for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, Intel announced chips appropriate for those machines back in September, although it suggested the chips would not actually be launching until early 2016. Those chips have been included on Intel's price lists for several months, but have been slow to show up in the wild. A claimed benchmark for a 13-inch MacBook Pro running one of these chips last week appears to have been a fake. Most of Apple's Mac lineup is in need of updates, as Intel's Skylake delays have hampered Apple's ability to launch refreshed models. But with the Skylake logjam finally starting to break, Apple appears set to update its entire notebook lineup over the next several months. Opportunities for major product introductions could come at Apple's rumored March media event or at WWDC likely scheduled for mid-June, although smaller

Intel Unveils Full Lineup of Skylake Processors for Notebooks and Desktops, Early 2016 Likely for Most Macs

Intel has released detailed information about its upcoming Skylake processors for notebooks and desktops ahead of IFA 2015 in Berlin (via Ars Technica). The sixth-generation chips will deliver CPU and GPU performance improvements and longer battery life, and are likely to power future MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac models released over the next year. Retina MacBook Intel's new lineup of Core M processors appropriate for the 12-inch Retina MacBook will provide up to 10 hours of battery life, between 10%-20% faster CPU performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to equivalent Broadwell chips. CPU World accurately shared Core m3, Core m5 and Core m7 specifications last week, with all three families of chips including Intel HD 515 graphics, 4MB of L3 cache and 4.5 watt thermal design power (TDP). The low-end Core m3 6Y30 replaces the Core M-5Y31 and is likely suited for the base model 12-inch MacBook sold for $1,299. The mid-tier Core m5 6Y54 and Core m5 6Y57 replace the Core M-5Y51 on the high-end 12-inch MacBook sold for $1,599, while the high-end Core m7 6Y75 replaces the Core M-5Y71 for top-of-the-line 12-inch MacBook custom configurations. Core M processors have configurable TDPs, allowing for performance and heat output to be adjusted. Core m3, m5 and m7 chips can be run at 3.5-3.8 watts or be increased to 7 watts to allow for higher CPU clock speeds. For the current 12-inch MacBook, Apple boosted the 900 MHz 5Y31 chip to 1.1 GHz, 1.1 GHz 5Y51 chip to 1.2 GHz and 1.2 GHz 5Y71 chip to 1.3 GHz. Ars Technica notes that Core M

Intel's Skylake Processor Lineup for Retina MacBook Revealed

Following a closer look at Intel's upcoming Skylake processor lineup for the MacBook Air, CPU World has shared new details about sixth-generation Core M chips appropriate for the 12-inch Retina MacBook. Intel reportedly may brand the low-power Skylake-Y chips as Core m3, Core m5 and Core m7 based on performance. The low-end Core m3 6Y30 has a 900 MHz dual-core processor with Turbo Boost up to 2.2 GHz. The chip has 4MB of L3 cache, HD 515 graphics, a maximum GPU frequency of 850 MHz and 4.5 watt thermal design power (TDP). This chip would likely be suited for the base model 12-inch MacBook sold for $1,299. The mid-tier Core m5 6Y54 and Core m5 6Y57 are similar chips with 1.1 GHz dual-core processors and Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz and 2.8 GHz respectively, 4MB of L3 cache, HD 515 graphics, a maximum GPU frequency of 900 MHz and 4.5 watt TDP. These chips would likely be suited for the high-end stock model 12-inch MacBook sold for $1,599. The high-end Core m5 6Y75 is a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz, 4MB of L3 cache, HD 515 graphics, a maximum GPU frequency of 1 GHz and 4.5 watt TDP. This chip would be suited for the top of the line 12-inch MacBook model that carries a $150 premium over systems with the high-end stock chip. CPU World shared further details about the processor specifications, noting that Core M chips can be run at 7 watts to allow for higher CPU clock speeds. Apple boosted the 900 MHz 5Y31 chip to 1.1 GHz, 1.1 GHz 5Y51 chip to 1.2 GHz and 1.2 GHz 5Y71 chip to 1.3 GHz for the current 12-inch MacBook lineup.All chips

Intel's Skylake Chips Will Drive Three 4K Monitors at 60Hz

Intel has shared new details about its faster, more power-efficient Skylake processors at IDF 2015 in San Francisco. PCWorld reports that Intel engineers have suggested the sixth-generation Core processors could launch in around "two weeks," setting the stage for a possible announcement of new chips appropriate for Macs at the IFA Berlin trade show on September 4-9. Skylake processors will feature improved Iris Pro integrated graphics capable of driving up to three 4K monitors at 60Hz, whereas Haswell architecture could drive a single 4K monitor at 30Hz and Broadwell architecture could handle a single 4K monitor at 60Hz. Skylake will also have fixed-function support for 4K video processing in hardware and support for the latest APIs: DirectX 12, OpenCL 2 and OpenGL 4.4. Intel's six generations of processor graphics (Image: Ars Technica) PC World:That means Intel has dedicated transistors directly to the job of decoding and encoding 4K. In one demonstration showing playback of a 4K RAW video stream from a Canon video camera, playback was smooth using the Skylake graphics chip, while using just the CPU, it would constantly drop frames.Skylake architecture is also more power efficient thanks to a new power-saving feature called Speed Shift, which allows the CPU to intelligently adjust its power state for extended battery life. Skylake CPUs are also more efficient overall and feature eDRAM+, which can cache information, for increased performance. In June, Intel introduced Thunderbolt 3 with a USB Type-C connector and support for USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2 and PCI

Intel's Skylake Processor Lineup for MacBook Air Unveiled

Details on Intel's upcoming 15-watt 6200U - 6600U Skylake processor lineup were shared today by Fanless Tech, giving us a look at what we can expect from the processors that will likely be used in Apple's next MacBook Air update. Click to view larger version The 2.3GHz i5-6200U and the 2.4GHz i5-6300U chips are appropriate for the lower-end MacBook Air models, while the 2.5GHz i7-6500U and the 2.6GHz i7-6600U would be used in the higher-end MacBook Air models. All four chips include Intel HD 520 graphics. With Skylake, Intel has opted to simplify its graphics naming scheme, adopting 3-digit numbers instead of 4-digit numbers. Click to view larger version It is not clear when Intel plans to release the Skylake chips appropriate for the MacBook Air, but with full specs now available, it seems launch is imminent, perhaps planned for next week's Intel Developer Forum. According to the information available, 28-watt chips appropriate for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will not be launching until 2016. Launch dates are equally unclear for the rest of the Skylake lineup, as today's leak only covers chips that would be used in the MacBook Air. Click to view larger version Intel's Skylake processors are expected to offer a 10 to 20 percent boost in CPU performance over Broadwell, plus lower power consumption and improved Intel HD integrated graphics performance. Better energy efficiency will also lead to up to 30 percent longer battery life.

Intel and Micron Unveil New Memory Class That's 1,000 Times Faster Than Current Technology

Intel and Micron today announced 3D Xpoint, a new class of memory that the companies are calling a "major breakthrough in memory process technology." 3D Xpoint (pronounced cross point) is said to be up to 1,000 times faster and more durable than the NAND Flash storage that's currently used in mobile devices and solid state drives. It's the first new memory chip to come to the market in 25 years. Intel and Micron say that 3D Xpoint was built to create a non-volatile, high-performance high-capacity storage and memory solution that was also affordable. In addition to being faster than NAND Flash, it's also 10 times denser than the DRAM chips used in computers, which means much more data can be stored closer to the processor and accessed quickly. A smartphone equipped with 3D Xpoint technology would potentially see much faster performance than a smartphone using existing technology. 3D Xpoint is also versatile -- fast enough to replace DRAM and stable enough to be used for long term storage. Initial capacity is 128 Gigabits (16GB) per die across two memory layers, but future generations of the 3D Xpoint will be able to increase the number of memory layers to improve system capacities. The innovative, transistor-less cross point architecture creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually. As a result, data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to faster and more efficient read/write processes.Intel and Micron provide several use cases for 3D

Intel Skylake Processors: Up to 20% Performance Boost, 41% Faster Graphics and 30% Longer Battery Life

Less than two weeks before Intel announces new desktop Skylake processors, likely to be used in future Macs, at the Gamescom trade show in Germany on August 5, FanlessTech has leaked an Intel slide deck that offers a closer look at some of the performance enhancements the next-generation processors will deliver for both desktop computers and notebooks. The leaked slides reveal that Skylake processors will provide a 10%-20% CPU performance boost in single and multi-threaded applications, with lower power consumption, and 30% faster Intel HD integrated graphics performance on average compared to current-generation Broadwell processors. The improved energy efficiency will also result in up to 30% longer battery life. The specific performance improvements to the four main Skylake families are outlined below based on preliminary data, with the MacBook model appropriate for each chip listed in parentheses: - Y-Series (MacBook): Up to 17% faster CPU, up to 41% faster Intel HD graphics, up to 1.4 hours longer battery life - U-Series (MacBook Air): Up to 10% faster CPU, up to 34% faster Intel HD graphics, up to 1.4 hours longer battery life - H-Series (MacBook Pro): Up to 11% faster CPU, up to 16% faster Intel HD graphics, up to 80% lower silicon power - S-Series (iMac): Up to 11% faster CPU, up to 28% faster Intel HD graphics, 22% lower TDP (thermal design power) Apple refreshed the MacBook Air and 13" Retina MacBook Pro with the latest Broadwell processors in March, but the refreshed 15" Retina MacBook Pro released in May remains powered by two-year-old Haswell

Intel Announces New Quad-Core Broadwell Processors Appropriate for 15-Inch MacBook Pro

Intel today at Computex 2015 announced its next-generation lineup of quad-core Broadwell processors for notebooks and desktop computers, including a trio of Core i7 processors appropriate for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro: i7-5950HQ, i7-5850HQ and i7-5750HQ. The new processors have base frequencies of between 2.5 GHz and 2.9 GHz and feature integrated Intel Iris Pro 6200 graphics. The fifth-generation Broadwell chips are expected to be available in the next 30-60 days, meaning the first notebooks and desktop computers with the new processors should be available in July or August. Interestingly, Apple refreshed the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro just last month, but noticeably missing were processor upgrades, as the new machines continue to use the same Haswell processors from the previous generation. While appropriate Broadwell chips will soon be available over the next few months, it is possible that Apple did not want to wait that long to refresh the notebook. It is also possible that Apple will skip fifth-generation Broadwell processors entirely for the MacBook Pro and release Skylake-based notebooks as early as later this year. Intel also announced the future availability of Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C, and USB 3.1 and DisplayPort 1.2 support, and the new spec would be suitable for inclusion in the next refresh to the Mac

Intel Announces Thunderbolt 3 With USB-C, Single-Cable Support for Dual 4K Displays at 60Hz

Intel today at Computex 2015 unveiled Thunderbolt 3 with a USB Type-C connector, instead of Mini DisplayPort, and support for USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2 and PCI Express 3.0, as outlined by Ars Technica. The new spec's Thunderbolt transport layer provides up to 40Gbps throughput, double the max bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2, alongside an optional 100 watts of power for charging devices in accordance with the USB Power Delivery spec, or 15 watts of power without USB PD."Thunderbolt 3 is backed by Intel's new Alpine Ridge controller. USB 3.1 support is provided by integrating a USB 3.1 host controller into Alpine Ridge. There will be two flavours of the controller, one that uses four PCIe 3.0 lanes to drive two Thunderbolt ports, and another version that only uses two PCIe lanes connected to a single Thunderbolt port." Thunderbolt 3 is capable of driving up to two 4K external displays at 60Hz or a single 5K display at 60Hz running off a single cable. Dell and other manufacturers currently use a dual-cable solution for most 4K and 5K external displays, since the current DisplayPort/Thunderbolt spec does not provide enough bandwidth to drive the high-resolution monitors. Thunderbolt 3 also supports more protocols than any other I/O controller, making it compatible with virtually any dock, device or display. Intel expects initial products with Thunderbolt 3 to start shipping before the end of this year, and ramp up in 2016. Thunderbolt 3 is rumored to launch alongside Intel's next-generation Skylake chips, succeeding the Broadwell line, later this year, and the new spec could

Supplies of 15-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Continue to Tighten Ahead of Broadwell Refresh

For the past several weeks, high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro shipping times have been quietly slipping, first to one to two weeks and then to two to three weeks, sparking questions from MacRumors readers about whether a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro update is imminent. While it's true we're approaching the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, where Apple often announces new products, Broadwell chip availability remains an issue that makes it unclear whether we might get a refresh announcement at the event. We have heard no word on the status of Broadwell chips appropriate for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro for several months. The last update on the chips came from a roadmap released in the summer of 2014, which suggested Broadwell chips appropriate for the notebook would be released in July or August of 2015. In recent weeks, Intel has started shipping a small handful of desktop Broadwell chips, but chips that would be used in the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro and the iMac are not yet shipping out. The desktop-class Broadwell chips that are currently shipping were also given prospective July/August 2015 release timelines, so their arrival does potentially herald the imminent release of Broadwell chips that would succeed the existing Crystalwell chips in the 2014 Retina MacBook Pro. If these chips are going to ship out earlier than the prospective July/August timeline, it's possible Apple could make a Retina MacBook Pro update announcement at WWDC. If the chips are not shipping until July or August of 2015, however, WWDC seems a bit premature for an

iMac Shipping Estimates Slip to 3-5 Business Days for Most Models

iMac shipping estimates have slipped to 3-5 business days on the Apple Online Store in the United States for all models aside from the entry-level 21.5-inch option with a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. The high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro is also now showing an estimated shipping date of 1-2 weeks. Both the iMac and 15" Retina MacBook Pro were previously listed as in stock. The majority of the iMac lineup, excluding the low-end 21.5-inch iMac released in June 2014 and iMac with Retina 5K Display launched in October 2014, was last updated in September 2013 with the latest Intel Haswell processors, faster PCI Express-based flash storage options and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Based on its average product cycle, the all-in-one desktop computer is long overdue for a refresh. Nevertheless, the iMac is not expected to be updated until Intel releases desktop class Broadwell chips during the second quarter of 2015. Intel's first 14nm desktop processors, including the Core i5-5675C, i7-5775C, i5-5575R, i5-5675R and i7-5775R CPUs with Iris Pro 6200 integrated graphics, are expected to be announced during Computex Taiwan in early June, with some chips expected to launch in mid-May, and should become readily available as early as July or August. Intel's Broadwell desktop chips based on 14nm manufacturing process (via CPU World) Ultimately, the extended iMac shipping estimates of 3-5 business days could be nothing more than regular stock fluctuations on the Apple Online Store, although it is worth noting as the release of Broadwell desktop chips approaches. At this point,