Supermicro is a company that produces motherboards for servers and other data-intensive applications. There are two segments of their business: one focus on expertise in high-end servers, and the other products aimed at cost-sensitive markets such as cloud computing, virtualization, networking, storage and removable media.
Currently there are no Supermicro motherboards for Intel’s “Skylake” architecture. This news is being intensely frustrating to many buyers of IT hardware who were anticipating the arrival of Skylake only to find out recently that it will be delayed by several months or even years.
For Intel’s Skylake to reach the market, motherboard vendor Supermicro is going to need to produce a batch of motherboards around the September-October period at which time it will be interesting to find out if Intel Skylake is also delayed. If it’s delayed at all, then Supermicro is looking at between six and nine months before they can expect motherboards based on Skylake.
Intel has never not been able to deliver a new architecture on time and this means that there are over four years of active generations in all their major processor families, with only one main exception: Sandy Bridge. Sandy Bridge was released in June 2011 and the market started noticing delays in late 2013, a few months after Ivy Bridge was released. The delay was confirmed as late as mid-December 2013, long after Skylake has been officially delayed.
There is no way to know if Intel Skylake is going to be delayed and even if this turns out to be the case then there are only two weeks remaining until the end of the year when they need to start delivering CPUs while they will still have working motherboards ready at the same time. This means that just two weeks is enough for a redesign or for them to decide on what chips will replace that particular product line.
One of the major Skylake motherboard vendors is Supermicro, which is one of the very few companies that can manufacture a motherboard in as little as three weeks. While they may not have produced a new batch of motherboards, it could be possible that they can just start delivering their Skylake motherboards using a chip that’s equivalent to today’s Broadwell chips but with a different name.
The only way to know if this is going to happen or not is to wait until September when Intel is planning to release chips based on the Skylake architecture. At this point it will be easy to see if Supermicro actually has enough motherboards for Intel’s latest architectures or not.
It’s hard to believe any of the rumors that are going around claiming that Intel is going to delay Skylake because they’re just not true. The only major difference between Broadwell and Skylake is the architecture, and it’s just not possible for Intel to delay a brand new architecture for over half a year with no real reason for doing so.
The next logical question then becomes: “why was this supposed delay announced?” And why did Intel wait so long to announce it? For any hardware enthusiast out there, it can be unsettling when one of the top companies in their field starts delaying new product lines without providing much information as to why they’re doing so. The real answer here is two-fold. While the delay was announced roughly a year ago, it won’t mean a thing for consumers until September. The second part of this answer is that Intel knows that it’s going to be delayed, but they don’t want to confirm this until the last possible moment. The reason for this is simple: Intel needs Skylake on the market before AMD can release codenamed Zen. It’s not a matter of beating AMD to market with their new CPUs but rather just beating them to market enough to ensure that no one changes platforms when Zen hits the market around 12 months later. This way, customers will stick with Intel and there will be no harm done, theoretically at least.