Originally Posted by jsc1973
I'm not sure that they can make another big push forward without a major revision to the Core microarchitecture, if not replacing it entirely. The jump from Nehalem to Sandy may well have been the last big leap forward they could accomplish, and all they can do now is tweak it to get another few percent here or there, or reduce the power draw.
All designs reach their limit. When Intel was making NetBurst processors, they went from Willamette all the way to Cedar Mill, but then Tejas, the next version, was apparently so power-hungry that it would have made Bulldozer look like a "green" product. That was the end of the line. I think they're now getting near the end of the line with the Core processors.
This, Haswell is an evolved P6 which came out in 1995. It's nearly 20 years old. I am quite sure Intel knows that if they do something new that they're going to take a few steps back before they go forward. It happened with Netburst and Bulldozer.
A lot of people really hated on AMD for Bulldozer, but it probably needed to happen soon or a later. If AMD stuck with K10, there wouldn't even be rumors of Steamroller being 15% faster per clock, let alone some of the stuff that's out there.
It probably sounds really good from Intel's perspective, instead of starting over with a new architecture and living through the growing pains, they can just stop evolving towards performance and enter a new market and focus on power consumption. It's going to basically leave the door wide open for AMD to be the sole enthusiast desktop CPU company and Intel won't be able to do anything about it.
I mean, AMD's R&D budget is a tiny fraction of Intel's, and in 2012 Intel spent 8.4 billion on R&D. And AMD is seeing bigger growth and closing in games.
But I do think that Intel will abandon P6 eventually and work on scaling Atom up. I recall reading that new Pentiums and Celerons would be based on new Atom, not Haswell.