Intel has finally come forward to clear up some of the confusion generated by recent rumors that the company will transition to non-replaceable processors starting with Broadwell in 2014. In a statement emailed to Maximum PC, Intel spokesman Daniel Snyder said the chipmaker "remains committed to the growing desktop enthusiast and channel markets, and will continue to offer socketed parts in the LGA package for the foreseeable future.”
Snyder did note that Intel cannot comment on specific long-term product roadmaps, and the “foreseeable future” wording certainly leaves some wiggle room for Intel to change course in the future, but for now user-replaceable LGA processors are part of their plans.
As Maximum PC points out, server and workstation customers are unlikely to accept BGA products, and by extension we can assume their desktop counterparts will be covered as well. However, if you want to read deeper into Intel’s response, specifically the part about Intel’s commitment to the desktop enthusiasts, there’s also the possibility that eventually LGA processors will be limited to this niche market while some more lower-end and low-power products transition to a locked down BGA-only packaging. After all, both Intel and AMD already churn out cheap ITX boards with Atom and Brazos chips soldered directly onto them.
That’s all based on conjecture, though. We’ll just have to wait for Intel's tick-tock development cycle to pass once more with Haswell in 2013 and its 14nm Broadwell die shrink in 2014 to have a better idea of their plans.
For its part, AMD was quick to jump on the opportunity of reassuring customers that they remain committed to the do-it-yourself and enthusiast desktop market with socketed CPUs and APUs, compatible with a wide range of motherboards, through 2013 and 2014 with the Kaveri APU and FX CPU lines.