Things have been pretty slow in the PC hardware world lately, as it usually is during the summer. How about a nice juicy leaked Intel slide to spice things up a bit? This one featuring Skylake:
For the first time, we are seeing some details on what’s to come for Intel’s next “Tick” architecture, codenamed Skylake. As we know, Haswell‘s “Tock” will be Broadwell, and it will be essentially identical to Haswell but manufactured on a 14nm process. Using that process in 2016 (or later) will be the next major revision, Skylake.
According to this leaked Xeon roadmap slide, Intel plans on supporting some interesting new technologies on Skylake. Namely DDR4 memory, PCI Express 4.0, and AVX 3.2 instructions. Although not shown on this slide, sources say that SATA Express will be supported as well. What’s interesting is that we have already seen DDR4 mentioned in leaked Intel slides, in regards to Haswell-E which is expected to launch as early as 2014. If that turns out to be true, Haswell-E will be quite far ahead of the rest of Intel’s lineup.
What should you expect from these new technologies? Let’s break them down for you in a quick summary:
- DDR4 – Currently DDR3 maxes out at around 3000 MT/s, but these are highly overclocked units, and not cheap. Newegg sells a G.Skill 8GB kit for $800 (about 10X the price of standard DDR3 1600). A more reasonable top speed is along the lines of 2133 MT/s, like the Kingston HyperX Beast kit we reviewed a while ago. DDR4 is expected to reach 4266 MT/s normally, and of course we can expect companies like Kingston and Crucial to take it from there. It will also have a lower voltage, operating at 1.0-1.2v rather than up to 1.65v for DDR3. Finally, gone will be the multiple DIMMs per channel topology of current standards, replaced with a point-to-point connection with each memory controller connecting to a DIMM. Because of this, expect larger capacities to cost quite a bit.
- PCI-E 4.0 – This is a pretty standard doubling of bandwidth, taking PCI-E from 8 GT/s for revision 3.0 up to 16 GT/s. As graphics cards get faster, we can expect them to eventually require more bandwidth from PCI-E, and 4.0 should help quite a bit. Power optimizations will also be improved.
- SATA Express – As you know, current SSDs are at the point where they max out the bandwidth offered by the aging SATA 3.0 spec. If you want to go any faster, you’d need to look into drives with a direct PCI-E connection. SATA Express eliminates this need, as it will give drives 16 Gbps to work with, through the PCI-E bus. I just hope this shows up sooner than Skylake, because we already need it.
- AVX 3.2 – We won’t know until the first CPUs come out supporting this!
Source: Tech Power Up