ASRock Unveils First LGA 1151 Socketed Motherboard Featuring Support For 6th Generation Skylake Processors

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Feb 25, 2015
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The first LGA 1151 socketed motherboard, featuring support for Intel’s next generation Skylake processors has been spotted by Computerbase at the Embedded World 2015 exhibition in Nuremberg. Slated for launch in Q3 2015, Skylake processors will be compatible with the latest iteration of LGA 1151 socketed motherboards that will be fused with the 100-series chipsets.

Image Credits: Computerbase

ASRock First To Show LGA 1151 Socketed Motherboards Supporting Skylake

The motherboard revealed by ASRock is their IMB-190 that features the Mini-ITX form factor design. This board comes with a range of features such as the LGA 1151 socket which is listed to support Intel’s next generation of Skylake processors (Core i7/i5/i3/Celeron). The board also comes with a next generation PCH, the current SKU for the PCH is not mentioned but we suspect it to be the Q170 series chipset on-board this little board. It’s seen from the specification sheet that the motherboard has support for DDR3L 1600 MHz memory (SO-DIMM) for up to 16 GB capacities. Display options include 3 x HDMI, 1 x 24-bit Dual Channel LVDS or eDP (Display Port) technology. I/O on the board consists of 4 USB 3.0, 4 USB 2.0, 2 SATA 3 and 1 mSATA connectors. Expansion slots include 1 mini PCIe, 1 mSATA and a single PCI-e x4 interface. There’s a Gigabit LAN at the rear I/O panel and power is supplied through 12-24 V DC-in power source.

From a closer look, things get more interesting. At first sight, the LGA 1151 socket may not look much different then its predecessor (LGA 1150) but as the name suggests, there’s one extra pin on the socket. There’s a reason behind shifting from LGA 1150 to LGA 1151 with Skylake since its a completely new architecture that makes use of some physical changes beneath the pin connections. Another reason is that the pin connections had to be adjusted since Skylake removes the FIVR (Fully Integrated Voltage Regulator) from the CPU die and shifts that design back to the motherboard.

The other interesting bit about the LGA 1151 socketed board from ASRock is that it is designed to support DDR3L memory, not DDR4. Intel has advertised Skylake as the first mainstream platform to feature native DDR4 support which is true, however it is also known since past year that Skylake will feature DDR4 memory support while retaining support for the current DDR3 memory. The motherboard in specific features support for DDR3L memory available in SO-DIMM form factors. It’s upto the motherboard vendors to offer either DDR3 or DDR4 boards and the choice will be attractive to the business platforms who can make use of the inexpensive DDR3 memory on the new platforms such as H110, Q170 and B170.

These three SKUs seem to be hitting mass production in Q1 2016. The fourth major platform to have support for DDR3L memory would be the C236 Workstation which also hits mass production in Q1 2016. Mass production of the Z170 and H170 series chipsets would commence in 1H of 2015 and hitting retail in August 2015 timeframe.

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The roadmap does confirm something we have shown a few days ago, listing down the 95W, 65W and 35W TDPs for the upcoming Skylake processors. The workstation side Xeon E3-1200 V5 chips and Skylake-K chips will feature a 95W design while the mainstream and entry level chips will have a 65-35W TDP.

The Z170 would be the flagship performance chipset which will support the unlocked K-Series Skylake processors. The chipset will feature up to 20 PCIe Gen 3 lanes, 6 SATA Gen 3 ports, 10 USB 3.0 ports and a total of 14 total USB ports (USB 3.0 / USB 2.0), up to 3 SATA Express capable ports, up to 3 Intel RST capable PCI-e storage ports which may include x2 SATA Express or M.2 SSD port with Enhanced SPI and x4/x8/x16 capable Gen 3 PCI-Express support from the processor. Intel Skylake processors are expected to launch in August at IDF 2015, more information is expected to be revealed prior to that.

ASRock IMB-190 LGA 1151 Socket Motherboard (Pictures Courtesy of Computerbase):

Intel Mainstream Platforms Comparison Chart:

Intel Sandy Bridge Platform Intel Ivy Bridge Platform Intel Haswell Platform Intel Broadwell Platform Intel Skylake Platform Intel Cannonlake Platform
Processor Architecture Sandy Bridge Ivy Bridge Haswell Broadwell Skylake Cannonlake
Processor Process 32nm 22nm 22nm 14nm 14nm 10nm
Processors Cores (Max) 4 4 4 4 4 TBA
Platform Chipset 6-Series “Cougar Point” 7-Series “Panther Point” 8-Series “Lynx Point” 9-Series “Wild Cat Point” 100-Series “Sunrise Point” 200-Series “Union Point”
Platform Socket LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1150 LGA 1150 LGA 1151 TBA
Memory Support DDR3 DDR3 DDR3 DDR3 DDR4 DDR4
Thunderbolt Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes “Alpine Ridge” Yes
Platform Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA
Launch 2011 2012 2013-2014 2015 2015 2016
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