Intel 14nm Skylake Processors To Feature PCIe 4, DDR4 Memory and SATA Express

Hassan Mujtaba

We know that Intel's Haswell-E "HEDT" platform will bring quad channel DDR4 memory functionality in 2H of 2014 but what about the mainstream LGA115* lineup?. From previous reports we know that Intel would release their Haswell Refresh platform for the desktop market while Broadwell micro architecture would be limited to Xeon and Mobility parts.

Intel Skylake 14nm Processors Feature PCIe 4, SATA Express and DDR4

Only in 2015 would the mainstream LGA 115* lineup get the first 14nm Skylake processors which bring some interesting new features. While Broadwell is a die shrink of Haswell built on a 14nm process and featuring a Gen8 integrated GPU, Skylake would be built around a totally new 14nm process design as an update over the Tri-gate architecture. Skylake would feature the latest Gen9 integrated HD graphics along with the being the first main-stream platform to get Dual channel DDR4 memory functionality. Haswell-E and Skylake would be the only two desktop platforms with native support for DDR4 memory from Intel and would ditch the much older DDR3.

Other than DDR4 memory, Skylake would also feature PCIe 4.0 functionality which doubles the bandwidth over PCIe 3.0 but it is known that no GPU currently takes benefit from the extra bandwidth available on PCIe 3.0 or even 2.0 so only if NVIDIA's Maxwell requires massive bandwidth from the PCIe 4.0 slots would we see any real time performance benefit. Skylake would also get SATA Express functionality which has  a bandwidth of around 10-16 GB/s enhancing the transfer speeds of hard drives and SSDs. Intel's Skylake would feature the latest AVX 3.2 instructions over AVX 2.0 in current Haswell processors. The new micro architecture would launch in the first half of 2015 and would replace the Haswell refresh platform that arrives for desktop PCs next year.

Intel is also planning to release a new HEDT platform for the LGA 2011 socket in Q3 2013 codenamed Ivy Bridge-E. The Core i7-4800 and Core i7-4900 series processors would bring new enhancements and a 22nm architecture. More details can be found here.

Note - The Skylake platform listed under the roadmap which arrives in 2016 is the Xeon platform which includes Intel's Xeon E7/E5 processors. Mainstream desktop parts would arrive early in 1H of 2015.

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