Intel’s 6th Generation Skylake Desktop Processors and Platform Further Detailed – 95W Enthusiast Quad Cores Confirmed
Intel's 6th generation Skylake desktop processors and platform have been further detailed in leaked slides from PCFRM. The slides sum up the majority of the information we have already known about the Skylake CPUs and goes on to provide more information regarding the platform. The slides have been leaked just a few days after Intel finished up with their IDF15 conference in Shenzhen, China where they pretty much summed up their IDF '14 conference and provided assurance of their product roadmaps.
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Intel's 6th Generation Skylake Processors For Desktop PCs Further Detailed
The details start off with the overview of the Skylake-S (LGA) platform which is aimed towards desktop PC users and will be available in second half of 2015. Intel is assuring the launch of Skylake in Summer 2015 with update of Microsoft's Surface tablet "Surface Pro 4" featuring the Windows 10 OS available during July-August 2015. A Skylake powered Surface Pro 4 tablet wouldn't necessarily mean that its based on the Skylake-S series CPUs but rather a mobility variant which are also expected to launch soon as Intel wants to make the transition from the Broadwell family to Skylake quite speedy.
So back to the details, the Skylake-S processor family will feature the next generation desktop processors with the latest IA and graphics microarchitecture built on a 14nm process node. Some key features of the platform include socket compatibility on the 100-series chipset motherboards which will feature the LGA 1151 socket and there will be various tiers of SKUs with TDPs optimized for various users. The first two categories include the 65W Quad Core / Dual Core and 35W Quad Core and Dual Core models while the last one that is pointed as the "Enthusiast" Quad Core will be part of the next iteration of Devil's Canyon lineup featuring 95W TDP and faster core frequencies. There's currently no details available regarding the specifications of these processors or their performance but it is expected to be a bigger boost than what we have been seeing from Intel chips in the recent years.
These Skylake processors will have several features that include increase IA and graphics performance at much lower power than their predecessors. While the TDP remains 95W, Intel has further improved the efficiency of these new chips hence delivering much better performance. The Skylake processors will support both DDR3L and DDR4 memory types. The DDR3L memory will be available on the mini-PC designs such as All-in-ones and NUCs while traditional PCs which will get Z170 and H170 series motherboards will have native support for DDR4 DIMMs. The unlocked processors options which are also the Enthusiast CPUs as detailed above will allow enhanced full range BCLK overclocking. Hopefully, Intel will use better TIM or Soldering to prevent any heating issues on the dense 14nm chips. Other features includes Turbo Boost 2.0, Hyper Threading, DMI 3.0, 3 digital displays capability (including embedded Display Ports), HEVC, VP8, VVP9, AMCs and support for the latest APIs such as DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.3/4.4 and OpenCL 2.0.
The Z170, H170 and H110 chipsets will be available to consumers however, H170 will also be available to corporate sector. Most of the features are supported by all three chipset SKUs with just Z170 supporting processor overclocking. Over 10 USB 3.0 ports will be available on Z170, 6 SATA 3.0 ports and PCI-Express capability of 1x16, 2x8 or 1x8 + 2x4. The other chipset features include 40% better high-speed I/O, DMI and PCI-Express at 8 GT/s, Intel RST, Intel RST PCIe (x4 M.2) and x2 SATA Express ports. The chipsets will also be capable of supporting Intel's latest NVMe based storage solutions (SSD 750 Series).
Intel's Skylake Based Devices Shown off at IDF15 Shenzhen:
While there's much talk about Skylake on desktop platforms, Intel also showcased several devices which are featuring Skylake in working state at the IDF15 Shenzhen conference. Intel showed off an Ultrabook design running Windows 10 that was powered by Skylake. The ultrabook features a 12.5 inch screen with a display resolution of 2560x1440. It comes with USB C-Type interface and has a power adapter that consumes 65W. Other designs displayed included ASUS's Chi notebbok-tablet hybrid and a huge yet thing all-in-one desktop design that will be powered using the Skylake CPUs.
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|
|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|
|Thunderbolt||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes “Alpine Ridge”||Yes|
|Platform||Desktop LGA||Desktop LGA||Desktop LGA||Desktop LGA||Desktop LGA||Desktop LGA|