Detailed Intel Haswell specs revealed

sharkbay 5 Detailed Intel Haswell specs revealed

We're still an estimated five to six months away from Intel's launch Ivy Bridge, a platform which is expected to offer slight improvements over Sandy Bridge in terms of performance, although it should improve power efficiency and graphics performance quite significantly. However, Intel's 2013 platform code named Shark Bay has now turned up on some quite detailed slides online and it has some interesting new features on offer as well as yet another performance bump.

We're still an estimated five to six months away from Intel's launch Ivy Bridge, a platform which is expected to offer slight improvements over Sandy Bridge in terms of performance, although it should improve power efficiency and graphics performance quite significantly. However, Intel's 2013 platform code named Shark Bay has now turned up on some quite detailed slides online and it has some interesting new features on offer as well as yet another performance bump.

There seems to be some changes going on at Intel with regards to platform names, as in the past, Intel has gone for different platform code names for its mobile and desktop offerings, but Haswell's platform for both mobile and desktop appears to be called Shark Bay, whereas for Ivy Bridge we're looking at Chief River and Maho Bay for the mobile and desktop platforms respectively. As you can see from the slide below, we're still looking at no more than four cores for Intel's consumer platform which suggests that Intel isn't really about AMD catching up any time soon.

sharkbay 1 Detailed Intel Haswell specs revealed

Although Haswell is a new "core" or a "tock" as Intel likes to call it,  unlike Ivy Bridge which is a 22nm trigate version of Sandy Bridge or a "tick", Haswell will actually be very similar to Ivy Bridge at least in terms of the manufacturing process, as this is also a 22nm trigate part. Haswell will use the LGA-1150 socket for desktops and either rPGA947 or BGA1364 for notebooks as we reported a few days ago. The biggest change that we're seeing beyond the new core is a move to multi-chip packaging for the ultra-low Voltage segment, which Intel appears to have unified into a single ULT SKU (we're not sure what the T stands for) instead of the long running ULV and UL SKUs. This will make the ULT models Intel's first single chip performance processor, but more on this a little bit later.

We're of course getting a new chipset, codenamed Lynx Point, although we don't have much in terms of details with regards to new features compared to the 7-series chipsets. What the slides do give away is that Intel has at least made one major change to the Shark Bay platform, there's no longer an FDI interface, which is used for piping the display connectivity via the PCH on the 6 and 7-series chipsets, again something we reported on a few days ago. It's also possible that we'll see integrated Thundebolt support, but there's no indication as to if this will be part of the Lynx Point chipset, or continue to rely upon a separate chipset, as all the slides are informing us about is support for the interface.

sharkbay 2 Detailed Intel Haswell specs revealed

Other platform features include NFC support for mobile devices, configurable TDP and LPM (Link Power Management), improved system idle states (S0ix) for the mobile platforms, vastly improved boot times and general updates and improvements to current Intel technology found on its desktop and mobile platforms. One interesting new addition is three levels of Intel graphics, currently known as GT1, GT2 and GT3. Once again the desktop parts end up with slower graphics than the mobile platforms, which we still don't quite understand as it's not as if desktop users would want worse graphics performance. It's almost as if Intel is telling desktop users to go and get a graphics card. The slides are also suggesting that we'll see real time HD to HD video transcoding

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