As per our earlier article, Intel has simplified the power delivery design to Haswell by moving to a single Voltage regulator that delivers power to all the components inside the CPU, rather than having separate Voltage regulators for each of the separate parts. As you can see from the diagram below, this has meant some changes to the pin-out in the socket and this is why Intel is moving from LGA-1155 to LGA-1150. We'd guess that part of the reason for there not being more pins is the removal of the FDI interconnect to the chipset which has helped reduce the pin count to a degree alongside with the changes to the Voltage regulator design. There's still an FDI interface in the CPU, but you'll have to look really closely to see, as it's now a direct display output from the processor itself.
Other features that we'll see in both mobile and desktop parts include AVX 2.0, improvements to the AES-NI instructions, support for something carrying the codename Hotham 1.0 which we haven't manage to track down what it is yet, as well as several current technologies such as shared last level cache between the CPU and GPU, Hyper-Threading and a range of other features. Haswell will of course sport support for PCI Express 3.0, although Intel doesn't seem to be interested in giving us more than 16 lanes worth of bandwidth.
These slides have given as a good look at Haswell, in fact we almost know more about Haswell than we do about Ivy Bridge at the moment. That said, we still know very little about Lynx Point, but one thing is for certain, Intel will try to put as many features it can into its chipset to further simplify its platform. We're all for a more affordable approach, as this really is a cost reduction exercise from Intel's side, but it's likely to make for a rather dull consumer platform come 2013. There will be very little the motherboard makers can do to add functionality and unique features to the boards, as everything that most people will want and/or need, will already be built into the chipset and/or CPU.
Still, it's a year and a half or so until the Shark Bay platforms will launch and between now and then we have Sandy Bridge-E, Ivy Bridge and Ivy Bridge-E to look forward to. If anything, we're getting a feeling that Intel is slowing down, as we've reached a point in time where the average consumer doesn't need any more computing power, as everything we use our computers for run just fine on the currently available platforms. With Windows 8 said to be more resource friendly than Windows 7, it looks like most people aren't even going to have to upgrade their computers to reap the benefits – if there any to be had – of Windows 8 when it launches. We're looking forward to more power efficient mobile computers with better performance than ever though and judging by the slides, this is where Intel is currently putting most of its focus on for 2013.