Report: 'Crystal Well' Haswell IGP to Have 64MB L4 Cache

According to a report published by Fuzdilla, the "Crystal Well" variant of Intel's Haswell range of processors will feature a massive 64 MB cache dedicated for graphics. Though the presence of L4 caches on graphics cards is nothing new, it has yet to make an appearance on CPUs since it would produce a "huge chip" due to the high transistor count of GPU cache memory. 

While Intel certainly has the ability to fabricate processors with die sizes large enough to accommodate a large L4 cache, the size of this cache merits a degree of skepticism. Fuzdilla has also received reports that suggest that L1, L2, L3 and L4 memory will instead be "shared between the CPU and GPU."

From what we know, Crystal Well technology has been reserved for Intel's high-end GTS-based processors, so it is likely to only make an appearance on the most expensive Core i7 models. Regardless of whether these reports are true, we can safely expect a large improvement in Intel's onboard graphics when Haswell is launched later this year.

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  • Estix
    "Fudzilla has also received reports that suggest that L1, L2, L3 and L4 memory will instead be 'shared between the CPU and GPU.'"

    L1 cache isn't even shared between cores, let alone between the CPU and GPU. I call BS.
    16
  • sundragon
    1. Obviously 64MB of onboard cache would make it an expensive chip due to size and complexity. One could argue most people purchasing a high end i7 desktop chip would have dedicated graphics card. I don't think Intel's focus is for those systems.

    2. However, it makes sense to put a 64MB cache in the mobile chips for ultrabooks where the option for dedicated graphics isn't possible due to reduced battery capacity, heat, and space on the motherboard.

    64MB sounds expensive but it may be necessary to provide enough bandwidth to keep the GPU from starving the CPU. Building it into the die using 22 NM may make it cheap enough to provide enough bang for the price.
    15
  • Other Comments
  • ikyung
    Haswell-E?
    0
  • leo2kp
    *Fudzilla
    1
  • Estix
    "Fudzilla has also received reports that suggest that L1, L2, L3 and L4 memory will instead be 'shared between the CPU and GPU.'"

    L1 cache isn't even shared between cores, let alone between the CPU and GPU. I call BS.
    16