Chinese website VR-Zone reported a number of details regarding the 100-Series chipsets from Intel. This series of chipsets is expected to succeed the current 9-series, and promises some important changes.
A refresher: Intel's next processors will be Broadwell, based on the same architecture as the existing Haswell processors, but with a die shrink down to 14 nm. These processors will drop into the existing 9-Series motherboards. The Broadwell processors are expected to debut sometime before the end of this year, and they are expected to live a rather short life, giving way to the Skylake processors sometime during the second quarter of 2015. The current generation of Haswell processors will have lived an awfully long life.
The details VR-Zone reported concern the 100-Series of chipsets from Intel. The Z170 parts will succeed the Z97 platform, and the H170 chipset will succeed the H97 chipset. Meanwhile, H81 goes straight to H110, and B85, Q85 and Q87 will be succeeded by the B150, Q150, and Q170 chipsets, respectively. We’re not exactly sure why these are referred to as the 100-Series chipsets, rather than the 10-Series.
Beyond nomenclature, there are important changes here. For starters, and perhaps most interestingly, the Z170 chipset will have 20 PCI-Express Gen 3.0 lanes. This is much more than what’s on the existing Z97 chipset, which has eight PCI-Express Gen 2.0 lanes. Note, these are PCI-Express lanes that go through the chipset, in addition to what the CPU is wired to. The H170 chipset will have 16 PCI-Express Gen 3.0 lanes, while the lowest-end H110 will just have six PCI-Express Gen 2.0 lanes. The H110 will also have to make do without any SATA-Express functionality, which includes M.2. The Z170, H170 and Q170 will have Intel RST (Rapid Storage Technology) over its M.2 and SATA-Express ports.
Skylake processors are expected to have both DDR3 and DDR4 memory controllers aboard, along with on-die eDRAM for the Intel HD Graphics.
All but the H110 chipsets are expected to arrive Q2 2015, while the H110 will come out during Q3 2015. We anticipate official words to be chanted about the 100-Series chipsets, along with the Skylake and Broadwell processors at IDF in September.