9-series chipsets may support only Broadwell and refreshed Haswell CPUs


— 12:24 PM on August 26, 2013

Broadwell, the successor to Intel's current Haswell processors, is supposed to hit notebooks next year. It looks like desktop users will have to wait, though. Leaked slides suggest Broadwell won't be available in a desktop-friendly socket next year; instead, we'll supposedly have to make do with refreshed Haswell processors and an updated 9-series chipset.

Apart from its rumored SATA Express support, we haven't heard much about the 9-series platform. Now, however, documents published by VR-Zone indicate that the chipset will be compatible with Broadwell. They also suggest the 9-series platform may be incompatible with current Haswell chips. The excerpts detail pin assignments for motherboard makers, including several related to a new VCCST power supply. If Intel is changing how power is routed to the processor, backward compatibility may not be possible.

Tellingly, there's no mention of current-generation Haswell processors. The documents only make references to Broadwell and "Haswell Refresh."

Interestingly, the motherboard implementation guidelines specifically detail support for "Broadwell LGA H 2-chip LGA processors." H-series Haswell chips combine the processor die with a separate eDRAM chip on the same package. The embedded DRAM provides gobs of bandwidth for the CPU's integrated graphics, and it looks like Intel's plans for that tag team may extend to traditional desktop systems.

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