Intel's next-gen Skylake processor is rumored to be just a few months away. We still don't have official confirmation of the new platform's release date or specs, but leaked slides posted at Expreview paint a plausible picture of what to expect.
According to the slides, the Skylake-S processors destined for socketed desktops will come in 35W, 65W, and 95W flavors. The highest thermal envelope is reserved for enthusiast-oriented quads that should have unlocked multipliers. Interestingly, the platform overview also mentions "enhanced full range BCLK overclocking." Like multiplier-based tuning, the ability to fiddle with the base clock may be restricted to the high-end Z170 chipset.
This latest leak echoes previous rumors that Skylake supports both DDR3 and DDR4 memory. It suggests the CPU will have 16 PCIe Gen3 lanes, just like Broadwell and Haswell, and that the ability to divide those lanes will remain exclusive to the Z-series chipset. The documents also say the platform's chipset and DMI link have been upgraded to PCIe Gen3 speeds.
Although the slides don't list the total number of PCIe lanes in the chipset, they promise "40% more high-speed I/O with increased port flexibility." Motherboard makers will presumably have more freedom to decide whether to deploy the chipset's Flex I/O lanes as PCIe connections, M.2 slots, SATA ports, or USB. The chipset is supposed to support M.2 drives with up to four lanes of bandwidth, so I'd expect the DMI link to the processor to be at least that wide.
The roadmap accompanying the specs points to a Q3 release, which would fit the late-August estimate we've seen mentioned elsewhere. That timeframe appears to match the schedule for the next Intel Developer Forum, as well. Intel's website doesn't provide dates for IDF's yearly stop in San Francisco, but the Moscone Center is booked by "Intel conference planners" for August 18-20.
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