Intel's 'Bearlake' chipsets due Q2, Q3 '07

Intel has four new chipsets scheduled for release in the second and third quarters of next year, according to a roadmap nabbed by DailyTech. Code-named "Bearlake," the chipsets will reportedly support 1,333MHz front-side bus speeds—266MHz faster than current 965 and 975 chipsets. The first two due out in Q2 2007 are dubbed Bearlake-G and Bearlake-P. The former is the integrated graphics flavor, but little is revealed about Bearlake-P in the roadmap; it could very well be a successor to the current vanilla P965 chipset. Both chipsets will feature a choice of new south bridge chips named ICH9, ICH9R, and ICH9DH, although again the roadmap lacks details.

In the third quarter, the roadmap says Bearlake-X and Bearlake-G+ chipsets will be launched. Bearlake-X looks like a high-end enthusiast part with support for 1,333MHz DDR3 memory, dual PCI Express x16 slots, and PCI Express 2.0. Version 2.0 of PCI Express will double the maximum transfer rate per lane from 2.5Gbps to 5Gbps, increasing a PCI-E x16 slot's bandwidth from 4GB/s to 8GB/s (or from 8GB/s to 16GB/s if you'd rather count bi-directional bandwidth.) As for Bearlake-G+, it looks like an integrated graphics chipset on steroids: the roadmap lists support for DirectX 10, high definition video playback with content protection, and 1,066MHz DDR3 memory.

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