CPU Chipset - Published on Monday, 16 April 2012 11:43 Written by Jacob Hugosson
Broadwell is still approximately two years in to the future, but when it arrives Intel will take another step towards the integration of all logics to one circuit. When they migrate to the 14 nanometer technology they will be able to place both the processor and the south bridge in the same package
In 2013 Intel will launch their new Haswell architecture using 22 nanometer, while Broadwell will be their "Tick" using their brand new 14 nanometer technology during 2014. Thanks to the new manufacturing process the processor is going to be so tiny, that they now have enough space to integrate their south bridge that the company themselves calls PCH (Platform Controller Hub). This won't be a so called SoC design where everything is built on the same piece of silicon, which is something that Intel wants to call it. The south bridge will be built into the same package as the processor, in what's called MCP, or better known as MCM (Multi-Chip Module).
Every quad core processor from the Intel Core-2 series was MCM-based, at that time they had put in two circuits in the same package. Also Intel's Clarkdale used this technology, since the north bridge, memory controller and graphics was built on one circuit along side the processor cores. The south bridge has always been a part of the motherboard on the PC market, but with Broadwell this will change. The south bridge will also be shrunk from today's 65 nanometer to 32 nanometer to be able to fit them into the same package, which is something we will get to see as early as Haswell.
They will begin this revolutionary development as early as 2013 with Haswell. This only applies to mobile computers, to be more exact it only applies to ultrabooks. With the new manufacturing process that Broadwell is built on, also the models with four cores will be small enough to house the south bridge in the same package. The advantage with this for manufacturers is that the complexity on the motherboards will be less, which in turn leads to lower costs for manufacturing.
These SoC like designs will first of all come to the mobile computer market, while we expect that the south bridge will still be a separate part on the mother board even for stationary systems running Broadwell. We should be able to expect the full integration of all the segments including desktops no earlier than 2015, in connection with the launching of their Skylake architecture.