Intel Broadwell-K chips tipped to feature Iris Pro

November 21, 2013 // 11:15 a.m.

Tags: #broadwell #broadwell-k #edram #embedded-dram #gt3 #gt3e #haswell #intel-gt3 #intel-iris-pro #iris-pro #socket-1150

Intel's next-generation socketed processor, the Broadwell-K family, is to include Intel GT3 'Iris Pro' graphics with embedded memory according to details leaked ahead of its 2014 launch.

Iris Pro is Intel's highest-performance integrated graphics processor (IGP,) introduced as part of the Haswell family. It's not something hobbyists can get their hands on, however: the full Iris Pro experience, which includes a large chunk of embedded DRAM memory dedicated to the GPU, is available only in the company's ball-grid array (BGA) packaged models sold purely to original equipment manufactures (OEMs) in trays of 1,000 or more. The socketed Haswells available at retail, meanwhile, make do with lower-performance Iris graphics hardware with no eDRAM.

According to details leaked to CPU World by an unnamed source, that will all change with the 2014 launch of Haswell's successor Broadwell. The socketed Broadwell chips, dubbed Broadwell-K, will be the first retail models to include Iris Pro graphics with a claimed 128MB eDRAM framebuffer and supposed peak graphics performance some 80 per cent higher than available on existing Haswell processors.

As well as the Iris Pro graphics, which will likely be limited to the company's top-end Core i7 models, Broadwell-K is claimed to be launching in Core i5 and Core i7 variants with only quad-core models currently confirmed. Each will support Intel's Turbo Boost technology, but only the Core i7s will include Hyper Threading support along with 6MB of L3 cache to the Core i5s' 4MB. All Broadwell-K models are claimed to include unlocked multipliers for ease of overclocking.

While Broadwell will be socket-compatible with Haswell, running on the same Intel Socket 1150 platform, the processors are claimed to require brand-new 9-Series chipsets, of which Z97 and H97 will be available at launch. While Intel won't be validating Broadwell with existing 8-Series motherboards, it remains to be seen if any of the company's hardware partners offer BIOS upgrades to add limited compatibility.

Intel, as is usual for the company, has refused to comment on speculation and rumour surrounding unannounced products.
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