Intel readies its 2008 chipset after "Bearlake"

Intel recently revealed plans of its next desktop chipset, post-Bearlake. Intel has yet to launch its Bearlake-family consisting of the G33, G35, P35, Q33, Q35 and X38 Express chipsets, but, the launch is imminent.  Intel has named its next chipset family Eaglelake and has premium and mainstream models in the pipeline. There are no planned Eaglelake-Q and Eaglelake-X variants yet.

Eaglelake features compatibility with Intel’s upcoming Wolfdale and Yorkfield 45nm duale and quad-core processors. Eaglelake also supports other 1333 MHz, 1066 MHz and 800 MHz front-side bus processors including Conroe and Kentsfield. Intel pairs Eaglelake with DDR3 and DDR2 memory compatibility. Intel officially supports DDR3 1333 MHz, 1066 MHz, 800 MHz and DDR2 800 MHz and 667 MHz with Eaglelake.

Integrated graphics-endowed Eaglelake models feature Intel’s Clear Video technology. Intel Clear Video technology previously made its debut in the Intel G965 Express chipset. It provides hardware acceleration for high-definition MPEG2 and VC-1 video formats. Intel has not revealed details on the Eaglelake integrated graphics core yet. Nevertheless, Eaglelake features integrated support for a variety of output standards. Eaglelake supports DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI natively with integrated HDCP keys for current and next-generation displays.

Intel continues to support external PCIe graphics card on its Eaglelake-family. Eaglelake chipsets introduce PCIe 2.0 support for mainstream markets. Intel’s upcoming X38 Express is the only planned PCIe 2.0 compatible chipset from the Bearlake chipset family. AMD expects to launch its line of PCIe 2.0 compatible Radeon HD 2900, 2600 and 2400 models in the upcoming weeks.

Details of Intel’s upcoming ICH10 south bridge family are scarce. However, Intel plans high-definition audio, USB 2.0, PCIe x1 and SATA support for the ICH10 family. Gone from the ICH10 family is support for standard PCI slots, leaving ICH9 as the last chipset to support PCI.

Expect Eaglelake to grace motherboard PCBs in Q2’2008.

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