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Abit X38 Express based IX38-MAX (Source: DailyTech, Anh T. Huynh)
Intel plans the successor for "Bearlake"

Intel guidance released its Bearlake-family chipset this year, first with the G33 and P35 Express models and later on with the G35 and X38 Express. Although Intel is still in the process of launching Bearlake, its latest roadmap has further details on Bearlake's successor – Eaglelake.

Eaglelake spawns the usual P, G and Q variants for consumer and business platforms. The Eaglelake-family features support for Intel Penryn-family, Yorkfield and Wolfdale, and other processors with front-side buses up to 1333 MHz. Intel continues to equip the Eaglelake-family with DDR3 and DDR2 memory controllers. DDR3-1333 and DDR2-800 are still the memory speeds of choice with Eaglelake. Eaglelake also introduces PCIe 2.0 for discrete graphics to the mainstream with all variants. Strangely, PCIe signaling on the south bridge is not PCIe 2.0 compliant.

Intel pairs the Eaglelake-family with a new ICH10 south bridge. Intel has put the ICH10 on a diet. ICH10 only provides Serial ATA, PCIe, USB and high-definition audio – essentially legacy free. New to the ICH10 south bridge are FIS-based port multipliers. Multiple SATA devices can piggyback off a single SATA port with FIS-based port multipliers, without sacrificing I/O performance.

Intel plans to replace the P35 Express with Eaglelake-P. This time around, Eaglelake-P packs in support for dual PCIe 2.0 x16 slots with x8 signaling. Intel makes no mention of CrossFire or SLI support; however, since previous Intel chipsets supported CrossFire, expect the same with Eaglelake-P.

The Eaglelake-G features an enhanced integrated graphics core with more native video output capabilities. Intel integrates native DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI output capabilities in Eaglelake-G, removing the need for external ADD2 cards. The integrated graphics core also packs Intel Clear Video technology for enhanced video playback capabilities. The Clear Video equipped graphics core accelerates H.264 and VC-1 decoding for HD DVD and Blu-ray video playback. Eaglelake-G also features a DirectX 10 compliant graphics core.

Eaglelake-Q forms the basis of Intel’s upcoming McCreary vPro platform. Intel ups the ante on management security with Eaglelake-Q. Eaglelake-Q on McCreary features Intel AMT 5.0, VT for Directed I/O, Trusted Execution Technology and an integrated TPM 1.2 module. Business users that have no need for the mentioned technologies can opt for a barebones Eaglelake-Q based McCreary Fundamental platform, which is simply Eaglelake-Q without the fancy features.

Expect the Eaglelake-family to begin launching Q2’2008.




"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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