Briefing slides which allegedly show details of Intel's upcoming next-generation 'Haswell' chip architecture have appeared online, and bring with them some bad news: the processors will be incompatible with existing motherboards.
Although the slides, leaked on the ChipHell forums and spotted by the guys over on techPowerUp, have not been confirmed as genuine, they include previously-known details and look - as far as it's possible to tell - like official Intel internal briefing documents.
The slides confirm much of what is already known: Haswell, designed to replace Ivy Bridge, which itself is the upcoming replacement for Sandy Bridge, is built on a 22nm process size and includes the usual raft of Intel technologies including Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost.
The in-built graphics engine gets an overhaul compared to Sandy Bridge, too, offering improved performance, new APIs and support for up to three digital displays connected via DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 or eDP.
The graphics processing section of the processor now also enjoys tighter integration with the general-purpose processing hardware, doing away with the separate power domain entirely and a shared last-level cache for improved data transfer between the two components.
According to the slides, the Haswell series will be built on an LGA 1150 socket - meaning that it won't be a drop-in upgrade for owners of Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, both of which use an LGA 1155 socket. Despite the loss of five pins, overall chip layout is similar - meaning that motherboard manufacturers shouldn't need to completely redesign their board layouts, and that heatsinks designed for LGA 1155 should work fine on LGA 1150 hardware.
One interesting extra detail revealed on a slide is support for something called 'Hotham 1.0,' a technology which Intel has yet to publicly reveal.
Also included in the upgrade is support for the Haswell New Instructions, AVX 2.0, AES-NI, support for CPPM power optimisation, improvements in overclocking, and support for DDR3 and DDR3L memory running at 1,600MHz dual-channel with power-gating support to reduce idle power draw.
The slides also reveal Intel's next-generation mobile and small-form-factor desktop platform, dubbed Shark Bay, which includes support for Near Field Communications (NFC) hardware, software-configurable thermal design profiles, new versions of Smart Connect and Rapid Start, Thunderbolt support, and Intel Anti Theft Technology 4.0 with Intel Identity Theft Protection.
Shark Bay-based systems, due to appear in 2013, are tipped to include Wilkins Peak-family Wi-Fi chips, and Clarkville gigabit Ethernet LAN connectivity.
Intel refuses to comment on rumour or speculation regarding unannounced products, so for now we'll just have to sit and wait to see if these slides are anything more than the fabrication of a fevered mind.