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Skylake successor Kaby Lake detailed in leaked Intel slides

Intels’ water based CPU nomenclature is set to continue with next year’s new generation of CPUs known as Kaby Lake. While we didn’t know much beyond the name until now, some new slides leaked from an Intel presentation have given us a rough idea of what we can expect from the successor to the recently released Skylake.

Before we dive into the details of the slides, do bear in mind that these are leaks from Chinese site Benchlife, so we cannot confirm the source of the images. However, with that in mind, it’s still quite fun to speculate based on what they show.

For starters, the CPUs we’re told will feature “increased Core performance” which is good to hear, though hardly unexpected and very vague. They will use the same LGA 1151 socket as Skylake chips and will be supported by the current-generation 100 series chipset, as well as the upcoming 200 series. That means users shouldn’t need a motherboard upgrade to grab a new CPU.

The leaks say they chips will come in three power brackets: 35 watt, 65 watt and 95 watt. Obviously, that makes reference to desktop hardware. Nothing in the slides indicates Kaby Lake for mobile, though it seems unlikely Intel would skip it.

Other features include improved on-board graphics capabilities, including expanded resolution support up to 5K at 60Hz. However the slide seems erroneous in its discussion of refresh rates, suggesting it could be higher on dual displays than on one at that resolution. It may be referring to the use of two simultaneous DisplayPort connections to drive a single display, which is the connection method used by current 5K monitors.

The new chips will also support Intel’s “Optane,” or NVMe technology, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and Intel’s Ready Mode and RealSense technologies.

The new Intel 200 chipset will support both new-generation Kaby Lake-S CPUs and sixth generation Core processors from the current-gen. It will provide support for as many as 30 I/O lanes, 24 of which can be reserved for PCI Express 3.0 slots – for GPUs and other add-in cards – and the rest for SATA connectors.

Along with native support for USB 3.1, the new chipset will support as many as 10 USB 3.0 ports, though it seems likely that not all boards will have that many.

Although neither of these slides spell out everything for the Kaby Lake generation of hardware, does it tempt you? Or will you hold out for Cannonlake in 2017?

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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