Intel's 'Bearlake' chipset, the successor to the current 965 series, will debut in Q2 2007, the chip giant's latest roadmaps reveal. However, the more interesting members of the line-up will arrive the following quarter, bringing with them support for DDR 3 memory running at up to 1,333MHz.
According to an Intel roadmap slide snippet posted by DailyTech, the standard discrete and integrated Bearlakes - respectively, the P and G variants, as per today's 965 chipsets - will launch in Q2 2007. They will support a 1,333MHz frontside bus clock and introduce Intel's next-generation South Bridge I/O chip, the ICH9.
Like the current ICH8 part, the ICH9 series will comprise three models: a vanilla ICH9; the ICH9R, with an emphasis on storage - 'R' for RAID; and the digital home application-oriented ICH9DH.
The ICH9 will form the basis for Q3 2007's G+ Bearlake, which brings DirectX 10 support on board, the slide indicates, along with the HDCP anti-piracy technology. It will support 1,066MHz DDR 3, with 800MHz DDR 2 as fall-back.
The same quarter will see the X-class Bearlake, presumably the successor to today 975X chipset. It will support 1,333MHz DDR 3 and introduce PCI Express 2.0, the slide says. It will drive a pair of x16 slots for graphics cards. The slide also notes the Bearlake-X's quad-core CPU support, no great surprise given Intel's quad-core Core 2 Extreme - aka 'Kentsfield' - is set to debut in Q4 2006. ®