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Intel next-gen South Bridge to kill parallel ATA

ICH8 has Serial ATA only, apparently

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Intel's upcoming ICH8 South Bridge chip, a key component of its 'Broadwater' family of chipsets, will wave farewell to the Parallel ATA bus, if a presentation slide said to have come from the company and posted online is to believed. Also for the chop is the AC'97 sound system.

According to the slide, posted on Chinese-language site HKEPC, the ICH8 South Bridge will increase the number of USB 2.0 ports supported to ten. As expected, the part will support Intel's Active Management Technology, which will presumably give remote systems managers the ability to engage another ICH8 feature: USB port disabling.

The slide also suggests Broadwater chipsets will support up to six 3Gbps Serial ATA ports and host six PCI Express x1 lanes. The South Bridge will integrate Gigabit Ethernet. An "advanced" fan control system will help to keep system temperatures down, part of Intel's performance-per-Watt philosophy.

Carried over from the current ICH7 South Bridge series are support for Intel's Matrix Storage Technology for RAID, the chip maker's Quick Resume Technology and ACPI 3.0 power management.

Different ICH8 SKUs will support some or all of these features, the slide warns. HKEPC's correspondent reckons there will be four ICH8 versions: ICH8R for RAID; ICH8DO and ICH8DH for digital office and digital home systems, presumably 'Averill' and Viiv machines, respectively; and a vanilla ICH8 for entry-level generic PCs.

The ICH8 line will be included in the upcoming P965, G965, Q965 and Q963 chipsets. ®

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