Intel Adds B365 Chipset to Lineup: The Return of 22nm
Intel has quietly added a new chipset that is made using the company’s 22 nm fabrication process to its 300-series lineup. As the name suggests, the Intel B365 PCH for desktop PCs has a similar positioning with the company’s B360 chipset, but the two products have many differences apart from their manufacturing technologies. Meanwhile, the launch of a 22 nm product is expected to free up some capacity for 14 nm products, such as CPUs
Intel’s B365 PCH belongs to the 300-series chipsets, so it has to support Intel’s latest processors and select platform features. At the same time, the chip is made using Intel’s 22 nm fabrication process and therefore formally belongs to the Kaby Lake family. In fact, key specs of the B365 resemble those of the H270 with some minor differences. Therefore, we might be dealing with a renamed and re-certified silicon here, and although Intel has not confirmed this, there are some unofficial indicators about the rename.
The new B365 chipset supports 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes, up from 12 supported by the B360. Furthermore, the B365 PCH also supports hardware RAID for PCIe and SATA storage devices, something that the B360 lacks.
Meanwhile, the B365 does not feature an integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller and does not support CNVi Wi-Fi + BT companion RF modules (such as the Wireless-AC 9560 that supports up to 1.73 Gbps throughput over 0 MHz channels), essentially losing two major advantages that Intel’s 300-series platforms have over predecessors. To enable USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Gigabit-class Wi-Fi speeds, motherboard makers will have to install standalone controllers, which will consume PCIe lanes and increase BOM costs of motherboards as well as PCs.
|Intel's 300-series PCH|
|Launch||Oct '17||Apr '18||Apr '18||Dec '18||Apr '18||Apr '18|
|Max USB 3.1 G2||–||4||6||0||4||0|
|Max USB 3.1 G1||10||8||6||4|
|SATA 6 Gbps||6||4|
|PCH PCIe 3.0 Lanes||24||20||24||20||12||–|
|PCH PCIe 2.0 Lanes||–||6|
|Max RST PCIe Storage||3||2||3||2 (?)||1||0|
|RAID||PCIe||0, 1, 5||–||–|
|SATA||0, 1, 5, 10||–||–|
|Intel Smart Sound||Y||N|
The B365 is not the first Intel 300-series chipset to be made using the company’s 22 nm process technology. Earlier this year the company quietly launched its H310C, which is allegedly fabbed using the same tech.
By moving production of chipsets to an older node Intel frees up its 14 nm capacities for higher-margin products, such as Intel Core and Intel Xeon CPUs. Given the fact that the company is struggling to meet demand, it is clearly logical for Intel to use older process nodes for chipsets that are rather simple and barely make use of any of the significant advantages of the latest nodes.
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