Intel Broadwell: goodbye chipset?

First there was the Northbridge+Southbridge couple, then there was the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) and soon there will be only the CPU to rule all the busses on the motherboard? According to the anticipations from, a couple of years from now Intel could remove yet another component of the motherboard chipset integrating it in the CPU package itself.

The complete integration of busses management in the CPU is the final iteration of a process already started by Chipzilla years ago with the introduction (on “5 Series” chipsets) of the aforementioned PCH, the chip on the motherboard designed to control some of the communications previously assigned to the Northbridge (PCI Express lanes) and the Southbridge (PCI slots, IDE/SATA, USB, Ethernet etc.) after having integrated the memory controller on the CPU.

According to the slides shown by, the “Broadwell” microarchitecture will push the integration process to its limits by merging the PCH with the CPU: Broadwell will be produced on a 14 nanometers node and will be based on a “Multi Chip Module” design – ie a single package will contain both the CPU+GPU core and the chipset controller.

Intel will seemingly market the Broadwell architecture as a “System-on-a-chip platform”, a definition thus far used for highly integrated devices like smartphones and other MIDs (Mobile Internet Device) but not for complex beasts full of boards, slots and components like desktop or server computers are.

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