Intel this week released its new Rapid Storage Technologies drivers, and thanks to their associated release notes, Intel has indirectly confirmed their upcoming Z390 and X399 PCHs. The drivers' release notes also shed some light on Intel’s 9th Generation Core processors as well as features of Intel’s future HEDT platform.

Intel’s new and upcoming platforms for desktops and workstations rely on the company’s Cannon Point-H (CNP-H) PCH silicon in various configurations and with various differentiators, according to release notes for the Intel RST version 16.0 driver. The CNP-H chip itself is already in high volume production and is sold to PC makers under the CM246, HM370, QM370, H370, H310, Q370, and B360 SKUs. Said chipsets power high-performance laptops based on mobile Coffee Lake processors as well as new motherboards for consumer and corporate desktops. Going forward, Intel’s Cannon Point-H PCH will also be used for various desktops (under the Z390, H310, H370, Q370, Q360, B360 model numbers), workstations (under the C246 model number), and high-end desktops (under the X399 SKU).

It is noteworthy that the Intel X399 PCH will be validated only with the Skylake-X CPUs (at least initially), leaving the unusual Kaby Lake-X family notably absent. It remains to be seen whether Intel plans to rebrand Skylake-X processors for the X399 platform in a bid to emphasize possible new features of the platform, but typically the company does not do anything like this in the HEDT segment.

Intel’s upcoming low-power laptop platforms running the 9th Generation Core "Cannon Lake-U" SoCs will use a different PCH known as the Cannon Point-LP. The document does not say anything about usage of non-Cannon Lake silicon in the 9th Gen Core family for low-power notebooks, so it looks like the said platforms will rely solely on Intel’s CPUs made using its 10 nm process technology. At the same time, it is also noteworthy that Intel does not list any Cannon Lake-Y SoCs in the release notes, so the destiny of such products remains unknown.

Intel's 300-Series and 240-Series PCHs
Chipset SKU Silicon Supported CPUs Application
Z390 Cannon Point-H
Cannon Lake
Coffee Lake-S
Enthusiast Desktops
H370 Desktops
C246 Workstations
CM246 Cannon Lake
Coffee Lake-H
Mobile Workstations
QM370 High-End Laptops
X399 Skylake-X High-End Desktops
9th Gen Core Platform I/O Controller Cannon Point-LP
Cannon Point-U Low-Power Laptops

Since release notes for the drivers are not meant to announce precise product specifications, it is impossible to say what exactly to expect from the Z390 or the X399 PCHs. Meanwhile, general specs of the Q370, H370 SKUs and other PCHs based on the CNP-H silicon are well known, so the base functionality of the upcoming chipsets is more or less obvious

Intel's 300-series PCH
  Z370 H370 Q370 B360 H310
Launch Oct '17 Apr '18 Apr '18 Apr '18 Apr '18
Market Consumer
ME Firmware 11 12 12 12 12
HSIO Lanes 30 30 30 24 14
Total USB 14 14 14 12 10
Max USB 3.1 G2 - 4 6 4 0
Max USB 3.1 G1 10 10 8 6 4
SATA 6 Gbps 6 6 6 6 4
PCH PCIe 3.0 Lanes 24 20 24 12 -
PCH PCIe 2.0 Lanes - - - - 6
Max RST PCIe Storage 3 2 3 1 0
Supports Optane Y Y Y Y N
Integrated 802.11ac N Y Y Y Y
Intel Smart Sound Y Y Y Y N
Intel vPro N N Y N N
TDP 6 W 6 W 6 W 6 W 6 W

Intel does not comment on unreleased products, so we cannot get you any official information at this point.

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Source: Intel

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  • just4U - Friday, April 27, 2018 - link

    " I still laugh when I see 480 and 580 because to the older crowd, those series designations are grossly dated."

    Not sure why as can be seen Nvidia and AMD basically just switched numbering is all.. One dropping a 0 the other adopting it.. been that way since the 8800series.
  • HStewart - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    So is calling Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 similar in conjunction with i5 and i7
  • just4U - Friday, April 27, 2018 - link

    Yep.. it is similar. I actually prefer it that way (personally..) makes it easier to explain to people who do not know much (.. or care) about hardware.
  • HStewart - Monday, April 30, 2018 - link

    Yeah, they could call Ryzen i5 and Ryzen i7 to really confused the customers. But people are not as Naïve as AMD and there associated fans want you believe. That is why they have the stickers on laptops and boxes to mark off the fakes ( AMD ) from the real ( Intel ).

    Of course there are customers that want AMD because they have been persuaded that Intel is evil and that AMD this is savior of the electronic industry - but intelligent people can see a false leader when look closer.

    Of course the AMD lovers are very dirty and try stuff spreading information about Meltdown/Spectre across the internet and such. But the real reason is they want to distract people from by Intel.
  • dgingeri - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    Looks to me like Z390 is likely just the consumer enthusiast version of the Q370, and would have been the Z370 if they hadn't had to rush out the early Coffee Lake CPUs to compete with Ryzen. It looks like it will just be a Z370 with USB 3.1 gen2 integrated. No big deal.
  • Ej24 - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    Wow so Z370 owners are stuck on coffee lake. Z390 will be compatible with both coffee and cannon lake? Am I reading that right?
  • Flunk - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    Yeah, just like last time Intel did this.
  • Samus - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    They've been marrying CPU generations to chipset generations for awhile now. Look how many people got burned with the 80-series during Haswell, only to be told they should upgrade to the 90-series to support Broadwell (which never really materialized) then were essentially promised Skylake would be supported on the 90-series before Intel realized they would need to change the pin layout do to dropping the FIVR (and lets be honest, they knew, they just lied because it was easy.)
  • edzieba - Friday, April 27, 2018 - link

    No you appear to have made that up out of whole cloth. It's a 300 series PCH, so it will support the same as other 300 series PCHs. Just as every Intel platform release for the last decade.
  • mkaibear - Friday, April 27, 2018 - link

    Wut? It specifically says in that first image that it will support Cannon Lake and Coffee Lake CPUs...

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