Together with its upcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge processors, Intel also plans to release a new range of motherboard chipsets which are going to be based on the Panther Point PCH and finally bring native USB 3.0 support to its product line.
The consumer sector will witness the introduction of three platform controller hubs (PCHs) dubbed the Z77, Z75 and H77 and all of these feature similar specifications apart from some minor changes.
Starting with the most feature rich chipset, the Z77, this packs four USB 2.0 ports, two SATA 6Gbps and four SATA 3Gbps connectors as well as support for Intel's Smart Response (SSD caching) technology,
Furthermore, the motherboard chipset can split the 16 PCI Express lanes available for the CPU into an x8 + x8 or an x8 + x4 + x4 configuration.
This feature is available on the Z77 PCH, as the Z75 only support a single x16 slot or dual x8 slots.
The Z75 also lacks support for the Smart Response Technology, but all the other features are common between the two chipsets and both of these offer CPU overclocking support.
As far as the H77 is concerned, this also comes with four USB 3.0 ports and the same storage configuration as its older brother, but Intel has decided to disable processor overclocking and dual-GPU operation and re-introduced Smart Response to make up for these shortcomings.
Features common to all the three Panther Point PCH chips include Intel HD graphics support, with up to three individual displays, dual stream HDMI and DisplayPort audio and RAID 0/1/5/10 support.
Together with these three consumer chipsets, Intel will also introduce three Panther Point controller hubs for the business market that add various enterprise specific features such as vPro and AMT 8.0 or SIPP support.
The chipsets are expected to become official at the start of 2012, together with the 22nm Ivy Bridge processors. (via Xfastest)