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 160 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
  Z370 H370 Q370 B365 B360 H310
Launch Oct '17 Apr '18 Apr '18 Dec '18 Apr '18 Apr '18
Market Consumer
ME Firmware 11 12 11 12
HSIO Lanes   30 24 14
Total USB   14 12 10
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 - -
Supports Optane Y N
Integrated 802.11ac N Y N Y Y
Intel Smart Sound Y N
Intel vPro N 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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Source: Intel (via Tom’s Hardware)

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  • rahvin - Monday, December 17, 2018 - link

    Exactly. They announced a couple months ago during the 3Q financials they were going to do this to try to alleviate the bottleneck they've got at 14nm now because of the 10nm screwup. They can't make enough CPU's to satisfy demand because of this so they are pulling products out of the lineup and backporting them to make more capacity available for CPU's.

    There will be other products beyond this that get moved as well.
  • eastcoast_pete - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Intel being Intel, their marketing department will call it the "classic edition" or "classic node", and charge us extra for the privilege of them using a "mature" process again.

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