Intel’s next generation CPU, code-named Haswell, is expected to launch in June this year. According to a latest report from Fudzilla, a variant of the Haswell lineup, codenamed Crystal Well, is expected to feature a 64MB fourth-level (L4) cache for the integrated graphics processor (IGP).
Fourth level cache is generally found in graphics cards as well as on consoles where they are used to improve the texture and anti-aliasing faster. On CPUs, the presence of an L4 cache is something new, as it produces a huge chip because of the higher transistor count for GPU cache memory.
With Intel having the ability to produce processors with larger die-sizes which can accommodate a larger L4 cache and Intel slide leaks showing presence of an L4 cache module, it remains to be seen if this will indeed be implemented in Crystal Well. While some reports according to Fudzilla suggest that the L4 cache will be dedicated only for graphics, there are other reports which suggest that L1, L2, L3 and L4 cache memories will be shared between the CPU and GPU.
Haswell processors are expected to launch with its iGPU in three physical configurations such as GT1, GT2 and GT3. The Crystal Well SKU is reserved for the GT3 iGPU sporting high end processors. Which means that L4 cache will most likely be seen only on the higher end Core i7 processors.
It will be interesting to see the performance improvements in the graphics prowess of the Haswell processors over the current Ivy Bridge processors.