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Intel Crystal Well 128MB L4 Cache


Joel Hruska, Hot Hardware, Intel’s 128MB L4 Cache May Be Coming to Desktops with 14nm Broadwell-K CPUs, here.

When Intel debuted Haswell this year, it launched its first mobile processor with a massive 128MB L4 cache. Dubbed “Crystal Well,” this on-package (not on-die) pool of memory wasn’t just a graphics frame buffer, but a giant pool of RAM for the entire core to utilize. The performance impact from doing so is significant, though the Haswell processors that utilize the L4 cache don’t appear to account for very much of Intel’s total CPU volume.

Right now, the L4 cache pool is only available on mobile parts, but that could change next year. According to CPU-World, Broadwell-K will change that. The 14nm desktop chips aren’t due until the tail end of next year — we should see a desktop refresh in the spring with a second-generation Haswell part. Still, it’s a sign that Intel intends to integrate the large L4 as standard on a wide range of parts.


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