What awaits Intel after it crosses the Ivy Bridge on its 2012 horizon? Why, it's Haswell, a processor microarchitecture that will also be built at 22nm, but will include a number of major changes for the company, some of which have now been revealed by a leaked set of slides. Chief among them will be the move to a single-chip solution (a so-called multi-chip package) on the more energy-conscious variants, which means that Intel will be offering mobile device manufacturers something very similar to the ARM-based systems-on-chip that they currently choose from. This more space- and power-efficient (15W TDP) platform for Haswell will apparently be limited to two cores, but will support LP-DDR3 in a dual-channel configuration. Moving to two chips will allow quad-core options as well, with DDR3 and DDR3L (low power) memory supported, again with two channels. Sadly, anyone contemplating an upgrade for their current desktop should abandon hope now as there'll also be a new socket required: LGA-1150.
The slides include a laundry list of other features and improvements, including NFC, Thunderbolt, a faster integrated GPU, a new voltage regulator, and a mysterious hardware / software optimization that promises 2-second boot times. It's all very detailed and, unfortunately, still very far away. Nonetheless, if you want to immerse yourself in information about what the next big change in x86 CPUs will look like, hit the links below for the full story.