We have been hearing about Intel’s Skulltrail platform for some time now, off and on thoughout the year.  Recently here at IDF, Pat Gelsinger mentioned the Skulltrail platform during his keynote, pictured here below:

Intel Skulltrail Will Use NVIDIA SLI Technology - Graphics Cards 2

The system uses dual Yorkfield processors that are liquid cooled (stock and to be supplied by Intel) and has four graphics card slots for potential quad-GPU usage. 

The word “SLI” has been mentioned several times during the day by various Intel employees, and I was starting to wonder if it wasn’t just a slip up.  Had NVIDIA finally licensed SLI technology to Intel to use on their chipsets?

The answer is more complicated than it should be it appears: NVIDIA has NOT licensed SLI to any chipsets from Intel, but what they have done, as I am hearing it, is allow Intel to run SLI for this ONE SINGLE MOTHERBOARD.  Only because NVIDIA does not offer a comparable dual-processor chipset did NVIDIA allow this exception.  The SLI functionality is actually provided by an nForce MCP chip on the motherboard that splits a single x16 PCIe connection into two x16 connections. 

According to my sources, the future Intel chipsets are still up in the air as to whether they are going to get the blessing of the SLI logo.