According to confidential slides from Intel that leaked on the web, the upcoming ICH8 South Bridge will drop support for parallel ATA devices and AC'97 audio, The Tech Report reports.
Intel started to phase out both with the ICH7 family, which features High Definition Audio and only a single ATA channel.
It may be a little early to drop parallel ATA support completely, though. Serial ATA hard drives may be commonplace, but parallel ATA is still the norm for even the latest optical drives. Perhaps this will be the motivation optical drive manufacturers need to finally transition to Serial ATA.
The ICH8 will have six Serial ATA ports and also six PCI Express lanes. A fan speed controller and Gigabit Ethernet MAC have also been added.