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Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake Platform Reportedly Brings 20% Single-Threaded Performance Uplift

Intel only just announced their 11th generation Rocket Lake-S desktop processors last week but we are already receiving information about the next generation Alder Lake-S platform which will finally make the jump to 10 nm. Intel slides for the upcoming family of processors have been leaked and they reveal some interesting information including a claimed 20% single-threaded performance increases from the new Golden Cove core design and 10 nm SuperFin node. The processors will feature Intel Hybrid Technology with a mix of small low-performance cores and large high-performance cores with a maximum of eight each for sixteen total cores. The processors will also include the latest connectivity with both PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0 support along with DDR4 and DDR5 4800 MHz compatibility.

Intel will also be launching a new socket type called LGA1700 with a new package size which will render existing cooling solutions for LGA115X and LGA1200 sockets incompatible. The processors will also come with the launch of a new 600 Series chipset with PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 support along with the usual complement of USB, SATA, and networking. The entry-level 600-series motherboards will only support DDR4 memory at up to 3200 MHz while high-end Z690 motherboards will include DDR5 support. Intel has confirmed that they intend to launch Alder Lake later this year but it is yet to be known if they are referring to the desktop or mobile series.

Intel Alder Lake Processor Tested, Big Cores Ramp Up to 3 GHz

Intel "Alder Lake" is the first processor generation coming from the company to feature the hybrid big.LITTLE type core arrangement and we are wondering how the configurations look like and just how powerful the next-generation processors are going to be. Today, a Geekbench submission has appeared that gave us a little more information about one out of twelve Alder Lake-S configurations. This time, we are getting an 8-core, 16-threaded design with all big cores and no smaller cores present. Such design with no little cores in place is exclusive to the Alder Lake-S desktop platform, and will not come to the Alder Lake-P processors designed for mobile platforms.

Based on the socket LGA1700, the processor was spotted running all of its eight cores at 2.99 GHz frequency. Please note that this is only an engineering sample and the clock speeds of the final product should be higher. It was paired with the latest DDR5 memory and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU. The OpenCL score this CPU ran has shown that it has provided the GPU with more than enough performance. Typically, the RTX 2080 GPU scores about 106101 points in Geekbench OpenCL tests. Paired with the Alder Lake-S CPU, the GPU has managed to score as much as 108068 points, showing the power of the new generation of cores. While there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the Alder Lake-S series, we have come to know that the big cores used are supposed to be very powerful.

Intel Alder Lake-S Processor Pictured

Intel has just recently announced its next-generation Rocket Lake-S processor specifications designed to bring improved performance and newer platform technologies like PCIe 4.0. However, we are yet to see the first 10 nm CPU for desktop users. Today, thanks to the sources over at VideoCardz, we have the first look at Intel's next-next-generation processor called Alder Lake. The Alder Lake-S is a platform that brings many of the "firsts" for Intel. It will be the first architecture being built on the company's 10 nm SuperFin architecture. Alongside the new node, the platform will transition to the next-generation of technologies. Rumored are the transitions to PCIe 5.0 and perhaps, most importantly - DDR5.

Another new approach will be Intel's adaptation of Arm's big.LITTLE heterogeneous core structure. The processor will feature a few of the "little" cores for light tasks, and fire up the "big" cores for heavy computing. All of that will require a new socket to house the processor, which is the LGA1700. You can see the new processor below, compared to LGA1200 CPU from the previous generation.

Intel Alder Lake-S CPU Has Been Pictured

Intel has been preparing the launch of its 10 nm processors for desktop users for some time now, and today we are getting the first pictures of the Alder Lake-S CPU backside. Featuring a package with a size of 37.5×45 mm, the Alder Lake CPU uses more of its area for a pin count increase. Going up from 1200 pins in the LGA1200 socket, the new Alder Lake-S CPU uses 1700 CPU pins, which slots in the LGA1700 socket. In the picture below, there is an engineering sample of the Alder Lake-S CPU, which we see for the first time. While there is no much information about the processor, we know that it will use Intel's 10 nm SuperFin design, paired with hybrid core technology. That means that there will be big (Golden Cove) and little (Gracemont) cores in the design. Other features such as PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 should be present as well. The new CPU generation and LGA1700 motherboards are scheduled to arrive in second half of 2021.

Coreboot Code Hints at Intel "Alder Lake" Core Configurations

Intel's 12th Gen Core EVO "Alder Lake" processors in the LGA1700 package could introduce the company's hybrid core technology to the desktop platform. Coreboot code leaked to the web by Coelacanth's Dream sheds fascinating insights to the way Intel is segmenting these chips. The 10 nm chip will see Intel combine high-performance "Golden Cove" CPU cores with energy-efficient "Gracemont" CPU cores, and up to three tiers of the company's Gen12 Xe integrated graphics. The "Alder Lake" desktop processor has up to eight big cores, up to eight small ones, and up to three tiers of the iGPU (GT0 being disabled iGPU, GT1 being the lower tier, and GT2 being the higher tier).

Segmentation between the various brand extensions appears to be primarily determined by the number of big cores. The topmost SKU has all 8 big and 8 small cores enabled, along with GT1 (lower) tier of the iGPU (possibly to free up power headroom for those many cores). The slightly lower SKU has 8 big cores, 6 small cores, and GT1 graphics. Next up, is 8 big cores, 4 small cores, and GT1 graphics. Then 8+2+GT1, and lastly, 8+0+GT1. The next brand extension is based around 6 big cores, being led by 6+8+GT2, and progressively lower number of small cores and their various iGPU tiers. The lower brand extension is based around 4 big cores with similar segmentation of small cores, and the entry-level parts have 2 big cores, and up to 8 small cores.

Intel "Alder Lake" CPU Core Segmentation Sketched

Intel's 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors in the LGA1700 package could see the desktop debut of Intel's Hybrid Technology that it introduced with the mobile segment "Lakefield" processor. Analogous to Arm big.LITTLE, Intel Hybrid Technology is a multi-core processor topology that sees the combination of high-performance CPU cores with smaller high-efficiency cores that keep the PC ticking through the vast majority of the time/tasks when the high-performance cores aren't needed and hence power-gated. The high-performance cores are woken up only as needed. "Lakefield" combines one "Sunny Cove" high-performance core with four "Tremont" low-power cores. "Alder Lake-S" will take this concept further.

According to Intel slides leaked to the web by HXL (aka @9550pro), the 10 nm-class "Alder Lake-S" silicon will physically feature 8 "Golden Cove" high-performance cores, and 8 "Gracemont" low-power cores, along with a Gen12 iGPU that comes in three tiers - GT0 (iGPU disabled), GT1 (some execution units disabled), and GT2 (all execution units enabled). In its top trim with 125 W TDP, "Alder Lake-S" will be a "16-core" processor with 8 each of "Golden Cove" and "Gracemont" cores enabled. There will be 80 W TDP models with the same 8+8 core configuration, which are probably "locked" parts. Lastly, there the lower wrungs of the product stack will completely lack "small" cores, and be 6+0, with only high-performance cores. A recurring theme with all parts is the GT1 trim of the Gen12 iGPU.

Intel "Alder Lake-S" Confirmed to Introduce LGA1700 Socket, Technical Docs Out for Partners

Intel's Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processor, which succeeds the 11th generation "Rocket Lake-S," is confirmed to introduce a new CPU socket, LGA1700. This new socket has been churning in the rumor mill since 2019. The LGA1700 socket is Intel's biggest mainstream desktop processor package change since LGA1156, in that the package is now physically larger, and may be cooler-incompatible with LGA115x sockets (Intel H# sockets). The enlargement in package size is seen as an attempt by Intel to give itself real-estate to build future multi-chip modules; while the increased pin-count points to the likelihood of more I/O centralization to the processor package.

The "Alder Lake-S" silicon is rumored to be Intel's first 10 nm-class mainstream desktop processor, combining a hybrid core setup of a number of "Golden Cove" high-performance CPU cores, and a number of "Gracemont" low-power cores. The processor's I/O feature-set is expected to include dual-channel DDR5 memory, PCI-Express gen 4.0, and possibly preparation for gen 5.0 on the motherboard-side. In related news, Intel put out technical documentation for the "Alder Lake-S" microarchitecture and LGA1700 socket. Access however, is restricted to Intel's industrial partners. The company also put out documentation for "Rocket Lake-S."
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