Exclusive: Intel 12th Gen Core “Alder Lake-S” platform detailed

Published: 20th Mar 2021, 12:36 GMT   Comments

Intel Alder Lake up to 20% single-thread performance uplift

We have received the first details on Alder Lake-S, the upcoming desktop and mobile platform from Intel.

The slides confirm the most important aspects of the new architecture, including desktop and mobile platforms. First and foremost, Intel claims up to 20% single-thread performance uplift with its new Golden Cove core design. We are not sure if the baseline for this claim is Rocket Lake or Tiger Lake though.

Furthermore, Intel claims that the Alder Lake processors will be twice as fast in multi-threaded workloads. This is where Intel mentions its new high-efficiency Gracemont cores and silicon built-in hardware-guided scheduling. The 10nm Enhanced Superfin CPU series will feature Intel Hybrid Technology with small (high-efficiency) and big cores (high-performance). The slide actually features a block diagram with the CPU, which confirms that the full chip is to offer up to 8 Golden Cove big cores and up to 8 Gracemont small cores.

The slide also confirms that Alder Lake will support PCI Express Gen5 and Gen4. There is also a confirmation on DDR5 and DDR4 support, the platform will actually support both memory technologies at the same time. For mobile Alder Lake, Intel also confirms LPDDR4 and LPDDR5 support. We have recently revealed that Raptor Lake, a successor to Alder Lake will extend the memory support to LPDDR5X.

We also have the first details on Intel 600 series chipset. The new desktop CPUs will support up to dual-channel DDR5-4800 memory. The DDR4-capable motherboards will support up to 3200 MHz modules. We were told that high-end Z690 motherboards are to offer DDR5 support, whereas cheaper variants would rely on DDR4. This gives Intel and motherboard makers flexibility when it comes to uncertain DDR5 mass production.

Another big upgrade is support for PCI Gen5. The CPU will have 16 PCI Gen5 capable lanes and also 4 lanes in PCI Gen4 standard. The chipset itself will also support Gen4 and Gen3. Finally, Direct Media Interface (DMI) has been upgraded to Gen4. The upcoming 500 series chipset for Rocket Lake already expanded the width to 8 lanes but is still based on Gen3 like 400-series chipsets for Comet Lake.

The 600 series motherboards will feature a new socket type called LGA1700. The shape of the CPU package has changed, which will render all existing cooling solutions for LGA115X and LGA1200 unfit for the new CPU series.

Intel already confirmed that the Alder Lake series are scheduled to launch this year, but the company did not reveal if that means the desktop or mobile series.

Unreleased Intel Mainstream Desktop CPU Series Specs
VideoCardz.comRocket Lake-SAlder Lake-SRaptor Lake-SMeteor Lake-SLunar Lake-S
Launch DateMarch 30, 2021Q4 202120222023 (?)2024 (?)
Fabrication Node14nm10nm Enhanced SuperFin10nm Enhanced SuperFin (?)7nm Enhanced SuperFin (?)TBC
Core µArchCypress CoveGolden Cove + GracemontGolden Cove + Gracemont (?)Redwood Cove + Gracemont (?)TBC
Graphics µArchGen12.1Gen12.2Gen12.2Gen 12.7Gen 13
Max Core Countup to 8 coresup to 16 (8+8)up to 16 (8+8)TBCTBC
SocketLGA1200LGA1700LGA1700LGA1700TBC
Memory SupportDDR4DDR5/DDR4DDR5DDR5DDR5
PCIe GenPCIe 4.0PCIe 5.0/4.0PCIe 5.0PCIe 5.0PCIe 5.0
Intel Core Series11th Gen Core-S12th Gen Core-S13th Gen Core-S14th Gen Core-S14th Gen Core-S
Motherboard ChipsetsIntel 500 (Z590)Intel 600 (eg. Z690)TBCTBCTBC



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