Exclusive: Intel Rocket Lake-S features PCI-Express 4.0, Xe Graphics

Published: Mar 22nd 2020, 11:04 GMT   Comments

Intel Rocket Lake-S might provide the biggest upgrade to the mainstream desktop platform in years.

Intel Rocket Lake-S gets PCIe 4.0

The platform codenamed Rocket Lake-S is currently expected in late 2020. The rumors about the RLK-S platform have been floating around the web for a while now, but only now (thanks to our sources at Intel) we are able to provide some concrete information on a new platform.

The leaked diagram we are sharing today is a basic overview of the Rocket Lake-S features. The 500-series motherboards will benefit from many features currently not present on 300- and even the upcoming 400 series motherboards.

Based on the information we have, Rocket Lake-S is a feature update to Comet Lake-S.

Main features of Intel Rocket Lake-S

  • The new processor core architecture
    The slide confirms that Rocket Lake-S will feature new core architecture, without stating any other details. What is rumored, however, is that Rocket Lake-S is rumored to be 14nm adoption of Tiger Lake, which is using Willow Cove cores.
  • 20 lanes of PCI Express 4.0
    The most important change for Rocket Lake-S is PCIe 4.0 support. Not only will the CPU have direct 4.0 lanes, but there will be 4 additional lanes for storage (x16 for GPU and x4 for NVME drive). This means that both the primary GPU and NVME storage will be attached directly to the CPU, not the PCH.
  • DMI 3.0 x8
    Direct Media Interface will be upgraded to x8 link, which means doubled transfer speed compared to x4. Intel does not state the transfer speed for a new DMI connection, but the current x4 link has a transfer of 8 GT/s (3.93 GB/s).
  • Intel Xe Graphics and display updates
    The slide confirms that Rocket Lake-S will benefit from Xe graphics architecture (further evidence that RKL is a Tiger Lake desktop clone?). The upgrade to Xe (presumably Gen12) will also bring HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4a support.
  • Thunderbolt 4 and USB 3.2 20G
    At CES 2020 Intel confirmed that the Tiger Lake platform will support Thunderbolt 4. This standard does not provide an upgrade over Thunderbolt 3 in terms of transfer speed (it is still 40 Gb/s). There has been a rumor that 4.0 might be using PCIe 4.0 but the slide clearly states that TB4.0 is still using PCIe 3.0.
  • SGX removed
    Intel Software Guard Extensions have been removed for Rocket Lake-S.
INTEL Mainstream Desktop CPU Platform Specifications
VideoCardz.comKaby Lake-SCoffee Lake-SComet Lake-SRocket Lake-SAlder Lake-S
Fabrication Node14nm14nm14nm14nm (TBC)(TBC)
Launch Date201720182020(TBC)(TBC)
ChipsetIntel 200Intel 300Intel 400Intel 500 Intel 600
Core Series7th Gen Core-S8th/9th Gen Core-S10th Gen Core-S11th Gen Core-S12th Gen Core-S
Max Core Countup to 4 coresup to 8 coresup to 10 coresTBCup to 16 (TBC)
SocketLGA1151LGA1151LGA1200LGA1200 (TBC)LGA1700 (TBC)
Memory Support2ch DDR4 up to 64GB2ch DDR4 up to 128GB2ch DDR4 up to 128GB2ch DDR4 up to (TBC)(TBC)
PCIe SupportPCIe 3.0PCIe 3.0PCIe 3.0PCIe 4.0PCIe 4.0
CPU PCIe Lanes16 (3.0)16 (3.0)16 (3.0)20 (4.0)(TBC)
PCH PCIe Lanes24 (3.0)24 (3.0)24 (3.0)24 (3.0)(TBC)
USBup to 10x 3.0
up to 14x 2.0
up to 10x 3.0
up to 14x 2.0
up to 6x 3.1 Gen2x1
up to 10x 3.1 Gen1x1
3.2 Gen 2×1 (10 Gb/s)
3.2 Gen 1×1 (5 Gb/s)
3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gb/s)
3.2 Gen 2×1 (10 Gb/s)
3.2 Gen 1×1 (5 Gb/s)
DMIx4 3.0x4 3.0x4 3.0x8 3.0(TBC)
Integrated WiFiWireless-ACWireless-AXWireless-AX(TBC)
Display SupportDisplayPort 1.2
HDMI 1.4
DisplayPort 1.2
HDMI 1.4
DisplayPort 1.2(1.4)
HDMI 2.0a
DisplayPort 1.4a
HDMI 2.0b
Intel SGX Security1.01.01.0removed(TBC)


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