An interesting leak from a member of Chinese PC Shopping forums reveals that Intel’s Alder Lake-S series could feature 16 cores but in a very new way.
Intel planning big.LITTLE for desktop?
ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture was designed for mobiles as a battery-saving feature. The smaller cores would only be used under specific workloads, such as background use or less power-hungry applications. That said, it is quite interesting to see Intel implementing a similar feature into the mainstream desktop platform which is Alder Lake S, as the leak suggests.
It is not revealed what the smaller cores would be designed for, nor it is explained what the bigger cores are for. But the design is clearly divided into two groups (in Intel’s own words BIG and SMALL – assuming this is where the slide originated from).
It has also been speculated that Alder Lake S will require a new socket (LGA1700), meaning that the upcoming LGA1200 socket will only be used for Comet Lake S (10th Gen Core) and possibly for Rocket Lake S (11th Gen Core?).
The 12th Gen core series would be the first Intel series to support PCI-Express 4.0. There is no confirmation on DDR5 support. These series are expected to use a 10nm node, although it was never fully confirmed.
Intel has set a target TDP for Alder Lake S at 125W (same as 10-core Comet Lake-S), but according to the leaked slide, they are also investigating 150W TDP. It is unclear why the table only mentions 16 (8+8) and 6-core specifications. Maybe Rocket Lake-S (which is expected to be up to 8-core configuration) and Alder Lake-S have actually more in common than we think?
One of the theories, based on Intel’s own roadmaps, is that Alder Lake-S could feature eight Golden Cove and eight Gracemont cores.
|RUMORED INTEL Mainstream CPU Series Specs|
|VideoCardz.com||Coffee Lake-S||Comet Lake-S||Rocket Lake-S||Alder Lake-S|
|CPU Fabrication Node||14nm||14nm||14nm||10nm|
|Max Core Count||up to 8 cores||up to 10 cores||up to 8 cores||up to 16 (8 BIG + 8 SMALL)|
|Socket||LGA1151||LGA1200||LGA1200 (?)||LGA1700 (?)|
|PCI-E Support||PCIe 3.0||PCIe 3.0||PCIe 4.0 (?)||PCIe 4.0 (?)|
|Intel Core Series||8th/9th Gen Core-S||10th Gen Core-S||11th Gen Core-S (?)||12th Gen Core-S (?)|
|Motherboard Chipsets||Intel 300 (eg. Z390)||Intel 400 (eg. Z490)||Intel 500 (?)||Intel 600 (eg. Z690) (?)|