Intel 12th Gen Core “Alder Lake-S” desktop series feature two die types
At the Innovation event, Intel confirmed it will launch as many as 60 SKUs based on Alder Lake silicon. What was not said is how many different types of processors there are exactly. During an MSI Insider stream, the company confirmed that desktop Alder Lake CPUs will ship in two variants, either with 8 GoldenCove and 8 Gracemont cores or only 6 GoldenCove cores. The former is the Performance core commonly referred to as the ‘Big Core’, whereas the latter is the Efficient Core, known as ‘Small Core’ or ‘Atom Core’.
The 6P+0E die has not been used yet, at least not for the products that have been announced. It is therefore expected to debut early next year when Intel will launch the remaining of its Alder Lake-S CPUs such as the non-K Core series and Pentium CPUs.
The 8+8 variant has an area of 215 mm², while the 6+0 was measured at 163 mm². MSI employees have said that this die does not have Efficient Cores enabled.
It is important to note that those two dies are not the only Alder Lake silicon to be manufactured. Intel already confirmed that 6+8 and 2+8 mobile variants are planned for Alder Lake-P and Alder Lake-M series. They should not be expected till January next year.
Interestingly, Intel has just shown the real die of the Alder Lake-P CPU for the first time, which was quickly measured by Andreas Schilling from HardwareLuxx. He estimates the size to be around 217.2 mm². The mobile chip is therefore just slightly bigger than Alder Lake-S 8+8 die, mainly because the mobile version is equipped with 96 graphics cores, while the latter comes with 32.
|Intel Alder Lake CPU Variants|
|Alder Lake-S||8P + 8E||10.5 mm||15.5 mm||209 mm²|
|Alder Lake-S||6P + 0E||10.5 mm||20.5 mm||162.8 mm²|
|Alder Lake-P||6P + 8E||10.62 mm||20.45 mm||217.2 mm²|
|Alder Lake-M||2P + 8E||TBC||TBC||TBC|
MSI also mentioned that the existence of two different desktop dies may pose a problem for cooling manufacturers, as the hotspot measured by MSI is not placed in the same spots. Note, the dies on the picture below are labeled incorrectly.