Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake-S Allegedly Delivers Potent 20% Single-Thread Lift, Huge Multithreading Boost
There is some buzz surrounding Intel with the launch of its 11th Gen Core desktop processors, otherwise known as Rocket Lake-S, and the direction the company might go with Pat Gelsinger now at the helm. One thing we know is on tap from Intel is a hybrid CPU architecture called Alder Lake. Details have slowly been trickling in, but adding to the general buzz, a supposedly leaked slide claims Alder Lake on the desktop (Alder Lake-S) will deliver a sizeable performance boost when it arrives.
According to the slide, Alder Lake-S is set to push single-threaded performance up to 20 percent, driven by its new Golden Cove foundation. Unfortunately, the slide does not indicate what exactly Intel based the performance uplift on, whether it is the newly launched Rocket Lake-S lineup, or its mobile Tiger Lake stack.
The latter is a strong possibility because Tiger Lake is built around Willow Cove, and Golden Cove is the successor to Willow Cove (both built on a 10-nanometer node). Either way, Intel is hyping a big performance gain, assuming the slide is legitimate.
The slide also points to a doubling of multi-threaded performance with Alder Lake-S. This claim is tied to the infusion of Gracemont Cores in the hybrid CPU design, and hardware-guided scheduling to help move things along. It's also worth nothing that Alder Lake-S will be the first batch of chips built using Intel's enhanced 10nm SuperFin node.
Interestingly, the accompanying diagram highlights eight high-performance Golden Cove cores paired up with an equal number of power-efficient Gracemont cores. This is apparently a representation of a fully loaded chip design. The number of cores on either side will obviously vary by SKU, and as we have discussed in the past, will lead to some oddball core and thread counts.
Leaked Slide Details Intel's 600 Series Chipset For Alder Lake-S
There is a second slide that points to other bits within the overarching platform (600 series chipset), including support for PCI Express 5.0, which doubles the bandwidth over PCI Express 4.0. As for memory support, the second slide points to Alder Lake-S supporting dual-channel DDR5 memory at up to 4,800MHz, and DDR4 memory at up to 3200MHz.
Other notable tidbits include Thunderbolt 4 (USB4 compliant) support, and integrated Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+) connectivity. It seems Intel will also continue pushing its Optane memory technology with Alder Lake-S, though with Micron recently announcing it is ditching 3D XPoint memory development and selling its 3D XPoint fab in Utah, the future of Optane is an open-ended question (Intel claims it will continue churning out Optane products).
In any event, Alder Lake-S is certainly an interesting landmark within Intel's roadmap. We are curious to see how the hybrid approach fares on the desktop. As far as these slides are concerned, we can expect big gains in single-thread and multi-threaded performance, as well as a bunch of cutting edge technologies.