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Intel Alder Lake & Raptor Lake CPU Rumors – 12th Gen With Up To 16 Cores on Desktop ‘K’ & Mobility ‘HX’ Series, 13th Gen With Up To 24 Cores

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The latest information regarding the design, specs, and launch of Intel's next-generation 12th Gen Alder Lake and 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPU families has been published by Moore's Law is Dead. It looks like the alleged information once again comes from MLID's reliable source who have turned out to be highly accurate for the past few hardware launches making this definitely worth taking a look at.

Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake & 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPU Rumors - Up To 16 Cores For Alder and 24 Cores For Raptor, LGA 1700 Desktop Compatibility For Both & 'HX' Enthusiast Notebook Chips

Alright so before starting off with the details, it should be pointed out that much of this information is something that we have already seen in previous rumors and leaks but there's a lot more added to the context so let's start with the most imminent 12th Gen Alder Lake CPU family.

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Here's Everything We Know About Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs

In its official slide, Intel calls the Alder Lake a 'Breakthrough CPU Architecture. The company claims that its 12th Gen processors will offer a 20% single-threaded performance uplift and a 2X uplift in multi-threaded tasks. The Intel Alder Lake CPUs will be the first CPUs fabricated on the brand new 10nm Enhanced SuperFin process node which is a refined and more optimized version of the 10nm SuperFin process node used to manufacture the current Tiger Lake CPUs.

Intel Alder Lake 12th Gen Desktop & Mobility CPUs are expected to offer up to 20% single-threaded & twice the multi-threaded performance uplift over existing processors. (Image Credits: VIdeocardz)

The Alder Lake CPUs are expected to deliver double the performance than their predecessors at the same or even lower power. In terms of IPC, the Golden Cove cores are expected to deliver a 20% gain (single-threaded) while Gracemont cores will offer a good boost over Skylake cores with updated instruction sets.

Following are some of the updates you should expect from Intel's 2021 architecture lineup:

Intel Golden Cove (Core) Architecture:

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  • Improve Single-Threaded Performance (IPC)
  • Improve Artificial Intelligence (AI) Performance
  • Improve Network/5G Performance
  • Enhanced Security Features

Intel Gracemont (Atom) Architecture:

  • Improve Single-Threaded Performance (IPC)
  • Improve Frequency (Clock Speeds)
  • Improve Vector Performance

Following is the exact breakdown of the cache subsystem of Intel's Alder Lake Desktop CPUs:

Golden Cove Cores:

  • 32 KB (L1I) Per Core
  • 48 KB (L1D) Per Core
  • 1280 KB (L2) Per Core
  • 3072 KB (L3) Per Core

Gracemont Cores:

  • 64 KB (L1I) Per Core
  • 32 KB (L1D) Per Core
  • 2048 KB (L2) x 4 Cores
  • 3072 KB (L3) x 4 Cores

Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake CPU Rumored Information (Credits: MLID):

Intel highlights some of the key features of its Alder Lake CPUs in the slide too such as the use of a hybrid core design which would include both Golden Cove cores (successor to Willow Cove) & also the Gracemont cores which are the next-generation Atom architecture. The Golden Cove cores will serve as the big cores on the CPU & will feature simultaneous multi-threading support while Atom cores will stick to a non-SMT design. Some brand new features for the cores themselves will include Hardware-Guided Scheduling, Design Optimizations, and Energy-aware core parking.

When it comes to I/O, the Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake CPU lineup will feature both PCIe Gen 5 & PCIe Gen 4 support, Intel WiFi 6E (Gig+), and Thunderbolt 4 support. For memory, Alder Lake CPUs will come with a wide array of options ranging from DDR5/DDR4 for the desktop platform and LPDDR5 / LPDDR4 for the mobility platform. The Alder Lake Desktop platform is also expected to adopt the ATX12VO power connector standard.

As for the lineup, the Intel Alder Lake CPUs are expected to offer up to 16 cores on the 'K' series desktop and 'HX' series mobility lineup. There will be the 'S2' segment with up to 6 cores, 'P1' for mobile with up to 14 cores, 'P2' for mobile with 10 cores, and finally, 'M' segment for mobile with a total of 10 cores. The exact configurations are detailed below:

Intel Alder Lake-K Series SKUs

Looking at the Alder Lake-S CPU 8+8 CPU SKU, it looks like the 8 Golden Cove cores will feature a 32 KB (L1I) and 48 KB (L1D) cache (per core). Each CPU core will also feature 1280 KB of L2 cache for a total of 10 MB L2 cache while the L3 cache will be 3072 KB per core or 24 MB in total.

Intel Alder Lake-S 8+8 (16 Core / 24 Thread) CPU Block Diagram Mockup By InstLatX64

Moving over to the Gracemont cores, we are looking at each core with its 64 KB (L1I) & 32 KB (L1D) cache. Intel will be splitting the L2 and L3 caches between two slices comprising of 4 Gracemont cores each. It will feature 2048 KB L2 cache or 4 MB L2 in total and 3072 KB L3 cache or 6 MB in total. This will give the top SKU a total of 30 MB L3 cache and 14 MB L2 cache. As for the exact SKUs, the Alder Lake Core i9 SKU will feature 16 cores and 24 threads, the Core i7 SKU will feature 12 cores and 20 threads while the Core i5 SKU will feature 10 cores and 16 threads. These chips will be introduced around Halloween with a rumored NDA uplifting around the 25th of October, 2021.

But there's more, Intel also plans to offer Alder Lake-S A-series CPUs in Q1 2022 with non-K Core i9, Core i7 & Core i5 SKUs. While the core configuration of the Core i9 and Core i7 SKUs would remain unchanged compared to their K-series siblings, the Core i5 SKUs will be toned down to just 6 cores and 12 threads (exclusion of Gracemont cores). The same is the case with Core i3 SKUs which will retain the quad-core design with 8 threads and no Gracemont cores.

  • Intel Core i9 K-Series (8 Golden + 8 Grace) = 16 Cores / 24 Threads
  • Intel Core i7 K-Series (8 Golden + 4 Grace) = 12 Cores / 20 Threads
  • Intel Core i5 K-Series (6 Golden + 4 Grace) = 10 Cores / 16 Threads
  • Intel Core i9 A-Series (8 Golden + 8 Grace) = 16 Cores / 24 Threads
  • Intel Core i7 A-Series (8 Golden + 4 Grace) = 12 Cores / 20 Threads
  • Intel Core i5 A-Series (6 Golden + 0 Grace) = 6 Cores / 12 Threads
  • Intel Core i3 A-Series (4 Golden + 0 Grace) = 4 Cores / 8 Threads

Intel Alder Lake-P Series SKUs

The Intel Alder Lake P series features the U15, U28, and H45. The U15, U28, H45 & H65 have power ratings of 15W (12/20W), 28W (20W), 45W (35W), &  65W (45W), respectively. The U15 series will come with up to 2 big cores and up to 8 small cores. The U28 series will come with up to 6 big cores and up to 8 small cores.

Intel Alder Lake-P 6+8 (14 Core / 20 Thread) CPU Block Diagram Mockup By InstLatX64

The H45 series will come with up to 6 big cores and up to 8 small cores. All three feature 96 Graphics Execution Units. The U series looks to be put in mainstream and performance laptops featuring Tiger Lake processors. The H series looks to be a direct replacement for Tiger Lake-H35 which is in portable gaming laptops. Finally, we have the flagship 'HX' parts which are planned to offer the flagship mobility performance in enthusiast notebooks. These chips will feature the PCH and CPU on the same BGA package and will compete against AMD's 'HX' lineup which has been in the market since early this year.

Intel Alder Lake-M Series SKUs

intel Alder Lake M series features the M5 and U9 series with a power rating of 5W (Up To 7W) and 9W (Up To 12W) respectively. The M5 series will offer 1 big core and up to 4 small cores and up to 64 Graphics Execution Units. The U9 series will offer up to 2 big cores and 8 small cores and up to 96 Graphics Execution Units. The slide indicates that these will be used in tablets and ultra-thin laptops.

Intel Alder Lake-M 1+4 (5 Core / 6 Thread) CPU Block Diagram Mockup By InstLatX64

Here's Everything We Know About Intel's 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs

Intel is also preparing its Alder Lake Refresh lineup known as Raptor Lake which will the 13th Gen family. The lineup is expected to be an enhancement of Alder Lake in all possible ways. The first major thing is the new core which is being referred to as Raptor Cove and is an updated version of Golden Cove core with several enhancements.

To start off with what we know so far, Intel Raptor Lake CPUs will be replacing Alder Lake but it won't be a huge change as we will get to see moving from Rocket Lake to Alder Lake. Alder Lake 12th Gen' CPUs will be the first Intel CPUs to utilize a hybrid core design approach while being based on the 10nm Enhanced SuperFin process. It will also get a brand new platform that will support DDR5 and PCIe 5.0. Raptor Lake will essentially carry most of these features over while offering slight upgrades to the platform and core changes.

For the desktop Intel Raptor Lake parts, it is stated that the lineup will get new hybrid CPU core changes for improved core performance. major upgrades in performance would come from the brand new cores that are said to offer improved IPC, clock frequencies, and performance per watt over Alder Lake's Golden Cove cores.

One of the big upgrades aside from the core architecture will be the core count. Now here, Intel is planning to retain the number of big cores (Raptor Cove) from its Alder Lake generation but giving a boost to the little cores (Gracemont). It is stated that Raptor Lake chips would feature 8 Raptor Cove and 16 Gracemont cores which would help improve multi-threaded performance immensely.

There's also a mention of CPU cache for gaming which could be Intel's answer to AMD's own game cache. We don't know yet if this will be some embedded DRAM cache featured on Raptor Lake or a beefed-up L2/L3 design but we can definitely see some big performance upgrades in games that will help Intel compete with the absolute massive caches that AMD's Ryzen CPUs have to offer with its upcoming 3D V-Cache technology.

Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPU Rumored Information (Credits: MLID):

The Intel vPro technology will also be expanded upon in terms of feature set. While Raptor Lake CPUs for the desktop will utilize DDR5-5600 MHz+ memory and feature up to 48 PCIe Gen 5 lanes, mobility variants will get support for new LPDDR5X memory & also get a new DLVR power delivery system. The Raptor Lake lineup is expected to launch next year and will be pitted directly against AMD's Zen 4 powered Ryzen 'Raphael' Desktop CPUs.

Intel Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

Intel CPU FamilyProcessor ProcessProcessors Cores (Max)TDPsPlatform ChipsetPlatformMemory SupportPCIe SupportLaunch
Sandy Bridge (2nd Gen)32nm4/835-95W6-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 2.02011
Ivy Bridge (3rd Gen)22nm4/835-77W7-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02012
Haswell (4th Gen)22nm4/835-84W8-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02013-2014
Broadwell (5th Gen)14nm4/865-65W9-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02015
Skylake (6th Gen)14nm4/835-91W100-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02015
Kaby Lake (7th Gen)14nm4/835-91W200-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake (8th Gen)14nm6/1235-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake (9th Gen)14nm8/1635-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02018
Comet Lake (10th Gen)14nm10/2035-125W400-SeriesLGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02020
Rocket Lake (11th Gen)14nm8/1635-125W500-SeriesLGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 4.02021
Alder Lake (12th Gen)10nm (ESF)16/24TBA600 SeriesLGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.02021
Raptor Lake (13th Gen)10nm (ESF)16/30?TBA700-SeriesLGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.02022
Meteor Lake (14th Gen)7nm (EUV)TBATBA800 Series?LGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.0?2023
Lunar Lake (15th Gen)TBATBATBA900 Series?TBADDR5PCIe Gen 5.0?2023+
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