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Intel Alder Lake-S Desktop CPUs Will Only Feature Support on the New LGA 1700 Socket Platform, LGA 1200 To Last Two 2020 CPU Generations


Intel recently introduced its LGA 1200 socket platform for Comet Lake-S and Rocket Lake-S CPUs but it looks like the socket would be replaced as early as next year with the arrival of Alder Lake-S CPUs. The first Alder Lake CPU details leaked out last month which hinted at a new socket but it's more or less confirmed now.

Intel's Alder Lake-S Desktop CPUs To Be Supported By LGA 1700 Socket & A New Chipset Platform

The new information comes lit-tech, a Taiwanese based company providing Intel VRTT tools in the Asia-Pacific market. The site lists down various CPU codenames along with the respective platform and socket type that they are supported on. In it's latest list update, the site has unveiled that the Alder Lake-S CPU lineup would indeed be featuring support on a new socket.

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The site lists down the ADL-S family which is the short codename form of Alder Lake-S CPUs. The family is listed for support with the LGA 1700 socket and has the 'Q6UJ1700ADLS' product code. It was previously reported in a leak that Alder Lake Desktop CPUs would move over to a new socket but with this listing, it seems to be confirmed. This listing suggests that LGA 1200 will only last two CPU generations that would include the recently announced Comet Lake-S family and the Rocket Lake-S family which also arrives later this year.

Compared to the LGA 1200 socket which shares the same dimension as the LGA 1151 socket of 37.5mm x 37.5mm, the LGA 1700 socket will be bigger, measuring at 45.00mm x 37.5mm. This shows that the retention for the LGA 1700 socket will feature a new design that might not be able to support existing CPU coolers without new retention brackets. Intel's platform may lose a decade worth of cooler support by switching to the LGA 1700 socket but it is likely that the new socket type would have a longer shelve time than current platforms.

In a rumor posted over at Chiphell, it is reported the LGA 1700 socket is going to be a long-term & will last at least three generations of CPU families. The LGA 1700 platform may get PCIe 5.0 support in a later revision but DDR5 support should not be expected. The LGA 1700 platform is also going to feature a higher number of PCIe lanes. Based on this information, we can see that the 500 extra pins would enable higher PCIe lane communication and a wider electrical configuration that will accommodate the hybrid chip architecture featured on Alder Lake CPUs. The larger chip size can also hint to a chiplet based design rather than a monolithic die. Intel has invested a lot in its 3D chip packing technology called Forveros and its EMIB interconnect that could enable a new design structure for Core CPUs. The first 3D packaged chip, Lakefield, is expected to arrive later this year in several mobility product designs.

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Here's Everything We Know About The Next-Generation Alder Lake CPU Family

Previous details for Alder Lake-S CPUs have revealed that the next-generation desktop family is to launch sometime in late 2021 or early 2022. The Alder Lake CPUs could be the first 10nm desktop parts from Intel, featuring a hybrid architecture design.

Intel's Alder Lake-S would be a totally different beast than anything we've seen from Intel yet, utilizing the 10nm++ process node which is an evolution of the 10nm+ process node (the same node used to fabricate Tiger Lake CPUs). The Alder Lake-S 12th Generation Core lineup would feature a new design methodology, supporting a mix of big and little cores as we had reported earlier. Three configurations of the Alder Lake-S CPUs were leaked which included:

  • Alder Lake-S (8+8+1) 125W Config
  • Alder Lake-S (8+8+1) 80W Config
  • Alder Lake-S (6+0+1) 80W Config

As you can see, the CPUs will feature various configurations with a max of 8 high-performance and 8 efficiency-optimized cores. There's the unlocked variants with 125W and locked variants with 80W TDPs. There's also a 6 (big) core configuration which doesn't include efficiency optimized cores but it looks like Intel plans to offer the higher end variants without the smaller cores too. While the chip design methodology isn't anything new as we have seen several mobility SOCs feature similar core hierarchy, it would definitely be interesting to see a similar outing on a high-performance desktop CPU lineup.

With that said, the Alder Lake-S CPUs will feature support on a newer LGA 1700 socket and will feature an enhanced variant of the Xe GPU which will be available by the time of its launch. Intel is also investigating performance scaling of Alder Lake-S CPUs with TDPs as high as 150W that would be a true enthusiast desktop part, something to challenge the likes of the Ryzen 9 3950X 16 core processor in the desktop department.

The same Chiphell rumor that is mentioned above also states that the Alder Lake-S CPUs will be utilizing Intel's Golden Cove architecture to power the big cores and Gracemont, the generation after Tremont to power the Small cores. Following are some of the updates you should expect from Intel's 2021 architecture lineup:

Intel Golden Cove (Core) Architecture:

  • 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

Golden Cove would be a big architectural jump over Willow Cove, offering an entirely new design and a range of improvements to power the bigger cores while Gracemont would do the same for Tremont, offering higher performance per watt in smaller but efficient cores.

Intel Mainstream Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

Intel CPU FamilyProcessor ProcessProcessors Cores/Threads (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)Intel 716/2435-125W600 SeriesLGA 1700/1800DDR5 / DDR4PCIe Gen 5.02021
Raptor Lake (13th Gen)Intel 724/3235-125W700-SeriesLGA 1700/1800DDR5 / DDR4PCIe Gen 5.02022
Meteor Lake (14th Gen)Intel 4TBA35-125W800 Series?LGA 1851DDR5PCIe Gen 5.02023
Arrow Lake (15th Gen)Intel 20A40/48TBA900-Series?LGA 1851DDR5PCIe Gen 5.02024
Lunar Lake (16th Gen)Intel 18ATBATBA1000-Series?TBADDR5PCIe Gen 5.0?2025
Nova Lake (17th Gen)Intel 18ATBATBA2000-Series?TBADDR5?PCIe Gen 6.0?2026

The other interesting thing about this listing is that it also mentions product families that were scrapped off entirely. The Ice Lake-S desktop processor family is listed too and the family was allegedly going to feature support on the LGA 1221 socket.

We know that Ice Lake-S never materialized for the desktop platform and instead we got two 14nm refreshes this and last year. The LGA 1200 socket could've taken inspiration from the LGA 1221 socket and this list also shows LGA 1200 socket to support Comet Lake-S and Rocket Lake-S CPUs which has since been confirmed by various sources. You won't definitely hear much about Alder Lake this year but after the launch of Rocket Lake, you can expect a bombardment of information on Intel's next-generation desktop CPU family.