Intel’s Next-Gen Alder Lake CPU Pictured, Confirms LGA 1700 Socket Support & Rectangular PCB
The first pictures of Intel's next-generation Alder Lake Desktop CPU have been posted in a leak by Videocardz. The pictures show that Intel plans to make huge changes with its 12th Generation line of processors which will be supported on a brand new socket and platform.
Intel Alder Lake Desktop CPU Pictured, LGA 1700 Support & Rectangular-Shaped Package
Intel has so far officially confirmed that it plans to launch two brand new CPU families in 2021. First is the LGA 1200 socket aimed Rocket Lake lineup which would be released in Q1 2021 & the second is the LGA 1700 socket aimed Alder Lake lineup which is planned for release in the second half of 2021 and will be the first desktop processor family to feature a sub 14nm process node known as 10nm SuperFin or (10++).
The Intel Alder Lake CPU family will bring more than just an architectural upgrade. It's the first CPU lineup on a mainstream desktop platform to feature a mix of smaller "Atom" & bigger "Core" cores which will be packaged in a PCB that would be taller than the square-shaped chips Intel has been making since the previous decade. In the pictures, you can clearly see that the Alder Lake CPU has a more rectangular shape with exact dimensions of 37.5 x 45.0mm whereas the existing CPUs with the square-shaped package feature dimensions that are a perfect square (37.5 x 37.5).
The new dimensions would mean that Alder Lake CPUs and all future CPUs would no longer be compatible with the existing socket layouts. Hence a new socket is required and for Alder Lake-S, that would be the LGA 1700 socket. The backside of the PCB still features a land grid array pin layout and there are a total of 1700 gold contact pads while a large array of caps can be seen fused in the middle of the PCB. The Alder Lake die should obviously be bigger and there are chances that we could see Intel utilize a chiplet design similar to AMD's.
Intel Mainstream Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:
|Intel CPU Family||Processor Process||Processors Cores/Threads (Max)||TDPs||Platform Chipset||Platform||Memory Support||PCIe Support||Launch|
|Sandy Bridge (2nd Gen)||32nm||4/8||35-95W||6-Series||LGA 1155||DDR3||PCIe Gen 2.0||2011|
|Ivy Bridge (3rd Gen)||22nm||4/8||35-77W||7-Series||LGA 1155||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2012|
|Haswell (4th Gen)||22nm||4/8||35-84W||8-Series||LGA 1150||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2013-2014|
|Broadwell (5th Gen)||14nm||4/8||65-65W||9-Series||LGA 1150||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2015|
|Skylake (6th Gen)||14nm||4/8||35-91W||100-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2015|
|Kaby Lake (7th Gen)||14nm||4/8||35-91W||200-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2017|
|Coffee Lake (8th Gen)||14nm||6/12||35-95W||300-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2017|
|Coffee Lake (9th Gen)||14nm||8/16||35-95W||300-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2018|
|Comet Lake (10th Gen)||14nm||10/20||35-125W||400-Series||LGA 1200||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2020|
|Rocket Lake (11th Gen)||14nm||8/16||35-125W||500-Series||LGA 1200||DDR4||PCIe Gen 4.0||2021|
|Alder Lake (12th Gen)||Intel 7||16/24||35-125W||600 Series||LGA 1700||DDR5 / DDR4||PCIe Gen 5.0||2021|
|Raptor Lake (13th Gen)||Intel 7||24/32||35-125W||700-Series||LGA 1700||DDR5 / DDR4||PCIe Gen 5.0||2022|
|Meteor Lake (14th Gen)||Intel 4||TBA||35-125W||800 Series?||TBA||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0?||2023|
|Arrow Lake (15th Gen)||Intel 20A||40/48||TBA||900-Series?||TBA||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0?||2024|
|Lunar Lake (16th Gen)||Intel 18A||TBA||TBA||1000-Series?||TBA||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0?||2025|
|Nova Lake (17th Gen)||Intel 18A||TBA||TBA||2000-Series?||TBA||DDR5?||PCIe Gen 6.0?||2026|
Here's Everything We Know About The Next-Gen Alder Lake CPU Family
The Alder Lake CPUs are not only going to be the first desktop processor family to feature a 10nm process node but would also feature a new design methodology. From what we know so far, Intel plans to include a mix of CPU cores that are based on different IPs. The Alder Lake CPUs will come with standard high-performance 'Cove' cores and smaller yet efficient 'Atom' cores. This big.SMALL design methodology has been incorporated on smartphones for a while now but Alder Lake will be the first time we see it in action in the high-performance segment.
We don't have any specifics of which generation of 'Cove' or 'Atom' architecture Intel plans to utilize for its Alder Lake CPUs but their roadmap does point to Golden Cove and Gracemont architectures availability by 2021. It is possible that we would see these cores in actions first on the desktop CPU platform. However, if Intel was to use an existing architecture for Alder Lake, they would definitely be going with Willow Cove and Tracemont cores. You can learn more about the various Alder Lake SKU configurations here and here.
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
In addition to the chips, the LGA 1700 platform is said to feature the latest and brand new I/O tech such as support for DDR5 memory, PCIe 5.0, and new Thunderbolt / WiFi capabilities. While the chip design methodology isn't anything new as we have seen several SOCs feature similar core hierarchy, it would definitely be interesting to see a similar outing on a high-performance desktop CPU lineup.