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Intel Rocket Lake-S Desktop CPUs Reportedly Feature Gen 12 Xe GPUs, Up To 8 Cores at 125W & Up To DDR4-3733 Natively

Nov 28
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Intel's 11th Generation Rocket Lake-S desktop CPU details have started appearing in the online rumor mill. The latest details from the Chinese based PTT PC forums reveal that Rocket Lake-S will feature a couple of changes compared to the 10th Generation Comet Lake-S processors which arrive next year.

Intel Rocket Lake-S 14nm CPUs Reportedly Feature Gen 12 Xe GPUs, Up To 8 Cores at 125W & DDR4-3733 MHz Support

Update: SharkBay has stated that the Rocket Lake-S series would feature AVX-512 and a revision of the Tiger Lake (Willow Cove) architecture ported back to 14nm. He says that AVX-256 was a typo & the final version of Rocket Lake-S and Rocket Lake-U series would indeed have AVX-512 onboard.

Amid 14nm Shortage, Intel Breathes Life into 22nm Pentium G3420

The details are very interesting considering we didn't have a lot of information for Rocket Lake-S CPUs aside from the fact that they were going to be based on the 14nm process node and will be the last 14nm desktop mainstream family before Intel shifts to 7nm. The Intel Rocket Lake-S CPU family is expected to arrive on the mainstream desktop platform by 2021 and will be the 11th Gen family, replacing the 10th Gen Comet Lake-S lineup which is expected to launch in 2020. We have more details about the Comet Lake-S family here.

The Intel Rocket Lake-S processors, once again, will feature an enhanced 14nm node. This will be the last and most advanced 14nm process node which we have seen to date and with most of Intel's processors shifting to sub 14nm in 2021 (Xeon, Notebooks), there will be enough capacity to deliver a timely supply of mainstream desktop processors to consumers.

The 11th Gen family is expected to feature U and S series processors, but we will only be focusing on the S series which is aimed at the mainstream desktop platform. So, for starters, the rumor says that the Rocket Lake-S family will feature up to 8 cores and a TDP of 125W. This is two cores less than the Comet Lake-S family which will offer 10 cores with a TDP of 125W. Rocket Lake-S is also featuring AVX-256 and not AVX-512 like the 10nm Ice Lake or Tiger Lake family. There's also DDR4 support for up to 3733 MHz (32 GB) and 2933 MHz (128 GB) native speeds.

The most significant detail, however, is that the Rocket Lake-S family is expected to feature the Gen 12 GPU architecture onboard the chip. Intel's Gen 12 GPUs are based on the Xe GPU architecture which will also be featured on Tiger Lake CPUs. Now Tiger Lake is a 2020 part too aimed at mobility platforms but is based on the 10nm Willow Cove cores while Rocket Lake-S processors are based on a 14nm process node. There are 32 EUs featured on the Rocket Lake-S processors compared to 48 EUs featured on Comet Lake-S processors. The difference is that Comet Lake-S CPUs still get the older Gen 9 GPU architecture while Rocket Lake reportedly gets Gen 12 Xe GPU.

Intel Z490 Motherboards for 10th Gen Comet Lake-S CPUs Expected to Launch in April 2020

Here's where the rumor gets interesting. For a while now, there has been a rumor going round that Intel would backport their new CPU architecture (say Sunny Cove or Willow Cove) to 14nm CPUs.

This would explain why there are Gen 12 Xe graphics featured on the 14nm Tiger Lake CPUs. But the same chip also has AVX-256 which Intel has upgraded to AVX-512 on their new cores. So that actually raises two possibilities, either the Rocket Lake-S CPUs indeed feature a 14nm backport of a newer core architecture that Intel has introduced on Ice Lake / Tiger Lake CPUs, but with some features cut-off, or the Rocket Lake CPUs are just based on an existing 14nm architecture, but have Gen 12 GPUs on the same die connected by EMIB which allows them to mix and match various IPs on a single chip rather than off-die.

Intel Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

 Intel Sandy BridgeIntel Ivy BridgeIntel HaswellIntel BroadwellIntel SkylakeIntel Kaby LakeIntel Coffee LakeIntel Coffee Lake RefreshIntel Comet LakeIntel Rocket Lake
Processor ArchitectureSandy BridgeIvy BridgeHaswellBroadwellSkylakeKaby LakeCoffee LakeCoffee LakeComet LakeRocket Lake
Processor Process32nm22nm22nm14nm14nm14nm+14nm++14nm++14nm++14nm++
Processors Cores (Max)4/84/84/84/84/84/86/128/1610/2010/20?
Platform Chipset6-Series7-Series8-Series9-Series100-Series200-Series300-Series300-Series400-Series400-Series?
Platform SocketLGA 1155LGA 1155LGA 1150LGA 1150LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1200TBD
Memory SupportDDR3DDR3DDR3DDR3DDR4/DDR3LDDR4/DDR3LDDR4DDR4DDR4DDR4
TDPs35-95W35-77W35-84W65W35-91W35-91W35-95W35-95W35-127WTBD
PlatformDesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGA
Launch201120122013-20142015201520172017201820202021

Also, previous rumors have hinted that Rocket Lake-S CPUs would feature up to 10 cores while the notebook lineup indeed mentioned support for discrete 14nm/10nm graphics (Gen 12). It will be interesting to see what Rocket Lake-S turns out to be but still relying on 14nm in 2021 wouldn't be a great thing for Intel when their competitor would be offering a highly enhanced Zen 4 core based lineup based on an improved 7nm or even sub-7nm process node.

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