Intel hybrid core design in 12th Gen Alder Lake CPU

Intel is jumping into the hybrid core design even for desktops. PCIe 5 and DDR 5 with Alder Lake.

Intel 12th gen Alder Lake CPU will come with a hybrid core design. The hybrid architecture is a combination of high-performance cores and power-efficient cores. Before Intel, Apple showcased the hybrid arm architecture in M1 processors that are already giving massive performance gains.

Introducing Hybrid Solutions for Desktop PCs could be a crucial change against AMD. Currently, after the launch of Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 CPU desktops chip market is ruling by AMD. Intel has lost its single-thread performance and gaming performance edge as well. The next 11th gen Rocket Lake CPUs are also a part of the 14nm family with cypress cove architecture.

Intel Alder Lake Specs

Intel has confirmed that the Alder Lake’s high-performance cores will have Golden Cove architecture, while the power-efficient cores will come with the Gracemont architecture. The company will make these chips on 10 nm Enhanced SuperFin process, first 10 nm chips for desktop, after a long run of 14 nm.

Intel will bring PCIe 5 and DDR5 support with Alder Lake. It seems like PCIe 4 may be short-lived. New 12th gen CPU will require LGA 1700 socket motherboard. will Support the new Gen12 Xe graphics to power the iGPU of the chip.

CES 2021 Intel Alder Lake
CES 2021 Intel Alder Lake

The hybrid core design is more practical to mobile devices like it can save battery, but how it will impact desktop computing, currently, it’s too early to comment. Moreover, the operating system and applications will require optimization to leverage the lder lake CPU.

For instance, if a latency-sensitive workload like web browsing lands in a slower core, performance will suffer. Likewise, if a background task runs into a fast Core, the potential power efficiency will lose.

Intel Alder Lake CPU Core Roadmap
Intel Alder Lake CPU Core Roadmap

Both Windows and different applications will support the technique called hardware-guided OS scheduler. So that the power-intensive and low power-intensive program uses the correct core.

Intel Chief Architect Raja Koduri mentioned that a new “next-generation” hardware-guided OS scheduler that’s optimized for performance would debut with Alder Lake, but didn’t provide further details. 

An important part is the new Hybrid x86 design, For the first time, the desktop segment chip will contain both a powerful core and a power-efficient core. Availability, Intel has not shared any date of release. As of now, we know that Alder lake may release in late 2021 and the entire line-up till early 2022.

Alder Lake-S core/thread configuration- Not Official

Big + Small CoresCores / ThreadsGPU
8 + 816 / 24GT1 – Gen12 32EU
8 + 614 / 22GT1 – Gen12 32EU
8 + 412 / 20GT1 – Gen12 32EU
8 + 210 / 18GT1 – Gen12 32EU
8 + 08 / 16GT1 – Gen12 32EU
6 + 814 / 20GT1 – Gen12 32EU
6 + 612 / 18GT1 – Gen12 32EU
6 + 410 / 16GT1 – Gen12 32EU
6 + 28 / 14GT1 – Gen12 32EU
6 + 06 / 12GT1 – Gen12 32EU
4 + 04 / 8GT1 – Gen12 32EU
2 + 02 / 4GT1 – Gen12 32EU
Source – Tom’sHardware

Intel is already working with Lake Field, their first x86 hybrid chip for ultra-low-power devices. So it’s not new for Intel to work with hybrid chips, even for desktops. Using the new 10nm process node gives Intel enough room to play with power consumption and performance. Intel’s current 10th gen Comet Lake CPUs (Ex- Core i9-10900K -14nm++++…..) are already power-hungry chips.

New LGA 1700 Socket 600-Series Motherboard

Intel 12th gen Alder lake will require new 600 series LGA 1700 socket motherboard. Motherboard up-gradation is not different with Intel. However, It’s not surprising to hear. Intel will use a hybrid core design with more pins, so naturally, we will need a new motherboard. The larger socket is required to accommodate 500 more pins than the LGA1200 socket. Those pins are necessary to support modern interfaces, like PCIe 5.0 and DDR5, among other purposes, power delivery.

In short, Intel is changing its approach to achieve performance and stay in the market. Similar to the way Apple decided to do with its mac devices. Indeed, the new hybrid core design can be a more accomplishable chip for mobile devices. But desktop implementation is still skeptical. With this in mind that AMD still provides all-powerful high-core count CPUs.

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