Following leaks is often a game of cat and mouse – what is actually legitimate and what might not be. Traditionally AnandTech shies away from leaks for that very reason, and we prefer to have multiple sources that are saying the same thing, rather than addressing every potential rumor on the blogosphere. Nonetheless, hints towards a new product from Intel, Alder Lake, have been cropping up over the past few months, including getting a small mention in Intel’s Q2 2020 earnings. The leaks have suggested that it would offer a mixed Hybrid x86 environment similar to Intel’s current Lakefield product that uses high-performance cores paired with high-efficiency cores. As part of Intel’s Architecture Day 2020, the company officially announced Alder Lake as a hybrid x86 product on its roadmaps.

In the roadmap and as part of the discussions, Intel’s Raja Koduri confirms that Alder Lake will be a combination of the Golden Cove high performance computing core and the Gracemont high efficiency core, and the goal of this chip is to offer a ‘Performance Hybrid’ option into the portfolio. Raja explained to the audience that the company has learned a lot due to building Lakefield, its current hybrid x86 chip for thin and light notebooks, and while Lakefield was focused on battery life, Alder Lake will focus instead on performance.

Alder Lake will involve Intel’s next generation hardware scheduler, which we are told will be able to leverage all cores for performance and make it seamless to any software package. Intel claims that Alder Lake will be Intel’s best (ever? 2021?) performance-per-watt processor.

If leaks are to be believed, then Alder Lake looks set to offer an 8+8 design, although that has not been confirmed. Intel did not go into detail if Alder Lake will involve any next generation packaging, such as Foveros (which Lakefield does) – but in the Q2 2020 financial disclosures, it was said to be positioned for mobile and desktops. We expect Intel to discuss Golden Cove and Gracemont at some point next year, and then Alder Lake as an extension to those – we have already seen Intel documents regarding new instructions for each of these cores. My prediction is to come back this time next year, where we should have more to talk about.

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  • evilpaul666 - Sunday, August 16, 2020 - link

    Does Gracemont support the same SIMD instruction set that Golden Cove does? I'm wondering if they plan to use the low power cores for heavily multithreaded and efficiency on the desktop parts. I'm otherwise unsure where the plan is other than Intel not caring about the desktop. I guess you could turn off the fan on the heatsink if it's only using 2W or something. Reply
  • JayNor - Sunday, August 16, 2020 - link

    The Alder Lake info says no hyper-threading.

    Intel is also using Gracemont in the 24 core Grand Ridge, which appears to be a successor to the P5900 Snow Ridge family chips... also no hyper-threading.
    Reply
  • Meteor2 - Monday, August 17, 2020 - link

    SIMD is not SMT. Reply
  • JayNor - Sunday, August 16, 2020 - link

    The Tiger Lake presentation stated that Intel doubled the bandwidth by using a dual ring bus. See slide 65. Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Sunday, August 16, 2020 - link

    Thanks Ian! Question: any statement by Intel whether the big cores in Alder Lake will have AVX2 and AVX512? Asking as one of the issues in Lakefield that kept AVX out of Lakefield's big core were (reportedly) concerns about problems with handovers from big to little cores, as Monts don't have AVX. Will the new scheduler address that? Reply
  • Meteor2 - Monday, August 17, 2020 - link

    Seems really weird to be including Mont in a desktop chip. The power draw for light tasks just isn't that different between a Cove core and a Mont core. Reply
  • Meteor2 - Monday, August 17, 2020 - link

    ...unless the idea is to remove non-experience-critical tasks from the big cores, allowing them to concentrate on tasks which will make the system feel faster to the user. Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, August 17, 2020 - link

    Anybody else notice how that slide shows Lakefield as a 2019 part... but it's still not available now?

    I'm getting leery of this habit Intel have of simply pretending they did things they didn't really do (Lakefield) / pretending they never tried to do things they weren't able to do (Cannon Lake).
    Reply
  • nandnandnand - Monday, August 17, 2020 - link

    It seems to exist in the hands of real, non-Intel people: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Exclusive-First-benc...

    If availability is nearly zero, I wouldn't notice because I already checked out when I saw the "premium" prices.
    Reply

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