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Intel's Rocket Lake is due to be Intel's biggest desktop CPU upgrade in years

A new core architecture, PCIe 4.0 and more? Yes, please!

Intel's Rocket Lake is due to be Intel's biggest desktop CPU upgrade in years

Intel's Rocket Lake is due to be Intel's biggest desktop CPU upgrade in years

Intel's planned Rocket Lake series processors could be the gamechanger that the CPU giant is looking for, delivering users a "new processor core architecture", PCIe 4.0 support and a new Xe-powered graphics processor. 

For years, Intel has been stuck on 14nm with Skylake-based core architectures, delivering minor architectural tweaks as we have moved to Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, Coffee Lake-R and now Comet Lake. This constant re-releasing of Skylake series architectures has limited Intel's ability to innovate, and has allowed the company's rivals to catch up to the CPU giant in recent years.   
 
With Rocket Lake, which is rumoured to be a 14nm backport of Tiger Lake's Willow Cove CPU cores, Intel plans to deliver some long-awaited IPC improvements to its core architecture. With Rocket Lake, Intel will also move desktop systems away from its 9th generation graphics solutions. This should deliver increased single-threaded performance on desktop processors, and add several other features to Intel's desktop platforms. 

Another significant leap that Intel has reportedly made with Rocket Lake is PCIe 4.0 support, as uncovered by Videocardz, though this support will be limited to direct to CPU PCIe lanes. Intel's Rocket Lake chipset will remain connected using PCIe 3.0, though Intel has seemingly doubled its DMI bandwidth by using eight PCIe 3.0 lanes instead of four. 

On Intel's Rocket Lake series chipsets will also come support for 2.5 Gb Ethernet and Thunderbolt 4, but as we have discussed before, Thunderbolt 4 is not a major leap over Thunderbolt 3. Thunderbolt 4 is just Intel's name for fully-featured USB4 ports which also support Thunderbolt 3. 

Another thing to note is that the slide below confirms that Intel's (SGX) Software Guard Extensions have been removed from Rocket Lake. This won't matter to many desktop users, but it is interesting that this removal will come after the discovery of a hardware vulnerability within Intel's SGX platform

  

Intel's Rocket Lake is due to be Intel's biggest desktop CPU upgrade in years

(Image from Videocardz)

 

Intel's Rocket Lake promises to offer a huge leap in processor performance for Intel, though at this time it is unknown when this CPU platform will release onto the desktop market. Comet Lake hasn't been released for desktop CPU platforms yet, making it unlikely that we will see the release of Rocket Lake before 2020. Even then, an early 2020 release seems unlikely.  

You can join the discussion on Intel's Rocket Lake CPU architecture on the OC3D Forums

  

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Most Recent Comments

23-03-2020, 08:17:41

RobM
14+++++++Quote

23-03-2020, 08:28:30

Avet
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM View Post
14+++++++
They are still competitive even at 14nm. More bandwidth for NVME drives was long overdue on Intel's platform.

There is a typo: "Comet Lake hasn't been released for desktop CPU platforms yet, making it unlikely that we will see the release of Rocket Lake before 2020. Even then, an early 2020 release seems unlikely." It should be 2021. Unless this was a leak from the parallel universe. Quote

23-03-2020, 09:00:11

smilertoo
Intel pretty much sat on their hands release wise for the last decade, they should have massive upgrades ready to go.Quote

23-03-2020, 09:04:39

tgrech
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avet View Post
They are still competitive even at 14nm.
Competitive in performance, not so much in cost. Even with their higher pricing, their margins must be getting pretty dismal at this point.

Even with Skylake they were on about 175mm^2 monolithic dies for the 8 cores with only a slither going to the GPU at that point, could easily be looking at 250mm^2 10-core monolithic die sizes, if they still have to go that route, it's hard to see how they could even get into the same loose price bracket as AMD for a given core count in terms of BOM cost.Quote
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