Although Intel's new Comet Lake-S CPUs have yet to hit retailers, leaks about Intel's plans as far ahead as two generations are starting to do the rounds on the grapevine.
Firstly, the leak from the PPT Forums suggests Intel's 11th-Gen Rocket Lake-S CPUs will offer SKUs with a cap of 8 cores, as opposed to the ten cores found in the Comet Lake-S line-up. This naturally raises questions about what exactly is the strategy fuelling what many would consider a step backward.
One potential answer could be a new core design with upper power efficiency that simply outguns Comet Lake-S, making the need for extra cores obsolete. Rocket Lake-S will be a retooled and upgraded Comet Lake-S, a backport to the Willow Cove architecture using 14 nm with the aim being to hit high IPC and clock speeds for the desktop gaming market.
Reported leaks have also produced TDP and power level specifications, which are not dissimilar to those of Comet Lake-S.
The leak suggests three SKUs CPUs that range from 95 W (8 core), 80 W, and 65 W TDP (4/6/8 core). Looking at the 95 W power levels, these will range from 173 W PL2 and 215 W PL4. For the 80 W SKU, 146 W PL2, 191 W PL3, and 251 W PL4. And finally for the 65 W SKU, these are 128 W PL2, 177 W PL3, and 251 W PL4.
Other expected features include increased DDR4 speed, Xe graphics, PCIe 4.0, new overclocking features, 2.5 Gb LAN, Intel Wireless CNVi-AX, and discrete Intel Thunderbolt 4.
Moving to the 12th-Gen Alder Lake-S chips, these will reportedly launch on a new LGA1700 socket, representing yet another socket switch for Intel.
The leak points to Alder Lake-S as Intel's genuine architectural shift in quite a while, waving goodbye to the now near-decade-old 14 nm process node. Benefits should include a significant IPC upgrade, 16 core SKUs, PCIe 4.0 support, and a DDR5 memory interface with 4800 GT/s for 1DPC, and 4000 GT/s for 2DPC.
These are expected to arrive sometime in 2021.