Launch in November with PCIe 5.0, DDR5, and new coolersPreviously, we heard the Alder Lake architecture would be released in the second half of this year, with a launch towards the end of the year being the most likely. Now WCCF Tech narrows down the launch date to November.
Alder Lake-S is Intel's first 10nm architecture for the desktop market and it's an architecture that will span both the mobile and desktop markets. Alder Lake is quite a big upgrade, it will require a new motherboard with LGA1700 socket and will introduce support for DDR5 memory and PCI Express 5.0. The chip will also get DDR4 support so motherboard makers will be able to choose which memory standard they implement. This is not uncommon when a new memory standard launches -- DDR5 supply may be low at first and it gives consumers the option to reuse old memory or to buy cheaper DDR4.
Other than this, the biggest change is the switch to a hybrid core architecture. Alder Lake will pack up to eight high-performance cores in combination with up to eight energy-efficient cores. It's the first time Intel is using this technique for a mass market product. It's an idea from the Arm world that is now making its way into the x86 marketplace. Single-threaded performance is expected to increase by up to 20 percent, according to leaked Intel slides.
The new LGA1700 socket is rectangular and will require new coolers. Interestingly, WCCF Tech also picked up a rumor that Intel may switch to a platform-agnostic socket philosophy:
Another important change with Alder Lake is that the die will be rectangular in size so the LGA 1700 socket will be vastly different to existing LGA ones. This also means that it will require new coolers as old ones would not be able to mate to the new socket. We are also hearing that Intel has decided to take another page out of AMD's book and will be going for a platform-agnostic socket philosophy (although this bit is not set in stone yet) with future generations being supported on the same socket (like AMD's AM4/AM5).