Intel Alder Lake CPUs: Everything we know about its first 10nm desktop chip

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Intel is taking a page out of smartphone processors with a hybrid processor architecture that can used as a stopgap before it can launch 7nm desktop silicon.
After suffering numerous delays and setbacks to its 10nm chip design, Intel finally launched its Ice Lake mobile processors in late 2019. On the desktop, however, 10nm won't be arriving until about two years after Ice Lake's launch. Intel confirmed at CES earlier this year that Alder Lake will launch toward the end of 2021 with an enhanced 10nm SuperFin process.

Though 10nm will soon be available on both desktop and mobile, Intel still trails behind rival AMD, which pushed ahead to 7nm in 2019. There's still a lot about Alder Lake to be excited for, however, especially on desktop, as the platform ushers in a new architecture that focuses on efficiency and performance. And with up to 16 cores, Intel has its eyes set squarely on AMD's 16-core mainstream Ryzen CPU. Little information has been announced about the processor platform since Intel's CES teaser, but here's everything we know about Intel's 12th-gen Alder Lake processors so far.

Pricing and availability

Intel announced that its 12th-gen Alder Lake is slated to debut in late 2021, and we expect the mobile variant to arrive first. This means that desktop variants of the chip will likely arrive in early 2022, which matches up with a prior rumored timeline posted on Notebook Check. We expect that Alder Lake could be announced as early as September, according to recent leaks.

Intel only announced its 10th-gen Comet Lake-S for the desktop at the end of 2019, before they arrived in the first half of 2020. That processor is based on Intel's 14nm++ process, representing the company's fifth optimization for this architecture.

Intel is next expected to move to its 11th-gen Rocket Lake on the desktop, which will again be based on Intel's 14nm design. A recent leak posted by SharkBay and published by Wccftech suggests that the chipset will come with Gen 12 Xe graphics, eight cores of processing power, and a revision of the Willow Cove microarchitecture that's been ported back to 14nm.

Despite numerous leaks in…
Chuong Nguyen
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