December 5, 2019 | 21:24
It's been rumoured that Intel's Rocket Lake CPU architecture will come with up to eight cores and Intel Xe graphics, according to a forum post claiming insider knowledge.
Obviously, it's always worth taking such rumours with a hefty pinch of salt but these stem from PTTWeb forum user, sharkbay, who has previously been fairly reliable in the past.
Before now, we only really knew that Rocket Lake is Intel's successor to Comet Lake (which also hasn't yet launched), and is probably going to be the last processor to feature the 14nm manufacturing process before Intel switches over to 10nm.
According to sharkbay, there will be Rocket Lake-U chips for mobile and Rocket Lake-S chips for desktop systems. The former will come with up to six cores, while the latter will have up to eight cores. Notice that Comet Lake is rumoured to offer 10 cores on the same TDP - 125W, so on the surface this seems like a step back for Intel.
Still, it looks like Rocket Lake, based on the newer Willow Cove architecture instead of Skylake, will offer some different improvements elsewhere. For instance, there's its rumoured AVX-512 support compared to Comet Lake's AVX-256, Rocket Lake is also rumoured to have a DDR4 Speed of 2,933MHz compared to Comet Lake's 2,666MHz, with LPDDR4x speed increased to 3,733MHz compared to Comet Lake's 2,933MHz. Potentially, Intel could also be pursuing high clock frequencies with Rocket Lake which would explain the same voltage as Comet Lake. There's also the implementation of Intel Xe/Gen12 graphics which Comet Lake isn't likely to offer.
Much has already been touted about the potentials of Intel Xe, with the possibility of it shaking up the GPU marketplace (eventually, at least).
For now, these should still all be considered rumours. After all, we're talking about developments that will take a while to come into effect. Rocket Lake isn't expected until 2021, with Comet Lake arriving in 2020. However, such rumours are fairly plausible. They tie reasonably neatly into Intel's revised roadmap that was released earlier this year, for instance, and sharkbay has been accurate in the past.
Given AMD's growing dominance and successful performance with Ryzen Threadripper, expect to see Intel potentially making a few tweaks along the way to potentially regain a hold on the high-end market.
February 17 2020 | 09:00