Intel may have found a way to match AMD in the core count arena.
An image posted on China’s PTT BBS suggests that Intel’s Alder Lake-S chips (Tiger Lake’s successor) could utilize two different types of cores – “big” cores and “small” cores.
Details are scant aside from proposed core counts and power usage (one SKU could feature 16 cores and a 125 W TDP), but this could be Intel’s version of ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture, which leverages standard cores with weaker ones to tame battery usage in mobile devices.
Alder Lake-S reportedly targets mainstream, high-power desktops, however, so the arrangement seems a little peculiar. Some are already calling this a desperate and dishonest attempt by Intel to catch up to AMD’s rising core counts.
Legitimate or not, these chips could feature an interesting mix of different micro-architectures. One plausible theory, as echoed by VideoCardz, suggests that both Core (Golden Cove?) and Atom (Gracemont?) technologies will be employed.
The image also claims that Alder Lake-S will require a brand-new socket: LGA 1700. This will presumably succeed Comet Lake-S’s LGA 1200, which was designed to meet the higher power-supply requirements of its 10-core processors (e.g., i9-10900K).