Intel 12th-Gen Alder Lake-S Rumors: Up to 16 Big/Little Cores via Foveros 3D Stacking, New LGA 1700 Socket

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Image: Intel

Intel fans who weren’t blown away by last week’s 10th-gen Core S-series announcement may find comfort in the latest rumors regarding Comet Lake-S and Rocket Lake-S’s successor. According to Chrome Unboxed (which spotted a Chromium update revealing the addition of 12th-gen chipset support), Alder Lake-S CPUs will be developed using Intel’s 3D stacking/packaging technology, Foveros. This technique enables a hybrid chip architecture comprising multiple cores of varying sizes for increased power and performance at a reduced energy cost.

“In 2019, Intel announced its new ‘Lakefield’ hybrid chip architecture that would essentially be the stop-gap between 10 nm and what may eventually be 5 nm process CPUs,” wrote Chrome Unboxed. “Lakefield utilizes 3D ‘stacking’ to produce of sandwich of multiple cores of varying sizes. This allows the CPU to leverage a big.LITTLE design that is similar to what ARM has been doing for years. Lakefield uses the 3D packaging, codenamed Foveros, to pair big Sunny Cove cores with lower-powered Tremont (Atom) cores.”

“The stacking process is designed to increase power and performance while creating a more energy-efficient chipset. Lakefield’s successor, Alder Lake, is rumored to be the first desktop-class CPU to use this hybrid architecture and could feature up-to 16 cores stacked with the Foveros 3D technology. Despite no official timeline from Intel, the CPU has already made an appearance in the Chromium repositories.”

The Chromium update suggests that Alder Lake-S processors may launch relatively soon, but according to a platform listing posted at Taiwan’s lit-tech (via Wccftech), these chips will require a brand-new socket: LGA 1700. This is a larger socket that is rumored to last at least three CPU generations.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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