According to a Tweet by UH, Intel is planning to launch its 12th Gen Alder Lake-S CPUs in September 2021, just seven months after the 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S hit retail. The former is going to be Intel’s first 10nm desktop processor lineup with a hybrid core architecture. It’ll be the first time the company will be making a heterogeneous processor family with both (Golden) Cove-class and (Grace) Mont-class cores on the same die. Although Lakefield was a similar design, it was a much smaller chip with a limited production scale.
At Intel’s Q4 earnings call, Bob Swan announced that the Alder Lake CPUs will be qualified for mass production in the second half of 2021, so this info seems rather legit. This, however, indicates that Rocket Lake will be a very short-lived product family, having the front row for just about seven months (March to August). From the benchmarks that we’ve seen till now, it would seem that Rocket Lake is just a smidge faster than Comet Lake in gaming and more or less on par with the similarly priced Ryzen 5000 parts, all the while leaving the Ryzen 9 lineup unchallenged.
Both the Golden Cove and Gracemont core architectures are supposed to offer a major performance uplift over Skylake and the Ice Lake backport (Cypress Cove). Considering the short lifeline of Rocket Lake and the minor performance improvement that it brings with it, it would seem that the 11th Gen lineup is more of a refresh (yet again), rather than a generational upgrade. That honor will go to Alder Lake-S, the first radical redesign of Intel’s desktop processor architecture.