A bunch of Intel’s marketing slides has surfaced shedding light on the company’s 10nm plans for the desktop market along with other related commitments. This is the first time we’re seeing mention of a 10nm desktop CPU lineup, but it also makes the roadmap all the more confusing.
As you can see, the above slide promises a slew of 10nm based lineups in 2020:
- Alder Lake: Intel’s first 10nm desktop CPUs.
- Tiger Lake Mobile: Successor to Ice Lake with superior IPC and improved single-threaded performance with a focus on AI workloads.
- Ice Lake Xeon Scalable: 10nm Sunny Cove cores for the server space, promising fat IPC gains and better performance across the board.
- DG1: First Discrete Graphics Card based on Xe Architecture
- Snow Ridge: First 5G-Ready 10nm SoC for Base Station
We already know for a fact that the 10th Gen Comet Lake-S lineup is coming next month, and rumors put the 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S launch at the end of 2020. It wouldn’t make sense to launch a third lineup in the form of Alder Lake the same year. However, if Intel uses the same strategy as it did for its mobile parts, then it’s possible that Alder Lake and Rocket Lake will both form the 11th Gen desktop lineup.
Both leverage a post-Skylake core architecture which means a healthy IPC boost and better single-threaded performance. The core counts are also said to be pegged at 8 for Rocket Lake. It’s likely that Alder Lake will either increase it to 10 or offer higher frequencies/better ST performance. This is a very possible scenario, but as already mentioned in the beginning would make Intel’s lineup even more confusing.
The second slide doesn’t provide any new info, rather it affirms Intel’s portfolio. We should see further 10nm parts in the form of Ice Lake SP and Tiger Lake mobile in the coming months, with the first 7nm chips in 2021. It’s not clear which product stacks will get an upgrade to the smaller node in 2021, but my guess is that like 10nm, the mobile lineups will get the honor, followed by server and data center chips (perhaps Xe).
The mainstream desktop CPUs will most likely make the transition in 2023. That would mark two years since the introduction of the 10nm Alder Lake-based chips on the platform, in line with the 2-year cadence.