A few months back, a rumor stated that Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs would use a hybrid, big-little architecture with up to eight high-performance and eight low power cores. This is similar to how ARM-based mobile chips are designed. The high-performance cores kick in when running more intensive applications like game while the low power cores are utilized for simpler workloads like browsing and word processing. Now, HWiNFO has announced the planned addition of “Hybrid CPUs” AKA Alder Lake in the coming update.
Monitoring tools like HWiNFO usually don’t add support unless they’re somewhat certain about the product in question. Today’s update added PCH support for Alder Lake along with enhanced monitoring for AMD Renoir and the upcoming Zen 3 family. Other notable mentions in the changelog include preliminary support of Navi21 and Navi22 which are basically AMD’s next-gen Navi 2x GPUs (Yes, including Big Navi).
Back to the topic on hand, Alder Lake desktop CPUs are going to be Intel’s first mainstream lineup based on the 10nm node. The core architecture is most likely going to be Willow Cove, albeit with higher boost clocks than contemporary Ice Lake parts.
Alder Lake isn’t the first hybrid CPU Intel’s worked on. The upcoming Lakefield SoCs with four Tremont cores and one Sunny Cove core is one hybrid architecture that Intel’s designed in recent times. However, Lakefield is going to be limited to low-power handheld devices and notebooks. It’s not clear whether only the mobile Alder Lake chips will feature the hybrid (big-little) architecture or if it’ll extend to desktop parts as well.