The latest leak from Videocardz is about a very interesting platform from Intel: Rocket Lake S. This is a CPU platform that is expected to arrive sometime in the second half of 2020 and could potentially turn out to be a 14nm backport of the Tiger Lake architecture – which features Intel’s Willow Cover cores on the 10nm process. The adoption of PCIe 4.0 and utilization of integrated Xe graphics has also been confirmed with this leak.
Intel Rocket Lake S: Next-generation Willow Cove cores and the high clock-speeds of 14nm
Rocket Lake-S will be housed on 500-series motherboards and will have features that are characteristic of a major architectural change. Willow Cove itself is going to result in massive IPC uplifts and considering this is probably based on the 14nm process – it might be able to sustain the high clock speeds that were the saving grace of Intel’s current generation of processors. The result might be a platform that is significantly faster (think Nehalem to Sandy Bridge) than the generation it succeeds and could even put the hurt to its upcoming 10nm family if the clock rates don’t improve enough.
It features 12bit AV1, HEVC and E2E compression along with the new Xe graphics architecture – which should make pretty much all of these processors ship with entry-level gaming capability. New overclocking capabilities will also be included (Intel will want to boast its clocks if this is going to be the last generation on 14nm. PCIe 4.0 is also finally included along with increased DDR4 support natively. 20 total CPU PCIe 4.0 lanes are included with Intel Rocket Lake S although the chipset on the motherboard should add quite a few more. It is not confirmed at this point where the PCH PCIe lanes will be PCIe 4.0 as well.
Discrete Intel Thunderbolt 4 (USB4 compliant) is also included – which should also significant IO speedup (think faster-attached storage as well as external dGPU enclosures). All in all, this is shaping up to be a solid upgrade over Intel’s existing lineup. The only thing that might raise some eyebrows is the fact that Intel SGX security has been removed. I am sure Intel must have had a very good reason to do this but in the wake of the tons of security vulnerabilities, the company has fallen prey to, all eyes of security enthusiasts and corporate clients will be on features like these.
While we do not have any idea of the kind of IPC we can expect going from Comet Lake S to Rocket Lake S, all evidence points to this being a “revolutionary” jump as opposed to an “evolutionary” one. In fact, this leak would actually make gamers and enthusiasts wait for the arrival of RKL-S and skip Comet Lake S entirely because of the massive opportunity cost that this platform will leave them with.
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