Intel delivers top performance in the hybrid Alder Lake chip for desktops and laptops

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    Alder Lake will be Intel’s first chip released on the newly renamed Intel 7 technology node

    Intel gave a sneak peek of some of the changes that will be included in its new chips, starting with the Alder Lake series coming out later this year.

    Rather than being the next generation of high-performance CPU cores, Alder Lake will feature the company’s latest hybrid architecture, offering a mix of performance and efficiency x86 cores. Intel specifies both as part of its announcements for Architecture Day 2021.

    Alder Lake will be Intel’s first chip to be released on the newly renamed Intel 7 Technology Node, which uses technology similar to the current 10nm technology.

    The new x86 performance core, code-named “Golden Cove”, will replace the Willow Cove cores currently found in the 11th generation of Tiger Lake processors. Intel says it is the most powerful CPU core ever, but it only offered a comparison to the Cypress Cove cores.

    With the new x86 efficient core, which bears the code name “Gracemont”, Intel wants to have the most efficient x86 CPU core in the world and still offer a higher IPC than the Skylake chips. Intel claims that one of its new “efficient” cores offers 40 percent more performance with the same performance as a Skylake core for single-threaded cases. These improvements are doubled compared to four efficient four-threaded cores to two four-threaded Skylake cores.

    By and large, Verve reported that the “performance” cores are those found in core-class processors, while the “efficiency” cores are similar to those found in Intel’s Atom-class processors. While each of the new architectures is interesting on its own, Intel wants to combine them as a core product in a hybrid architecture, starting with the Alder Lake chips.

    Intel has already tried to develop hybrid architectures with last year’s Lakefield chips. However, these models offered a Sunny Cove power core and four low-power Tremont efficiency cores, and came with a handful of lower-performance devices like the ThinkPad X1 Fold.

    Intel, on the other hand, wants to be much more ambitious with the Alder Lake chips. It showed a range of chips – from 9W to 125W – that would take the hybrid approach and would combine multiple high-end power cores with efficient cores for a wide range of power.

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