Intel confirmed that it will release it’s 11th Gen ‘Rocket Lake’ Desktop CPUs in early 2021. This news comes really close to AMD’s reveal of their new Zen-3 architecture based CPU line. The Intel units have been said to have PCIe 4.0 support on board. Intel has also revealed that their new CPUs will target the gamer community. This is Intel’s attempt at changing the recently observed shift in the gamer community from Intel to AMD for high performance at lower or similar prices.
Rocket Lake will probably be based on the 14nm process but might have completely changed Willow Cove architecture with Xe Graphics and PCIe 4.0 support. It is also expected to have support for Thunderbolt 4 and WiFi 6. While DDR4 will obviously be natively supported, Intel is yet to confirm the support for DDR5 RAM. The model is also expected to have a maximum clock speed of 5.0GHz. The 14nm process could be a backport of the 10nm Tiger Lake which uses the Willow Cove architecture or use the latest revision of the Skylake Architecture which was designed for 14nm process itself.
However, tech gurus estimate that the new processors will have a ceiling of 8-cores which feels a little underwhelming compared to the 16-core options given by AMD. Intel will either heavily rely on their high IPC throughput to make these new units flashy to the gamer community or will later roll out options with more cores. Surprisingly, Intel’s Comet Lake series has already had 10 cores so the point behind the 8-cores on Rocket Lake seems not so clearly visible.
With the Willow Cove architecture, the processors seem promising when it comes to clock speed and will probably hold the market for Intel. Intel has removed the SGX security from the unit but will surely reveal the alternative soon as with all the growing concern for security vulnerabilities, the question of safety becomes a big one. Whether the targeted users like it or not is something we will have to wait and see.