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Intel 14nm Rocket Lake CPUs missing Core i9, maxing out at 8 cores

Intel processor

Intel Rocket Lake will reportedly come with up to eight cores and Gen12 graphics according to a forum post claiming insider knowledge – make of that what you will. The CPU architecture currently touted for 2021 will remain on the 14nm process, and reports claim it will be fitted with just eight cores despite its predecessor, Intel Comet Lake, rocking 10-cores next year.

Rumoured as another Skylake derivative, Rocket Lake appears to deviate from previous iterations thanks to Gen12 graphics – effectively Intel Xe. The graphics architecture powering Intel’s discrete graphics project next year is split across many related microarchitectures for various applications, from supercomputers to mobile chips. If the information, posted on ptt.cc (via momomo_us) rings true, it’s the low-power integrated graphics microarchitecture that could be ported back to 14nm with Rocket Lake for a total of 32 EUs.

Rocket Lake S processors, traditionally the unfettered desktop parts, will also max out at eight cores. A little odd considering Intel Comet Lake processors, expected relatively soon, are suspected with up to 10 cores – a constant in Comet Lake leaks to date. According to the poster of the leaked information, Intel’s i9 processors – the best of the best for client desktop before HEDT – may be produced on a different platform, and not Rocket Lake.

Whether it would take a similar form to Intel’s HEDT lineup, we can’t say for sure. But with AMD Threadripper cranking up the pressure, and following price drops on Intel’s high-end processors, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Intel address and adjust its high-end desktop strategy, including the i9, in order to tackle the competitive market conditions.

It’s worth noting that we are unable to verify the legitimacy of these leaks, and Intel’s roadmaps are, historically, subject to change.

Rocket Lake is expected in 2021, which would have Intel relying on its 14nm process for a few more years until retiring it for 10nm and then 7nm desktop processors. Despite delays closing the window before Intel’s 7nm process (also said to be on track) reaches process node maturity and volume production, Intel has indicated it will be going ahead with 10nm desktop CPUs.

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