Intel Rocket Lake S CPU With PCIe 4.0 And Integrated Xe Graphics Leaks Online Confirming ‘Willow Cove’ Cores Onto A 14nm Microarchitecture?

A series of new leaks appear to confirm the arrival of the new Intel Rocket Lake S CPU that will have Willow Cove Cores but will be manufactured on the archaic 14nm architecture. While earlier reports indicated Intel is ready with the new 10nm+ Production Process, it seems the company is still clinging to the increasingly old 14nm Node.

The rumored Intel Rocket Lake S is expected to arrive sometime in the second half of 2020. Based on previous reports, the new CPU could be a 14nm backport of the Tiger Lake architecture on a new microarchitecture with Willow Cove Cores that are manufactured on the 10nm process. Additionally, Intel could finally adopt the much-awaited PCIe 4.0 standard among other benefits.

New Leak Suggests Intel Rocket Lake Will Benefit From Next-generation 10nm Willow Cove Cores With Better Clock-Speeds From 14nm:

It is increasingly clear that Intel is nowhere close to giving up on the 14nm Fabrication Node. However, the refusal to evolve to the 10nm, and possibly 6nm or even 3nm in the near future, is due to the immense benefits the archaic platform can still offer. A new leak now strongly suggests that Rocket Lake-S will be a major upgrade from any of Intel’s prior 14nm desktop silicon.

[Image Credit: VideoCardz]
Apparently, the new Rocket Lake S will first arrive on the 500-series motherboards. The leaked block diagram claims the Rocket Lake-S CPUs will bring a new core architecture, the Willow Cove, Xe integrated graphics, 12-bit AV1, PCIe 4.0, twice the DMI 3.0 lanes, and Thunderbolt 4.0. For reasons yet unknown, the Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX) security instructions seem to have been omitted.

Rocket Lake-S will logically succeed Intel Comet Lake-S, which in turn, is expected to be succeeded by 10nm++ Alder Lake-S. As reported earlier, Intel is taking a completely radical approach to build the Alder Lake-S APU by deploying the big.LITTLE hybrid design. All this simply means Rocket Lake-S could be Intel’s last 14nm platform for the consumer market before the company confidently moves on to the 10nm Node. The server market won’t though. Intel has planned Cooper Lake on 14nm++ this year before taking the server-grade CPUs on to the next-generation Fabrication Process.

Intel Rocket Lake-S Specifications And Features:

Rocket Lake-S CPUs will require the new-generation 500-series motherboards. Incidentally, motherboard manufacturers were expecting Intel to implement the PCIe 4.0 standard on the current-generation Intel processors, but it appears it will be the Rocket Lake-S CPUs that will first have the capability. Although based on the 14nm process, the new Willow Cove microarchitecture should offer a substantial boost in IPC gains, and the CPUs could confidently support higher clock speeds. Needless to add, higher processor frequencies have been one of Intel’s most promising points.

Coming to the specifications and features of the Intel Rocket Lake-S Processors, they will feature 12bit AV1, HEVC and E2E compression along with the new Xe graphics architecture. Such features should make the new processors very attractive for entry-level gamers. Experts indicate Intel would ensure overclocking capabilities. In addition to the PCIe 4.0 standard, the new Intel processors would also have increased DDR4 support natively. Intel is building in a total of 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes and the motherboard manufacturers may include more.

Intel is also including discrete Intel Thunderbolt 4, which is expected to be USB 4.0 complaint. Needless to add, this will have a tremendous impact on data speeds. Hence, consumers could potentially attach new-generation storage drives as well as external discrete GPU enclosures.


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Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.
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