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Intel Alder Lake CPUs could arrive as soon as September

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(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Alexander Tolstykh)

Intel has again confirmed that its Alder Lake processors for desktop PCs and laptops are on track to arrive in the second half of 2021, with a rumor also surfacing which contends that September will be the launch month.

As spotted by VideoCardz, this latter speculation comes from leaker Uniko’s Hardware on Twitter, who claims that 600-series motherboards and 12th-gen Alder Lake CPUs will theoretically arrive six months after Rocket Lake (which is rumored to be ready for release in March).

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Of course, Intel typically has a period of around a year (or more) between the release of processor generations, with six months being a very short window indeed – so this is perhaps one to be more wary about than your average rumor. If true, those who buy 11th-gen Rocket Lake chips could perhaps be a bit miffed that their CPUs become last-gen so soon after purchase.

That said, as we mentioned at the outset, Intel has again confirmed that Alder Lake will arrive before the year is out, so even a late H2 debut will likely mean only a couple more months of breathing room between generations.

That is if Intel’s intended launch schedule doesn’t slip, because there’s always the possibility that unforeseen gremlins in the works of one kind or another could cause a delay.

Volume ramp

Intel’s outgoing CEO Bob Swan confirmed: “We will qualify Alder Lake desktop and notebook for production and begin our volume ramp in the second half of 2021.”

Alder Lake will employ a combination of normal cores and low-power cores – a system similar to ARM’s big.LITTLE tech – with the low-power ones being more efficient and able to run the show when the system is idling or under little stress – the idea being that battery life can be saved as a result.

That’s obviously great for laptops, but exactly where the real benefits lie on the desktop is another matter – a point AMD has questioned in recent times with a subtle dig at Intel’s apparent path here.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).