Latest Intel 12th-gen leak gives us a glimpse beyond the desktop

Intel CPU
(Image credit: Future)

Intel’s Alder Lake CPU series has once again been detailed, yet this time we've been given a glimpse at what we can expect beyond the desktop. 

This latest information comes via an update to SiSoftware Sandra, spotted by KitGuru, which confirms that the benchmarking tool will support three variants of the CPU architecture: Alder Lake-S for desktops, Alder Lake-P for laptops, and Alder Lake-M for lower-powered devices. 

These CPUs will all be based a hybrid architecture that features combination of normal cores and low-power cores – a system similar to ARM’s big.LITTLE tech. However, each Alder Lake SKU will come with different core configurations depending on the system it is intended for.

Alder Lake-M, for example, will be limited to 2 big cores and up to 8 small cores, while Alder Lake-S will offer a maximum of 8 big and 8 small cores. 

Some further details about Alder Lake-M have also been hinted through Coreboot, which confirms that the low-power CPUs will feature 10x PCH PCIe lanes, as opposed of the 12x found on Alder Lake-P.

Some more details on Alder Lake-S – which Intel briefly teased during its CES 2021 presentation – has also emerged, courtesy of a submission made on Intel’s open-source Media Driver GitHub. This reveals that the desktop CPUs will boast either the GT0.5 or GT1 Xe-LP iGPUs, featuring the same iGPU architecture as  the Tiger Lake and Rocket Lake platforms. 

All three Alder Lake sub-architectures are expected to launch under the 12th-gen Core series, and though it’s unclear whether all three will arrive at the same time, Intel has confirmed that Alder Lake will arrive in the second half of 2021.

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

According to more recent rumors, Alder Lake-S is likely to launch in September - six months after the arrival of Rocket Lake-S. 

Carly Page

Carly Page is a Freelance journalist, copywriter and editor specialising in Consumer/B2B technology. She has written for a range of titles including Computer Shopper, Expert Reviews, IT Pro, the Metro, PC Pro, TechRadar and Tes.