At Intel architecture day, Chipzilla has presented its works on the upcoming Alder Lake generation of processors. Carrying the first hybrid configuration of big and little cores, Alder Lake processors are the first x86 designs to hit the market with this hybrid setup. Today, thanks to the HKEPC website via momomo_us, we have found an image of early engineering samples (ES) of the Alder Lake processor.
Alder Lake features the combination of smaller, energy-efficient cores that Intel calls E-cores, and bigger, more powerful P-cores that provide the perfect combination for better performance and power usage. Depending on the scenario, Alder Lake will dedicate E-cores to some other workloads, while the P-core will be used for "heavy-weight lifting". The P-core architecture is based on Golden Cove IP, while the E-core is essentially Gracemont design.
According to HKEPC, at HotChips 33, Intel demonstrated that the two P-cores and eight E-cores can give 50% higher performance while using less power than a comparative 4-core P-core design. And this is the reason why Intel decided to use the new hybrid approach.
As per today's findings, HKEPC got a hold of pictures showing early engineering samples of Alder Lake processors, that are conveniently named QWVO. While we don't know the exact configuration of these chips, the image above notes that their frequency is 1.6 GHz, which seems rather low but it could be just the base speed of the E cores.
Additionally, as we await the official launch of the complete Alder Lake line-up, we are wondering how the software will adapt to the hybrid technology. Song Jiqiang from Microsoft noted that the company has optimized Windows 11 OS to support the hybrid approach, opening a whole new area of possibilities for hybrid computing.