Intel to Disclose PC Roadmap Next Week

Generic Intel CPU
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

This week, Intel announced that it would disclose its client PC platform roadmap at a webinar next week. Topics covered will include Intel's view on the total addressable PC market, drivers, and products that Intel intends to reveal in the coming years.

Being the world's largest supplier of microprocessors, Intel suffered the most from softening demand for client PCs. But demand will eventually pick up, and Intel's management must ensure that the company will be ready to satisfy the expectations and needs of customers in the coming years. Intel plans to confirm this to investors in its PC TAM and Platform Roadmap Investor Webinar (opens in new tab).

Indeed, Intel has a lot to talk about regarding its PC platform. Earlier this week, Intel re-emphasized its process technology roadmap and the aim to make its 18A (1.8nm) ready for manufacturing in the second half of 2024. Along with its production nodes, the company mentioned several products for client PCs, including Meteor Lake CPUs due in 2023 and Arrow Lake processors due in 2024, but never mentioned Lunar Lake chips that are (or maybe were) set to debut node sometime in 2025.

 We have also heard rumors about Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs allegedly planned to debut in August or September 2023, but Intel has never confirmed the existence of such chips.

Another important part of the PC spectrum is high-end desktops and workstations. Yesterday Intel confirmed the existence of its Sapphire Rapids processors for workstations. But it never commented on how it plans to use its 34-core Raptor Lake-S silicon.

In any case, the webinar should be an exciting event. The webinar will be hosted by Michelle Johnston Holthaus, executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group, and Christoph Schell, executive vice president, and chief commercial officer.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • cyrusfox
    Execution? Excited to see what they are projecting for future products. It seems like MOAR cores is slowing down on the consumer space, Hope we hear about workstation products as well as future Mobile offerings.
    Reply
  • emike09
    Just give us affordable HEDT again, that's all we're asking.
    Reply
  • helper800
    emike09 said:
    Just give us affordable HEDT again, that's all we're asking.
    The consumer chips with 30+ threads aren't enough? If you need lanes, then I guess you gotta shell out for Ryzen pro Threadripper Pro.
    Reply
  • Nikolay Mihaylov
    helper800 said:
    The consumer chips with 30+ threads aren't enough? If you need lanes, then I guess you gotta shell out for Ryzen pro.

    There's more to HEDT than just threads/cores (and efficiency cores do not cut it!). Mostly a 4 channel memory controller which provides double the throughput but also double the capacity. Or, better speeds at he same capacity when you need 4 modules to achieve the required capacity. And ECC would be nice. Probably not from Intel, if history is any indication, but one would hope that being the underdog changes their perspective WRT market segmentation.

    Then there's the PCIe connectivity. Since on desktop chips it's not enough, MB manufacturers are forced to guess the actual use case in order to come up with the slot distribution. This has had the effect that high-end MBs have worse distribution because current high-end GPUs (which you are supposed to use on a high-end MB, I guess) occupy up to 4 slots. And the first one is usually taken by the M.2 slot because you are supposed to use oversized CPU coolers which may interfere with the card in the first slot so it's risky to place the the GPU slot at the first position. Just give me four x16 slots (supporting 4x4 bifurcation) at positions 1,3,5,7 and three x4 slots in at least x8 physical slots at positions 2, 4 ,6. If that's not enough, then you clearly need a higher end workstation class machine and those are available. But currently, there's a huge gap between desktops and workstations that was traditionally filled by HEDT.

    My first encounter with a HEDT machine was when I had to assemble a machne for a friend in 2018. He had pretty high expectations that were impossible to meet with regular boards because they were full with conditions like, if you use this SATA port, then this M.2 slot is disabled; when you use that M.2 slot, some PCIe slot gets disabled. It was impossible to judge the capabilities of the MB from the ports that you see on the photos. So I picked a 12-core (at that time this was huge!) Threadripper 1920X with a X399 MB. Man, whan a relief! Everything was usable without affecting anything else. Ok, the U.2 port was just an alternative for one of the M.2 slots but there were three of those, all directly connected to the CPU! I was so impressed that I bought the same machine for myself. He is currently rocking 128GB (8x16GB) for ECC DDR4 memory, whereas I am only at 64GB(4x16). I have 7 NVMe SSDs (3 on the MB slots and 4 in an adapter running in a 4x4 bifurcated x16 slot).

    I'm simply trying to convey that just because your needs are covered by a regular desktop machine, there aren't people whose needs might require something more, without jumping all the way to the highest end workstations. Those are fine, of course - you can always use a more powerfull machine for lesser workloads. But that may be 2-3 times more expensive than is possible with a real middle ground HEDT platform.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    I read elsewhere that the 34-core Raptor Lake is 100% a workstation chip, as those are all P-cores. No idea why they called it Raptor S, though. I wonder if the Sapphire Rapids monolithic workstation chips are internally called Alder S? They go up to 24 cores.
    Reply
  • peachpuff
    helper800 said:
    The consumer chips with 30+ threads aren't enough? If you need lanes, then I guess you gotta shell out for Ryzen pro.
    When half the threads are gimped then yes.
    Reply
  • Eximo
    bit_user said:
    I read elsewhere that the 34-core Raptor Lake is 100% a workstation chip, as those are all P-cores. No idea why they called it Raptor S, though. I wonder if the Sapphire Rapids monolithic workstation chips are internally called Alder S? They go up to 24 cores.

    Yep, it is coming back. 4, 6 and 8 channel memory. Up to 4 compute dies each with 15 CPU cores and two memory controllers. Though looks like the top spec chip will only have 56 cores. Not sure where they will draw the line between server and workstation. 34 cores seems reasonable. Almost double the old 18 cores.

    And it will have AVX, which is something Intel got rid of on consumer (sort of) Another reason AMD might be the consumer grade workstation of choice going forward.
    Reply
  • wifiburger
    hope they bring HBM to consumer chips so we can stop praising x3d from AMD so much
    Reply
  • helper800
    Nikolay Mihaylov said:
    There's more to HEDT than just threads/cores (and efficiency cores do not cut it!). Mostly a 4 channel memory controller which provides double the throughput but also double the capacity. Or, better speeds at he same capacity when you need 4 modules to achieve the required capacity. And ECC would be nice. Probably not from Intel, if history is any indication, but one would hope that being the underdog changes their perspective WRT market segmentation.

    Then there's the PCIe connectivity. Since on desktop chips it's not enough, MB manufacturers are forced to guess the actual use case in order to come up with the slot distribution. This has had the effect that high-end MBs have worse distribution because current high-end GPUs (which you are supposed to use on a high-end MB, I guess) occupy up to 4 slots. And the first one is usually taken by the M.2 slot because you are supposed to use oversized CPU coolers which may interfere with the card in the first slot so it's risky to place the the GPU slot at the first position. Just give me four x16 slots (supporting 4x4 bifurcation) at positions 1,3,5,7 and three x4 slots in at least x8 physical slots at positions 2, 4 ,6. If that's not enough, then you clearly need a higher end workstation class machine and those are available. But currently, there's a huge gap between desktops and workstations that was traditionally filled by HEDT.

    My first encounter with a HEDT machine was when I had to assemble a machne for a friend in 2018. He had pretty high expectations that were impossible to meet with regular boards because they were full with conditions like, if you use this SATA port, then this M.2 slot is disabled; when you use that M.2 slot, some PCIe slot gets disabled. It was impossible to judge the capabilities of the MB from the ports that you see on the photos. So I picked a 12-core (at that time this was huge!) Threadripper 1920X with a X399 MB. Man, whan a relief! Everything was usable without affecting anything else. Ok, the U.2 port was just an alternative for one of the M.2 slots but there were three of those, all directly connected to the CPU! I was so impressed that I bought the same machine for myself. He is currently rocking 128GB (8x16GB) for ECC DDR4 memory, whereas I am only at 64GB(4x16). I have 7 NVMe SSDs (3 on the MB slots and 4 in an adapter running in a 4x4 bifurcated x16 slot).

    I'm simply trying to convey that just because your needs are covered by a regular desktop machine, there aren't people whose needs might require something more, without jumping all the way to the highest end workstations. Those are fine, of course - you can always use a more powerfull machine for lesser workloads. But that may be 2-3 times more expensive than is possible with a real middle ground HEDT platform.
    My point being that if a consumer platform does not cover your needs, I gave a one of them but not all, you can get a Ryzen pro Threadripper Pro system which does cover all of those needs. I am aware of all the potential niceties of a HEDT platform. I just very poorly, and lazily worded my comment. The problem with HEDT is it eats into workstation profits because its essentially the same with with all the same features but much cheaper. There are definitely differences in the amount of magnitude these features provide but usually HEDT provides more than enough to cover most people that get workstation stuff, thus reducing profits and sales. My point is that I don't understand how on a business side putting out HEDT again to undermine your own workstation profits does the company any good.
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    Intel to Disclose Client PC Platform Roadmap Next Week : Read more

    Sounds like a great article for next week. I'll be watching for it.
    Reply