Intel confirms 11th generation Core ‘Rocket Lake’ Desktop CPUs with PCIe 4.0 support

According to the latest news, Intel has revealed some details of its upcoming ‘Rocket Lake’ desktop CPU line up. Intel Rocket Lake processor will be sold as the 11th Generation Core CPU family.

According to a blog post by John Bonini, Intel’s VP and GM of Client Computing Group Desktop, Workstations and Gaming, Rocket Lake chips will be launched in the first quarter of 2021. Frankly, the above-mentioned post did not reveal any detailed specifications. It only confirmed that Rocket Lake CPUs will support PCIe 4.0. It seems that the company is aiming for more and more products for gamers.

In the blog post which touts the gaming and overclocking credentials of Intel’s current 10th generation ‘Comet Lake’ desktop CPUs, the news about Rocket Lake is almost a footnote. The post also conveys that the company has joined hands with game developers in order to promote standards and optimize performance.

As of now, Intel has not officially confirmed anything else about Rocket Lake but we have heard about some specifications as rumors from time to time. Since the upcoming Rocket Lake CPU is expected to share the same motherboard socket as current Comet Lake CPUs, hardware manufacturers have already teased PCIe 4.0 support built into existing 400 series motherboards. As new motherboards would be launched, it is likely that several existing models will also get PCIe 4.0 support when used with a Rocket Lake CPU.

Rumors suggest that Rocket Lake will come with Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6 support along with Intel’s new Xe integrated graphics support. Intel has not yet confirmed DDR5 RAM support yet but interestingly, they have not ruled out the possibility too. Another rumor puts forward that the highest-end Core i9 and Core i7 models will offer turbo speeds of 5 GHz and above. This might come out to be true because this is the strength of Intel’s current Core i9-10900K.

Intel confirms 11th generation Core ‘Rocket Lake’ Desktop CPUs with PCIe 4.0 support
Intel confirms 11th generation Core ‘Rocket Lake’ Desktop CPUs

Another rumor conveys that Rocket Lake will be the last 14 nm product for desktops using either the last revision of Intel’s Skylake architecture. Note that this architecture has powered the past six generations of Intel Core CPUs along with the ‘backported’ 14 nm version of the 10 nm ‘Willow Cove’ architecture, which is the basis of the ‘Tiger Lake’ 11th generation laptop CPU family. As of now, it seems that Intel’s 11th Gen will be a split between Rocket Lake for desktop chips and Tiger Lake for laptops.

It is more or less confirmed by the rumors that Rocket Lake will be succeeded by the 12th Gen ‘Alder Lake’ architecture. This 12th Gen ‘Alder Lake’ architecture will reportedly target a 10 nm process. It might be a hybrid design made up of next-generation heterogeneous high performance ‘Golden Cove’ and power-efficient ‘Gracemont’ cores. This upcoming 12\th generation Alder Lake might also leverage Intel’s Foveros 3D packaging technology and introduce a new CPU socket.

There is news that Intel is also dealing with a high profile delay to its 7 nm production plans. The company might eventually transition to use the service of some third party foundries to manufacture various chips.

It should be noted that the Intel blog post we are talking about was published just a day before AMD is expected to unveil its next-generation ‘Zen 3’ architecture. Just to let you know, AMD has been supporting PCIe 4.0 on the desktop since the Ryzen 3000 series. Ryzen 3000 series was based on the ‘Zen 2’ architecture and it was manufactured on a 7 nm process.