In a blog post on Medium today, Intel’s John Bonini has confirmed that the company will be launching its next-generation desktop platform in Q1 2021. This is confirmed as Rocket Lake, presumably under Intel’s 11th Gen Core branding, and will feature PCIe 4.0 support. After several months (and Z490 motherboards) mentioning Rocket Lake and PCIe 4.0 support, this note from Intel is the primary source that confirms it all.

The blog post doesn’t go into any further detail about Rocket Lake. From our side of the fence, we assume this is another 14nm processor, with questions as to whether it is built upon the same Skylake architecture as the previous five generations of 14nm, or is a back-port of Intel’s latest Cove microarchitecture designs. Add in PCIe 4.0 support rather than PCIe 3.0 - there’s no specific indication at this time that there will be an increase in PCIe lane counts from the CPU, although that has been an idea that has been floated. Some motherboards, such as the ASRock Z490 Aqua, seem to have been built with the idea of a PCIe 4.0 specific storage M.2 slot, which when in use makes the PCIe 3.0 slot no longer accessible.

It is notable in the blog that John Bonini (VP/GM for Intel’s Desktop/Workstation/Gaming) cites high processor frequencies as a key metric for high performance in games and popular applications, mentioning Intel’s various Turbo Boost technologies. In the same paragraph, he then cites overclocking Intel’s processors to 7 GHz, failing to mention that this sort of overclocking isn’t done for the sake of gaming or workflow. The blog post also seems to bounce between talking about enthusiast gamers on the bleeding edge and squeezing out every bit of performance at the top-end, to then mentioning casual gamers on mobile graphics; it’s comes across as erratic and a bit bipolar. Note that this blog post is also posted on Medium, rather than Intel’s own website, for whatever reason, and also seems to change font size mid-paragraph in the version we were sent.

The reason why this blog post is being today, in my opinion, is two-fold. Firstly, recent unconfirmed leaks regarding Intel’s roadmap has placed the next generation of desktop processor firmly into that Q1/Q2 crossover in 2021. By coming out and confirming a Q1 launch window, Intel is at least putting those rumors to bed. The second reason is down to what the competition is announcing: AMD has a Zen3 related presentation on October 8th, and so with Intel’s footnote, we at least know what’s going on with both team blue and team red.

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Source: Intel

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  • lmcd - Thursday, October 8, 2020 - link

    Probably the WiFi 6 integration, which I personally assume needed backported from planned 10nm. Why that impacted desktop is to question the last 7 years of Intel strategy.

    By contrast, this round there should only be Willow Cove integration + PCIe 4.0. Less teams involved in that.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Thursday, October 8, 2020 - link

    Also worth noting that the 10 core getting cut should probably help yields a ton. Cutting the GPU from anything above 6 cores would probably also help the yields, but I'm not a product manager used to screaming quicksync in every Intel benchmark demonstration over the last 8 years Reply
  • repoman27 - Thursday, October 8, 2020 - link

    No. Wi-Fi 6 was integrated into the PCH, not the CPU. As was 2.5GbE, which was what they reportedly screwed up. Regardless, they burned through several early steppings of the CML-S 10+2 die, so clearly there were issues there.

    The sentence you started with, “By contrast,” made my head explode. I don’t even...

    And at this point Intel’s 14nm yields are probably higher than any other process node in history. I mean, how can they not be? And we’re taking about relatively tiny chips here. CML-S 10+2 is only twice the size of Apple’s A13 which is on TSMC 7nm!
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Saturday, October 10, 2020 - link

    "only Willow Cove integration" really was a reach, and particularly funny in the context of blaming WiFi integration for a CPU being late. 😅 Reply
  • Spunjji - Saturday, October 10, 2020 - link

    Because they've never made Cove cores on 14nm before..? Reply
  • hansip87 - Thursday, October 8, 2020 - link

    One thing that we don't want is to have Intel lagging anymore, otherwise AMD will push the price sky high because of demand. Simple economic law. Reply
  • Spunjji - Saturday, October 10, 2020 - link

    Truth. Reply
  • alufan - Thursday, October 8, 2020 - link

    Curious does Anandtech even know Ryzen 3 is out Today or that Nvidia 30 series launched a while back?
    Has Intel bought the site all I can see recently are articles focusing on Intel products.

    Anand must be so sad over what has happened to his site
    Reply
  • lmcd - Thursday, October 8, 2020 - link

    You clearly can't even shill correctly, given that Ryzen 3 is not out today. Zen 3 is out, at least, being revealed, but not released, but not yet revealed either!

    Which sounds like news for when it's revealed.
    Reply
  • alufan - Thursday, October 8, 2020 - link

    Idiot and what word do we shorten to get Zen?
    R Y Z E N ooohhhh look numpty talk about shill and Today the chip known as Ryzen 3 (or 3rd generation to make it easier for you) will be launched at 9am in the states.
    Do you see any links etc on this site to it? No? Hence my comment.
    Reply

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