Published in PC Hardware

Raja Koduri confirms Alder Lake

by on14 August 2020

Performance Hybrid with big and small cores

Intel showed a Lakefield prototype CPU at the Architecture Day on December 12, 2018, and it was a unique part. It had one big core-based CPU and four smaller Tremont 10nm cores on a special package codenamed Foveros. At the architecture day 2020, Raja Koduri confirmed the existence of performance hybrid codenamed Alder Lake.

It was essential to have the Lakefield out to get the software and operating system ready for the hybrid architecture. Intel worked with every major operating system vendors to leverage Intel’s hardware guided scheduling and enhance the quality of service features.

Lakefield achieves up to 24 percent higher power efficiency and up to 91 percent lower standby power.

Alder Lake

Alder Lake is a performance hybrid that includes a Golden Cove 2021 Core CPU and a 2021 Gracemont future out of order core. While Lakefield was tuned for battery life, Alder Lake advances hybrid architecture focused on performance.

Intel is working on the next generation hardware guided scheduler optimized for performance and leveraging all cores seamlessly. Alder :ake will not only tune for performance, but it aims to have the best performance per watt architecture.

Raja and Intel only said that it is coming in 2021 with few other details


After the presentation, we had the chance to ask Raja Koduri a bit more about Alder Lake. We wanted to know a bit more about the workloads that Intel plans to send on the large core and what would be suitable for the smaller core.

The high-performance core is good for turbo range performance, and user interface where things have to happen fast, and feel snappy. The larger core will run some parts of physics and audio and especially games where responsiveness is the key element. Raja reminded us that even with the existing 10th generation 14nm core, Intel is still leading in-game performance.

Smaller cores will focus on the power saving operations and will run smaller threads. Raja reminded us that high-end games could use as much as eight to twelve threads. Content creators will be able to leverage all cores as schedule, and the software will be able to split the tasks across all cores simultaneously. Smaller cores will run the less critical processes in the background. 


Alder lake should enable a good mix of both worlds, power-saving, and high-end performance.

Alder lake can bring some trouble for Zen 3 based Ryzen CPUs as AMD still focuses on one single-core and putting a lot of them together. AMD hasn’t announced a little out-of-order core to match with the future Ryzen CPUs, but the company might be working on some. One of the significant obstacles is the interconnect between two and the hardware-based schedule that would have to be supported by Microsoft and other OS manufacturers.

Interestingly enough, Intel didn’t mention Rocket Lake S, something that has already been leaked and its ability to use 10nm core manufactured at 14nm process and first departure from Skylake architecture that is expected rather soon.


Last modified on 14 August 2020
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