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Rumor: Intel's 10nm Willow Cove CPU is supposed to bring 25% IPC increase compared to Skylake CPUs, Golden Cove 50% and Ocean Cove in 7nm even a full 80%

As always, the following is to be enjoyed with caution, but for the sake of completeness it should not be forgotten. Intel's 14nm Skylake architecture has now reached a peak with Comet Lake CPUs, requiring Intel to focus on the next-generation cores that will be deployed in upcoming desktop and mobile CPUs. Skylake is now a true generational perennial with various iterations on refined 14nm processes, but only the 10nm and 7nm lineups of the next generations will be able to bring incremental IPC profits again.

Rumors about what to expect from Intel's next-generation CPU cores have been posted by MebiuW via Twitter, who only a few days ago let us have a first look at AMD's next-generation desktop processors. Whereby the rumor is actually not from MebiuW itself, but from a Weibo user from China, who has obviously hinted that the IPC will benefit more from the next generation cores from Intel.

Intel's roadmap contains three important core updates after Skylake. This has been known and confirmed for some time. These include Sunny Cove on the Ice Lake CPUs, Willow Cove on the upcoming Tiger Lake CPUs and finally the Golden Cove cores that will be found on Alder Lake CPUs. There are also the post-core architecture CPUs that will include the Ocean Cove CPUs, planned for 2022-2023.

It is already known that Sunny Cove brings an average of up to 18% IPC improvement over Skylake. It is expected that the next generation cores will push the IPC of the Intel CPUs even higher. After all, Intel has not seen any incremental IPC gains on the desktop platform for a long 5 years, which has led to a sharp deterioration in performance efficiency over the years. The main competitor, AMD, on the other hand, brought both increased IPC and improved efficiency with its Zen-based Ryzen CPUs, which we have been seeing since 2017.

Intel knows that you can't survive without incremental IPCs and that the dependence on high clock rates has to end in a dead end, as was already the case with netburst. We know that Tiger Lake will be coming to 10nm+ with Willow Cove cores in the foreseeable future and is already delivering significant IPC improvements due to its new and revised design. The rumor includes the following expected IPC profits for the respective core architecture of Intel, which the colleagues from wccftech.com have summarized in a table:

CPU architecture Process node IPC Gain Year
Skylake 14nm (+++) 1.00x 2015-2020
Sunny Cove 10nm (+) 1.18x 2019-2020
Willow Cove 10nm (+) 1.25x 2020-2021
Golden Cove 10nm (++) 1.50x 2021-2022?
Ocean Cove 7nm (+)? 1.80x 2022-2023?


Sources: Twitter, wccftech

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Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

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