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Rocket Lake-S could be Intel's biggest upgrade to mainstream desktop platform in years

Intel's platform, codenamed Rocket Lake-S, is currently not expected until the end of 2020, but rumors about the RLK-S platform have been circulating on the web for some time. Now, thanks to their sources at Inte, Viudeocardz's colleagues have been able to provide some more concrete information about this new platform.

The leaked diagram that Videcardz has now made public is a basic overview of the characteristics of Rocket Lake-S. The 500 Series motherboards will benefit from many features that are not (yet) available on the motherboards of the 300 and even the upcoming 400 series. Based on the information we have, Rocket Lake-S is an update of the features of Comet Lake-S.

Key Features of Intel Rocket Lake-S

  • The new processor core architecture
    The slide confirms that Rocket Lake-S will have a new core architecture, without giving further details. However, there is a rumour that Rocket Lake-S is supposed to be a 14-nm adoption of Tiger Lake using Willow Cove cores.
  • 20 Lanes PCI Express 4.0
    The most important change for Rocket Lake-S is support for PCIe 4.0. The CPU will not only have direct 4.0 lanes, but there will also be 4 additional lanes for storage (x16 for GPU and x4 for the NVME drive). This means that both the primary graphics processor and NVME memory are connected directly to the CPU and not to the PCH.
  • DMI 3.0 x8
    The Direct Media Interface is upgraded to x8-Link, which means a double transfer speed compared to x4. Intel does not specify the transfer speed for a new DMI connection, but the current x4 connection has a transfer speed of 8 GT/s (3.93 GB/s).
  • Intel Xe Graphics
    The slide confirms that Rocket Lake-S will benefit from the Xe graphics architecture (another proof that RKL is a Tiger Lake desktop clone?). Upgrading to Xe (presumably Gen12) will also support HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4a.
  • Thunderbolt 4 and USB 3.2 20G
    At CES 2020, Intel confirmed that it will support the Tiger Lake platform Thunderbolt 4. This standard does not improve on Thunderbolt 3 in terms of transmission speed (it is still 40 Gbps). There is a rumor that 4.0 may be using PCIe 4.0, but the slide clearly states that TB4.0 still uses PCIe 3.0.
  • SGX removed
    Intel Software Guard extensions have been removed for Rocket Lake-S.

The contents of the following comparison table also come from Videocardz and the table shows the one-size-down features as a comparison:

[table id=3 /]

Source: Videocardz

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About the author

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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