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Intel Rocket Lake 11th Gen CPU With Xe Graphics Support Added To Linux Drivers

New evidence of Intel’s Rocket Lake CPUs being compatible with 400 & 500 series chipsets has emerged from within the latest Linux Graphics driver patches. Phoronix reports that support for the upcoming 11th Gen CPUs with Gen 12 ‘Xe’ platform has been added to the latest Linux driver.

Intel’s Rocket Lake CPU With Gen 12 Xe Graphics Support Added To Linux Graphics Driver – Chipset Compatible With 400 & 500 Series

In the report, the source states that the first patches have been added to the Linux graphics driver that adds support for the Gen 12 Xe graphics featured on Intel’s Rocket Lake CPUs. A total of 23 patches were included in the i915 Linux Kernel driver with over 700 lines of code. As of now, there are a total of 6 six PCI IDs for Xe graphics featured on Rocket Lake CPUs.

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A list of differences between the Rocket Lake and Tiger Lake CPUs is also mentioned which include:

  • Five universal planes for display purposes
  • A third DPLL for use when driving three displays concurrently
  • Various code changes but mostly re-used from the existing code paths for Tiger Lake

As these patches roll-out, tech leaker, Komachi, has also revealed that Rocket Lake can be paired with either TGP or CMP as mentioned in the patch. The CMP platform is for Comet Lake & based on the 400-series chipset while the TGP platform is for Tiger Lake & based on the 500-series chipset.

This is essentially referring to the mobile parts but we also confirmed in our exclusive report that Intel’s Rocket Lake-S Desktop CPUs will be compatible with the newly introduced 400-series for the desktop platform including the Z490 motherboards. This has further been confirmed by board makers such as Gigabyte who revealed that next-gen Rocket Lake CPUs will be compatible with their Z490 lineup.

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Several Z490 motherboards are equipped with hardware to support one of the highlight features of the Rocket Lake-S platform which is PCIe Gen 4. The hardware is already featured on the Z490 motherboards but users will only able to activate it by pairing them with a Rocket Lake-S CPU that lands sometime in the second half of 2020. The current Comet Lake-S desktop CPUs don’t feature PCIe Gen 4 support but are exclusively designed for the LGA 1200 socket, with more pins allowing for higher current rating than the LGA 1151 socket.

Intel’s Rocket Lake processors will be fabricated on a 14nm process node but feature an advanced ‘Cove’ architecture which is speculated to the best of both Sunny Cove and Willow Cove in terms of design. The Rocket Lake CPUs would also feature Gen 12 Xe graphics, same as the ones from Tiger Lake CPUs but there’s a slight possibility that like Comet Lake-U/H, the Rocket Lake-U/H series will come with faster clock speeds owing solely due to the refined and much mature 14nm node. Tiger Lake itself will be using an advanced version of the 10nm process node but 14nm has been in the market for so long and we have seen it scale up to 10 cores and up to 5.30 GHz clock speeds it its latest iteration on Comet Lake-S & Comet Lake-H parts.

At CES 2020, Intel previewed upcoming mobile PC processors code-named “Tiger Lake.” Tiger Lake’s new capabilities, built on Intel’s 10nm+ process and integrated with new Intel Xe graphics architecture, are expected to deliver massive gains over 10th Gen Intel Core processors. The first systems are expected to ship this year. (Credit: Tim Herman/Intel Corporation)

As far as the naming scheme is concerned, things might get confusing as if they aren’t already. The Tiger Lake and Rocket Lake CPUs might both be called 11th Generation CPUs. The same is the case with Ice Lake and Comet Lake which are both referred to as 10th Generation CPUs. We might have naming scheme consistency on both mobility and desktop parts by the time Alder Lake CPUs arrive but those are planned for late 2021 or early 2022. Till then, the 14nm/10nm family combos will be part of the same Generation regardless of their very different internal architectures & core specs.

Intel Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

Intel CPU Family Processor Process Processors Cores (Max) TDPs Platform Chipset Platform Memory Support PCIe Support Launch
Sandy Bridge 32nm 4/8 35-95W 6-Series LGA 1155 DDR3 PCIe Gen 2.0 2011
Ivy Bridge 22nm 4/8 35-77W 7-Series LGA 1155 DDR3 PCIe Gen 3.0 2012
Haswell 22nm 4/8 35-84W 8-Series LGA 1150 DDR3 PCIe Gen 3.0 2013-2014
Broadwell 14nm 4/8 65-65W 9-Series LGA 1150 DDR3 PCIe Gen 3.0 2015
Skylake 14nm 4/8 35-91W 100-Series LGA 1151 DDR4/DDR3L PCIe Gen 3.0 2015
Kaby Lake 14nm 4/8 35-91W 200-Series LGA 1151 DDR4/DDR3L PCIe Gen 3.0 2017
Coffee Lake 14nm 6/12 35-95W 300-Series LGA 1151 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2017
Coffee Lake 14nm 8/16 35-95W 300-Series LGA 1151 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2018
Comet Lake 14nm 10/20 35-125W 400-Series LGA 1200 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2020
Rocket Lake 14nm 8/16? TBA 400/500-Series? LGA 1200 DDR4 PCIe Gen 4.0 2020?
Alder Lake 10nm? 16/32? TBA TBA LGA 1700? DDR5? PCIe Gen 4.0? 2021?
Meteor Lake 7nm? TBA TBA TBA TBA DDR5? PCIe Gen 4.0? 2022?

In similar news, an internal roadmap of sorts has also been leaked out by Komachi which points out to supply schedule for both, the 11th Gen Tiger Lake and Lakefield CPUs which points out to September as general availability for products based on these chips. This isn’t necessarily an Intel roadmap but has more to do with an OEM/Supplier. Intel has already confirmed the launch of its Tiger Lake mobility CPUs by mid of 2020.

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