Will Intel’s new desktop-CPU design come to its Xeon server chips?

As part of its Architecture Day, Intel spent a lot of time discussing its next generation PC microprocessor microarchitecture, Alder Lake, which marks a radical change for Intel. The question for us in the data center is will the design make its way to the server? If past is prologue, then yes, in time.

Alder Lake is due later this fall in three versions: desktop, mobile, and ultra portable. It will come with up to 16 cores and 24 threads and support for PCI Express 5 and DDR5 memory plus other features.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The desktop part with 16 cores is actually a split between eight performance coresâ€â€P-Coresâ€â€and eight efficiency coresâ€â€E-Cores. The mobile and ultra-mobile parts also use this dual-core design but with fewer cores. The P-Core is for compute tasks, while the E-Core is assigned background tasks like email syncing and antivirus checks. This is hardly a new idea. Arm has done this for years with its big.LITTLE core designs.

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