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Intel’s Alder Lake-N specifications shed light on its 8 Gracemont Cores and 32 Xe-LP EUs architecture

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Hundreds of 12th Generation Core ‘Alder Lake’ CPUs for desktops, laptops, and ultra-thin notebooks have already been released by Intel. However, there are two types of PCs that the new family has yet to address: ultra-low-power and ultra-low-cost machines.

Intel is preparing Alder-Lake N system-on-chips for these PCs, which will only have modest energy-efficient Gracemont cores, although these SoCs could be significant performers.

According to a partial boot log of Intel’s Alder Lake-N (ADL-N RVP) uploaded to the Linux repository in the Sound Open Firmware (SOF) Project, the Alder Lake-N processor packs up to eight cores based on the energy-efficient Gracemont microarchitecture that come in two quad-core clusters with 2MB L2 cache per cluster and a shared L3 cache.

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Gracemont is a 5-wide out-of-order architecture featuring a pattern recognition upgraded branch predictor, new integer and floating-point execution units, more execution ports, and even L3 cache support. Even when compared to prior generation ‘large’ cores like Skylake, Gracemont’s eight cores promise to deliver impressive performance.

However, Intel’s upcoming low-power/low-cost PC platform (at least in its eight-core incarnation) could match the performance of luxury PCs from three or four years ago.

The SoC also includes a media and display engine, as well as an integrated GPU with 32 execution units based on Intel’s Xe-LP architecture. Intel’s Xe-LP offers up-to-date media encode/decode capabilities (supporting AV1, H.264, H.265, Dolby Vision, and 8Kp60), therefore Alder Lake-N PCs should have premium multimedia playing capabilities. For home theatre PCs, this is just what the doctor ordered.

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It’s unclear how Intel wants to market its Alder Lake-N processors, but next-generation Pentium Silver and Celeron CPUs for desktops, thin clients, NAS, embedded devices, and low-cost notebooks are likely to be powered by this design. Intel may eventually release some specialized Atom-branded CPUs based on Gracemont cores, albeit they will not be based on the Alder Lake-N design.

also read:

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Mobility GPUs & AMD CPUs show improvement in customer usage in the Latest Steam Hardware Survey Report

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.

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