Most laptops with Intel Alder Lake processors will have a CPU with only two large cores

We already know quite a lot about Intel Alder Lake processors, but most of the information is unofficial. Today Intel itself decided to add fuel to the fire and shared some materials. At the same time, the announcement, we recall, is scheduled for October 27. 

Now, for example, we can be 100% sure that conventional energy-efficient mobile CPUs Alder Lake-U will have only two large cores and up to eight small ones, and high-performance mobile Alder Lake-H will get up to six large and eight small cores. In both cases, graphics cores will have up to 96 execution units. Considering that the lion's share of mobile processors falls on regular energy-efficient models (Alder Lake-U and the like), it turns out that most new laptops with such CPUs will have only two large cores.

Alder Lake-S desktop CPUs will be available up to a maximum configuration of eight large and eight small cores, and some will only have large cores. For desktop CPUs, the graphics core will have only 32 execution units. 

Intel also confirms support for AVX-512 instructions, but only when small processor cores are disabled. 

Intel also revealed details about software optimization for upcoming heterogeneous CPUs. The company talks about three scenarios: no optimization, good scenario, or best scenario. Even if there is no special optimization for Alder Lake in a particular application, processors will still be able to distribute workloads thanks to ThreadDirector. But some of them can be allocated to the wrong core types if the scheduling algorithm does not recognize the job. 

In a good scenario, Intel assumes that the application will be aware of the hybrid architecture. Primary tasks should target performance cores, while lower priority secondary and background threads should target small cores.  

The best scenario goes into detail about what workloads should be targeted specifically to efficient kernels: compiling shaders, mixing audio, streaming resources, decompression, any other non-critical work. 

In addition, Intel for the first time spoke clearly about gaming loads. In particular, Alder Lake will be able to use more than six to eight cores in games, that is, connect energy efficient ones. But it is unclear if this will always be implemented. 

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