Intel is always a Consumer Electronics Show headliner and CES 2022 was no different. In fact, this may be Intel’s highest-impact CES in years. The company took the wraps of new 12th generation Intel Core mobile chips (Alder Lake) featuring its new hybrid architecture. Intel says its new flagship Core i9-12900HK is the “fastest mobile chip ever.” The company also unveiled 22 additional 12th generation Core processors for desktop PCs, adding to the handful announced last fall.
Intel 12th generation Core processors: they divide so you can conquer
Intel says the new 12th generation Core processors unveiled at CES 2022 are part of the most significant shift in x86 architecture in more than a decade. That’s a big statement and it means big gains for Windows laptop and desktop PC users in 2022.
The key new feature Intel is bringing to its 12th generation Core processors is a hybrid architecture. The new mobile processors are equipped with up to six Performance cores (P-cores) and up to eight Efficient cores (E-cores). Desktop CPUs get up eight Performance cores (P-cores) and up to eight Efficient cores (E-cores)
P-cores are optimized for single-core performance and responsiveness, making them ideal for high-demand tasks like gaming or computing-intensive applications. They are the highest performance cores Intel has ever designed. E-cores are optimized to handle highly-threaded workloads. They are also designed to efficiently offload background tasks. Working with the hybrid cores is the new Intel Thread Director, which is built into the processor. This feature works with the operating system to optimize your PC’s performance by directing workloads to the optimal core at the optimal time. Doing so ensures those P-cores and E-Cores are used to maximum efficiency, delivering even more performance. It’s worth noting that power users will be able to overclock both P-cores and E-cores.
Additional technologies supported by Intel’s 12 gen Core processors
These new Intel processors aren’t just about increased performance and “divide and conquer” efficiency. They also feature integrated support for the latest technology standards. This includes PCIe 4.0 (PCIe 5.0 in the case of the desktop CPUs), the super-fast connectivity of Thunderbolt 4, and DDR5 RAM’s increased speed and bandwidth. They also support Wi-Fi 6E (which you can read about here).
Wi-Fi 6E isn’t yet available in Canada, but the government has approved additional wireless spectrum to support the service. When Wi-Fi 6E arrives (hopefully some time in 2021), PCs and laptops equipped with new 12th generation Intel Core processors will be ready to take full advantage of the technology.
The first wave of the Intel Alder Lake laptop chips will be high-performance, 45W versions destined for high-performance and gaming laptops. However, 9W, 15W, and a new 28W series will be arriving later this year. Those will begin showing up in ultra-thin laptops later this year. The 12th gen Core desktop CPUs start shipping today, and Intel will also be releasing new motherboards to support them.
Intel Evo update
Intel says that laptops supporting its Evo standard (learn all about that here) will be getting even better in 2022. The third generation Evo standard will require 12th generation Intel Core chips and includes improved video calling requirements with a minimum 1080p webcam. It will also introduce more powerful laptops and new foldable form factors. High end Evo laptops will be required to support Intel’s discrete ARC graphics cards.
Intel ARC Alchemist GPUs
Intel also mentioned its new ARC Alchemist GPUs. These new graphics cards support Intel’s AI-accelerated XeSS (Xe Super Sampling) technology. This effectively upscales 1080p content to 4K in real-time. We’ve been hearing about these new graphics cards for a while, but with their inclusion in the EVO standard, expect to see the new Intel GPUs make an appearance later this year.