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Intel announces its new 12th-generation “Alder Lake” Core processors for mobile

By Kenny Yeo - on 9 Jan 2022, 10:19am

Intel announces its new 12th-generation “Alder Lake” Core processors for mobile

Note: This article was first published on 5 January 2022.

(Image source: Intel)

Alder Lake is Intel’s next-generation architecture and it is a radical change from earlier Core processors. If this is new to you, check out our main feature here.

But the long and short of it is this: Alder Lake is Intel's first big push using its new big-core + little-core hybrid design that melds high-performance cores with high-efficiency ones. Lakefield was technically Intel’s first, but it scored few design wins and performance was lacklustre. If this core configuration sounds familiar that’s because it’s what Arm processors have been using all this while.

(Image source: Intel)

This hybrid design was meant to be scalable and after launching on desktops, it’s now coming to mobile.

Today, Intel is unveiling its full range of 12th-generation Core mobile processors for enthusiast-class performance notebooks and thin and light notebooks.

On the high-end, the H-series processors will be Intel’s fastest mobile processors. There will be 8 SKUs at launch which you can see below.

Click to see chart in full resolution.

Intel claims up to 40% better performance. It will have up to 14 cores split between 6 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores, all managed by the Intel Thread Director. There’s support for DDR5 and DDR4 – including low-power versions – and integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4. Base TDP is 45W but that can ramp up to as high as 115W depending on the chip and application. 

Another interesting technology is Intel Deep Link, which harnesses the capabilities of your CPU, integrated GPU, and even discrete GPU to improve overall system performance. For example, if your system has both integrated and discrete GPUs, it can use both to speed up performance. 

Intel says this is their fastest ever ramp-up of chips and today’s announcement will see 8 new H-series processors launching. Impressively, the range-topping Core i9-12900HK is said to deliver even better performance per watt than Apple’s M1 Max chip. Check out this graph below.

(Image source: Intel)

Unfortunately, Intel didn’t share many details about its P and U series processors for thin and light notebooks. But here’s what we know.

There will be 6 P-series processors with a base TDP of 28W and a maximum of 64W. The flagship Core i7-1280P chip has 14 cores split between 6 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores. Even the entry-level Core i3-1220P has 10 cores split between 2 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores. Here’s a table of the new chips.

Click to see chart in full resolution.

The U-series will consist of a whopping 10 chips. Chips with model numbers ending in “5” have a base TDP of 15W and a maximum of 55W. Those ending with “0” are lower power versions with a base TDP of 9W and a maximum of 29W. You’ll find these processors in ultra-thin notebooks and tablets. Here’s a table of the new chips.

Click to see chart in full resolution.

Click to see chart in full resolution.

Intel intends to roll out these processors aggressively so you should be hearing about them many new notebooks that will be announced at CES 2022. Retail availability will of course vary depending on brand.

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