Intel has launched its latest desktop PC chips having had to retrofit a number of its recent semiconductor designs to figure on older transistor tech to deliver the processing power required.
The stopgap effort has consequences for both the speeds and warmth they produce.
The US firm claims the Rocket Lake chips deliver a 19% headline-rate gain over the last generation, and introduce features that will help PCs keep pace with the latest gaming consoles.
Intel continues to dominate the sector. However, rivals have benefited from outsourcing production, resulting in suggestions that Intel’s position because the leading CPU (central processing unit) provider isn’t as secure because it might appear.
Transistors are tiny on-off switches, and billions of them are arranged in several patterns to carry out calculations on a chip.
The advantage of making them smaller is that more are often packed into an equivalent space – allowing computers to run more quickly while potentially using less power.
Intel’s new Rocket Lake chips believe 14-nanometre transistors and are made within its fabrication plants.
By contrast, its chief competitor AMD uses a contract manufacturer – Taiwan’s TSMC – to create its latest Ryzen desktop PC chips, which enjoy smaller 7nm transistors.
And Apple is within the method of weaning itself off Intel to use its designs, also produced by TSMC but using its even more advanced 5nm tech.
There is no set thanks to measuring transistor sizes, and Intel claims its 14nm tech equates to TSMC’s 10nm. Even so, the US firm acknowledges it’s running behind.
It had originally intended to form the transition to 10nm desktop chips between 2017 and 2019. As it is, this may not happen to a future generation launched in late 2021-2022.
And Intel is additionally experiencing delays in making the subsequent breakthroughs to 7nm. However, there are advantages to keeping production in-house. It helps keep costs down.
Faster frame rates
The new “11th generation” desktop chips take the microarchitecture for his or her CPU cores from one set of 10nm laptop chips – 2019’s Ice Lake series – and their graphics architecture from another – 2020’s Tiger Lake family.
Intel has described the method of transforming these designs for 14nm transistors as “backporting”.
Intel is going to be marketing the new chips as offering a 19% improvement in “instructions per cycle” over their predecessors.
But the location Anandtech said it had only noticed modest gains when testing a number of the chips with games of its own choice, and in some cases said the differences were imperceptible.
“It trails behind its competitor AMD sometimes by a big margin,” the site’s Dr. Ian Cutress told the news channel.