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Intel launches 12th Gen Alder Lake mobile H-, P-, and U-series

Jan 5, 2022 — by Eric Brown 1,650 views

[Updated: 12PM] — Intel announced dozens of 12th Gen Alder Lake mobile CPUs with DDR5 and PCIe 5.0, including the up to 14-core, 5GHz Turbo H-series, the mid-range P-series, and 9-15W U-series. There is also a new Linux-driven, RISC-V based EyeQ Ultra autonomous driving chip.

Following Intel’s announcement of the first six 12th Gen Alder Lake-S desktop processors in November, the chipmaker has now unveiled more S-series desktop models along with 24 Alder Lake-H, Alder Lake-P, and Alder Lake-U mobile processors. Also at this year’s CES show, Intel made some enhancements to its Intel Evo laptop and vPro enterprise security platforms, and its Mobileye automotive subsidiary unveiled an EyeQ Ultra self-driving car processor equipped with 12x RISC-V CPU cores (see farther below).

12th Gen Alder Lake mobile block diagram (left) and Alder Lake feature highlights
(click images to enlarge)

Yesterday, we looked at two Adlink COM Express modules that support three of the Alder Lake-H chips. We also offered some preliminary details on an upcoming Seco module. We also see that Congatec has announced some Alder Lake-H modules, which we will get too soon. Many more Alder Lake products are sure to follow.

Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake is claimed to be up to 40 percent faster than 11th Gen Tiger Lake-H. Intel bills the 14-core, 20-thread 2.5GHz/5GHz Core i9-12900HK Alder Lake-H processor as “not only the world’s best mobile gaming platform, but the fastest mobile processor ever created.” More than 80 IoT customers are already participating in the Early Access Program for the 12th Gen Core CPUs, says Intel.


The 12th Gen Alder Lake lineup breaks down into the desktop S-series and three mobile series: M, P, and U. The H-series will ship in a few months, while the lower-power P- and U-series will follow later in the year. Below, note that the clock rates are listed only for the faster Performance (P) cores (full specs are the charts below):

  • S-series — 13x 35W and 65W TDP Core SKUs, led by 16-core (8P/8E), 24T, up to 5GHz Turbo i9-12900 with 30MB L3 and 32EU GPU
  • H-series — 8x 45W (35WcTDP) Core SKUs, led by 14-core (6P/8E), 20T, 2.5GHz/5GHz i9-12900HK with 24MB L3 and 96EU GPU
  • P-series — 6x 45W (35WcTDP) Core SKUs, led by 14-core (6P/8E), 1.8GHz/4.8GHz 20T i7-1280P with 24MB L3 and 96EU GPU (most models 4P/8E with 12MB or 18MB L3)
  • U-series — 9-15W – 7x 15W Core, Celeron, and Pentium SKUs, led by 10-core (2P/8E), 12T, 1.8GHz/4.8GHz i7-1265U with 12MB L3 and 96EU GPU; lowest power SKU is 5-core (1P/4E), 6T, 1GHz Celeron 7305

Like the 11th Gen Tiger Lake-U and Tiger Lake-H processors, 12th Gen Alder Lake uses a 10nm fabrication process, in this case, an “Enhanced SuperFin” design called Intel 7. The 12th Gen CPUs debut a hybrid, heterogeneous core architecture somewhat like Arm’s Big.Little with DynamIQ multi-core orchestration.

Alder Lake OS and software support (left) and full S-series lineup, reflecting new models
(click images to enlarge)

Alder Lake uses a combination of “Golden Cove” Performance-cores (P-cores) and lower power “Gracemount” Efficient-cores (E-cores). The hybrid design provides more flexibility for adapting to single- or multithread performance. There is also a new Intel Thread Director technology that dynamically allocates loads in real-time to the appropriate cores. Initially, however, this will be supported only on Windows. Alder Lake also supports Linux, starting with an inhouse Yocto stack (see chart above).

Alder Lake H-series (left) and P-series
(click images to enlarge)

Like Tiger Lake, Alder Lake features high-end, up to 96EU Iris Xe graphics, as well as Intel Deep Learning Boost (DL-Boost) and Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (AVX2) for AI acceleration across CPU and GPU cores. The 12th Gen platform advances to up to 4800 MT/s DDR5 RAM and up to 16-lane PCIe Gen5, which boasts up to twice the throughput over PCIe 4.0. Alder Lake also adds support for the next-gen Wi-Fi 6E.

Alder Lake U-series split into 15W (left) and 9W categories; SKUs are the same but clock rates differ
(click images to enlarge)

There is a new Intel 600 Series Chipset family for Alder Lake, starting with a high-end Intel Z690 chipset and also including H670, H610, and B660 parts. (For more details on Alder Lake, see our earlier 12th Gen Alder Lake report.)

Intel Evo and vPro enhancements

In conjunction with the Alder Lake roll-out, Intel announced enhancements to its Intel Evo reference design and branding program for Intel-based laptops. The third gen Intel Evo spec adds to power management requirements such as 9-hour typical battery life and 1-second wake-from-sleep with new intelligent collaboration benchmarks. These videoconferencing focused specs address technologies like AI-based background noise cancellation, Intel Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+), Intel Connectivity Performance Suite6, and optional AI-accelerated camera imaging effects.

Intel has also updated its enterprise security focused Intel vPro platform with three sub-categories. In addition to the usual Intel vPro Enterprise, there is a vPro with Intel Evo integration for mobile professionals using laptops, as well as a VPro Essentials for small business.

Mobileye EyeQ Ultra and EyeQ6H

At CES, which has increasingly become an automotive show, Intel’s Mobileye automotive technology subsidiary announced a RISC-V based EyeQ Ultra processor for Level 4 (L4) autonomous driving. Due to ship in 2023, with the first automotive products arriving in 2025, the 5nm fabricated EyeQ Ultra “packs the performance of 10 EyeQ5s in a single package,” claims Mobileye. Starting with the previous EyeQ5 generation, the EyeQ SoCs have switched to Linux.

EyeQ Ultra (left) and EyeQ6H
(click images to enlarge)

The EyeQ Ultra “maximizes both effectiveness and efficiency at only 176 TOPS, making it the industry’s leanest autonomous vehicle (AV) chip,” says Mobileye. The EyeQ UltraSoC combines four classes of proprietary, task-specific accelerators along with the CPU cores, ISPs, and GPUs to process input from camera and radar/Lidar sensing subsystems, says Mobileye. At the same time, it can process data from the vehicle’s central computing system, generate a high-definition map, and run driving policy software.

The press release makes no mention of the SoC’s RISC-V foundation, but AnandTech (via CNXSoft) reports there are 12x RISC-V CPU cores comprising 24 threads plus an Arm-based GPU and DSP. The four main accelerators are the SIMD, VLIW, coarse grained reconfigurable array (CGRA) cores, and deep learning cores.

Anandtech’s take is that the EyeQ Ultra is aiming for a lower-cost, lower-power solution that with its L4 rather than L5 capabilities, might be best suited for robo-taxis. This contrasts with other more powerful, but likely more expensive and energy consuming solutions such as Nvidia’s up to 1,000-TOPS Drive Atlan, the follow-on to its Drive Orin self-driving technology.

Mobileye also announced two new, 7nm EyeQ SoCs for ADAS. The lower-end EyeQ6L is a successor to the EyeQ4, and the EyeQ6H combines the power of two EyeQ5 SoCs. The EyeQ6H, which provides ADAS L2+ functionalities and multi-camera processing, will begin production by the end of 2024.

Further information

Alder Lake S-series is expected to be available this month; Alder Lake H-series is expected to be available in April. No availability was mentioned for the P- and U-series. More information may be found in Intel’s CES Alder Lake announcement and its Alder Lake Mobile and Alder Lake Desktop product briefs (PDFs).

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