What just happened? Intel's 11th-gen Rocket Lake processors are set to arrive in the first quarter of next year, but we're already seeing more leaks regarding its successor, Alder Lake. The latest of these is a purported image of the Alder Lake-S desktop chip. As per previous rumors, it has a new, rectangular shape to fit the upcoming LGA 1700 socket.

Videocardz has published the alleged photo of an Alder Lake-S engineering sample. It comes from an unnamed source, so take this with a pinch of salt.

Alder Lake will mark a major change from Intel's usual desktop offerings. It features a hybrid design mixing high-powered Golden Cove cores and energy-efficient Gracemont cores, similar to Arm's big.LITTLE design.

It's believed that Alder Lake will use Intel's recently announced 10nm SuperFin process. The company says this offers higher currents and reduced resistance, thereby improving performance compared to traditional transistor designs.

Earlier this year, leaked documents allegedly from Intel confirm Alder Lake will switch to the LGA 1700 socket, meaning the LGA 1200 socket released alongside Comet Lake will have only been used for two generations of new CPUs. The new socket will be 37.5mm x 45mm, hence the rectangular desktop chip shape.

Alder Lake is thought to support several cutting-edge technologies, including PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory, the latter of which recently saw its first modules released by SK Hynix. It will almost certainly feature Intel's Xe LP graphics engine, too.

We saw a 16-core/32-thread Alder Lake-S processor appear on the SiSoft Sandra benchmarking database earlier this month. The chip, paired with a Sabrent Rocket 4.0 NVMe, was also listed with 30MB of L3 cache and 10x 1.25MB L2.

Intel says Alder Lake-S desktop processors will be released in the second half of 2021.