Intel previews new ‘Alder Lake’ chips that look to emulate Apple Silicon approach

Intel at CES offered a preview of its next major chip release, the hybrid Alder Lake chipsets, which like its Lakefield predecessor will use an approach similar to Apple Silicon’s utilization of Arm’s “BIG.little” technology, using high-performance and high-efficiency cores in a single package to maximize both power and efficiency.

Intel snail

Chaim Gartenberg for The Verge:

Where the Lakefield chips were largely focused on mobile devices, Intel says that Alder Lake will help serve as the foundation for future desktop and mobile processors instead, with the first products using this “most power-scalable system-on-chip” set to arrive in the second half of the year.

MacDailyNews Take: Or, given Intel’s track record, sometime in late 2024.

The 12th Gen Alder Lake chips will feature a “new, enhanced version” of the 10nm SuperFin designs already found in Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake chips, with a combination of new high-power cores it’s calling Golden Lake and new Gracemont cores for efficiency. (Tiger Lake’s CPU cores were known as Willow Cove.)

MacDailyNews Take: Intel’s really good at evocative, often lake-centric product naming, but not much else.

The timing is particularly apt: the Alder Lake chips represent Intel’s closest product to Arm-based chips that are built like the game-changing M1 processors that Apple introduced in November.

MacDailyNews Take: Good luck with that, outclassed anachronism.


  1. The big.little approach of including both fast hot cores and cool slow cores hardly constitutes “emulating” Apple Silicon. The big advantage of the M1 is that the fixed instruction size and ultra wide bus allows prefetching, decoding, and conditionally executing far more instructions in a shorter time than will ever be possible on an x86 with the same clock.

    1. Well articulated. The concern I have with the M1 architecture is the ability to run Linux and even windows virtual machines on a Mac host since some of the virtual environments makes x86 system calls to the underlying hardware.

  2. OK, so Intel’s design is less general which means it likely still does not meet Apple’s needs whose M1 largely jettisoned unused instructions making it slimmer, more efficient, less overhead, producing lead heat.

  3. Intel are trying to get people excited by a preview of Alder Lake chips, with no firm release date. It’s unlikely to be available until late this year or possibly next year.

    Comparisons with Apple’s M1 chips are a bit foolish because the M1 chip was shipping in retail computers last year. By the time that Alder Lake appears in retail PCs, Apple will have shipped computers with M2 or M3 silicon.

  4. Intel

    It’s too late
    No, don’t event try
    The writing is on the wall
    Expand to another areas, you are already defeated in this one. What about a quantum retail processor?

    My Core i7 MacBook Air 2015 is screaming just by browsing this website. It’s hotter, noiser, and more power hungry than even the same config desktop. Intel really screwed up

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