Intel Cannonlake, Ice Lake, Tiger Lake & Sapphire rapid thread

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Nothingness

Platinum Member
Jul 3, 2013
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Lakefield has no ISA parity. Wikichip says AVX won't work on Core chips for Lakefield.
You mean they fused off AVX AVX-512 on the Sunny Cove Core? Sweet. I love Intel.

I wonder if ISA parity really is needed. Aren't the executables tagged with ISA requirements? Can't the processes be pinned to the CPU that has the right support in the SoC?

If Gracemont has support for AVX-512, that will change. It doesn't need full width. 2x cycles using 256-bit units or 4x cycles with 128-bit cycles will work.
You're preaching to the choir. I think having support for all of the ISA is paramount as it helps adoption. But given Intel past behavior I doubt they'll go that route.
 

Thala

Senior member
Nov 12, 2014
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I wonder if ISA parity really is needed. Aren't the executables tagged with ISA requirements? Can't the processes be pinned to the CPU that has the right support in the SoC?
Executables are not tagged. It is responsibility of the programmer to deliver correct code to the cores by querying features.
In fact a single executable can support multiple code pathes for different feature levels.
 

yeshua

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Aug 7, 2019
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itvision.altervista.org
IMO x86 desktop CPUs don't need BIG and little cores and even the ones meant for laptops could perform just fine with e.g. as many BIG cores as possible and just two little cores for light tasks to increase battery life (and even that seems like a good stretch considering that my Sky Lake U CPU from 2015 consumes less than 1.5W when it's idling on the desktop - is it really worth it adding special cores to reduce this figure even further?)
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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You mean they fused off AVX AVX-512 on the Sunny Cove Core? Sweet. I love Intel.

I wonder if ISA parity really is needed. Aren't the executables tagged with ISA requirements? Can't the processes be pinned to the CPU that has the right support in the SoC?
Executables supporting AVX-based ISA extensions have probably not been compiled with heterogeneous core configurations in mind. I'm guessing Intel ran into problems in testing and decided to fix the problem in hardware rather than try to have everyone recompile everything.
 

JoeRambo

Senior member
Jun 13, 2013
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Executables are not tagged. It is responsibility of the programmer to deliver correct code to the cores by querying features.
In fact a single executable can support multiple code pathes for different feature levels.
That sounds like nightmare scenario and was designed for strictly heterogenous scenario, where features are detected once at startup and scheduled using those features detected.
This scheme does not help with Big.little in any way.

1) Processes get thrown around cpus and if features are different, obviously crash will happen.
2) If vendors "fix" (1) by pinning process to just one type of cores, the following happens "hey, why my Cinebench is 10x slower than AMD five times out of 6"
3) Whitelisting processes to be able to run on .little cores is frankly retarded due to limited impact for money spent and would get limited to OS vendors and several apps in the field.

So that leave with 2 solutions:
1) HW way Apple went
2) Heterogenous cores ( (1) can also have heterogenous cores ) and hoping for time machine invention to help with process scheduling making decision using information from future.
 

Nothingness

Platinum Member
Jul 3, 2013
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Executables are not tagged.
Is that a limitation of Windows executable format or of x86? AArch64 ELF have HWCAP.

It is responsibility of the programmer to deliver correct code to the cores by querying features.
In fact a single executable can support multiple code pathes for different feature levels.
Then you can't migrate and benefit from a better ISA. Well I guess this clearly means you need the same ISA on all cores.
 

Thala

Senior member
Nov 12, 2014
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Is that a limitation of Windows executable format or of x86? AArch64 ELF have HWCAP.
elf_hwcap is a gobal which is initialized by the kernel at load time. The user application then queries hwcap at runtime calling

Code:
unsigned long hwcap = getauxval(AT_HWCAP);
From there on the applications typically initializes function pointers with the matching implementation.

There is nothing static in the elf file.

Biggest difference here between x86 and ARM is, that on ARM there is no trivial way to figure out HW capabilities at EL0, so kernel need to expose these capabilties. On Linux you can use the code snippet posted above, on Windows there is no equivalent i am aware of but you can safely assume ARMv8.2.

Then you can't migrate and benefit from a better ISA. Well I guess this clearly means you need the same ISA on all cores.
Precisely.
 

lobz

Golden Member
Feb 10, 2017
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Exactly, Gracemont with IPC around Sky Lake would be pretty powerfull and IMO it's not correct to be named as LITTLE core (as ARM's LITTLE cores are typically very low IPC in-order cores). It's more like MIDDLE core: saving a lot of die space and energy while delivering 80% IPC of Sunny Cove (or 60% of Golden Cove).

8x Golden Cove (IPC +40% over SKL) + 8x cores of SKL IPC .... this thing could be pretty competitive against Zen3 and Zen4.
Exactly the wishful thinking we all love you for :)
 
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lobz

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Feb 10, 2017
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It is responsibility of the programmer to deliver correct code to the cores by querying features.
Now imagine if AMD would launch this big.LITTLE desktop CPU and you're gonna see immediately how ridiculous your sentence sounds all of a sudden.
 

Nothingness

Platinum Member
Jul 3, 2013
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elf_hwcap is a gobal which is initialized by the kernel at load time. The user application then queries hwcap at runtime calling

Code:
unsigned long hwcap = getauxval(AT_HWCAP);
From there on the applications typically initializes function pointers with the matching implementation.

There is nothing static in the elf file.
Oh I thought it was a property in the ELF file. Thanks for correcting my misunderstanding!

Biggest difference here between x86 and ARM is, that on ARM there is no trivial way to figure out HW capabilities at EL0, so kernel need to expose these capabilties.
Yes the /proc/cpuinfo output on ARM is regularly being discussed to get around that...

On Linux you can use the code snippet posted above, on Windows there is no equivalent i am aware of but you can safely assume ARMv8.2.
Since Windows can run on Raspberry you can't assume ARMv8.2 :) Joke aside I hope MS will support more than Qualcomm chips.
 

Nothingness

Platinum Member
Jul 3, 2013
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Now imagine if AMD would launch this big.LITTLE desktop CPU and you're gonna see immediately how ridiculous your sentence sounds all of a sudden.
I fail to see what is ridiculous (well except that big.LITTLE for desktop sounds ridiculous of course).
 

lobz

Golden Member
Feb 10, 2017
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I fail to see what is ridiculous (well except that big.LITTLE for desktop sounds ridiculous of course).
The notion that efficient programming is the responsibility of the software developer. But anytime AMD is first with a technology or a different way of executing, they're almost always blamed for it. Mantle/DX12, async computing etc.

The 'ridiculous' is just meant in light of that. For what it's worth, I totally agree that it should really be the responsibility of the software developers to not be lazy all the time.
 

Thala

Senior member
Nov 12, 2014
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Since Windows can run on Raspberry you can't assume ARMv8.2 :) Joke aside I hope MS will support more than Qualcomm chips.
Technically Windows on ARM can run on a variety of ARM SoCs as is as long as they have proper EFI and device recovery support. It pretty much is a generic ARM64 implementation of Windows (plus x86 emulation/WoW on top).
Practically it does require device driver support from the OEM when you want to have anything more than basic i/o. So i assume Microsoft is not the limiting factor here.
 

Markeyse

Member
Feb 9, 2020
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I just want them to release a Workstation/Server style CPU with almsot 4GHz of clock and about 72 Lanes of PCIe! That aint' too hard to ask for.
 

jpiniero

Diamond Member
Oct 1, 2010
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Maybe something like this for desktop?

i9: 8 cores + 2 clusters
i7: 8 cores + 1 cluster
i5: 6 cores + 1 cluster or 6 cores
i3: 4 cores + 1 cluster or 4 cores
Pentium: 2 cores + 2 clusters or 2 cores
Celeron: 2 cores

The 6/4 cores + 2 clusters would be reserved for mobile.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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You have to wonder if at some point down the road if it would be better to use big/LITTLE instead of SMT. No side channel attacks if there is no side channel. I don't think software is there yet for it, but it shouldn't be too hard to add in.
 

Spartak

Senior member
Jul 4, 2015
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Not sure if the below slide has been discussed yet? Couldn't find anything about it in the 3-4 days after the article so apologies if it came up later.

But as much as I was counting on Rocket Lake to be a 14nm Willow Cove backport, it seems to be the final iteration of Coffee Lake, not even with AVX512 included.


The 15W / 125W TDP split makes sense if you see it as a powerful CPU for ultramobile where there is no room for a dGPU and reuse it for higher-end/SFF desktops for non-gamers.

I was looking forward to upgrade to Rocket Lake around april next year but I guess I'll have to wait at least another year for Alder Lake or be swayed by Zen in the meantime.

My estimate right now:
Comet Lake S - 10C - skylake - 14nm - april 2020
Rocket Lake S - 8C - skylake - 14nm - nov 2020 ~ april 2021
Alder Lake S - 8C/8c - Willow Cove - 7nm/10nm? - april ~ nov 2022
 

exquisitechar

Senior member
Apr 18, 2017
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Not sure if the below slide has been discussed yet? Couldn't find anything about it in the 3-4 days after the article so apologies if it came up later.

But as much as I was counting on Rocket Lake to be a 14nm Willow Cove backport, it seems to be the final iteration of Coffee Lake, not even with AVX512 included.


The 15W / 125W TDP split makes sense if you see it as a powerful CPU for ultramobile where there is no room for a dGPU and reuse it for higher-end/SFF desktops for non-gamers.

I was looking forward to upgrade to Rocket Lake around april next year but I guess I'll have to wait at least another year for Alder Lake or be swayed by Zen in the meantime.

My estimate right now:
Comet Lake S - 10C - skylake - 14nm - april 2020
Rocket Lake S - 8C - skylake - 14nm - nov 2020 ~ april 2021
Alder Lake S - 8C/8c - Willow Cove - 7nm/10nm? - april ~ nov 2022
That leak was incorrect, it was corrected later. Rocket Lake has AVX-512 support. That being said, being swayed by Zen 3/4 would make sense either way (until 7nm desktop, at least). ;)
Alder is 10nm, and it should be Golden Cove, no?
 
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Spartak

Senior member
Jul 4, 2015
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That leak was incorrect, it was corrected later. Rocket Lake has AVX-512 support. That being said, being swayed by Zen 3/4 would make sense either way (until 7nm desktop, at least). ;)
Alder is 10nm, and it should be Golden Cove, no?
Can you point to the correction? Curious if the stated VRM is wrong as well.

I have trouble seeing a 10nm desktop product ever coming to fruition, so I think it will be skipped. OTOH, I find it hard to believe they'll skip two generations of micro-architecture for the desktop. But the truth will probably in the middle so most likely would be 10nm/Willow Cove or 7nm Golden Cove. If it's indeed 10nm Golden Cove, clocks will be brutally low.
 
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exquisitechar

Senior member
Apr 18, 2017
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Can you point to the correction? Curious if the stated VRM is wrong as well.

I have trouble seeing a 10nm desktop product ever coming to fruition, so I think it will be skipped. OTOH, I find it hard to believe they'll skip two generations of micro-architecture for the desktop. But the truth will probably in the middle so most likely would be 10nm/Willow Cove or 7nm Golden Cove.
https://www.reddit.com/r/intel/comments/e4z524 From a quick search, I found this reddit thread discussing the news. Keep in mind that this isn't confirmation that Rocket is Willow Cove, that's sharkbay's speculation. AVX-512 support is almost certain, though.

Recently, several rumors have indicated that Alder Lake-S is "alive", the most recent one being the big.LITTLE one that was discussed on this very page. Will it come to fruition? Who knows...
 
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lobz

Golden Member
Feb 10, 2017
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Not sure if the below slide has been discussed yet? Couldn't find anything about it in the 3-4 days after the article so apologies if it came up later.

But as much as I was counting on Rocket Lake to be a 14nm Willow Cove backport, it seems to be the final iteration of Coffee Lake, not even with AVX512 included.

The 15W / 125W TDP split makes sense if you see it as a powerful CPU for ultramobile where there is no room for a dGPU and reuse it for higher-end/SFF desktops for non-gamers.

I was looking forward to upgrade to Rocket Lake around april next year but I guess I'll have to wait at least another year for Alder Lake or be swayed by Zen in the meantime.

My estimate right now:
Comet Lake S - 10C - skylake - 14nm - april 2020
Rocket Lake S - 8C - skylake - 14nm - nov 2020 ~ april 2021
Alder Lake S - 8C/8c - Willow Cove - 7nm/10nm? - april ~ nov 2022
I have no idea why people on this forum keep thinking that intel will release desktop CPUs with completely different architectures fighting for the exact same customer group some mere months away from each other... your estimate makes zero sense... Rocket Lake is not happening this year and it will be a wonder if intel gets TGL out this year in any meaningful quantity.
 

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