So, I've put some thought into this. I do think it's reasonably likely that Royal first shows up in Nova Lake around 2026. If so, I see three possibilities.In the reddit leak "the biggest architectural change in CPU architecture since the Core architecture" was claimed for Nova Lake. There are rumors about Panther Lake after Lunar, I hope it doesn't mean it has been delayed one generation. If there is Panther Lake the Panther Cove core naming would make sense though.
- There is a significant issue with Royal execution, which pushes development out that far. I'm optimistic on this not being the case, but admittedly that's just blind faith in the team.
- Integrating Royal would require significant rework of other parts of the SoC (fabric, etc) that would not fit in the schedule for an incremental redesign.
- IDC (who're developing Lunar Lake and [last I heard] Panther Lake) are not politically willing to take the core due to the influence of the big core team.