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Intel Rocket Lake CPUs are set to launch early 2021

AMD is finally releasing its Zen 3 processors later today, which makes it prime time for Intel to steal some thunder with the reveal that its 11th gen CPUs will be arriving early next year.

Penned by John Bonini, who bears the lengthy title as Intel’s vice president and general manager of client computing group desktop, workstations, and gaming, the Medium post drives home just how passionate the company is about its gamer audience, before teasing that “Rocket Lake is coming.” If you need a refresher, Rocket Lake is the codename of Intel’s anticipated next-generation lineup, which is expected to be yet another 14nm chip, but this time based on Willow Cove architecture and possibly introducing 20% IPC gains over the current Comet Lake CPUs.

“I’m also happy to confirm that the next generation 11th Gen Intel Core desktop processors (codenamed “Rocket Lake”) is coming in the first quarter of 2021 and will provide support for PCIe 4.0,” says Bonini. “It’ll be another fantastic processor for gaming, and we’re excited to disclose more details in the near future.”

This will mark Intel’s first PCIe 4.0-compatible processor, while AMD has supported it with Zen 2 CPUs and a range of motherboards for quite some time. And yet, PCIe 6.0 is on track to be finalised at the end of 2021 – granted, it’s primarily aimed at servers, but it shows that PCIe 4.0’s days are already numbered.

Launching in Q1 2021 is a little earlier than usual, considering the Intel released its 10th gen Comet Lake processors on May 27. At least part, if not all of the reasoning, likely lies with whispers that AMD’s Zen 3 is set to provide a substantial generational leap, and Intel certainly doesn’t want to leave its rival uncontested.