Rumor Suggests Intel’s Next-Gen 10nm Willow Cove and Golden Cove Bring 25% and 50% IPC Increase Over Skylake

    A photo released Oct. 8, 2018, shows a 9th Gen Intel Core processor packages. The processor family is optimized for gaming. (Source: Intel Corporation)

    We already know about the Intel’s 14nm Skylake architecture with the release of Comet Lake CPUs. The microchip giant has already started focusing on next-generation cores to be used in its forthcoming
    desktop and mobility launches. Skylake kept working fine for several generations and got a lot of
    iterations on refined 14nm processes but the next generation 10mm and 7mm would be bringing incremental
    IPC gains.

    The rumors on what to look forward to in Intel’s Next-Gen cores have been posted by the Twitter user MebiuW. Here we got the first look of AMD’s next-generation Warhol and Raphael Desktop processor. Intel’s major three core updates included Sunny Cove, Willow Cove, and Golden Cove cores.

    The Sunny Cove would is featured on Ice Lake CPUs whereas Willow cove would be featured on the upcoming Tiger Lake CPUs. Finally, the Golden Cove cores would be featured in Alder Lake CPUs.

    Rumor Details – Intel CPU Roadmap Laid Out

    It is known that Sunny Cove brought an average of 18% IPC increment over Skylake. Intel has continued for 5 years with no IPC incremental gains over desktop platforms which resulted in several degradations in performance efficiency over the years. On the other hand their main competitor, AMD went all guns blazing with its Zen-based Ryzen CPUs that offered both increased IPC increment and improved efficiency. AMD’s strengthening of its IPC footprint against Intel has led to a major shift in IPC leadership.

    Intel knows that they would not last long without making significant progress with the IPC gains. We got a small glimpse of the chip-giants next-gen core architectures when they were officially presented in 2018. However, there was been no word about the development of these cores ever since.

    Alder Lake

    Now if the rumors are to be believed, the new Willow Cove would bring a slight jump in IPC over Sunny Cove. However, the new and revamped design should help it secure its position in terms of efficiency. This rests on the consideration that Willow Cove for mobile platforms will be available in the market by the second half of 2020.

    On the other hand, AMD’s Zen 3 architecture that would bring significant IPC improvements. However, it would not be available for the mobility segment until 2021.

    If we talk about the two architectures that defeated Willow Cove, the rumors shed light on some pretty huge IPC gains. The Golden Cove delivers around 50% improvement over Skylake whereas Ocean Cove cores deliver 80% IPC increment over Skylake. It is also mentioned that the Golden Cove cores would utilize 10nm++. However, the Ocean Cove cores would be using 7nm or 7nm+ process technology from Intel. It is worth mentioning that AMD would use the 5nm process node with Zen 4. Hence, AMD would be in the lead over Intel in terms of process technology for several upcoming years.


    The rumor sounds very promising and opens a new gateway for Intel to be back in the competition with AMD in terms of IPC gains. However, we should not forget the key detail here. Nothing has been confirmed yet and as of now, it is merely a ‘rumor’. We should not take this information too seriously and treat it as just a pinch of salt and nothing more. However, if true it could turn out to be a very good opportunity for Intel in the coming years as they improve on the new technology.

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