On June 24, Microsoft will illustrate the future of Windows and, according to the rumors of a well-known Youtuber of the hardware world, the operating system will be renewed not only from a graphical and functional point of view, as has been said for months, but there will also be important news under the hood. Specifically, the next Windows (Windows 11?) Should see a heavy update on how it handles operations and distributes them to CPU cores, that is to all that part called scheduling, which is fundamental for final performance.
In the second half of this year Intel is expected to introduce the CPU Alder Lake, a project based on a hybrid architecture, formed by a mix of high-performance cores and units optimized for greater efficiency. This project, which follows ARM’s big.LITTLE philosophy, requires a major revision of the relationship between the CPU and the operating system.
The work done by Intel on Lakefield, its first hybrid project ever to have resulted in commercial success (we have seen it in a few products, such as the Samsung Galaxy Book S), should be invaluable in this regard: the scheduling of the operating system is driven. from the hardware, which means that CPU and operating system scheduler communicate in real time to allow each application to be managed by the most appropriate cores.
Complicating everything is the fact that the Alder Lake provides Hyper-Threading for high-performance cores only, so depending on the market address we will see CPUs with a misaligned number of cores and threads (for example 10 cores and 20 threads or 16 cores and 24 threads) compared to what we have seen so far, with CPUs formed by cores of the same nature and therefore characterized by a maximum of twice the number of threads compared to that of the physical cores.
According to the Youtuber, Microsoft and Intel have worked closely in recent months – which is certainly not new – to ensure that the new Windows that should see the light between October and November is not only ready to make Alder Lake CPUs perform at their best, but it also debuts substantially at the same time as the new Core CPUs. The Youtuber speaks of “spooky time”, making a clear reference to Halloween.
Alder Lake CPUs, as known for some time, will require on desktop the move to new platforms with LGA 1700 socket. The architecture also has the potential to support DDR5 e PCI Express 5.0, although it remains to be seen whether Intel will implement these two technologies in all spheres and market segments. Support for PCI Express 5.0 should only be for the CPU though, because the upcoming 600 series desktop platforms should only support PCI Express 4.0 (never mind).
The collaboration with Intel does not in any way prejudice the relationship of the Redmond giant with AMD and the support for its future innovations. Leaving aside the 3D V-Cache technology announced in the past few hours at Computex 2021, which would seem not to require software interventions to make the most of it, there are rumors concerning a future interest also by AMD for hybrid architectures. Microsoft’s experience with Alder Lake could therefore also be useful as regards the counterpart.