Golden Cove Processor

What is Golden Cove Processor?

Golden Cove processors come with an architecture that is fabricated on the 10 nm Enhanced SuperFin node or Intel 7 process node. The cores of these CPUs are designed to support hyperthreading, thereby allowing running two threads on a single core.

Technically, these processors come with a better front-end and back-end as well as other improved features such as simple decoders, Branch Target Buffers, Reorder Buffers, and execution ports.

Understanding Golden Cove Processor

What is Golden Cove Processor

Golden Cove is the codename of the microarchitecture of the processors developed and manufactured by Intel and released on November 4, 2021.

Typically, the architecture of these processors is the successor to four different architectures, such as:

Built on the Intel 7 process node, this particular microarchitecture is typically used in the P-core or high-performance cores of the 12th generation Intel Core Alder Lake processors.

Apart from that, the microarchitecture is capable enough to power up the 4th generation Xeon Scalable Sapphire Rapids server processors as well.

In addition to that, the Golden Cove microarchitecture also allows splitting the execution ports using a wider decoder.

This allows for handling and executing a larger number of operations at the same time.

This feature eventually allows for higher Instructions per Cycle (IPC) and Instruction Level Parallelism (ILP) to take full advantage of a given workflow.

Typically, a wider decode will need a lot more power to operate, but in the case of the Golden Cove architecture, Intel claims that it will not need as much power due to its 4K micro-op cache and a more improved front-end.

These design features allow the decoding engine to spend 80% of the time power gated.

Typically, the maximum clock rate attained by the cores of this CPU ranges between 1 GHz and 5.5 GHz.

Architectural Changes

Some of the architectural changes made in the Golden Cove with respect to the architecture of its predecessor, Willow Cove, are as follows:

And, with respect to its other predecessor, Sunny Cove, the major architectural changes are as follows:

Front-end and Back-end

The front end of the architecture also comes with some significant improvements and additional features as follows:

As for the back end, the features include the following:

Instruction Set and Extension Support

There are several new and old extensions of x86-64 Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) supported by the Golden Cove processors as follows:

The server Sapphire Rapids processors, however, support TSX with Transactional Synchronization Extensions Suspend Load Address Tracking, or TSXLDTRK.

Cache Memory

The Golden Cove processors come with three levels of cache memory in them as follows:

With all these features in them, the Golden Cove processors are true and worthy competitors of the Zen 3 and Zen 4 processors from the house of AMD.

In spite of the smaller 10 nm Enhanced SuperFin node, these Intel processors have more Out-of-Order Execution (OoOE) capabilities due to their extended back and front-ends.

This allows them to offer real-world performance while maintaining power efficiency all throughout.

Golden Cove vs Skylake

Read Also:  What is Clock Doubling? (Explained)


The Golden Cove processors, the successors to Willow Cove, come with the features that make them a true competitor of the Zen 3 and Zen 4-based CPUs from AMD.

The 10 nm Enhanced SuperFin node, the extended front and back ends, enhanced OoOE and other features offer better and higher performance.