Intel is one of the leading manufacturers of processors for laptops, desktops, servers and other devices. The company has been developing its CPU technology for decades, and it is constantly working on new generations of chips that offer better performance, efficiency and features.
The current generation of Intel processors is the 13th Gen Raptor Lake series, which was launched in late 2022 and early 2023. These chips are based on a hybrid architecture that combines high-performance Golden Cove cores with power-efficient Gracemont cores. They also support DDR5 memory, PCIe 5.0 interface and new security features.
However, Intel is not resting on its laurels. The company has already confirmed that it is working on its next generation of processors, codenamed Meteor Lake. These chips will be the first to use Intel’s 7nm process technology, which is also known as Intel 4. This process will allow Intel to pack more transistors into a smaller area, resulting in higher performance and lower power consumption.
But what else do we know about Intel’s 14th Gen processors? Here are some of the rumored specs, features and release dates of Meteor Lake chips.
Meteor Lake Specs
According to various leaks and reports , Meteor Lake processors will also use a hybrid architecture similar to Raptor Lake. However, they will introduce new core designs that will offer significant improvements over the previous generation.
The top-of-the-line Meteor Lake chips are rumored to pack six performance Redwood Cove cores and 16 efficient Crestmont cores. This would result in a total of 22 cores per chip, which is more than any other consumer CPU in the market. The Redwood Cove cores are expected to have higher clock speeds and IPC (instructions per cycle) than the Golden Cove cores, while the Crestmont cores are expected to have lower power consumption than the Gracemont cores.
Meteor Lake processors will also feature integrated graphics based on Intel’s Xe architecture. The Xe graphics will have up to 64 execution units (EUs), which is twice as many as Raptor Lake’s Xe-LP graphics. The Xe graphics will support DirectX 12 Ultimate, ray tracing and variable rate shading technologies.
Meteor Lake processors will also support DDR5 memory with up to 4800 MHz speed, PCIe 5.0 interface with up to 32 lanes, Thunderbolt 4 connectivity and Wi-Fi 6E wireless networking. They will also have new security features such as Control-Flow Enforcement Technology (CET) and Total Memory Encryption (TME).
Meteor Lake processors will have a maximum TDP (thermal design power) of 125 watts, which is similar to Raptor Lake’s TDP range. However, they will likely offer better performance per watt due to their smaller process node and improved core designs.
Meteor Lake Release Date
Intel has not announced an official release date for Meteor Lake processors yet. However, the company has stated that its Intel 4 process technology will enter volume production in the second half of 2022. This means that we could see Meteor Lake chips launching sometime in 2023.
Some sources suggest that Meteor Lake processors could debut as early as Q2 or Q3 of 2023, while others suggest that they could arrive later in Q4. It is possible that Intel will launch different variants of Meteor Lake at different times, depending on their target markets.
For example, Intel could launch mobile versions of Meteor Lake first for laptops and tablets before launching desktop versions for PCs later on. This would follow a similar pattern as Raptor Lake’s launch schedule.
However, there are also rumors that Intel may not release desktop versions of Meteor Lake at all. Instead, Intel may focus on mobile CPUs for laptops and tablets only with Meteor Lake generation before releasing desktop CPUs with its next generation codenamed Arrow lake.
Arrow lake CPUs are expected to be based on a newer process technology called Intel 3 (previously known as Enhanced SuperFin), which will offer further improvements over Intel 4.
The Intel 4 method will also be the first to employ EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography, which projects circuit designs onto silicon wafers using significantly shorter wavelengths. At the Fab34 foundry in Ireland, Intel built its first EUV lithography system in March to create Intel 4 process nodes.
The number of cores in the Meteor Lake processor will be another innovation. With Raptor Lake, Intel increased the amount of cores by 8, bringing the total to 24. It has 16 efficiency cores and 8 performance cores. Eight performance cores and eight efficiency cores made up Alder Lake’s predecessor’s 16 cores.
Although Intel is known to add cores with each processor generation, this may not be the case with Meteor Lake. Meteor Lake may only feature 22 cores, divided into 6 speed cores and 16 efficiency cores, according to a claim in PC Gaming.
Moreover, Coelacanth’s Dream, a South Korean tech leaker, claims that Intel intends to support Ray Tracing on the integrated GPU in Meteor Lake. The capability, which is mostly found in discrete GPUs, is used to simulate the movement of light in a virtual environment, such as a game. As dedicated RT cores are needed for Ray Tracing and integrated GPUs do not have these, it is unclear what benefit this will have.
Mercury Research data show that although Intel continued to dominate the X86 CPU market in Q1 2022 with a 72.3% market share, it experienced a 7% year-over-year (YoY) decline. With a market share of 27.7%, AMD, the second-best provider in the sector, expanded at a 7% annual rate.