Intel wrapped up its annual innovation event in San Jose, where the chipmaker gave us a glimpse of its plans for the next few years. If you don’t have an hour and a half to watch CEO Pat Gelsinger’s keynote, here are some key things we learned.
Meteor Lake will launch on December 14th
In case you haven’t guessed, AI was kind of a theme here.
At the Innovation Keynote, the company officially introduced its “Meteor Lake” generation (officially known as Intel Core Ultra) to the world. These will succeed the 13th generation “Raptor Lake” line; They will be the first chips based on the new Intel 4 process and the first with a dedicated AI coprocessor inside.
They’re also the first consumer CPUs from Intel to stitch together different chiplets for each component (something rivals like AMD and Qualcomm have been doing for some time). In this case, there are four tiles: Computing, Graphics, SoC and I/O.
The SoC tile is essentially a low-power processor. In addition to features like wireless connectivity, native HDMI 2.1 and DP 2.1 standards, and an integrated storage controller, the tile has separate “Low Power Island” E-Cores specifically intended for lighter workloads. The idea is that this setup could offload lighter processes from the power-guzzling compute tile. This would theoretically allow the chips to save power, which is why Intel calls Meteor Lake the most efficient client processor it has ever made.
In the gaming sector, Meteor Lake can integrate Intel’s Arc graphics directly on the chip. Not every Meteor Lake processors will get these – according to the fine print, they will “select systems with MTL processor and dual-channel memory.”
Intel will challenge AMD’s 3D V-Cache… eventually
This is the Scar X3D, which had some pretty crazy frame rates in our tests.
In a question-and-answer session, Pat Gelsinger was asked whether Intel would challenge the 3D V-Cache technology that powers desktop chips like the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, a technology it also debuted for laptops earlier this summer became. In response, Gelsinger confirmed that Intel has a similar idea on its roadmap, but it will not be part of the Meteor Lake generation.
For those unfamiliar, 3D V-Cache allows AMD to stack additional cache (high-speed short-term memory) directly on its CPU. The results we got with the ROG Strix Scar It’s an incredibly powerful device that puts Intel’s 4090 offerings to shame.
Intel needs an answer to 3D V-Cache if it wants to stay at the forefront of the high-end gaming market. Sounds like it depends on the case.
Lunar Lake exists
Pat Gelsinger and his colleague Craig are waiting for the generation of the Lunar Lake PC to be completed.
At least some capacity. The first day keynote included the world’s first demonstration of a Lunar Lake system; We saw the PC generate a Taylor Swift-style song and an image of a giraffe in a cowboy hat. You know, like computers do.
Intel also confirmed that Lunar Lake is scheduled to be released in 2024. Like its predecessor, the Meteor Lake sequel will use Intel’s Foveros design. It is also said to be the commercial debut of Intel’s 1.8nm manufacturing process, known as Intel 18A. (To put it in human terms: its transistors are going to be really, really, really damn small.)
“Panther Lake” is in full swing
You can just keep this picture on your phone or something else to keep track.
Gelsinger confirmed that a CPU generation called “Panther Lake” will be announced in 2025 and the company has started working on it. (This name was leaked earlier this year after an Intel engineer accidentally posted it on LinkedIn.) We know almost nothing about Panther Lake right now, but Intel says production in factories should begin as early as the first quarter of 2024.
For those keeping track (and let’s be honest, I know you all are): That means development will likely look like this: Meteor (2023), Arrow (2024), Lunar (probably 2024) , Panther (2025).
Modular chiplets are in the works
Pat Gelsinger unveils Pike Creek.
Gelsinger introduced Pike Creek, the world’s first working UCIe-capable chiplet-based processor. UCIe stands for “Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express” and is essentially a plug-and-play standard that can enable different silicon modules to work together in a chiplet package. A chipmaker could grab another company’s chiplet and incorporate it into its design. In theory, this would allow chipmakers to better specialize in specific types of chiplets and bring their products to market more quickly.
Intel will use the UCIe interface after Arrow Lake and will be the first company to introduce functional silicon. (Intel donated the first version of the UCIe specification to the standards body that is developing it.)
Resin is out, glass is in
Intel currently uses an organic resin as the basis of its chips. The company announced that it has begun transitioning to a new technology in which chips sit on a bed of glass. This should give Intel more space to accommodate additional transistors and (Intel expects) better data transfer, less warping and less mechanical breakage in heat.
A few reporters were able to see this production process at Intel’s factory. CNET has some cool photos.
Xeon things happen
There are a lot of cores.
Gelsinger announced the upcoming Sierra Forest Xeon processor, which features 288 E-cores. You know, just in case you find that the number of cores you currently have aren’t enough for your backyard data center.
Intel also confirmed that the 5th Gen Xeon “Emerald Rapids” series will launch on December 14th this year.
Pat Gelsinger is a Swiftie
“I report.” – Probably Pat Gelsinger.
He didn’t actually say that himself, but his colleague Craig suspected it might be the case, and Gelsinger kind of nodded sheepishly, which is all the proof I need. What do we think is his favorite album? I get Call vibes.