The first 13th-gen Intel Core chips based on the company’s “Raptor Lake” architecture haven’t started shipping yet. But Intel is already talking about improvements we’ll see from its 14th-gen “Meteor Lake” chips which are set to debut in 2023.
While Raptor Lake processors are manufactured using the same Intel 7 process as current-gen “Alder Lake” chips, the upcoming Meteor Lake chips will be the first manufactured using a new process called Intel 4.
Intel says the move will result in chips over 20% higher clock speeds than similar chips manufactured using an Intel 7 process, without increasing power consumption. But we could see even bigger gains in efficiency: Intel says Intel 4 allows for up to 40% lower power consumption at the same frequency, in at least some circumstances).
There are a few reasons for these improvements. The first is that Intel is transitioning from a 10nm manufacturing process to 7nm. The second is that Intel 4 is the company’s first node that incorporates EUV (extreme ultraviolet lithography), something rivals have been using for years. And, among other things, the result will be chips with 2X the transistor density of those manufactured with an Intel 7 process.
The first Intel 4 chips will also be Intel’s first to use a tiled architecture, putting a series of smaller “chiplets” with different functions (one for the CPU, another for graphics, and another for I/O, for example) into a single package. This is an approach AMD already uses, but it’s expected to become more common with AMD, ARM, and Intel joining forces to create an open chiplet standard called UCIe.