Intel’s Meteor Lake chips will be the company’s first processors with an integrated neural processing unit for hardware-accelerated AI features. They’ll also be the first manufactured using the company’s new Intel 4 process (which is, somewhat confusingly, a 7nm process). And they’ll be the first chips to sport Intel’s new naming convention.

When the new chips launch on December 14th, they’ll be marketed under the Intel Core Ultra brand.

You can also still think of these as 14th-gen Intel Core processors, but not all 14th-gen chips will be based on Meteor Lake architecture. While Meteor Lake chips will be positioned as mobile processors for laptops, tablets, and mini PCs, the company is also expected to brand its upcoming Raptor Lake Refresh desktop processors as 14th-gen chips, even though they basically use the same architecture as 13th-gen Raptor Lake processors.

So what does Meteor Lake bring to the table? According to Intel, we can expect:

  • Efficiency improvements thanks to the move to the Intel 4 manufacturing process
  • Discrete-level graphics performance” thanks to Intel Arc integrated graphics
  • Low-latency, low-power, high-quality AI via the new integrated NPU

The company says Meteor Lake processors are its first consumer chips to use a “client chiplet design enabled by Foveros packaging technology,” basically putting different functions onto different tiles. The CPU is a chiplet. So are the GPU and NPU, and there’s also an I/O tile.

The GPU can be used for gaming, 3D graphics, video rendering, and other applications, while the NPU enables users to run workloads locally on a computer that Intel says would have otherwise required offloading the job to cloud servers.

Of course, Intel isn’t exactly the first company to put an NPU in its chips. Apple, MediaTek, Qualcomm, and other chip makers have been putting them in ARM-based processors for years, and AMD recently began adding them to its processors as well. That’s why some of Microsoft’s AI features for Windows, like automatic-framing and eye-contact correction for video calls, only work on PCs with ARM or AMD chips at the moment. I suspect Microsoft will add support for PCs with Intel Meteor Lake or later chips in the future.

As for the CPU, Intel is continuing to use a hybrid architecture that combines Performance and Efficiency cores, and the company is introducing new versions of each. Meteor Lake’s new P cores are codenamed Redwood Cove, while the new E-Cores are codenamed Crestmont. According to Intel, both should bring both performance and efficiency improvements.

But there’s also a new “Low Power Island” core that can be used for less demanding workloads.  These use the same Crestmont architecture as the new E-cores, but they’re designed to consume less power, which could help extend battery life, at least in theory.

Meteor Lake chips will also ship with Intel Xe-LPG integrated graphics, which the company says should deliver up to double the performance-per-watt of the previous-gen Intel Xe-LP integrated graphics that debuted with the company’s 12th-gen “Alder Lake” processors. It remains to be seen whether that’s good enough to help Intel catch up to AMD, which has been dominating the integrated PC graphics space for the past few years thanks to iGPUs based on RDNA 2 and RDNA 3 architecture.

via Intel (1)(2) and AnandTech

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,447 other subscribers

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. As I said previously, I’m waiting for what comes after Meteor Lake. 40 core high end Intel chips and hopefully DDR-6 will be standard by then. It will be awesome for those that like playing with local A.I. models.

    Even if it costs me a couple arms and a leg, I’m waiting for that release.