Full details of Intel Meteor Lake leak out: What to expect

Intel Meteor Lake is the upcoming 14th generation Intel processors, which are rumored to be released in the second half of 2023. While there’s still a long way to go before these CPUs hit the market, several leaks help us get a clear picture of what Intel has in store.

According to the latest round of leaks, Intel Meteor Lake could introduce a host of changes and upgrades. This includes adding a new core type, bringing the current hybrid design to three different cores.

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Three variants

As the next-generation Intel Raptor Lake approaches its launch date, rumors are ramping up not only for those 13th-generation Intel processors, but also for its successor – Intel Meteor Lake. Today, Igor’s Lab gives us a look at the block diagram and specifications of the mobile version of the chip, which will be released in three different variants: U, P and H.

According to Igor’s Lab, the mobile lineup will launch first, followed by the desktop chips in late 2023 or even early 2024. This prediction was recently confirmed by Moore’s Law is Dead on YouTube, so it certainly carries some weight. While recent reports show that Meteor Lake is on track to launch as the Intel 4 node in the processor is about to enter volume production, Intel may give Raptor Lake more time to shine before moving on to the next generation.

Intel Meteor Lake, in addition to the usual increase in cores and clock speeds, will also feature an all-new architecture for Intel. Intel Alder Lake introduced the hybrid core design, with performance-oriented P-cores and efficiency-based E-cores. Raptor Lake will continue to follow the same path, but Meteor Lake takes it a step further by adding an additional core type, thus getting a triple hybrid core design.

A bit of a mystery

The new LP E cores are still a bit of a mystery, but most signs point to them being deployed in the visual processing unit (VPU) on the new chips. Twitter leaker OneRaichu notes that there are only two LP E cores and they can be found on the system-on-a-chip (SOC) tile. This seemingly confirms the assumption that the LP E cores will be used by the VPU.

Meteor Lake also continues to use P-cores and E-cores. The performance cores will be based on the Redwood Cove architecture, and the efficiency cores will use the Crestmont core architecture, replacing Raptor Cove and Gracemont from the (yet upcoming) Intel Raptor Lake. Each E-core module, which consists of four cores, may come with a mix of two standard E-cores and two LP E-cores.

Igor’s Lab also gives us a look at the core configuration for the Intel Meteor Lake mobile chips. The P- and H-series processors would have up to 14 cores, which breaks down into six performance cores and eight efficiency cores, while the U-series will have a maximum of 12 (four plus eight) cores.

In addition to an upgrade in the core architecture, Meteor Lake appears to be giving a boost to the tiled GPU (tGPU). The GPU will be based on the Intel Battlemage Xe-2 architecture, the successor to the Alchemist Xe-1 currently in use, and will be manufactured on TSMC’s 3nm process node. The new tiled GPU comes with up to 128 Execution Units (EUs), which translates to 1024 Arithmetic Logical Units (ALUs).

An interesting thing to note is that this is the same number of ALUs as in the budget Intel Arc A380 graphics card. This means that the tGPU on the Intel Meteor Lake chip will show a similar level of performance to the A380, which in turn lags behind the current generation of GPUs from Nvidia and AMD. On the other hand, it can still handle some light gaming, but could be quite uninteresting by the time the chips launch in late 2023. After all, we expect AMD to release Phoenix Point APUs with a combination of Zen 4 CPUs and an RDNA 3 GPU — that will be hard to beat in terms of graphics performance.

Intel Meteor Lake supports both LPDDR5 and LPDDR5X memory, reaching speeds of up to 7467 Mbps and DDR5-5600. The memory capacity would also increase: we can now expect up to 96 GB compared to the 64 GB sometimes found in high-end laptops. Since Alder Lake and Raptor Lake both support DDR5 and PCIe 5.0, it should come as no surprise that Meteor Lake does, too, with up to 8 PCIe 5.0 lanes supporting discrete graphics on H-series chips. However, P- and U-series chips can only ship with Gen 4 lanes, if so – they may not have separate GPU lanes at all.

Although Raptor Lake is the first to hit the market (alongside AMD Ryzen 7000), Meteor Lake is already an exciting generation of Intel processors. The triple hybrid core architecture, combined with an expected performance increase of 20%, is certainly something to look forward to.

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