Intel denies Meteor Lake is delayed to 2024, says chips will `launch` in 2023

Intel had an incredibly tough quarter, unexpectedly losing half a billion dollars due to a slump in PC purchases, and yesterday seemed like more bad news – a report from TrendForce about production delays fueled rumors that Intel’s next major flagship processor Meteor Lake would be delayed until 2024, leaving it up to a year behind schedule. (In an investor meeting in February, Intel said Meteor Lake would “turn on” this summer before shipping in 2023.)

However, Intel flatly denies these rumors today, with spokesperson Thomas Hannaford clarifying to Custom Hour that not only are they untrue, but Meteor Lake will actually ship and launch in 2023. He also initially said the chips would be available to consumers in 2023, but backtracked on that from August 9, saying Intel is making that decision together with its OEM partners.

That’s a good thing for Intel, because Meteor Lake is one of the most important developments in many years. Not only is it the first client processor on the company’s Intel 4 architecture (formerly known as 7nm) and reportedly the first to use extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) in manufacturing, it’s also Intel’s first major release. which uses a chiplet design where the processor components can be combined more like Lego. Intel had already started moving towards hybrid chips with the 12th generation of Alder Lake’s mix of performance and efficiency cores, similar to a smartphone chip, but not the same.

The idea that Meteor Lake is still on track should come as no surprise to anyone who has listened to Intel’s Q2 2022 earnings call. There, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told investors directly that the company would deliver Meteor Lake in 2023, saying it “showed good health in both our and our customers’ labs” and that it is already “by and large” customers had been sampled.”

Of course, delivering samples to customers isn’t the same as getting ready for a consumer launch, and as Intel cut back on what it told us about shipping to consumers in 2023, we’re now wondering if that might have been delayed after all.

The TrendForce report suggested that Intel would not begin mass production of a key component of Meteor Lake until late 2023, and that “this incident has had a major impact on TSMC’s production expansion plan.” TSMC declined to comment on Intel but denied in a statement that its capacity expansion project had been compromised to China’s Economic Daily.

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel said it had already shipped 35 million units of its 12th-generation Alder Lake processors. Raptor Lake, which will likely be known as Intel 13th Gen Core, is due out later this year.

Update August 9, 2:01 PM ET: Intel’s Hannaford echoed some of his statements to Custom Hour over the weekend, saying Intel cannot confirm when these chips will actually be available to consumers, as that decision is being made with its OEM partners. He has now made it clear that it is on track to ship to “customers” (ie Intel’s partners) and that production at both Intel and TSMC is on track, but the timing for consumers will come later.

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