Intel announces launch of Meteor Lake processors, the company’s first desktop PC chips with TSMC tech. The chips will launch in the second half of 2023. These will be partially fabbed on the ‘Intel 4’ process node. Intel plans to deliver five nodes in four years and is on track to achieve this goal, according to CEO Pat Gelsinger.
Blended Chip Approach for Next-Gen Chips
Intel will use the blended chip approach for several new chip generations. That includes Arrow Lake and Lunar Lake, which will launch in 2024. Intel’s upcoming Meteor Lake, Arrow Lake, and Lunar Lake processors utilize the innovative 3D Foveros packaging tech.
This cutting-edge technology enables chiplets to be stacked vertically on a single base die using Foveros interconnect. This innovative approach significantly boosts the performance of the chips.
Multiple Process Nodes for One Chip Package
Have you heard about multiple process nodes for one chip package?. This innovative approach allows for integrating different process nodes within a single chip package. That results in improved performance and reduced power consumption.
Intel’s upcoming Meteor Lake design will feature a unique approach to chip packaging. The new design will incorporate multiple process nodes within the same package, including three tiles utilizing TSMC process nodes. According to the latest reports, the upcoming chip will utilize TSMC process nodes for the GPU, SOC, and IOE tiles. However, the CPU tile will be built using the ‘Intel 4’ process node.
This technique can offer cost advantages by utilizing larger and older TSMC nodes for less performance-sensitive functions. By offloading these functions from the CPU tile, the yield and cost of the device will improve.
Sierra Forest Chips Launching in H1 2024
Intel also reiterated that its Sierra Forest chips, its first-gen efficiency Xeon, will launch in the first half of 2024. The chips will offer better core density than AMD’s competing 128-core EPYC Bergamo chips, with 144 cores.
Relative to five nodes in four years, notably, two out of these five nodes, Intel 7 and Intel 4, are now essentially done. Intel 7 is in high-volume manufacturing, and Meteor Lake on Intel 4’s ramp in production wafer starts today for a second-half product launch.
Our Client Computing business continues to execute on this roadmap and build on recent market share wins. We gained overall PC market share in Q1 and expect our competitive position to continue to improve as we ramp Meteor Lake production in Q2 for a launch in second half.
Second, executing on our Data Center and AI roadmap, including the Sapphire Rapids ramp; the launch of Emerald Rapids in the second half of ’23, and Granite Rapids and Sierra Forest in 2024. Third, ramping Meteor Lake in second half ’23, and launching Arrow Lake and Lunar Lake in 2024.
So 20A and 18A are the next ones up. 20A will be primarily a client node as we ramp our Arrow Lake products in ’24 and ’25. 18A will be everything.
Intel’s Q1 2023 Earnings Call
In its Q1 2023 earnings report, Intel revealed a 133% decrease in earnings per share and a revenue drop of almost 36% YoY to $11.7 billion. While the results were lower than the previous year, they exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. Intel’s stock initially rose on the report but later fluctuated during extended trading.
Limitations of Meteor Lake
According to recent reports, it seems that the upcoming Meteor Lake desktop PC chips will focus on more budget-friendly Core i3 and Core i5 models. These chips are likely to have power envelopes of 35W and 65W, respectively.
Intel has not made an official statement regarding this matter at the time of writing.