Alongside Intel’s regular earnings report yesterday, the company also delivered a brief up on the state of one of their most important upcoming products, Meteor Lake. Intel’s first chiplet/tile-based SoC, which completed initial development last year, has now completed power-on testing and more. The news is not unexpected, but for Intel it still marks a notable milestone, and is important proof that both Meteor Lake and the Intel 4 process remain on track.

Meteor Lake, which is slated to be the basis of Intel’s 14th generation Core processors in 2023, is an important chip for the company on several levels. In terms of design, it is the first chiplet-based (or as Intel likes to put it, “disaggregated”) mass-market client SoC from the company. Intel’s roadmap for the Core lineup has the company using chiplet-style SoCs on a permanent basis going forward, so Meteor Lake is very important for Intel’s design and architecture teams as it’s going to be their first crack at client chiplets – and proof as to whether they can successfully pull it off.

Meanwhile Meteor Lake is also the first client part that will be built on the Intel 4 process, which was formerly known as Intel’s 7nm process. Intel 4 will mark Intel’s long-awaited (and delayed) transition to using EUV in patterning, making it one of the most significant changes to Intel’s fab technology since the company added FinFETs a decade ago. Given Intel’s fab troubles over the past few years, the company is understandably eager to show off any proof that its fab development cycle is back on track, and that they are going to make their previously declared manufacturing milestones.

As for this week’s power-on announcement, this is in-line with Intel’s earlier expectations. At the company’s 2022 investor meeting back in February, in the client roadmap presentation Intel indicated that they were aiming for a Q2’22 power-on.

In fact, it would seem that Intel has slightly exceeded their own goals. While in a tweet put out today by Michelle Johnston Holthaus, the recently named EVP and GM of Intel’s Client Computing Group, announced that Meteor Lake had been powered on, comments from CEO Pat Gelsinger indicate that Meteor Lake is doing even better than that. According to Gelsinger’s comments on yesterday’s earnings call, Meteor Lake has also been able to boot Windows, Chrome, and Linux. So while there remains many months of bring-up left to go, it would seem that Meteor Lake’s development is proceeding apace.

But that will be a story for 2023. Intel will first be getting Raptor Lake out the door later this year. The Alder Lake successor is being built on the same Intel 7 process as Alder Lake itself, and will feature an enhanced version of the Alder Lake architecture.

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  • brucethemoose - Saturday, April 30, 2022 - link

    But extremely useful for laptops, and workstations.
  • bji - Saturday, April 30, 2022 - link

    I know. Amazingly I keep checking Anandtech for new articles every single day, not quite sure why I even do it anymore. I think it's force of habit.
  • nandnandnand - Saturday, April 30, 2022 - link

    Not if it improves multi-core performance per Watt and mm^2. But it will take you another 5 years to get that.
  • TomWomack - Saturday, April 30, 2022 - link

    Which is fine, since desktops are 99% pointless; for everything that isn't 100% CPU a laptop with a monitor works better (whether it's in a laptop-shaped case or a Mac Mini-shaped case), for gaming a console works better, for things that are 100% CPU a server works better.
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, May 1, 2022 - link

    'desktops are 99% pointless'

    No. Desktops offer a form factor that makes it possible to have a large amount of area devoted to cooling.

    Laptops are used far too frequently for workloads that demand too much from the cooling, resulting in very irritating noise.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, May 2, 2022 - link

    "for gaming a console works better"

    MMmm....nothing beats that 22 FPS buttery smooth experience consoles provide. LOL.
  • Wereweeb - Saturday, April 30, 2022 - link

    Astonishingly incorrect. All programs are limited to some degree by Amdahl's Law. Combining the use of bigger performance cores to handle the master threads and of PPA-optimized "small cores" to improve perf/$ metrics is universally useful and a step forward in CPU design.

    You may argue that Intel's current implementation isn't very useful for g*mers, but that's because games are slow as hell to adapt to hardware changes - and honestly, no one really cares about what g*mers think?
  • Wereweeb - Saturday, April 30, 2022 - link

    "Aktchually, not all programs!" Yeah yeah, shut up, you got the point, if it's running on a CPU it's likely to be bound by a master thread.
  • Kangal - Saturday, April 30, 2022 - link

    Hybrid tech adds latency and complexity that is unnecessary for a Desktop PC.
    Remember these are machines which are hooked directly to the power-socket, and prioritise performance for certain applications. So a "Standard" Setup like 8x Large cores in Intel's monolithic chips, is the best option.

    On top of this, servers run differently to your standard Desktop PC and Mobile PC. They prioritise security above all. So a Large Setup like 64x Large Cores in AMDs chiplet design is the best option.

    For Mobile uses, there's a decent range. From the 4W Thin Tablet devices, with say 4x small cores. To the 20W Slim Laptops devices, with say 2x Large Cores and 4x small cores. And up to the 40W Heavy Notebooks, with say 4x Large Cores and 4x small cores. In these circumstances, Hybrid Computing as developed/perfected by ARM and Apple is the best option.
  • abufrejoval - Saturday, April 30, 2022 - link

    you seem so very sure, can't say I share your belief. I have a Ryzen 5800U in an ultra book where it obviously struggles to clock all eight cores beyond 4 GHz at both 15 and 28 Watt TDP presets, but I am doubtful that replacing the last 2 Zen 3 cores with something of an E-core equivalent would yield additional compute from the same power/heat budget except in some purpose built synthetic benchmark. In a 24x7 power optimized edge or home server I can imagine assigning certain tasks to E cores to let P cores slumber. But then I might even want some control over RAM, because that can easily take a bigger bite than core power savings with DIMMs.

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