Intel Introduces Meteor Lake Architecture: Intel 4 Signals the Fragmented Era of Mobile CPUs

September 29, 2023 by our News Team

Intel's Meteor Lake is a revolutionary leap forward for their client processors, featuring Foveros 3D packaging, EUV lithography, AI capabilities, and improved performance and power efficiency for the mobile market.

  • Foveros 3D packaging with EUV lithography
  • Improved compute core hierarchy and graphics capabilities with Xe-LPG Arc-based graphics
  • Enhanced security with Intel Silicon Security Engine (ISSE) and partitioned Converged Security and Manageability Engine (CSME)

During Intel’s recent Innovation event, CEO Pat Gelsinger shared exciting details about the upcoming Meteor Lake client platform. This marks a significant shift for Intel as they move away from the Intel 7 node and embrace Foveros 3D packaging with EUV lithography. Meteor Lake introduces a tiled, disaggregated chiplet architecture for Intel’s consumer chips, bringing advancements to the mobile market.

The compute tile of Meteor Lake features new P-core (Redwood Cove) and E-core (Crestmont) processors, promising improved IPC gains. One interesting addition is the Low Power Island E-core embedded in the SoC tile, allowing for more efficient handling of light workloads. Meteor Lake also includes a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for on-chip AI capabilities.

Intel aims to enhance their position in the mobile market with Meteor Lake by improving compute core hierarchy, graphics capabilities with Xe-LPG Arc-based graphics, and AI advantages with the NPU. The Foveros 3D packaging will become a staple of Intel’s processor roadmap, with Intel 4 process acting as a stepping stone to future nodes like Intel 3.

Meteor Lake represents a revolutionary leap forward for Intel’s client processors. The architecture is built on Intel 4 with EUV lithography, offering improved power efficiency and area scaling. The use of EUV allows for better resolution and pattern fidelity in manufacturing. Enhanced Copper, a mixture of copper and cobalt, is used in Intel 4 to reduce resistance and improve power delivery.

The SoC tile in Meteor Lake introduces a Network-on-Chip (NOC) and Low Power Island E-Cores. The NOC improves bandwidth scalability and connects various components within the SoC. The LP E-cores are designed for power efficiency and handle lighter workloads. Power management is done through a scalable system with Power Management Controllers (PMC) on each tile.

Intel’s NPU in the SoC tile brings AI capabilities to Meteor Lake, supporting standardized program interfaces like OpenVINO. The NPU consists of two neural compute engines and offers flexibility for diverse workloads. It is compatible with Microsoft’s new compute driver model, MCDM.

The graphics tile in Meteor Lake features Intel’s Xe-LPG Arc-based graphics architecture. It promises 2x performance per watt compared to previous Xe-LP graphics. The Xe-LPG architecture includes 8 Xe graphics cores, 128 vector engines, and 8 Ray Tracing Units (RTU). The graphics and media elements are disaggregated from the graphics tile, allowing for power savings during encoding, decoding, and video playback.

The I/O tile provides additional connectivity features and varies depending on the processor’s grade and specific vendor needs. Thunderbolt 4 support is available on higher-end SKUs, while lower-end SKUs may omit certain I/O features to reduce costs.

Intel has focused on security with Meteor Lake, introducing the Intel Silicon Security Engine (ISSE) and partitioning the Converged Security and Manageability Engine (CSME) for enhanced platform security.

Overall, Meteor Lake represents a significant architectural transformation for Intel’s client processors. It combines advanced technologies like Foveros 3D packaging, EUV lithography, and AI capabilities to deliver improved performance and power efficiency in the mobile market. Specific SKUs and configurations are yet to be disclosed, but Intel plans to launch the first Meteor Lake Ultra SKU with AI capabilities on December 14th.

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Background Information

About Intel: Intel Corporation, a global technology leader, is for its semiconductor innovations that power computing and communication devices worldwide. As a pioneer in microprocessor technology, Intel has left an indelible mark on the evolution of computing with its processors that drive everything from PCs to data centers and beyond. With a history of advancements, Intel's relentless pursuit of innovation continues to shape the digital landscape, offering solutions that empower businesses and individuals to achieve new levels of productivity and connectivity.

Intel website  Intel LinkedIn

About Microsoft: Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975 in Redmond, Washington, USA, is a technology giant known for its wide range of software products, including the Windows operating system, Office productivity suite, and cloud services like Azure. Microsoft also manufactures hardware, such as the Surface line of laptops and tablets, Xbox gaming consoles, and accessories.

Microsoft website  Microsoft LinkedIn

Technology Explained

chiplet: Chiplets are a new type of technology that is revolutionizing the computer industry. They are small, modular components that can be used to build powerful computing systems. Chiplets are designed to be used in combination with other components, such as processors, memory, and storage, to create a complete system. This allows for more efficient and cost-effective production of computers, as well as more powerful and versatile systems. Chiplets can be used to create powerful gaming PCs, high-end workstations, and even supercomputers. They are also being used in the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning applications. Chiplets are an exciting new technology that is changing the way we build and use computers.

E-Cores: E-Cores (Efficiency Cores) are a type of technology used in the computer industry to provide a more efficient and reliable way of powering and cooling computer components. They are made up of a combination of copper and aluminum, and are designed to be more efficient than traditional copper cores. E-Cores are used in a variety of applications, such as in CPUs, GPUs, and other computer components. They are also used in servers, laptops, and other electronic devices. The technology is designed to reduce heat and power consumption, while also providing a more reliable and efficient way of powering and cooling computer components.

EUV: Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUV or EUVL) is an advanced semiconductor manufacturing technique that employs extremely short wavelengths of light in the extreme ultraviolet spectrum to create intricate patterns on silicon wafers. Utilizing a wavelength around 13.5 nanometers, significantly shorter than traditional lithography methods, EUVL enables the production of smaller and more densely packed integrated circuits, enhancing the performance and efficiency of modern microprocessors and memory chips.

Ray Tracing: Ray tracing is an advanced rendering technique used in computer graphics to simulate the way light interacts with objects in a virtual environment. It traces the path of light rays as they travel through a scene, calculating how they interact with surfaces, materials, and lighting sources. By simulating the complex behaviors of light, ray tracing produces highly realistic and accurate visual effects, including lifelike reflections, shadows, and refractions. This technology enhances the overall visual quality of images and animations by accurately replicating how light behaves in the real world, resulting in a more immersive and visually stunning digital experience.

Ray Tracing Website:

SoC: A System-on-Chip (SoC) is a highly integrated semiconductor device that encapsulates various electronic components, including processors, memory, input/output interfaces, and often specialized hardware components, all on a single chip. SoCs are designed to provide a complete computing system or subsystem within a single chip package, offering enhanced performance, power efficiency, and compactness. They are commonly used in a wide range of devices, from smartphones and tablets to embedded systems and IoT devices, streamlining hardware complexity and facilitating efficient integration of multiple functions onto a single chip.

Thunderbolt 4: Thunderbolt 4 is a high-speed connection interface that enables data transfer between computers and peripherals. Thunderbolt 4 is the fastest version of Thunderbolt yet, with speeds up to 40 Gbps, and it is also the most versatile, with support for up to four 4K displays, dual 4K video, and up to 100W of power delivery. Thunderbolt 4 is ideal for connecting high-performance peripherals such as external storage drives, docks, and displays. It is also ideal for connecting multiple computers together for high-speed data transfer and collaboration.

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