Intel is no stranger to laying out plans for its future products. They did exactly that with the announcement of the company’s first-ever discrete GPU lineup, Arc Alchemist, giving us the codenames of the next four generations to come. Same was done for Intel’s upcoming process nodes last year that will be used for future processors. And now, at Intel Investor Meeting 2022, the company has revealed their plans for the next CPU generations coming through 2024 and beyond.
Raptor Lake (13th Gen)
Alder Lake proved to be an unprecedented success for Intel stealing the crown from AMD for both desktop and mobile performance after a largely stagnant past few years. So, it only makes sense that Intel would build upon this hybrid architecture technology that puts both performance and efficiency cores to use in tandem. Following up Intel will be Raptor Lake, set to release in the second half of 2022, according to the new roadmap.
Raptor Lake is set to be an evolutionary upgrade over Alder Lake with Intel looking to double the core count of the current flagship, the i9-12900K. The top-end Raptor Lake SKU is set to come with 8 Performance Cores and 16 Efficiency Cores on the same 7nm process as 12th Gen. That means we’re looking at up to 24 cores and 32 threads with Intel targeting “double-digit performance” improvements overall.
Development on Raptor Lake is going smoothly as Intel already has a working sample ready that they showed off at the Investor Meeting. On top of that, Intel promised that the Raptor Lake will work with existing Alder Lake motherboards as its based on the same LGA 1700/1800 socket. Lastly, Intel added that Raptor Lake will come with “enhanced overclocking support” and a new M.2 AI Accelerator, it won’t benefit gamers as much but it it’s similar to something like NVIDIA‘s Tensor Cores, it could prove hugely advantageous for productivity-based tasks.
Meteor Lake (14th Gen) and Arrow Lake (15th Gen)
Next up, we have 14th Gen aka Meteor Lake, set to release sometimes in 2023. Meteor Lake will be more of an revolutionary upgrade as it will switch from a monolithic design to an MCM (Multi-Chip-Module) one. We’ve already covered the details of this architecture in a previous article, but the gist of it is that Intel will use tiles (chiplets) stacked on top of each other on the same die, kind of similar to AMD‘s 3D V-Cache tech.
Meteor Lake will be built on the “Intel 4” 7nm process node which will bring massive generational improvements along with it, Intel is quoting a 20 percent increase in performance-per-watt over Raptor Lake. 14th Gen will be followed up by Arrow Lake which would be largely similar to Meteor Lake but with one big difference. It will use Intel 20A tiles which will be the first manufacturing process from the “Angstrom” era of semiconductors.
Intel 20A tiles will be manufactured using an external process, a first for Intel in the CPU field. Intel is already working with TSMC on Arc Alchemist with semiconductor production fully outsourced to the Taiwanese giant. Expect massive increments in XPU, GPU and AI performance with Arrow Lake, which is currently scheduled for a 2024 launch right after Meteor Lake.
Lunar Lake (16th Gen)
Lastly, we have Lunar Lake in 2025 and everything beyond that. Lunar Lake will be Intel’s attempt at reclaiming the performance-per-watt crown that they have now lost to both AMD and ARM. Dr. Ann Kelleher, an executive at Intel stated that the foundation for Lunar Lake was laid on the basis of having “ultra-low power performance” which could suggest that Lunar Lake is a mobile platform first, but a lot can change between now and then.
Lunar Lake will be built on Intel‘s 18A process, offering a 10% increase in performance-per-watt over Arrow Lake, which is said to co-exist alongside Lunar Lake with Lunar Lake being the desktop-focused offering as compared to Arrow Lake being more focused towards mobile. Unfortunately, that’s all we know for now about 16th Gen processors, and Intel did not reveal any further info about the generations beyond.
After years of becoming the subject of countless memes for sticking to 14nm for multiple generations, Intel finally has a proper roadmap that they can be proud about. The future for Intel’s mainstream CPUs looks bright and better than ever. But, in a time as competitive as this where Apple, AMD and others are fighting to get the top spot, it’s about time Intel bolstered their lineup with a solid and this one looks as potent as ever.