Intel is hard at work on the 14th generation of Core processors, which is expected to arrive in 2023. The next-generation CPUs, codenamed ‘Meteor Lake,’ are said to bring many changes, ranging from new chip architecture to AI-focused features.
Intel has been relatively tight-lipped about its upcoming processors, but there have been numerous leaks and rumors that give us a better idea of what to expect. The same leaks have also all but confirmed the development of a future 15th-gen series of CPUs, named ‘Arrow Lake’.
One of the most anticipated changes is that Intel appears to be planning to remove the iconic I branding from its processors in the future, an unexpected and, to be honest, somewhat perplexing move. Instead, the new branding will be “Intel Core” and “Intel Core Ultra.”
Intel’s difficulties and tribulations
While we still expect to see Meteor Lake chips for laptops shortly, numerous
leaks have suggested that the desktop lineup may be in trouble.
According to a previous leak from well-known YouTuber Moore’s Law Is Dead, the first Meteor Lake chip to land would be a 14-core laptop CPU, which goes against Intel’s usual pattern of releasing desktop processors first.
Several other leakers have confirmed that the desktop 14th-generation chips are in trouble, with some speculating that we may only see a refresh of the 13th-generation
Raptor Lake desktop CPUs this year. This corresponds to a previously released official roadmap for Raptor Lake chips, but it does not rule out the possibility of both.
If Meteor Lake’s desktop CPUs don’t ship this year, it’s unclear whether the refresh is a stopgap measure to accommodate a Meteor Lake delay, or if the desktop processors – dubbed Meteor Lake-S – will be canceled entirely as Intel shifts its focus to Arrow Lake.
Intel Meteor Lake: When Will It Be Available?
Intel has yet to provide a firm release date for any Meteor Lake chips, but the most recent credible leaks point to the first wave of new CPUs arriving in October-November 2023.
This would be in line with Intel’s current release schedule, with
Raptor Lake arriving in October 2022 and the preceding 12th-generation Alder Lake chips arriving in November 2021. Intel Meteor Lake: Cost
While there is currently no
pricing information available, we can reasonably expect Intel to maintain pricing for each tier of CPUs that was in place for the previous generation. Retail prices for 13th-generation processors range from $109 for the entry-level i3-13100F to $589 for the flagship i9-13900K.
However, Intel has had a difficult year (as have the majority of
large technology companies), so it’s not unreasonable to expect slightly higher prices on the next generation of CPUs.
Of course, we’re only talking about potential desktop chips here because Intel will not be selling laptop processors to consumers. We can probably expect similar generational pricing for mobile chips as well, so it’s unlikely that
Intel laptop prices will skyrocket once Meteor Lake arrives. Intel Meteor Lake Specifications and Performance
Similar to the pricing situation, Intel hasn’t provided much information about the expected performance of the upcoming Meteor Lake processors.
Both Meteor and Arrow Lake will be built on the new ‘Intel 4’ CPU architecture, which uses a 7nm lithography process as opposed to the previous ‘Intel 7’ 10nm process, according to a roadmap image shown to investors in 2022. (yes, those names are confusing).
This means that the 14th-generation Meteor Lake chips will most likely have a larger generational performance jump than
Intel’s 12th and 13th CPU generations. It’s worth noting that this shift may not be as dramatic as the one seen following the transition from the preceding 14nm microarchitecture seen in the 11th-generation chips, because that transition also saw Intel adopt the split-core ‘performance/efficiency’ design seen in the 12th-generation Core processors and onwards.
What we do know – or can reasonably assume to be accurate based on the veracity of leak sources – is that Intel is transitioning to a ’tile-based’ design for Meteor Lake. Chiplets, as they are more commonly known, essentially ‘disaggregate’ different CPU processes into individual units on the CPU die; for example, separating I/O functions (including PCIe 5.0 and Thunderbolt 4 support) into their chipset for improved performance.
Intel appears to plan to implement L4 cache memory on Meteor Lake chips to support this new style of architecture. To date, consumer processors have only included L1 through L3 cache memory on the die; a previous leak revealed the existence of an unnamed Meteor Lake chip with a whopping 128MB of L4 cache.
That means that if we do get desktop chips, they could be seriously impressive – even if we have to wait until Arrow Lake, we can still expect a significant
performance boost, which is exciting. We’d almost advise delaying the purchase of a new desktop CPU for the time being – something significant could be on the horizon.