Intel has announced its latest generation of processors, Meteor Lake, which feature new integrated AI acceleration capabilities. The chips are targeted at PCs, laptops, and data centers and aim to bring enhanced AI performance to a wide range of devices.
Key Details on Meteor Lake Chips
The flagship consumer processors are the new 13th Gen Intel Core desktop chips, codenamed Raptor Lake, and the Intel Core mobile chips, codenamed Meteor Lake. Key highlights:
- Built on Intel’s 4 process using a tiled architecture
- First x86 CPU with tile-based packaging, connecting tiles with low latency interconnect fabric
- Integrated AI acceleration with the Neural Processing Unit (NPU)
- Up to 24 cores (8 performance-cores, 16 efficiency-cores)
- Double the AI performance of previous gen Alder Lake chips
- Foveros 3D packaging technology
- Up to 5.4 GHz turbo frequency
- Up to 68% faster content creation performance
For data centers, Intel unveiled 3rd Gen Intel Xeon CPU Max Series, codenamed Sapphire Rapids HBM. These server processors are optimized for AI and high-performance computing workloads.
- Up to 56 cores and 112 threads
- Support Intel Advanced Matrix Extension (AMX) for accelerated AI inferencing
- High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) provides up to 720 GB/s of memory bandwidth
- Intel Deep Learning Boost enhances AI/deep learning performance
- Security features like Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX)
Meteor Lake Brings AI to the Masses
The key innovation in Meteor Lake is the addition of the integrated NPU, Intel’s proprietary neural processor designed specifically for AI workloads. With the NPU tightly integrated into the CPU silicon, Intel claims Meteor Lake can handle AI-enhanced tasks much more efficiently than relying solely on the CPU or GPU.
By embedding AI acceleration directly onto the main processor, Intel is bringing enhanced AI capabilities one step closer to mainstream consumers. Applications like intelligent background blur in video calls, real-time background replacement in live streams, AI-enhanced recommendations, and more complex automated editing in content creation software are now feasible on consumer laptops.
“Intel is committed to making AI ubiquitous, starting with the personal computer,” said Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. “The breakthrough AI performance in our new Core processors will revolutionize experiences and interactions with computers.”
Competing with NVIDIA and AMD
The integration of on-chip AI acceleration allows Intel to better compete with rivals like NVIDIA and AMD in powering the new wave of AI applications. While those companies offer dedicated AI and machine learning accelerators, Intel’s meteror lake takes an integrated SoC approach that could prove more efficient for consumer workloads by eliminating data transfer bottlenecks.
“Intel’s ambitious roadmap makes it clear it plans to challenge both AMD and NVIDIA with new CPU, GPU and AI products over the next couple years,” said analyst Patrick Moorhead. “I believe Intel’s re-entry into discrete graphics and AI training accelerators could reshape these markets.”
With Meteor Lake, Intel aims to establish a presence in the burgeoning AI silicon market while also appealing to its PC and data center customers with improved performance, efficiency and features.
Early benchmarks of Intel’s Core i7-155H mobile processor show promising gains, especially for integrated graphics:
| Benchmark | Meteor Lake Score | Previous Gen Score | Performance Improvement
| Content creation | 1009 cb | 888 cb | 14% |
| Office productivity| 1167 cb | 1096 cb | 7% |
| Gaming – 1920×1080 High Settings | 61.3 fps | 49.2 fps | 25% |
While single-threaded CPU performance remains similar to Intel’s 12th gen Alder Lake, Meteor Lake pulls ahead significantly when leveraging its integrated GPU and AI acceleration capabilities. Reviewers noted snappier performance in creative workloads like video editing, 3D modeling, and compiling code.
What Happens Next
Intel says more than 60 laptop designs from major manufacturers will leverage 13th Gen Core Mobile Processors in 2023. Models like Lenovo’s latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen series have already been announced with Intel’s Core i7-U15 and Core i7-U17 chips.
For the data center market, Intel expects to ship samples of Sapphire Rapids to early access customers by end of 2023. Broad availability of the Xeon CPUs and Gaudi data center accelerators is slated for 2024.
To support the enhanced workloads enabled by integrated AI, Intel plans to continue advancing its architecture in future generations. Leaks point to 2024’s 14th gen Lunar Lake already being deep in the pipeline. With Meteor Lake, Intel has signaled it will pursue aggressive improvements putting AI performance at the forefront.
With significant gen-on-gen gains in graphics, AI acceleration, power efficiency, and overall performance, Intel’s new 13th gen Core processors position the company to be competitive in the exploding AI silicon space. Tight integration of neural processors directly into Meteor Lake laptop and desktop chips brings responsive, intelligent experiences closer than ever for consumers. It’s an exciting development – the PC enters a new AI era.
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