Intel Meteor Lake

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has canceled its codenamed Meteor Lake-S processor for desktops and is set to pull in the introduction of Arrow Lake-S to the first half of 2024, according to a new rumor published by BenchLife. However, some market observers believe the rumor is incorrect, and Intel’s Meteor Lake-S is on track to hit desktops in the first half of 2024.

Curious Desktop Roadmap

Intel has been discussing the advantage of its disaggregated Meteor Lake processor for mobile computers for a couple of years and is expected to launch notebook versions of these CPUs in 2023. But instead of releasing Meteor Lake-S processors along with its 800-series chipsets in 2H 2023 or 1H 2024, the company intends to introduce codenamed Arrow Lake-S CPUs compatible with the same platform controller hub (PCH) family (Intel Z890, W880, Q870, B860, and H810) in the first half of next year, BenchLife suggests. 

Since the information comes from an unofficial source, it should be taken with a grain of salt. However, there might be a rationale behind the rumor. Intel’s desktop and workstation roadmap leaked late last year, indicating that the company plans to introduce Raptor Lake-S Refresh for client PCs in Q3 2023. The Meteor Lake-S platform was not set to be released in 2023.  

Intel’s Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake processors are the company’s first CPUs for client PCs that use disaggregated multi-tile designs. Intel’s Meteor Lake’s compute tile is set to be produced on Intel 4 node (previously known as Intel 7nm, the company’s first technology to use extreme ultraviolet lithography). In contrast, Arrow Lake’s compute tile is set to be made using the company’s Intel 20A (2nm-class) fabrication process. In addition, the CPUs are expected to feature a graphics tile produced by TSMC on its N3E manufacturing technology. 

Intel 4, Meteor Lake

(Image credit: Intel)

Meteor Lake-S and Arrow Lake-S processors are expected to use Intel’s LGA1800 socket (also referred to as LGA1851 sometimes) and 800-series chipsets. In theory, Intel could substitute the former with the latter, but that may not be possible. While Intel’s 20A node is set to be production ready in the first half of 2024, this does not mean that Intel will be prepared to support a high-volume 20A-based product launch in the first half of next year.  

This is perhaps why hardware spotter @SquashBionic does not believe Intel can pull in Arrow Lake to 1H 2024. Instead, the blogger implies that Meteor Lake-S is still on track for 1H 2024. 

So far, Intel has not disclosed anything about configurations of Meteor Lake’s and Arrow Lake’s compute tiles. However, BenchLife asserts that Arrow Lake-S processor’s compute tile will comprise eight high-performance cores and 16 energy-efficiency cores, which aligns with the number of general-purpose cores Raptor Lake has. Meanwhile, 6P+16E Meteor Lake will never be released for desktop, BenchLife asserts. Meanwhile, Intel has never offered 6P+nE configurations for socketed desktops whatsoever. As for memory support, both Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake processors are expected to support DDR5-6400 memory, improving their performance considerably.

Rushing 20A-Based Product?

Producing 24-core silicon on Intel 4 and Intel 20A node should be more beneficial from a costs perspective than making a highly integrated monolithic 24-core Raptor Lake-S CPU on Intel 7 process technology (formerly called 10nm Enhanced SuperFin), assuming that yields are similar. Therefore, Intel should be very inclined to introduce both Meteor Lake processors sooner rather than later. 


(Image credit: Intel)

However, rushing 20A-based Arrow Lake CPUs to the market may not be the best idea. Intel’s 20A is a rather revolutionary node as it is set to introduce the company’s RibbonFET gate-all-around transistors with PowerVia backside power delivery. Usually, the company begins to roll out new nodes with desktop parts, but it is not used to pull in CPUs made on a brand-new node to market by at least half a year. 

While it would be good to see Intel’s Arrow Lake-S on the market ahead of schedule, there are way too many things that do not add up with the report. Therefore, consider the information about Arrow Lake-S in H1 2024 as a rumor that has a high probability of being false.

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Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

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