Intel Meteor Lake: a leap forward for graphics

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For many reasons, the arrival of Meteor Lake will mark an important milestone in Intel’s evolution. Beyond the marketing and commercial aspects, this generation will usher in major changes to the basic architectures in virtually every compartment of the chip. It is also the first Intel processor family to use chiplet architecture, thanks to the latest packaging technologies such as Foveros. With Meteor Lake, Intel is offering a completely new chip configuration featuring various tiles. On the vast majority of Meteor Lake CPUs, you’ll find a total of four tiles. The four-tile layout includes the CPU part, the graphics part, the SOC part and the IOE part. The main feature is a triple hybrid architecture (P/E/LP-E cores).

Meteor Lake: a real breakthrough

Meteor Lake

For the design of these tiles, once again the blueprints are going to innovate, since several manufacturing processes are going to be used:

  • Meteor Lake CPU tile: Intel 4 “i.e. 7 nm EUV”
  • Meteor Lake GPU tile: TSMC 5 nm
  • Meteor Lake SOC tile: TMSC 6 nm
  • Meteor Lake IOE tile: TSMC 6 nm

Finally, to avoid any confusion, if Meteor Lake is indeed part of the “14th generation” of Intel processors, it’s important to remember thatdesktop processors are totally different. The Meteor Lake family will only be offered on laptops.

Tuiles Meteor Lake

A decisive advance in graphics

The graphics integrated into Intel processors is clearly a weak point in comparison with AMD, of course, but also with what Apple is doing. On Meteor Lake, Intel will be using its Arc Alchemist graphics architecture in its Xe-LPG version. This guarantees enhanced support for DirectX 12 Ultimate and XeSS. This chip will contain a total of 128 UEs in the GPU tile using TSMC’s 5 nm process node. Some leaks suggest that the iGPU can reach a frequency of 2.2 GHz, a frequency found on dedicated Alchemist boards …

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igpu Meteor Lake

These indications point to FP32 computing performance of around 4.5 TFLOP. This is 2.25 times the computing power of the Iris Xe 96 EU graphics found on Raptor Lake-H processors. It’s hard to make an objective comparison with AMD at this point, but it looks as though Intel may have a considerable lead over AMD’s Radeon 700M “RDNA 3” iGPUs. However, several L manufacturers have reported RTX 3050-like performance with this iGPU.

Last but not least, uncertainty also surrounds the presence of the “Adamantine” cache system, which could be implemented on certain Meteor Lake references. This cache can boost iGPU performance considerably, providing a real bandwidth lifeline.