We’ve hardly gotten over the launch of 12th Generation Alder Lake CPUs (opens in new tab) and already Intel has revealed that its 14th Generation Meteor Lake CPUs are entering the later stages of development. Cnet reporter Stephen Shankland (opens in new tab) visited Intel’s Fab 42 in Chandler, Arizona and was allowed to take pictures of some of the very exciting tech that Intel is working on. The pictured CPUs are built to test Intel’s Foveros multi-chip module packaging functionality and interconnect and it reveals a lot about Intel’s plans for its future CPUs.
So far, it seems as though 13th Gen Raptor Lake is an evolution (opens in new tab) of the recently released 12th Gen Alder Lake, but 14th Gen Meteor Lake is shaping up to be a game changer. Intel’s multi-chip module design uses Intel’s Foveros packaging technology. It combines purpose-built tiles with different functionality and even process nodes onto a single package. It’s not unlike AMD’s MCM approach, but Intel takes it a step further and divides the CPUs’ functionality into even smaller pieces.
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Intel’s Foveros is an umbrella term for its advanced packaging technologies. It begins with what it calls EMIB, or Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge and its Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs will include this technology along with Meteor Lake. Beyond this, Intel is working on advanced vertically stacked designs but it remains to be seen how this will translate over into desktop products where there are already significant heat concerns.
Intel previously stated that the Meteor Lake design consists of three tiles. Interestingly, the picture from cnet reveals a fourth tile. We don’t yet know what this tile does. One tile contains the CPU cores which are made up of high performance and efficiency cores. The second tile contains the GPU. The third tile contains the SoC which controls functionality that includes the memory and PCie controllers. The basic idea is that Intel can easily switch out different tiles to produce different products with vastly different TDPs for different markets, without having to develop a long list of monolithic dies.
14th Gen CPUs are expected to be built using the Intel 4 node (previously known as 7nm). We’d expect them to launch in late 2023. Intel is clearly making large strides to return to a position of semiconductor manufacturing leadership, with Taiwan based TSMC winning a lot of lucrative customers in recent years.
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