Once, finally and for all Intel's Meteor Lake is not coming to the desktop CPU sockets

Intel Meteor Lake chip with on-package memory photographed
(Image credit: Intel)

In a surprisingly unsurprising development, Intel has clarified its position on the upcoming Metoer Lake architecture. It's not coming to the desktop. The problem is that only last week Intel's Michelle Johnston Holthaus,  executive vice president and general manager of the client computing group, said it was. Or at least, it seemed like she did.

To recap, the exchange captured on video went like this:

Q: Let me ask you, is there going to be a Meteor Lake desktop?
A: Desktop will come in 2024.
Q: So you are confirming Meteor Lake desktop?
A: Yes.

Which seems definitive enough. However, if you've been around senior Intel suits enough, especially those from the marketing and business side of the company, you'd know to be careful about such statements. Which is why our Chris was rather sceptical when we first reported on this...

Now Intel has indeed clarified Holthaus's statements and it turns out Meteor Lake is not coming to the desktop. The will be no Meteor Lake for conventional LGA-socketed desktop platforms. Instead, like other mobile architectures including Ice Lake and Tiger Lake, some Meteor Lake BGA chips will find their way into ultra-small form factor desktop systems like All-in-Ones.

Intel's clarification to German website Computerbase was carefully worded in order to thread the gap between confirming that Meteor Lake isn't coming to the desktop and flat-out contradicting the head of its client PC division.

"Meteor Lake is a power efficient architecture that will power innovative mobile and desktop designs, including desktop form factors such as All-in-One (AIO). We will have more product details to share in the future."

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The on and off again saga with Meteor Lake and the desktop feels like it's been going on for years. But as we explained back in February, Meteor Lake very likely was never intended for the desktop and any indication that it was headed in that direction was a result of the rumour mill misinterpreting fragments of information.

Intel absolutely has form when it comes to new architectures on a new node being optimised for mobile form factors. Ice Lake was Intel's first 10nm CPU and that went straight to mobile. Yes, those mobile chips were also used in small form factor desktop PCs like NUCs.

But Ice Lake was never released for the mainstream LGA platform. It's not a desktop architecture. And nor is Meteor Lake. The end. Over and out.

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.