Intel is preparing with Lunar Lake a new generation of processor rich in promise. A leak reveals the plans of the American giant.
Without being in difficulty, Intel is not in the best shape. The giant must notably face increasingly strong competition from ARM, AMD and Apple in its sector. To respond to these challenges, the brand almost started from scratch to develop Meteor Lake, its biggest revolution “in 40 years”.
We already know the plan for the next generation: here is the information on Lunar Lake.
Microsoft and TSMC lend a hand
The leak comes from the publication of Intel’s roadmap on Twitter, since deleted, but already relayed on the Anandtech forum. We learn that Microsoft participated in the design of the chip to help optimize between hardware and software. We also learn TSMC should manufacture part of the chip, more precisely the CPU cores with the TSMC N3B process.
That’s far from everything. The Luna Lake architecture that we discover here would directly integrate RAM at the chip level. Like Apple’s solution, this should make it possible to considerably increase the performance linked to exchanges with RAM.
However, this should mark a definitive end to the possibility of improving your PC yourself. The design of the machines should also be simplified since it is Intel which will be responsible for integrating the RAM, and not the manufacturer of the PC or the motherboard. For the moment Intel seems to be planning versions with 16 or 32 GB of LPDDR5X RAM.
All this should contribute to increasing the performance of Intel’s chip, but also and above all to much better control of consumption, the crux of the matter against Apple.
A graphics chip with ray tracing
The leak is very complete, and we can discover exactly what new features are planned by Intel for Meteor Lake and Lunar Lake MX. For the graphics part, the chip would integrate 8 Xe2-LPG cores and for the first time real-time ray tracing. AI definition enhancement, the equivalent of Nvidia’s DLSS, could also be managed by the processor. Finally, the video connectivity would be quite generous with DisplayPort 1.4 in addition to HDMI 2.1. Support for H266 and VVC would also be included. It is the successor to the HEVC that we know today.
In other changes to note, the Lunar Lake MX chip would directly integrate Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4. The chip would also offer 4 lanes of PCI Express 5th generation and three Thunderbolt 4 ports at 40 Gbps. Thunderbolt 5 does not seem to be on the agenda.
A chip without ventilation
Apple’s strength with its M1, M2 or M3 chips is that it does not require ventilation to be effective. The MacBook Air therefore offers a very thin design with fewer mechanical parts likely to cause breakdowns or accelerate aging. With Lunar Lake, Intel would offer a version without necessary ventilation at 8W. If the manufacturer decides to integrate an active cooling system, then the processor can operate from 17 to 30W.
Here are the four variations on which Intel is already working:
Core 7 : RAM (32 Go), CPU (4P + 4E), GPU (8 Xe2-LPG) ;
Core 7 : RAM (16 Go), CPU (4P + 4E) + GPU (8 Xe2-LPG) ;
Core 5 : RAM (32 Go), CPU (4P + 4E) + GPU (7 Xe2-LPG) ;
Core 5 : RAM (16 Go), CPU (4P + 4E) + GPU (7 Xe2-LPG) ;
Intel should unveil this new range of Lunar Lake chips at the end of 2024. In other words, the chip that should accompany the launch of Windows 12 and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 5000.