Intel Launches Core Ultra Meteor Lake Processors Featuring Dedicated AI Coprocessor
Updated: Dec 18, 2023
Intel's new Meteor Lake processors are here.
The new Intel Core processors are built using Intel's 7nm "Intel 4" fabrication technology and are the company's first processors to be equipped with a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) for improved on-device artificial intelligence (AI) performance.
Meteor Lake also marks a major architectural shift for Intel, with the new processors featuring different chiplets for each component, similar to the ones put out by rivals AMD and Qualcomm. Intel said this would allow the processors to use less power and deliver better performance.
Each Meteor Lake has two CPUs, instead of just one. One of the CPUs is on a "low power island" that, in theory, can run on its own, with its own efficiency CPU core, media engine, memory and the aforementioned dedicated NPU. The other cores, meanwhile, are distributed among a “Compute Tile” on Intel 4 that has performance and efficiency cores, along with a separate "Graphics Tile" on TSMC N5. That "Graphics Tile" is an "Xe LPG" GPU, equipped with eight Xe cores and supports ray tracing and Intel's own upscaling solution, XeSS.
For connectivity options, Meteor Lake processors feature Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, native HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 2.1, PCIe Gen 5 and Thunderbolt 4.
Intel has also switched to a new moniker for its high-end processors, with them now being called Intel Core Ultra.
"Intel Core Ultra Processors are optimised for premium thin and powerful laptops, featuring 3D performance hybrid architecture, advanced AI capabilities, and available with built-in Intel Arc GPU," touted the semiconductor giant. "Created using the new Intel 4 process, Intel Core Ultra processors deliver an optimal balance of performance and power efficiency for gaming, content creation, and productivity on the go."
The new Core Ultra processors come in two variations: H and U series. The H series includes the Ultra 7 165H, the Ultra 7 155H, Ultra 5 135H and the Ultra 5 125H. The U series, meanwhile, includes the Ultra 7 165U, Ultra the 7 155U, the Ultra 5 135U and the Ultra 5 125U. All of thee are available for purchase starting today, while the Ultra 9 185H, the Ultra 7 164U and the Ultra 5 134U are expected to be available within the first quarter of 2024.
These Core Ultra processors are capable of running AI tasks using the integrated NPU. They can, for example, natively run generative AI tools like ChatGPT without the need to transmit data to a cloud service. The NPU should also bring improved performance when using AI features on Windows.
Alongside the reveal of Meteor Lake processors, Intel is updating its Intel Evo standards for laptops. Now, laptops that carry the Evo badge have been certified by Intel for delivering "a no-compromise premium mobile experience".
"To obtain the Intel Evo brand seal of approval, laptop designs must pass rigorous testing around performance, battery life, connectivity, audio & visual quality, size, weight, and more. And to ensure an evolving laptop experience, innovative features are continuously built in and introduced for the first time through Intel Evo laptops."
Intel has launched its new Meteor Lake processors, which are built using its own 7nm "Intel 4" fabrication technology.
The new processors are the company's first to be equipped with a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) for improved on-device artificial intelligence (AI) performance.
Meteor Lake also marks a major architectural shift for Intel, with the new processors featuring different chiplets for each component, similar to the ones put out by rivals AMD and Qualcomm.