Intel’s 7nm chips — built on what’s known as the Intel 4 process and including 14th-generation Meteor Lake processors — are on track to hit volume production in the second half of 2022, according to a new report.
the article of DigiTimes (opens in new tab) states that the H2 2022 remains on target for 7nm silicon and that this is the case for sources within Intel itself.
While the DigiTimes rumors generally need more spice added than the average vine buzz in our experience, in this case speculation seems more likely to be in the money due to the fact that Intel has already stated as recently as last month that Intel 4 is scheduled for later this year.
Of course, it’s nice to hear this reaffirmed in a way, and we can take this as a positive sign that Meteor Lake – which will be the generation following the next-gen Raptor Lake CPUs – won’t be late (and indeed, the other silicon which will be based on Intel 4, such as Granite Rapids for servers).
Of course, none of this is a guarantee that Intel might not hit snags yet with Meteor Lake, but things seem to be consistently smooth for now.
Analysis: Meteor impact arriving earlier than thought?
If you remember, Meteor Lake was powered on a few months ago, and if volume production picks up later this year as promised, we’re looking at a scenario where 14th-gen processors could come out in Q2 2023, or maybe even Q1 – in a real Push.
That’s good news for consumers, as Meteor Lake would follow in the footsteps of Raptor Lake, which isn’t expected to debut until October. Undoubtedly, it would also be worrying news for AMD and its Zen 4 chips due later this year, which would quickly face a new challenger. While fair enough, when Meteor Lake comes along, AMD will likely have Ryzen 7000 models with 3D V-cache technology ready to take the fight…
Going back to Intel’s potential release roadmap, if we assume that the deadline for Raptor Lake is correct in October, Meteor Lake potentially coming out at the end of Q1 (March) would seem very close for the launch of a new generation. So Q2 is the likely target for Meteor Lake, or maybe Raptor Lake will launch before October – in fact, previous rumors have pointed to a Q3 2022 launch for the 13th-gen chips (likely in September) .
Overall, we think Q2 2023 now looks like the most likely release date for Meteor Lake – perhaps with laptop chips coming first (perhaps by some distance), a possibility that another rumor seller has floated – in terms of to give Raptor Lake enough room to breathe. Even though Raptor Lake is more of a stopgap generation, in terms of it being a simple 10nm Alder Lake upgrade (10nm improved is called Intel 7 process, somewhat confusingly), before the big drop to 7nm (Intel 4) with Meteor Lake.
Meteor Lake is expected to really kick things up a notch with the benefits of this new process (which, if you remember, took a long, long time for Intel to arrive). Intel recently primed us to expect 14th-gen processors to run 20% faster (or more) for the same power usage, which means Meteor Lake could witness a huge jump in clock speeds – perhaps that’s when we’ll see the first 6GHz plus Team Blue processors. (In fact, Raptor Lake can potentially hit 5.8GHz).
At this stage though, any details are anticipating, but as a processor generation built on an entirely new node, the potential of what Meteor Lake could offer is clearly exciting.