References to Intel's next-generation Meteor Lake line of CPUs have been spotted in the latest Linux patches by Phoronix (via Videocardz). The future CPU lineup was mentioned in the Linux 5.10 patch release.
Intel Meteor Lake CPUs Spotted in Linux Patches, Will Feature Brand New CPU & GPU Cores on Next-Gen Process Node
The Intel Meteor Lake line of CPUs is a far-future family that will appear sometime in 2022. The new line of processors will succeed Intel's Alder Lake family which will make its debut in the second half of 2021. The CPU family is expected to make use of next-generation core technologies and feature a brand new process node but before that, let's see what details the Linux patches unveil for Intel's Meteor Lake.
Intel is planning to add support for Meteor Lake in phases and the first comes in the form of the Intel e1000e Linux driver which is being extended to support the Meteor Lake client platform, as reported by Phoronix. The Intel e1000e references to the Gigabit Ethernet driver so from the looks of things, there will still be 1Gbe LAN support for Meteor Lake or it could just be used for testing the early variations of the silicon. Intel already offers 2.5 Gbe LAN support on its existing platform so it is likely that they will retain and move to something even better in the coming gens, e.g. 5 Gbe and beyond.
Intel Mainstream Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:
|Intel CPU Family||Processor Process||Processors Cores/Threads (Max)||TDPs||Platform Chipset||Platform||Memory Support||PCIe Support||Launch|
|Sandy Bridge (2nd Gen)||32nm||4/8||35-95W||6-Series||LGA 1155||DDR3||PCIe Gen 2.0||2011|
|Ivy Bridge (3rd Gen)||22nm||4/8||35-77W||7-Series||LGA 1155||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2012|
|Haswell (4th Gen)||22nm||4/8||35-84W||8-Series||LGA 1150||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2013-2014|
|Broadwell (5th Gen)||14nm||4/8||65-65W||9-Series||LGA 1150||DDR3||PCIe Gen 3.0||2015|
|Skylake (6th Gen)||14nm||4/8||35-91W||100-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2015|
|Kaby Lake (7th Gen)||14nm||4/8||35-91W||200-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2017|
|Coffee Lake (8th Gen)||14nm||6/12||35-95W||300-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2017|
|Coffee Lake (9th Gen)||14nm||8/16||35-95W||300-Series||LGA 1151||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2018|
|Comet Lake (10th Gen)||14nm||10/20||35-125W||400-Series||LGA 1200||DDR4||PCIe Gen 3.0||2020|
|Rocket Lake (11th Gen)||14nm||8/16||35-125W||500-Series||LGA 1200||DDR4||PCIe Gen 4.0||2021|
|Alder Lake (12th Gen)||Intel 7||16/24||35-125W||600 Series||LGA 1700/1800||DDR5 / DDR4||PCIe Gen 5.0||2021|
|Raptor Lake (13th Gen)||Intel 7||24/32||35-125W||700-Series||LGA 1700/1800||DDR5 / DDR4||PCIe Gen 5.0||2022|
|Meteor Lake (14th Gen)||Intel 4||TBA||35-125W||800 Series?||LGA 1851||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0||2023|
|Arrow Lake (15th Gen)||Intel 20A||40/48||TBA||900-Series?||LGA 1851||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0||2024|
|Lunar Lake (16th Gen)||Intel 18A||TBA||TBA||1000-Series?||TBA||DDR5||PCIe Gen 5.0?||2025|
|Nova Lake (17th Gen)||Intel 18A||TBA||TBA||2000-Series?||TBA||DDR5?||PCIe Gen 6.0?||2026|
As for what Intel's Meteor Lake family is going to offer, the family is expected to feature support on the LGA 1700 socket which is the same socket used by Alder Lake processors. We can expect DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 5.0 support. Other than that, we can also expect Intel to feature brand new core technologies based on advanced (next-gen) process node for their Meteor Lake family.
Intel's Alder Lake CPUs will feature a mix of Golden Cove and Gracemont Atom cores so it is highly likely that Meteor Lake will offer the next-generation Ocean Cove core architecture along with an enhanced Atom core architecture. Previous rumors have indicated that Ocean Cove could bring up to 80% IPC improvement over Skylake architecture.
Intel CPU Generational IPC Chart (Rumor):
|CPU Architecture||Process Node||IPC Gain||Year|
|Sunny Cove||10nm (+)||1.18x||2019-2020|
|Willow Cove||10nm (+)||1.25x||2020-2021|
|Golden Cove||10nm (++)||1.50x||2021-2022?|
|Ocean Cove||7nm (+)?||1.80x||2022-2023?|
Considering that Alder Lake CPUs will be based on the 10nm SF (SuperFin) process node, it is likely that Intel's 2022 lineup will be making full use of the brand new 7nm SF (SuperFin) design. Though we cannot say for sure since Intel will also be outsourcing some of its chip orders to 3rd parties such as TSMC but those are mostly GPUs for now. Once again, the Meteor Lake lineup launches in 2022 which is still a long way to go. AMD is also expected to introduce its next-generation Zen 4 based processors for its own consumer platform around 2022 which should be the direct rival to Meteor Lake.