Intel’s Meteor Lake CPUs Spotted In Linux Patches, Aiming A 2022 Launch With Next-Gen Cores & New Process Node

Oct 3, 2020 16:14 EDT
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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.

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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 Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

Intel CPU FamilyProcessor ProcessProcessors Cores (Max)TDPsPlatform ChipsetPlatformMemory SupportPCIe SupportLaunch
Sandy Bridge32nm4/835-95W6-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 2.02011
Ivy Bridge22nm4/835-77W7-SeriesLGA 1155DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02012
Haswell22nm4/835-84W8-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02013-2014
Broadwell14nm4/865-65W9-SeriesLGA 1150DDR3PCIe Gen 3.02015
Skylake14nm4/835-91W100-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4/DDR3LPCIe Gen 3.02015
Kaby Lake14nm4/835-91W200-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4/DDR3LPCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake14nm6/1235-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02017
Coffee Lake14nm8/1635-95W300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02018
Comet Lake14nm10/2035-125W400-SeriesLGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 3.02020
Rocket Lake14nm8/16TBA400/500-SeriesLGA 1200DDR4PCIe Gen 4.02021
Alder Lake10nm?16/24?TBATBALGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.0?2021
Meteor Lake7nm?TBATBATBALGA 1700DDR5PCIe Gen 5.0?2022?

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 ArchitectureProcess NodeIPC GainYear
Skylake14nm (+++)1.00x2015-2020
Sunny Cove10nm (+)1.18x2019-2020
Willow Cove10nm (+)1.25x2020-2021
Golden Cove10nm (++)1.50x2021-2022?
Ocean Cove7nm (+)?1.80x2022-2023?

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.

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