We've just seen a couple of fresh nuggets from the rumor mill pertaining to Intel's Meteor Lake processors, and it turns out there may still be desktop models incoming - at least up to Core i5 chips.
VideoCardz picked up on this, first of all pointing out a piece of spillage from Intel itself, namely an Intel Design-In Tools web page for an 'LGA1851-MTL-S Interposer for the Gen5 VR Test Tool'.
MTL-S stands for Meteor Lake-S, meaning desktop Meteor Lake processors, and the existence of such a test tool at least hints that we might still see desktop chips released. Rather than more recent rumors which have suggested that it's likely that all we'll get this year is a Raptor Lake refresh. (Most recently, that's been the line of thinking from Moore's Law is Dead, though the YouTuber did note that he couldn't rule out Meteor Lake desktop for 2023).
What backs up the spotting of this test tool is a leaked spec chart aired by SquashBionic on Twitter (see the above tweet) that shows Raptor Lake, Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake silicon.
Exercise an abundance of caution here - we simply don't know if the tweeted image is genuine - but assuming it is, Meteor Lake is clearly marked as having SKUs up to Core i5 processors. In other words, there will be desktop Meteor Lake chips to the mid-range level, but not higher-end Core i7 or Core i9 offerings.
Those higher-end offerings will come with Arrow Lake, which runs up to Core i9 as marked on said chart. The inference drawn, then, is that next-generation (14th-gen) Intel processors will be split between Meteor Lake (lower-to-mid) and Arrow Lake (top-end). We're not sure how much sense that makes, though, and it could certainly be confusing for consumers (not that this has stopped hardware makers in the past).
As we already mentioned, the rumor about just having a simple Raptor Lake refresh this year, before Arrow Lake arrives for desktop in 2024 - and Meteor Lake being laptop only - still seems to be a more likely scenario given the relative weight of the various whisperings we've heard on the grapevine so far this year.
Ultimately, there's been a lot of confusion about what Intel's plans are for its next generation of processors, and this latest speculation does little to make the muddy waters any clearer.
When you really put these two rumors under the microscope, though, the tool could mean nothing, and the chart could be outdated, or even made up by somebody. So, we'll stay skeptical here, but as ever, time will tell - and with 2023 rolling onwards at some pace, it doubtless won't be long before we hear more concrete rumors.