Intel is promising that its next-gen Arrow Lake CPUs will be the first gaming processor with an AI accelerator, with a built-in Neural Processing Unit (NPU).
Not only that, but its next-next-gen Lunar Lake CPUs will have 3x faster NPU performance over its upcoming Arrow Lake CPUs. Intel has an NPU inside of its new Core Ultra "Meteor Lake" CPUs inside of new 2024 laptop designs, but the company promised to bring Arrow Lake AI gaming CPUs, where Intel will take a stand with AI gaming processors in its AI fight with AMD.
Intel is calling its upcoming Arrow Lake chips the "First Gaming CPU with an AI accelerator" and will be released later this year, sometime in Q4 2024. Intel's next-gen Lunar Lake CPUs will be released later this year as well, with a totally new CPU core architecture and major IPC (Instructions Per Clock) improvements.
It looks like we're expecting major AI improvements with both AMD and Intel CPUs, with AMD's next-gen Strix Point APUs also have a 3x improvement in AI performance on upcoming Ryzen CPUs.
- Read more: Intel's next-gen Lunar Lake engineering sample CPU teased: 20 cores, 3.9GHz CPU
- Read more: Intel next-gen CPUs: Arrow Lake, Lunar Lake, Nova Lake in 2023 to 2025
Intel said at CES 2024: "Our execution on this product has been excellent and we are pleased to say that we are already shipping systems to partners. It's up and running, it's doing very well and Lunar Lake is truly the next level of AI performance for thin and light PCs".
The now current-gen Core Ultra "Meteor Lake" CPUs were the first from Intel with an NPU on-board for AI workloads, but they're aimed a laptops and portables, while the Arrow Lake CPUs later this year will be desktop CPUs for your gaming PC. Arrow Lake will mark the entry of AI into desktop Intel processors, which AMD has been proudly dominating with Ryzen AI inside of millions of processors globally right now.
Intel also had a prototype Arrow Lake processor that shows an on-die memory package that looks similar to what the company did with Meteor Lake, with two DRAM modules next to the main chip die, which has multiple tiles in a chiplet design.
Arrow Lake will provide some great uplifts in gaming performance, but Lunar Lake and its major IPC and AI performance improvements will be found inside thin and light laptops that we'll see flood the market in 2025.
Intel will be making its next-gen Arrow Lake processors feature the same hybrid CPU architecture as the laptop-focused Meteor Lake processors, with the CPU Tile on Arrow Lake made on Intel 20A (5nm EUV). In contrast, the GPU Tile is made on TSMC 3nm, compared to the Intel 4 (7nm EUV) and TSMC 5nm used on Meteor Lake.
Intel Meteor Lake processors feature P-Cores based on the Redwood Cove CPU architecture, while the E-Cores are based on the Crestmont CPU architecture. Intel's next-gen Arrow Lake processors will have upgraded P-Cores based on the Lion Cove CPU architecture and E-Cores based on the Skymont CPU architecture.