Intel's next-gen Arrow Lake is first gaming CPU with AI, Lunar Lake: 3x faster NPU for laptops

Intel says its next-gen Arrow Lake gaming CPUs coming out later this year will be the first gaming CPU with an AI accelerator, major IPC improvements.

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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).

Michelle Johnston Holthaus, the EVP and GM of the Client Computing Group of Intel (source: Wccftech)

Michelle Johnston Holthaus, the EVP and GM of the Client Computing Group of Intel (source: Wccftech)

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.

Intel's future generations of Core CPUs (source: Intel)

Intel's future generations of Core CPUs (source: Intel)

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.

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's next-gen Arrow Lake prototype CPU, with its chiplet design on show (source: Intel)

Intel's next-gen Arrow Lake prototype CPU, with its chiplet design on show (source: Intel)

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's next-gen Arrow Lake is first gaming CPU with AI, Lunar Lake: 3x faster NPU for laptops 51

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.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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