Intel's truly next-gen Nova Lake CPUs will be made on TSMC's new 2nm process node, joining Apple as its first customers on TSMC's queue for its latest fab node.
Intel still has a few CPU generations before we get to Nova Lake, which is expected to be released in 2026 with its CPU Tile made on TSMC's (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) fresh new 2nm process node. Intel's next-gen Nova Lake CPUs will feature the largest architectural uplift in the company's history, eclipsing the huge uplift that Intel delivered with the Core architecture.
I have been writing about Intel's next-gen Nova Lake CPUs over two years ago now if you can believe it, reporting back in August 2021 on the rumors at the time. In that story, Nova Lake was teased as the: "biggest architectural change in cpu architecture since the Core architecture is introduced in 2006. Intel is working to build an entirely new architecture from the ground up much like Ryzen with up to 50% cpu performance improvement from lunar lake. This is also the reason why Glenn Hinton returned".
- Read more: Intel next-gen CPUs: Arrow Lake, Lunar Lake, Nova Lake in 2023 to 2025
- Read more: Intel Lunar Lake-MX mobile CPU rumor: Samsung LPDDR5X on-package memory
- Read more: Intel Arrow Lake is first gaming CPU with AI, Lunar Lake: 3x faster NPU for laptops
The CPU Tile on Nova Lake will be the key for Intel, which is why it's using TSMC's future 2nm process node. Before that, we'll see Intel release its next-gen Lunar Lake CPUs (in mobile form as well) on TSMC's new 3nm process node. Lunar Lake will also have an upgraded NPU 4.0 (Neural Processing Unit) for AI performance that will skyrocket over Meteor Lake, which was just released as the first-gen Core Ultra CPUs during CES 2024 earlier this year.
Intel's biggest CPU architecture change in company history, and Team Blue has chosen TSMC to make its next-gen Nova Lake CPU... strange, considering Intel has its own "superior" Intel 18A process that will be in production in the second half of this year and uses TSMC. I guess we'll have to wait and see what type of performance uplifts we'll expect... Nova Lake is when Intel should be able to come out on top of AMD and its continuous ass-kicking with Ryzen CPUs.
We could also see Intel moving its Arc GPUs to exclusively GPU Tiles by then, with Arc Alchemist on the market and Intel's next-gen Battlemage GPU expected this year... before, rumor has it, Intel will leave the discrete graphics card market and make its next-gen Celestial and Druid GPUs exclusively as GPU Tiles on future-gen Intel APUs... you know, like Nova Lake.
Maybe we're going to get the biggest CPU architecture uplift in Intel history, mixed with somewhat great mid-range integrated GPU technology in the form of Arc Celestial or, by 2026, Arc Druid. Interesting times ahead for Intel, as it will better compete against AMD in both the desktop CPU and laptop CPU markets, as well as the APU market which has been a huge win for AMD as of late.