At the Innovation 2023 conference, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger spoke about the company’s upcoming processors and expressed confidence that no manufacturer, including Apple, can offer anything better in the next three generations, writes CNET.
Arrow Lake processors will launch in 2024, followed by Lunar Lake and Panther Lake in 2025, their design “is in full swing”said the company boss. To confirm that these are completely new chips, Gelsinger presented a prototype of a computer based on Lunar Lake – it had the “cache clearing” and “virtual battery” functions that are missing from modern PCs. He also showed off a silicon wafer containing chips made with Intel’s 18A technology, designed to regain the lead the company had lost to TSMC and Samsung.
Intel supplied processors for Mac computers for years, but Apple later withdrew from the partnership and launched its own M-series chips, more powerful versions of the iPhone and iPad’s processors. The Apple M1 and M2 showed decent performance and low power consumption, and Intel recognized that both criteria are extremely important. When developing families of processors from Meteor Lake to Panther Lake, Intel engineers compared them with competing solutions, including Apple products, in three performance categories: central processing units, graphics processing units and accelerators for artificial intelligence algorithms. According to Mr. Gelsinger, nothing like this is offered on the market.
“We look at the totality of the features we provide between these three platforms and we believe these platforms are very competitive, better than anything Mac or anyone else offers“,” Gelsinger said at a press conference.
Production of the first Panther Lake processors will begin in the first quarter of 2024. “It is based on Intel 18A, the target of our five process technologies in four years.”“,” said the company boss and emphasized the efforts to intensively implement new solutions in order to become competitive again. Intel also introduced new Xeon processors for data centers; talked about working with Stability.ai, which was interested in its Gaudi AI accelerators; and talked about glass substrates that are expected to make its processors even faster and more efficient this decade.
Intel has set itself the goal of catching up with the competition in the area of chip production and to do this requires systems with ultra-hard ultraviolet radiation and high numerical aperture (High-NA EUV). ASML from the Netherlands, the world’s only provider of such production systems, is expected to deliver the first system of this kind to Intel at the end of 2023. To implement its competitive strategy, Intel has almost managed to master “five technological processes in four years”: Intel 7, Intel 4, Intel 3, Intel 20A and Intel 18A. The last two are a new type of GAA (Gate All Round) transistor, i.e. with a surrounding gate, which the company calls a RibbonFET. In addition, Intel introduces the PowerVia scheme, in which signal lines and power lines are laid on opposite sides of the substrate.
The company’s CEO Pat Gelsinger added that there are three types of chipmakers: large, niche and dead chipmakers. Among the latter, he included IBM and AMD, which, in his opinion, were forced to produce outdated products. “Intel is too big for a niche market, so we better be really big.”“, the company boss is certain.