The Meteor Lake processor series is coming soon, according to Intel

By TechThop Team

Posted on: 23 Aug, 2022

The Intel Corporation has shared new technical details about Meteor Lake, a new series of processors that will feature chiplets. The company unveiled the processor series today ahead of Hot Chips, an annual industry event.

In the past, Intel has implemented all the transistors of a chip on a single piece of silicon. Rather than one single piece of silicon, the Meteor Lake series will feature multiple, smaller modules with transistors. As a result of this approach to chip design, semiconductor manufacturers call it a chipset architecture.

The Meteor Lake processor will feature five different modules or chiplets. As the company's newest manufacturing process, Intel's Intel 4 is also referred to as its seven-nanometer process.

This chipset is Intel's primary central processing unit. It allows the company to produce CPUs operating at up to 21.5% higher frequencies than previous-generation silicon while using the same amount of power.

The CPU chipset in Meteor Lake processors is integrated with three other chiplets that are not manufactured by Intel, but rather by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Inc.

In addition to the graphics processor, TSMC will also manufacture an I/O module for handling data input and output operations, as well as so-called SoC tiles. The SoC tile does not specify what features it offers.

It's impossible to combine processing modules from different companies in one processor with traditional semiconductor production techniques. The chipset technology facilitates such configurations, allowing chipmakers such as Intel to design their products more creatively.

In addition to simplifying manufacturing in some ways, this technology has other benefits. The management of hardware flaws becomes easier when the processor's components are manufactured separately and linked after manufacturing. If one of the chiplets is faulty, the others can still be used.

It is arranged in a three-dimensional configuration, with the CPU, GPU, I/O module, and SoC tile on top of another chipset. It is reportedly the fifth chipset that does not contain any logic circuits or circuits that are capable of performing computations. It is manufactured by Intel using the 22FFL chip fabrication process, which has a low cost.

The ability to stack chips in three dimensions has several major advantages. In compact devices such as laptops, two processors stacked on top of each other take up less space than two processors next to each other. Under certain conditions, stacked chips enable faster data transfer between transistors, thereby speeding up processing.

In order to place the four main chiplets that form Meteor Lake on the 22FFL-based chiplet that forms the processor series' foundation, Intel developed a technology known as Foveros.

In 2021, Intel discontinued a chip lineup called Lakefield that used Foveros. It is the first time Intel is using the technology to power a large-volume processor series, Meteor Lake.

In addition to using Foveros in laptops and desktops, Intel plans to incorporate it into data centers. As part of its Ponte Vecchio chip launch last year, the company used Foveros to power the chip. In total, 47 different chiplets are used to manufacture the chip.

In total, Ponte Vecchio contains 100 billion transistors. That's nearly double the transistor count of Nvidia's flagship A100 data center graphics card. The Ponte Vecchio prototypes demonstrated speeds of 45 teraflops, which equals 45 trillion computing operations per second, according to Intel.

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