Intel briefly shows off Lunar Lake chip; This next-generation mobile CPU uses on-package memory

Intel briefly shows off Lunar Lake chip;  This next-generation mobile CPU uses on-package memory

As part of the final segment of Intel’s “Intel Client Open House Keynote” at CES this afternoon, Intel EVP and General Manager of the Client Computing Group, Michele Johnston-Holthaus, also provided a brief update on Intel’s client chips in the works for the second half of the year . Although no demos were played during the relatively short 45-minute keynote, Holthaus reiterated that both Arrow Lake for desktop and Lunar Lake for mobile were making good progress and were expected to launch later this year .

But instead of black box demos, we got something much more surprising instead: our first look at the final Lunar Lake chip.

Holthaus briefly brought the slide out for viewers to see — turning the press away so they wouldn’t get too close — and pulled out the final Lunar Lake slide.

While details about Lunar Lake are still very scant — Intel has yet to confirm what processing nodes it uses — the company has consistently reiterated that it intends to roll it out in 2024. And having the silicon to show off (and ship to partners, we’re told) is a way Very effective to show Intel’s continuous progress.

It’s worth noting that seeing the chip in person confirms something we’ve all been expecting from Intel for a few years now: CPUs with integrated memory. The experimental chip has two DRAM packages on one edge of the chip (presumably LPDDR5X), making it the first time Intel has put regular DRAM on a core chipset package. On-pack memory is of particular importance to suppliers of thin and light laptops, as it allows for more space to be saved and reduces the number of critical traces that need to be routed from the CPU and along the motherboard. This technology is used in particular (although not exclusively) with Apple’s M series SoCs.

Aside from showing off the physical chip, Holthaus also spoke briefly about the expected performance and architecture. Lunar Lake is set to deliver “significant” IPC improvements for CPU cores. Meanwhile, both the GPU and NPU will deliver three times higher AI performance. How Intel achieves this is still unclear, but at least on the GPU side, we know that they have yet to offer XMX matrix cores inside the integrated GPU.

There’s no doubt that this isn’t the last we’ll hear about Lunar Lake before its launch. But for now, it’s just a look into the future as Intel continues to ramp up production at Meteor Lake for what is now the latest generation of laptops and other mobile devices.

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