Intel’s “Meteor Lake” processors for laptops will launch on Dec. 14, but under the umbrella of the new “Core Ultra” brand, according to company CEO Pat Gelsinger.
On Tuesday during the Intel Innovation event in San Jose, Calif., Gelsinger revealed the launch date for its initial wave of Meteor Lake processors, the first to feature the company’s long-delayed 7-nanometer manufacturing node, also known as Intel 4. But it looks like Meteor Lake won’t arrive for the non-Ultra Core brand, at least not initially.
To bolster the marketing for Meteor Lake, Intel in June decided to overhaul the Core branding for its consumer CPUs, separating the naming into two tiers: the standard Core, and the premium Core Ultra.
At the time, Intel said the Core Ultra tier will stand out by offering exclusive features, such as AI-powered capabilities. Now Gelsinger is indicating the Meteor Lake architecture will first arrive through the Core Ultra brand in December to unlock a new era of “AI PCs.”
Indeed, the upcoming Meteor Lake architecture contains Intel’s first-ever Neural Processing Unit or NPU, which is dedicated to AI workloads, such as image or voice generation. During his keynote speech, Gelsinger joined Jeffrey Kao, the chief operating officer of Acer, to show off an Acer Swift laptop built with an upcoming Core Ultra processor.
By tapping the chip’s NPU, the laptop was able to power an AI image generator locally, and even partially animate the image through an Acer software feature called Parallax. All of this was seemingly done in just a minute or less using the NPU's power-efficient architecture.
The NPU means consumers will be able to run AI programs on their own hardware, rather than relying on third-party cloud services.Read more on pcmag.com