It only seems to be getting worse for Intel’s Patty G. It all looked so promising when he took over, with engineering at the forefront, with a focus on making sure it did everything it said it would. And yet the first discrete graphics cards of recent Intel history have yet to really see the light of day, more than a year after we first expected them, the server-side Sapphire Rapids chips have slowed down again, and now it looks like that Meteor Lake is pushed back one more time.
Maybe Intel should just stop giving even a vague release window. Just do the Valve time thing of ‘when it’s done, it’s done, okay?’
Meteor Lake is the expected 14th Gen Core CPU generation, following this year’s Raptor Lake update to Alder Lake. But far from being an incremental silicon update, Meteor Lake will be another radical change in Intel processor design. In addition to using the new Intel 4 process – the name for 7nm lithography – it will be Intel’s first chiplet CPU.
It’s also set to feature a much-improved Arc GPU, which Raja Koduri has called “a new class of graphics.” (opens in new tab) as part of its multi-chip package. And that’s where the latest delay has come to light. Intel uses TSMC’s 3nm process to manufacture Meteor Lake’s graphics component, as it uses TSMC for the rest of its GPU production, but a new TrendForce report (opens in new tab) (via Hardware.Info (opens in new tab)) states that it has now postponed mass production of the chip at TSMC until the end of 2023.
When Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger, first introduced the new naming scheme for its future manufacturing processes, he spoke of Intel 4, introducing 7nm lithography for its 2023 products, including Meteor Lake and Granite Rapids. It was set to begin mass production this year, with a full release the following year. Then that was reportedly delayed until early 2023 and this latest news has slowed mass production even further.
That would indicate that an actual consumer release of Meteor Lake probably wouldn’t happen until sometime in 2024. Possibly a year behind original schedule.
It seems like it really was all too good to be true.
(Image credit: Intel)
There is no indication as to why the production schedule for the GPU component has been delayed again, but the original delay was reportedly due to issues with product design and process verification. It would probably not be unthinkable that the complexity of creating a complicated chiplet design on a new process causes problems within Intel.
That’s a shame because it wasn’t until June that Intel had made big promises for Meteor Lake, claiming it would deliver 20% higher frequencies. (opens in new tab) at the same power as the current Alder Lake design.
None of this will help consumer or investor confidence in Intel, which has been shaken again by its recent poor financial performance (opens in new tab). Gelsinger was there to emphasize delivery, the way AMD has consistently adhered to its production schedule, delivering generations of Zen architectures on time and with real improvements. That’s not how it shook out for the sweet Patty G, though.