Intel Shows Meteor Lake test chips with a stacked design


Intel has shown their Meteor Lake prototype chips with a stacked design. Stacking a CPU can improve the speed of signals (because they need to travel a smaller distance). Designs like this can also save a lot of energy and be faster at the same time. Cooling this design is a bit more difficult though.

Meteor Lake, a PC chip due to ship in 2023, uses the second generation of Intel’s Foveros technology to stack chiplets into a full processor. This Meteor Lake test vehicle is used to ensure the Foveros packaging is working correctly. With no alignment or electrical connection problems.

It is understood that this is the Meteor Lake chip used for testing in Intel’s Fab 42 fab. It belongs to Meteor Lake-M, and the TDP is between 5W and 15W. Intel has previously confirmed that Meteor Lake will adopt a tile design with three modules, namely a computing module, a SOC-LP module (responsible for I/O), and a GPU module, and its TDP (Thermal Design Power) will be between 5W and 125W. These 14th-gen processors will be built on the Intel 4 process (7nm EUV), which is expected to be a considerable 20% performance uplift over Intel 7 (Enhanced SuperFin) as used in the current-gen Alder Lake chips. A refresh of the latter is expected to bridge the move between Intel 7 and Intel 4, which will be Raptor Lake 13th-gen as mentioned at the outset.

At the same time, a new performance core called “Redwood Cove” will be adopted to replace the “Golden Cove” used on Alder Lake. In addition, it will greatly improve its graphics technology. The minimum configuration of the GPU is 96 EUs, and the maximum of 192 EUs can be configured.


Four modules?

However, the photo shows that this Meteor Lake chip should have four modules, and the purpose of the fourth module is temporarily unclear. According to Intel’s plan, two new fabs have been built in the Ocotillo campus in Arizona. In the future, Intel 20A process technology will be used, as well as the use of RibbonFET and PowerVia two technologies, the project investment is about $20 billion. It is expected to be completed and put into use by 2024 at the latest. Intel named them “Fab 52” and “Fab 62”, which are very close to the locations of the existing Fab 42 and the other four fabs in the Ocotillo campus.

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