We’re getting a glimpse into the future as Intel unveils its 14th generation of CPUs for desktop and mobile, codenamed 'Meteor Lake'.
They’re due to make their debut in 2023, and use a new ‘Intel 4’ process node. What this means is pretty technical, so don’t worry if it means absolutely nothing to you – it’s a 7nm processing technology, with a new type of processor lithography called EUV, referring to ultraviolet lithography with a 13.5nm wavelength.
Got that? The key takeaway is that this is a faster and more power-efficient method of processing. It’s one that has already been adopted by Intel’s rivals in the chip space, including AMD, and yes, Apple, which is aptly why the best iPads and the best MacBooks are able to be so mind-bendingly fast and do so much at once. Apple now has the M2, included in the recently announced MacBook Air (2022) and MacBook Pro (2022), which are coming out in July, and is widely reported to already be testing an Apple M3 chip.
Intel may be a little late catching up with EUV lithography, but the firm is still very much the top dog in processor production. Data gathered by Mercury Research (opens in new tab) indicated that Intel chips accounted for 74.4% of all traditional CPU sales at the end of 2021.
With that said, Apple’s M2 powered devices are pretty much the best you can get in terms of tablet and laptop performance right now, and their power efficiency is nothing short of amazing. There’s a reason that iPads and MacBooks can last so long on batteries these days.
Furthermore, AMD's Ryzen 7000 is potentially arriving in September of this year, according to a rumour reported at our sister site Tech Radar (opens in new tab). This chip is expected to be a significant upgrade in performance and power, with all-new architecture, so could end up wooing PC gamers towards AMD chips.
So if Intel is going to save off the competition, Meteor Lake is going to have to show some serious muscle. We’ll have to wait until 2023 to find out if it manages it. It's also worth noting that Apple is rumoured to be working on an M3 chip so perhaps Intel's efforts will arrive too late, depending on if/when Apple releases the next generation chip.