No such claim was made for this year’s chip, Meteor Lake, which will debut on December 14 – but Gelsinger says things will change with Arrow Lake, Lunar Lake, and Panther Lake …
Intel adopts Apple-like chip packaging approach
Intel is already starting to adopt one key element of Apple Silicon chips in this year’s Meteor Lake chips, which will ship just in time for the last Windows PCs of the year. Namely, packaging: combining related chips into a single unit alongside the main CPU for greater efficiency.
Meteor Lake chips combine CPU, GPU, and connectivity in this way, with Intel admitting that the packaging tech is now as important as the size of the chip process used.
Intel is also adopting Apple’s performance and efficiency core approach.
But even these moves won’t enable Meteor Lake to approach either the performance or power efficiency of the current generation of Apple Silicon chips.
Will match Apple’s performance next year
However, Gelsinger claims that Intel will have caught up with Apple Silicon by next year. While CNET’s headline says Intel is claiming it will outclass Apple, the chief exec’s actual quote is somewhat more restrained.
For the processor progression from Meteor Lake through Panther Lake, Intel compares its performance to rivals including Apple on three speed tests: CPUs (central processing units for general computing), GPUs (graphics processing units) and NPUs (neural processing units to speed up AI) within a fixed power budget.
“We look at the aggregate capability that we’re delivering between those three, and we think these platforms get very competitive, the best that Mac or anybody else offers,” Gelsinger said in a press conference at the show. “We’re feeling very, very good about the road map.”
Expects to overtake TSMC in one tech
Intel does claim that it will overtake Apple’s TSMC-made chips in one respect. While it has fallen behind in the race toward ever smaller processes using extreme ultraviolet light (EUV) etching, the next generation of this tech is known as high numeric aperture (high NA) EUV.
CNET’s report says that, compared to TSMC, Intel “expects to be ahead, at least a little bit.”
However, high NA EUV can’t yet produce the size of chips needed to compete with existing processors, so it would rely on advanced packaging techniques to combine smaller ones. Whether this will prove competitive with Apple Silicon remains to be seen.
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