Intel is ready for Copilot+ PCs with Lunar Lake

On-package memory on Intel Meteor Lake processors.

The talk of the town in the world of PCs is Snapdragon’s new X Elite processor, but Intel wants you to know it’s not down for the count in this new era of Copilot+ PCs. The company is previewing its next-generation Lunar Lake CPUs before it fully reveals them at Computex 2024, and they sound like a massive upgrade.

Although we saw a neural processing unit (NPU), which is used for AI tasks, in Intel’s last-gen Meteor Lake chips, it wasn’t that powerful. Snapdragon all but nullified Meteor Lake by announcing the X Elite, which has an NPU capable of 45 trillion operations per second (TOPS). That’s more than four times what Meteor Lake’s NPU was capable of.

Intel's claims about TOPS on Lunar Lake CPUs.

Intel is firing back with Lunar Lake. The redesigned architecture includes a new NPU that’s also capable of over 45 TOPS, and that’s not all. Intel is boasting over 100 TOPS of AI power across the entire chip thanks to a new GPU architecture, as well as redesigned cores, an upgraded version of Intel’s Low Power Island, and up to 30% lower power consumption compared to AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840U.

Those are some bold claims, but we won’t need to wait long to hear more about them. Intel is giving a keynote on the opening day of Computex 2024, June 4, where it will likely detail everything about Lunar Lake. Intel has also confirmed they’ll launch soon, sometime between July and September.

There’s quite a bit we know already, however. One of the most exciting advancements is the Xe2 graphics featured in Lunar Lake chips. This graphics architecture will eventually work its way into Battlemage graphics cards, and Intel says it’s close to 50% faster than the previous-generation integrated graphics.

Power consumption for Intel Lunar Lake.

Battery life is also a major improvement, according to Intel. It says that Lunar Lake has 30% lower power consumption than AMD, but also 20% lower than the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. Intel’s Robert Hallock said Lunar Lake is a “radical low-power architecture … better than anything you’ve ever seen before.”

For the CPU, Intel is still leveraging its hybrid architecture made up of performance (P) cores and efficient (E) cores. However, it’s using a new architecture for both cores. The P-cores will use the Lion Cove architecture, while the E-cores will use the Skymont architecture. We don’t have details on these architectures yet, or any claims about their performance, but we should know more soon.

Performance claims for Intel's Lunar Lake CPU.

We still need to see Lunar Lake in action before drawing any conclusions, but it’s an exciting time for Intel. Hallock says Intel is “very, very confident in the performance of our core,” and the specs certainly put some pressure on both Qualcomm and AMD. It’s easy to look at Intel’s Meteor Lake as a bit of a stumble into the world of AI PCs, but Intel says that’s not the case. The company claims it has shipped more Meteor Lake in 2024 than chips its competitors shipped in all of last year.

Digital Trends will be on the ground in Taiwan for Computex, where we’ll get full details about Lunar Lake. In addition, Intel says it will provide more details on its upcoming Arrow Lake generation for desktops, which is on track to launch in the last few months of 2024.