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Intel 4 Chip on Track for a 2023 Release

Although Intel used to be a leading manufacturer of CPUs, they’ve recently seen some tough competition in the market. That, coupled with the general supply chain shortages sparked by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, has left Intel playing catch-up to some of their competitors.

In an effort to put an end to their woes, the team at Intel has recently shared details of the upcoming Intel 4 chip. Coming via the Meteor Lake CPU architecture, Intel’s next CPU – marking the 14th generation – is set for public release in 2023.

The Announcement

Delivered at the IEEE’s VLSI Symposium in June 2022, Intel’s presentation – one of the most anticipated events at the symposium – provided some insight into the manufacturing process of the Intel 4. According to their presentation, the chip is a significant upgrade from its latest predecessor.

Not only does the Intel 4 provide twice as much density scaling as the previous CPU, the Intel 7, but it also sees a 20% increase in overall performance. One of the biggest factors behind the improved performance is the result of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. While this technology has been used by some of Intel’s top competitors, including Samsung and TMSC, the upcoming chip is Intel’s first dive into EUV lithography.

What is EUV Lithography?

Extreme ultraviolet lithography is a highly effective way of creating computer chips that are smaller and faster than ever before. The process uses ultraviolet light to create microscopic structures across thinly sliced layers of silicon, ultimately reducing the footprint of integrated circuits and allowing for a smaller, more compact design.
It’s a highly innovative and technical process that results in significant performance improvements to the final product. Up until the Intel 4, however, Intel was one of the only major chip manufacturers left that wasn’t using EUV lithography.

The Past and Future of Intel Chips

Developers at Intel will be doubling down on their commitment to EUV lithography in future chips, too. They’ve already made their plans clear for their next chip, the Intel 3, which will use a higher-density version of the standard EUV process. Not only does this make it easier to port software and hardware from the Intel 4 to the Intel 3, but it should help Intel avoid some of the technological hurdles that were hampering performance in the past
This includes, most namely, the 10nm process nodes that were used with the Intel 7. It’s no secret that this design caused massive headaches throughout their entire engineering team, and it’s been said before that this is the primary reason for the delay between the Intel 7 and the Intel 4. By eliminating that problem, the team hopes to reduce the timeframe between the Intel 4 and the Intel 3.

For now, however, all eyes are set on the Intel 4. While the idea of going back to one’s Intel roots are enticing for some, we’ll have to wait and see how the new CPU stacks up to the other offerings on the market – assuming it does release in 2023 as expected.


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