Lunar Lake: Intel brings out AI big guns to answer to Snapdragon X threat

Computex is well underway un Taipei and Intel took centre stage on Tuesday to unveil its Lunar Lake generation of chips that’ll ship within PCs beginning this autumn.

The new x86-based chipset is designed for use within the new range of Microsoft Copilot+ AI Windows PCs and promises big gains in neuro processing, graphical performance and potential battery life.

Intel’s new chips will go head-to-head with the AMD Ryzen AI 300 chips and Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus set-ups.

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The headline appears to be the 48 TOPS (tera ops per second) from a brand new neural processing unit, which is a significant increase on the 10 TOPS NPU provided by the current generation Meteor Lake Core Ultra (15th Gen) chips. Essentially, it more than quadruples the AI acceleration potential.

In terms of brute force, Intel reckons chips at the same clock speed include 14% faster GPU performance, 50% improved graphics performance and battery life that can last up to 60% longer than Meteor Lake models from last year.

Intel says: “New Performance-cores (P-cores) and Efficient-cores (E-cores) deliver amazing performance at up to 40% lower system-on-chip power compared to the previous generation. A new neural processing unit is up to 4x faster, enabling corresponding improvements in generative AI, versus the previous generation. And new Xe2 graphics processing unit cores improve gaming and graphics performance by 1.5x over the previous generation.”

Intel Lunar Lake specsIntel Lunar Lake specs

Intel also says its new Lunar Lake line-up will include on board memory, rather than separate RAM chips. The chips will include 16GB or 32GB of LPDDR5X RAM and should boast some serious efficiency gains, thanks to the system-on-a-chip design. Specifically, it’ll mean 40% lower power consumption in some areas.

Efficiency is also boosted by what Intel is calling an “advanced low power island”, which will take care of the system’s less power hungry tasks. Supported connectivity standards include Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, PCIe Gen5 and Thunderbolt 4.

Intel says the advanced low-power island is “a novel compute cluster and Intel innovation that handles background and productivity tasks with extreme efficiency, enabling amazing laptop battery life.”

Intel says the chips will begin appearing in laptops later this year including more than 80 models from 20 different manufacturers. We’ll have further analysis of the Intel Lunar Lake line-up in due course.

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