Intel’s Lunar Lake Mobile CPUs Are Built For AI

Why Trust Techopedia
Key Takeaways

  • Intel has unveiled its Lunar Lake mobile CPU architecture.
  • It offers a dramatic improvement in AI performance in a new package.
  • The first CPUs should arrive in the third quarter of the year.

Intel came to Computex 2024 with a host of introductions headlined by Lunar Lake, a next-generation mobile processor aimed at bringing faster on-device AI to laptops.

The CPU centers on a fourth-generation neural processing unit (NPU) that Intel claimed could provide 48TOPS (trillion operations per second) of AI computing power. That’s reportedly a fourfold improvement over the earlier generation, and a big help with generative AI.

There are also improvements that should help with general processing. The four new efficiency-oriented E-cores (codenamed Skymont) provide about as many instructions per clock as the performance cores (P-cores) of 13th- and 14th-generation Core chips. That translates to speed improvements in many situations.

There are also four upgraded P-cores, nicknamed Lion Cove. A long-expected new GPU, nicknamed Battlemage, mates Xe2 graphics cores and AI-oriented Xe Matrix Extension arrays to provide an estimated 50% performance increase in games and similar tasks, and up to an additional 67TOPS for AI generation. The GPU also supports ray tracing

The layout also plays an important role. As with Apple’s M-series chips, Intel builds memory directly on to the Lunar Lake package. While that limits upgradeability, it promises better performance in those areas where ARM-using rivals like Apple and Qualcomm normally excel.

The Skymont cores sit on a low-power “island” separate from the P-cores, ideally extending battery life. Intel estimated 40% lower system-on-chip power even as it tripled AI performance.

Lunar Lake should ship in the third quarter of this year. There will also be a more conventional Arrow Lake equivalent for more laptops as well as desktops.

Intel faces stiff competition. The Apple M4 and Qualcomm Snapdragon X lines are already delivering brisk performance and long battery life in tablets and laptops. Intel’s historical rival, AMD, is also focusing on raw AI performance with its Ryzen AI 300 series laptop CPUs. Lunar Lake may be key to Intel remaining viable in an era where AI and ARM-powered PCs threaten to unseat a company that once clearly dominated the market.