Intel next-generation Lunar Lake CPUs launching in Q3, Arrow Lake in Q4 — mobile chips claimed to be 1.4x faster than Qualcomm’s X Elite processors

Intel next-generation Lunar Lake CPUs launching in Q3, Arrow Lake in Q4 — mobile chips claimed to be 1.4x faster than Qualcomm’s X Elite processors

Intel fired yet another salvo in the AI PC war today with claims that its Lunar Lake chips, which are on track for launch in Q3 2024, deliver 1.4x more AI performance than the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite chips that Microsoft showed off today. Intel also claims incredible gains in battery life and power efficiency, saying Lunar Lake delivers the lowest power consumption it has ever seen from an x86 processor, equating to 20% lower power than Qualcomm’s chips and 30% less than AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840U. Intel also has its next-gen Arrow Lake processors for AI-infused desktop PCs on the roadmap for the fourth quarter of 2024, with updates on those chips to come next week during an Intel Tech Tour event for the press shortly before Computex 2024.

Intel has updated all of Lunar Lake’s compute elements, including faster CPU and neural processing unit (NPU) cores, a revamped low power island (LPI), and a new integrated GPU with the new Xe2 architecture. Despite all the AI-specific razzle-dazzle, Intel hasn’t forgotten gamers: The Xe2 iGPU design debuts with Lunar Lake and delivers 1.5x more performance than the current-gen Meteor Lake chips by leveraging the same architecture and feature set that will be used in the upcoming Battlemage discrete gaming GPUs. Intel also shared benchmarks and other details that we’ll cover below.

Intel’s announcement aims to steal the thunder from Microsoft’s Surface AI event today, where Microsoft whipped the covers off its new Surface Pro powered by the Arm-based Qualcomm X Elite processors. A slew of other Qualcomm X-series devices from Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Asus also debut today as Arm chips begin their biggest assault on the PC market yet.

Qualcomm’s new Arm-powered X-series processors are said to be tightly integrated with new Windows AI features that leverage its best-in-class NPU for AI workloads. Qualcomm says its chips are faster than Intel, AMD, and Apple chips, all while delivering incredible battery life and power efficiency. That sets the stage for Windows on Arm PCs to finally rival Apple’s seemingly unbeatable M3 systems, a feat that Intel and AMD have yet to accomplish. Naturally, Intel aims to do the same with Lunar Lake, and AMD has its Zen 5 processors lined up for later this year, too.

If the X-series chips live up to their billing, Qualcomm’s processors will pose far more of a threat to the x86 hegemony than Apple simply by virtue of their support for Windows. Apple’s walled garden has restricted its ability to chew away a significant amount of market share from the x86 incumbents. Let’s dive into the details.

Intel Lunar Lake Processors Specifications

Arrow Lake will likely leverage the same CPU architectures as Lunar Lake, with the company describing the series as an extension of its Core Ultra family. It should include more cores and higher power limits, thus providing significantly higher performance for desktops. Intel will also have higher-power mobile variants of Arrow Lake for higher-performance laptops and notebooks. Arrow Lake will be Intel’s lead vehicle for its new Intel 20A process node. 

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