Meteor Lake, a radically redesigned Intel processor due to ship in PCs in 2023, now can run Windows, Linux and Chrome OS. It's a notable achievement for a complicated new approach that combines many "chiplets" into one more capable processor.
"We have officially powered on our first disaggregated product: Meteor Lake," tweeted Michelle Johnston Holthaus, head of Intel's PC processor business, on Friday. Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger announced that the chip runs the three operating systems on a conference call Thursday after the chipmaker reported first-quarter financial results.
The step is significant given that it embodies two ambitions key to Intel's effort to reclaim the chip leadership it lost to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung. First, Meteor Lake uses multiple chiplets stacked together with a technology called Foveros. That kind of packaging prowess is increasingly important to remain competitive, as shown by two shipping computer processors that already are shipping, Apple's M1 Ultra and AMD's Ryzen 5800X3D.
Second, much of Meteor Lake is built with the Intel 4 manufacturing process, an important advance that could match miniaturization advantages that TSMC and Samsung already offer. That's crucial for Intel's own chips and its Intel Foundry Services effort to build others' processors the way TSMC and Samsung do.
Intel also is working on a side-by-side packaging technique called EMIB, used in its Sapphire Rapids chip for servers arriving later this year, and on improvements to Foveros called Foveros Omni and Foveros Direct.