Intel Demos Lunar Lake Live On Stage At Innovation '23 Conference

lunar lake first live demo
If you read that headline and aren't suitably impressed, let us elaborate. Intel's next launch, looming on the horizon, will be the company's first chiplet-based (or tile-based) processors, codenamed Meteor Lake. Those chips are coming along with an extensive re-branding effort, at least for Intel's mobile parts.

After Meteor Lake will come Arrow Lake, which is expected to bring significant performance improvements for both GPU and GPU tiles over the first-generation disaggregated CPUs. Arrow Lake is also expected to bring chiplets to the desktop for the first time in Intel's history.

Lunar Lake is the codename for the chips that are coming after Arrow Lake. If we were still following the classic "Core" family nomenclature, these would be the 16th-generation chips. In the past, Intel has said that it expects Lunar Lake to allow the company to reclaim performance-per-watt leadership, particularly in the mobile space.

This demo is extrmely notable because not only does it mean that Intel has working Lunar Lake silicon already—impressive for parts that aren't expected to launch for more than a year—but also that the company's 18A foundry is up and running, at least in some capacity. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has famously committed to a very aggressive timeline for foundry upgrades, pursuing five node shifts in just four years.

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Intel's fabs got hung up for a long time at 14nm, and then again on the 10nm process, now known as "Intel 7". The blue team's process leadership was a major part of its market domination for decades, and it is arguably these stumbling blocks that the company hit which have allowed competitor AMD to catch up to its progress.

The actual on-stage demo performed by Gelsinger consisted of two Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAN) demos. First, the chip was asked to generate an image of a giraffe wearing a hat in a Stable Diffusion-like image generator. You can see the result in the picture above. After that, they asked the machine to write a song in the genre of Taylor Swift.

Typically, these kinds of tasks are performed using powerful discrete accelerators, usually discrete GPUs. Running this kind of workload with real-time performance on an SoC is pretty impressive stuff. It'll be a while before we get our hands on Lunar Lake silicon to test with, though.

Intel has shown off an array of other technologies at Innovation '23, including a 288-core Sienna Rapids Xeon, a 12-cubit Tunnel Falls quantum computing chip, and more. Stay tuned for HotHardware for more as the show progresses.