References to Intel’s next-generation Meteor Lake line of CPUs have been spotted in the latest Linux patches by Phoronix (via Videocardz). The future CPU lineup was mentioned in the Linux 5.10 patch release.

Intel Meteor Lake CPUs Spotted in Linux Patches, Will Feature Brand New CPU & GPU Cores on Next-Gen Process Node

The Intel Meteor Lake line of CPUs is a far-future family that will appear sometime in 2022. The new line of processors will succeed Intel’s Alder Lake family which will make its debut in the second half of 2021. The CPU family is expected to make use of next-generation core technologies and feature a brand new process node but before that, let’s see what details the Linux patches unveil for Intel’s Meteor Lake.

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Intel is planning to add support for Meteor Lake in phases and the first comes in the form of the Intel e1000e Linux driver which is being extended to support the Meteor Lake client platform, as reported by Phoronix. The Intel e1000e references to the Gigabit Ethernet driver so from the looks of things, there will still be 1Gbe LAN support for Meteor Lake or it could just be used for testing the early variations of the silicon. Intel already offers 2.5 Gbe LAN support on its existing platform so it is likely that they will retain and move to something even better in the coming gens, e.g. 5 Gbe and beyond.

Intel Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

Intel CPU Family Processor Process Processors Cores (Max) TDPs Platform Chipset Platform Memory Support PCIe Support Launch
Sandy Bridge 32nm 4/8 35-95W 6-Series LGA 1155 DDR3 PCIe Gen 2.0 2011
Ivy Bridge 22nm 4/8 35-77W 7-Series LGA 1155 DDR3 PCIe Gen 3.0 2012
Haswell 22nm 4/8 35-84W 8-Series LGA 1150 DDR3 PCIe Gen 3.0 2013-2014
Broadwell 14nm 4/8 65-65W 9-Series LGA 1150 DDR3 PCIe Gen 3.0 2015
Skylake 14nm 4/8 35-91W 100-Series LGA 1151 DDR4/DDR3L PCIe Gen 3.0 2015
Kaby Lake 14nm 4/8 35-91W 200-Series LGA 1151 DDR4/DDR3L PCIe Gen 3.0 2017
Coffee Lake 14nm 6/12 35-95W 300-Series LGA 1151 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2017
Coffee Lake 14nm 8/16 35-95W 300-Series LGA 1151 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2018
Comet Lake 14nm 10/20 35-125W 400-Series LGA 1200 DDR4 PCIe Gen 3.0 2020
Rocket Lake 14nm 8/16? TBA 400/500-Series? LGA 1200 DDR4 PCIe Gen 4.0 2020
Alder Lake 10nm? 16/32? TBA TBA LGA 1700 DDR5 PCIe Gen 4.0? 2021
Meteor Lake 7nm? TBA TBA TBA LGA 1700 DDR5 PCIe Gen 4.0? 2022?

As for what Intel’s Meteor Lake family is going to offer, the family is expected to feature support on the LGA 1700 socket which is the same socket used by Alder Lake processors. We can expect DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 5.0 support. Other than that, we can also expect Intel to feature brand new core technologies based on advanced (next-gen) process node for their Meteor Lake family.

Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs will feature a mix of Golden Cove and Gracemont Atom cores so it is highly likely that Meteor Lake will offer the next-generation Ocean Cove core architecture along with an enhanced Atom core architecture. Previous rumors have indicated that Ocean Cove could bring up to 80% IPC improvement over Skylake architecture.

Intel CPU Generational IPC Chart (Rumor):

CPU Architecture Process Node IPC Gain Year
Skylake 14nm (+++) 1.00x 2015-2020
Sunny Cove 10nm (+) 1.18x 2019-2020
Willow Cove 10nm (+) 1.25x 2020-2021
Golden Cove 10nm (++) 1.50x 2021-2022?
Ocean Cove 7nm (+)? 1.80x 2022-2023?

Considering that Alder Lake CPUs will be based on the 10nm SF (SuperFin) process node, it is likely that Intel’s 2022 lineup will be making full use of the brand new 7nm SF (SuperFin) design. Though we cannot say for sure since Intel will also be outsourcing some of its chip orders to 3rd parties such as TSMC but those are mostly GPUs for now. Once again, the Meteor Lake lineup launches in 2022 which is still a long way to go. AMD is also expected to introduce its next-generation Zen 4 based processors for its own consumer platform around 2022 which should be the direct rival to Meteor Lake.