With its “Alder Lake” 12th-generation Core CPUs, Intel introduced the concept of the “P-series” processors. These 28W chips sit between the ultra-low-voltage “U” CPUs and the full-power mobile “H” units. Naturally, we’d expect its upcoming Meteor Lake CPUs to continue with this sort of segmentation, but it looks like things may have become a bit more confusing even as the product stack gets trimmed.
If true, this is a really interesting decision because there really isn’t that much room to make cuts to the Meteor Lake design we’ve seen for creating lower-end CPUs. With just six P-cores and eight-plus-two E-cores, the difference in specifications between a Core Ultra 9 and a Core Ultra 5 probably won’t be that different. Instead, it looks like Intel has elected to differentiate them based on power limit. That certainly could impact performance, to be sure.
In case you’re unaware, the “non-Ultra” 1st Generation Core family that will appear as Core 3, Core 5, and Core 7 CPUs alongside Meteor Lake are also based on refreshed Raptor Lake-U silicon. In that sense, it seems like we’re only likely to see Meteor Lake in 28W and 45W forms as part of the relatively-small Core Ultra family, which will find its way into premium laptops and small-form-factor or AIO desktops.
We’re eager to see the truth for ourselves, but we’ve still got another month to wait; Intel’s planning to officially launch its Meteor Lake CPUs on December 14th. Expect more leaks as we get closer to the day.