Article Rewritten

Intel's "Arrow Lake" Microarchitecture Update

Intel is set to refresh its client processor lineup by the end of 2024 with the new "Arrow Lake" microarchitecture. This update will target both desktop and mobile segments. On the desktop side, users can expect the introduction of the new Socket LGA1851 with increased SoC connectivity integrated into the processor. Meanwhile, the mobile segment will see a boost in CPU core counts from the current 6P+8E+2LP configuration.

The limited core count of the current "Meteor Lake" chips prevented Intel from launching them on desktop platforms or using them in enthusiast HX-segment mobile processors. As a result, Intel had to rely on the older 14th Gen Core nomenclature for the "Raptor Lake Refresh" lineup. All eyes are now on "Arrow Lake" to potentially become Intel's second Core Ultra mobile series and its first desktop Core Ultra lineup. This update may also relegate "Meteor Lake" to a non-Ultra tier.

While "Arrow Lake" continues to utilize the Xe-LPG graphics architecture for the integrated GPU, there are differences between the desktop and mobile chips. The desktop "Arrow Lake-S" processor features an iGPU based on the Xe-LPG graphics architecture, while the mobile "Arrow Lake" chips in the U-, P-, and H-segments will use the newer Xe-LPG+ architecture. Intel typically provides smaller iGPUs for desktop S-segment and enthusiast mobile HX-segment processors to accommodate higher CPU core counts. On the other hand, mobile U, P, and H-segments receive better iGPUs with higher shader counts to compensate for the lack of discrete graphics.

Intel's decision to introduce Xe-LPG+ for the mobile "Arrow Lake" chips suggests a focus on enhancing graphics performance for notebooks without discrete GPUs. The exact improvements brought by Xe-LPG+ remain unclear, with speculation suggesting updates to the ISA side of the architecture rather than media or display enhancements.

One notable feature of Xe-LPG+ is support for DPAS (dot product accumulate systolic), enabling advanced multiplication capabilities for improved performance. Xe-LPG bridges the gap between older Xe-LP architecture and the more powerful Xe-HPG architecture found in Intel's Arc discrete GPUs. While Xe-LPG includes DirectX 12 Ultimate support, it lacks the XMX AI acceleration engine present in Xe-HPG.

Intel is expected to launch "Arrow Lake" in the fourth quarter of 2024.