Skip to main content

Intel to Change Raptor Lake CPU Roll-Out Plan

Intel
(Image credit: Image by Tom's Hardware, mockup by Universal Pictures)

Intel plans to change its next-generation client CPU rollout plan this year and make all types of its 13th Generation Core 'Raptor Lake' processors — for desktops and laptops — available in 2022. This is a sharp departure from the company's normal new product introduction plan, but this may help it to earn some additional money. 

"Within the current market, we are also seeing relative strength in the premium segments we serve across consumer and commercial," said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, at the company's earnings call with financial analysts and investors. "We expect to build on this momentum with the launch of our next-gen product family Raptor Lake starting with our desktop SKUs this fall, followed by our mobile family by end of year." 

In a nutshell, Intel is reaffirming its intentions to release Raptor Lake CPUs for desktops this fall (after September 21) and is implying that it is pulling in the launch of its Raptor Lake system-on-chips for mobile PCs from very early 2023 (likely CES 2023 was the intention) to sometime this year. 

Intel has always envisioned its desktop Raptor Lake platform to be an extension of its desktop Alder Lake platform, so it is not particularly surprising that the company is essentially repeating its commitment. Yet Intel has never set any launch time-frames for its mobile Raptor Lake parts, which is something it is doing now. 

The vast majority of PCs sold these days are notebooks, not desktops, so what companies like Intel and AMD typically do is formally announce their latest/upcoming mobile platforms at CES, the world's largest consumer electronics show in early January. This gives chip designers as well as their OEM partners a lot of media coverage and to some degree helps to sell premium consumer-grade laptops to appropriate audiences.  

But before launching premium consumer-oriented notebook parts at CES 2022, Intel released its 12th Generation Core 'Alder Lake' processors for desktops in November. These products are currently both among the best desktop CPUs for gaming and the best workstation CPUs, a relatively rare combination. This created halo effect for the microarchitecture and attracted attention to mobile parts too. 

It looks like this time around Intel intends to shrink the time before desktop and mobile parts launch in a bid to sell Raptor Lake-based mobile machines during the Holiday shopping season (which should be good for consumers). This will enable the company to sell more premium mobile SKUs this year. 

The only question is, will large PC OEMs be ready with their advanced Raptor Lake-based machines this year? Possibly yes, because Raptor Lake is a derivative of the now familiar Alder Lake platform, but only time will tell for sure.

 

Anton Shilov
Anton Shilov

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • tommo1982
    Most likely the reason for it is ZEN4 launch this fall.
    Reply
  • SkyBill40
    Ol' Pat is doing his best to not get stomped by AMD once again, even if it means pushing for a release that could end up being too soon. That's desperation.
    Reply
  • JayNor
    I doubt anything significantly changed in the Raptor Lake plan, else they would have made a bigger deal of pulling in the schedule.

    "desktop SKUs this fall, followed by our mobile family by the end of the year"

    ... that's from the MF transcript of the earnings call. I'd guess that's CEO speak for starting to work with the OEMs in low volume by Dec 31 ... kind of like the SKUs of SPR that he continued to talk about in the earnings call.
    Reply
  • AgentBirdnest
    I doubt it has much if anything to do with Zen 4.
    I think they want to get all launches into Q4 to have a better earnings report for the quarter and year, after that historically weak Q2.
    Just my thoughts, of course. I'm not an economist.
    Reply
  • shawman123
    tommo1982 said:
    Most likely the reason for it is ZEN4 launch this fall.
    There is no way we will see any mobile zen 4 this fall. Rembrandt is barely available at this point. That would be more like mid next year. Even on Raptor Lake, I doubt we will see any laptops this year. There are delays these from cpu launch to product launch unlike say 10 years ago or before, when we would see laptops available within weeks of cpu launch.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Well with Raptor Lake working on the Alder Lake platform, OEMs don't have to make such a big change to fit them.
    Reply
  • escksu
    So, Intel is troubled by zen4 and going to match zen4's launch date.

    This is not unexpected. From what we have seen from leaks etc, raptor lake is indeed faster but not by much. This means zen4 is likely on par with RL.

    If Intel launches RL much later than zen4 but didn't get to outperform it, RL could be seen as an inferior product or failure.

    The bulk of alderlake's performance advantage over zen3 comes from its superior clock speed and additional power headroom. But this no longer holds since zen4 will have similar clocks and power headroom.
    Reply
  • kjfatl
    Most likely, the yield production yield is high enough to go to high volume production immediately. Odds are that Raptor Lake will cost Intel significantly less to manufacture than Alder lake. Even a $10/chip lowering of production cost is significant.
    Reply
  • kjfatl
    shawman123 said:
    There is no way we will see any mobile zen 4 this fall. Rembrandt is barely available at this point. That would be more like mid next year. Even on Raptor Lake, I doubt we will see any laptops this year. There are delays these from cpu launch to product launch unlike say 10 years ago or before, when we would see laptops available within weeks of cpu launch.
    Raptor Lake and Alder Lake are pin compatible. This allows motherboard manufacturers to roll out a new design quickly without having to use up old motherboards and components. If Intel can deliver parts early, the PC manufacturers can do the same.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    escksu said:
    So, Intel is troubled by zen4 and going to match zen4's launch date.

    This is not unexpected. From what we have seen from leaks etc, raptor lake is indeed faster but not by much. This means zen4 is likely on par with RL.

    If Intel launches RL much later than zen4 but didn't get to outperform it, RL could be seen as an inferior product or failure.

    The bulk of alderlake's performance advantage over zen3 comes from its superior clock speed and additional power headroom. But this no longer holds since zen4 will have similar clocks and power headroom.
    Nothing has changed with desktop Raptor Lake. They're allegedly moving up the launch of mobile Raptor Lake which has nothing to do with Zen 4.
    Reply