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.
"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.
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.
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.