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Intel Meteor Lake Architecture Added to Linux Kernel

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

In an article by Phoronix, Intel has already begun hardware enablement for its future Meteor Lake processors and is set to come in with Linux kernel version 5.10. While Meteor Lake is still two to three years down the road, Intel wants to get these future CPUs supported as soon as possible to ensure compatibility once they release. Intel is always in development of future architectures, even if that architecture is several generations ahead of other designs they are working on.

Intel's Meteor Lake architecture will be the successor to Tiger Lake (11th Gen) and Alder Lake (12th Gen) CPUs set to come next year, roadmaps say it will be Intel's first architecture on a 7nm process using future Ocean Cove CPU cores with Gracemount CPU cores. If you're confused about that, Intel's developing a hybrid strategy starting with its 12th Gen CPUs that involves using two different sets of CPU cores for better efficiency, smaller more efficient cores for low-powered workloads, and standard high-performance cores for more power-hungry applications.

So far we have no indicators of what Meteor Lake performance will be like, but given Intel's 10nm SuperFIN will be succeeded by its new 7nm process, I think it would be appropriate to believe Meteor Lake will be noticeably quicker vs Intel's future 11th and 12th Gen CPUs.

  • Endymio
    >> " I think it would be appropriate to believe Meteor Lake will be noticeably quicker vs Intel's future 11th and 12th Gen CPUs. "
    So you think the 13th gen will be at least somewhat faster than the ones which came before it? Really going out on a limb there, aren't you?
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    Endymio said:
    >> " I think it would be appropriate to believe Meteor Lake will be noticeably quicker vs Intel's future 11th and 12th Gen CPUs. "
    So you think the 13th gen will be at least somewhat faster than the ones which came before it? Really going out on a limb there, aren't you?
    Certainly true, but let's also keep in mind after generation 6 (skylake), generation 7 (Kaby Lake), generation 8 (coffee lake), generation 9 (coffee lake refresh), and generation 10 (comet lake) weren't faster at the architectural level.
    Reply
  • Endymio
    spongiemaster said:
    Certainly true, but let's also keep in mind after generation 6 (skylake), generation 7 (Kaby Lake), generation 8 (coffee lake), generation 9 (coffee lake refresh), and generation 10 (comet lake) weren't faster at the architectural level.
    I won't debate that -- but since the author prefaces his conclusion by referencing Intel's process change, rather than any architectural IPC improvements -- that's rather a moot point, isn't it? I'd struggle harder to find a safer bet than concluding Intel will see substantial performance gains from the by-then extremely mature 7nm node.
    Reply
  • Gomez Addams
    Endymio said:
    >> " I think it would be appropriate to believe Meteor Lake will be noticeably quicker vs Intel's future 11th and 12th Gen CPUs. "
    So you think the 13th gen will be at least somewhat faster than the ones which came before it? Really going out on a limb there, aren't you?

    My opinion is that's not a safe assumption at all. If they are going to spend (waste) chip real estate on a low-power core I have very little anticipation of seeing any performance improvement to speak of.
    Reply
  • Endymio
    Gomez Addams said:
    My opinion is that's not a safe assumption at all. If they are going to spend (waste) chip real estate on a low-power core I have very little anticipation of seeing any performance improvement to speak of.
    If we can find someone to hold the stakes, are you willing to bet on that? :)
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    Endymio said:
    I won't debate that -- but since the author prefaces his conclusion by referencing Intel's process change, rather than any architectural IPC improvements -- that's rather a moot point, isn't it? I'd struggle harder to find a safer bet than concluding Intel will see substantial performance gains from the by-then extremely mature 7nm node.
    Your original quote doesn't contain anything about the process change. After reading the conclusion, none of it really makes any sense. There isn't going to be an 11th gen desktop generation, so not sure what they are referring to there. When was the last time a process change made any performance improvements for Intel? It used to be that smaller nodes meant higher clock speeds. Now, smaller nodes basically mean better power efficiency and that's about it. Here's an Ivy Bridge overclocking guide from 2012.

    http://www.theoverclocker.com/the-definitive-ivy-bridge-overclocking-guide/
    "For 5GHz for instance, it is possible to OC to 5GHz with 1.4v on air:
    5.3GHz is my maximum validation on air: "

    That was on 22nm. We're still basically at those clock speeds when overclocking with Comet Lake and Intel is clearly struggling to even get to 5Ghz with 10nm. Without a fundamentally different ISA, I doubt will ever see even 6Ghz regardless of how small the node get.
    Reply
  • Endymio
    spongiemaster said:
    When was the last time a process change made any performance improvements for Intel? It used to be that smaller nodes meant higher clock speeds. Now, smaller nodes basically mean better power efficiency and that's about it. Here's an Ivy Bridge overclocking guide from 2012....

    (URL): "For 5GHz for instance, it is possible to OC to 5GHz with 1.4v on air ...

    That was on 22nm.
    A few points:
    a) 22nm is only one node behind 14nm. I won't count 10nm as we both know its essentially broken at present. But Intel's 7nm node will likely actually be TSMC's node, no? And that one is working very well ... and by 2022 will be extremely mature.
    b) You're conflating maximum OC speeds with actual release speeds. The 22nm node debuted in the mid 3-Ghz range, IIRC, whereas the 14nm node is in the low 4s. That's a rather healthy bump in clocks for just a single node jump.
    c) Obviously, even if one discounts IPC improvements, there is more to performance than clock frequencies. Additional cache ram and extra cores are two of the more obvious alternatives.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    Endymio said:
    A few points:
    a) 22nm is only one node behind 14nm. I won't count 10nm as we both know its essentially broken at present. But Intel's 7nm node will likely actually be TSMC's node, no? And that one is working very well ... and by 2022 will be extremely mature.
    Well, that's 2 nodes that aren't faster. Just because that counters your argument doesn't mean can just ignore them. What is your prediction for all core overclock for Intel's 7nm? Do you think they'll get higher than the 5.1-5.2 that Comet Lake does? I bet they don't.
    b) You're conflating maximum OC speeds with actual release speeds. The 22nm node debuted in the mid 3-Ghz range, IIRC, whereas the 14nm node is in the low 4s. That's a rather healthy bump in clocks for just a single node jump.
    If you comparing what the nodes are capable of, you compare overclock to overclock. With each successive generation, Intel is using more sophisticated boosting algorithms to get CPU's closer to the maximum clocks out of the box leaving less and less overclocking headroom each time. Since Ivy Bridge, Intel has switched from a paste TIM to a soldered one. Should the node get credit for the higher standard clocks that provides? I would argue, no.
    c) Obviously, even if one discounts IPC improvements, there is more to performance than clock frequencies. Additional cache ram and extra cores are two of the more obvious alternatives.
    Neither of those necessarily requires a smaller process.
    Reply
  • Endymio
    spongiemaster said:
    Well, that's 2 nodes that aren't faster.
    Just one node: Intel's 10nm. The 14nm node was demonstrably superior.

    With each successive generation, Intel is using more sophisticated boosting algorithms to get CPU's closer to the maximum clocks out of the box leaving less and less overclocking headroom each time.
    That's part of it, sure. But you're also attempting to compare different architectures across different nodes, which can't be done reasonably. Haswell, Skylake and its successors added a large number of architectural features which affected overclocking. Had Intel done a simple shrink, it's certain there would have been substantially more headroom. In any case, you're still focusing on overclocking, when the real issue -- for nearly all users, at least -- is performance right out of the box. That was the point of my original post, and what, I assume at least, you're attempting to refute, no?
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    Admin said:
    Linux Kernel 5.10 adds support for Intel's Meteor Lake architecture.

    Intel Meteor Lake Architecture Added to Linux Kernel : Read more

    Hybrid designs are an interesting idea that work well in cell phones for keeping power in check.

    HOWEVER most power consumption comes from AVX like SIMD/MIMD instructions. These are most often used during decoding/encoding processes. These hybrid designs will fall FLAT on their face when it comes to things like Adobe Photoshop/Elements/Premiere, AI training, and more.
    Reply