Intel Lunar Lake CPUs could revolutionize ultrathin laptops

An Intel Core processor in a motherboard
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel’s Lunar Lake processors, which are still some way down the line, will be targeted at super-slim laptops, hopefully ensuring that these lean machines have some serious pep despite their svelte nature.

This comes from Ian Cutress on Twitter (via VideoCardz), who got word from Intel’s VP & GM of Client Computing, Michelle Johnston Holthaus, that Lunar Lake will be a totally new design from the ground-up, with an all-new architecture that’s built with performance per watt in mind.

In other words, efficiency will be king, and running low on wattage will obviously make Lunar Lake chips an ideal option for laptops, while still delivering plenty of grunt (relatively speaking). These processors are expected to arrive in late 2024 or 2025, we’ve heard on the grapevine.

Cutress assures us that apparently, Intel will have more to share on the subject later this month when the firm’s financial results come out on January 26. So stay tuned, because it won’t be long before we hear more about exactly what Lunar Lake processors will bring to the table.

Analysis: Intel’s focus on efficiency suits mobile – but what about beefy desktop CPUs?

A focus on efficiency from Intel is not a surprise, as it’s something we’ve already learned is a key factor for next-gen Meteor Lake.

Indeed, with current Raptor Lake processors, Intel has seriously upped the numbers of efficiency cores throughout the 13th-gen range, and it’s expected to push harder on this front with the following generation. Meteor Lake rumors point to even more efficiency cores on board – these are low-power cores, which sip juice, but can really boost multi-core performance, particularly in large numbers. And furthermore, Meteor Lake will introduce a whole new architecture for efficiency cores on top, which should lead to some big power-efficiency benefits.

Lunar Lake could take bigger strides forward still, going by what’s been shared here, as the wording is pretty strong in terms of these processors having been built with efficiency for mobile devices in mind. Could that even mean Lunar Lake will be laptop CPUs only, perhaps? Cutress doesn’t comment on that, but we can theorize it’s a possibility.

After all, next-gen Meteor Lake looks to be firmly slanting towards mobile performance, with rumors indicating that due to a big push for more efficiency cores, the maximum performance core count might be restricted to 6 for the 14th generation. (Remember, the higher-end Raptor Lake Core i9 and i7 CPUs have 8 performance cores, and the same was true of Alder Lake – so lopping a pair of these cores off would be a disappointment on the desktop front).

With Meteor Lake and Lunar Lake apparently concentrating on the efficiency side of the equation, it’s starting to sound like Arrow Lake – which is supposed to come between these two as the 15th-gen family – might be the only hope in the more near-term future for those wanting a new heavyweight desktop (Core i9) processor.

As always, treat this as the speculation it is, and hopefully we might find out more about exactly how Lunar Lake will be pitched laptop or desktop-wise when Intel wheels out its latest (full year) fiscal results, and associated commentary, later in January.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).