Intel Arrow Lake CPUs Rumored To Drop 20A Node, Utilizing TSMC 3nm Instead

By: Hassan Mujtaba

Intel’s next-gen Arrow Lake CPUs were going to be the first to be built upon the 20A process node but those plans have allegedly changed as the company now focuses on using TSMC’s 3nm node.

Intel Allegedly Drops Its Own 20A Node & Goes To TSMC’s 3nm For Next-Gen Arrow Lake CPUs

There had been some rumors circulating that Intel might have dropped its 20A process node which was going to play a big role in the development of the next-gen Arrow Lake CPUs. The first rumors came from Twitter fellow, @Xinoassassin1, who stated that Intel might be dropping 20A in favor of TSMC’s 3nm node. It had been pointed that TSMC’s N3B node was in discussion to be the potential candidate for Arrow Lake which is the baseline version of TSMC’s 3nm process node which entered production in 2H 2022.

The TSMC 3nm product roadmap also included N3P and N3P which offer higher performance and also lower power. Meanwhile, Intel 20A was looking to be a very strong competitor to TSMC’s 3nm offerings but it looks like Arrow Lake might be missing out on that since another leaker has pointed out this potential design change.

Image Credits: Golden Pig Upgrade

According to Golden Pig Upgrade who is very accurate with his leaks, it looks like this rumor might indeed be true as the same thing has been said by him. It is revealed that Intel’s latest roadmap is no longer listing 20A and the company has gone to an external foundry (referring to TSMC & 3nm) for the production of Arrow Lake CPUs.

We know from Intel’s own presentation that the CPU “Compute Tile” was meant to utilize the Intel 20A process node while the GPU tile was going to be based upon the TSMC 3nm node. Additionally, other nodes were going to be utilized for the rest of the titles which include the IO and the SOC tile. So it looks like we will see Arrow Lake Compute tile at least on Intel 3 but the rest should mostly be using TSMC’s 3nm node.

  • Intel Arrow Lake “Official” – 20A Compute Tile / TSMC 3nm GPU Tile / TSMC 3nm IO & SOC
  • Intel Arrow Lake “Rumor” – Intel 3 Compute Tile / TSMC 3nm GPU Tile / TSMC 3nm IO & SOC

It isn’t confirmed though if this change applies to just one specific segment or all segments. Intel is skipping Meteor Lake-S Desktop CPUs in favor of Arrow Lake-S CPUs that are supposed to launch in Q4 2024 or Q1 2025. The company will also be replacing its mobility lineup with the 2nd Gen Core Ultra family based on the Arrow Lake architecture.

So far there’s no official confirmation from Intel on this matter but I doubt they’ll respond to such rumors for now given that one of these leakers has a very accurate history, it looks very likely that 20A has been pushed back and Chipzilla has to rely on TSMC for one of its major next-gen CPU launches.

Intel Mobility CPU Lineup:

CPU Family Arrow Lake Meteor Lake Raptor Lake Alder Lake
Process Node (CPU Tile) Intel 20A ‘5nm EUV” Intel 4 ‘7nm EUV’ Intel 7 ’10nm ESF’ Intel 7 ’10nm ESF’
Process Node (GPU Tile) TSMC 3nm TSMC 5nm Intel 7 ’10nm ESF’ Intel 7 ’10nm ESF’
CPU Architecture Hybrid (Four-Core) Hybrid (Triple-Core) Hybrid (Dual-Core) Hybrid (Dual-Core)
P-Core Architecture Lion Cove Redwood Cove Raptor Cove Golden Cove
E-Core Architecture Skymont Crestmont Gracemont Gracemont
Top Configuration TBD 6+8 (H-Series) 6+8 (H-Series)
8+16 (HX-Series)
6+8 (H-Series)
8+8 (HX-Series)
Max Cores / Threads TBD 14/20 14/20 14/20
Planned Lineup H/P/U Series H/P/U Series H/P/U Series H/P/U Series
GPU Architecture Xe2 Battlemage ‘Xe-LPG’
Xe3 Celestial “Xe-LPG”
Xe-LPG ‘Xe-MTL’ Iris Xe (Gen 12) Iris Xe (Gen 12)
GPU Execution Units 192 EUs (1024 Cores)? 128 EUs (1024 Cores) 96 EUs (768 Cores) 96 EUs (768 Cores)
Memory Support TBD DDR5-5600
LPDDR5X – 7400+
Memory Capacity (Max) TBD 96 GB 64 GB 64 GB
Thunderbolt 4 Ports TBD 4 4 4
WiFi Capability TBD WiFi 6E WiFi 6E WiFi 6E
TDP TBD 15-45W 15-55W 15-55W
Launch 2H 2024? 2H 2023 1H 2023 1H 2022

Written by Hassan Mujtaba