Intel officially unveils Lunar Lake, its Copilot+ AI PC chip

It offers 48 TOPS of AI performance and sports built-in RAM.


Intel recently revealed that its upcoming Lunar Lake chips would be available this fall for Copilot+ AI PCs, but the company waited until Computex to give us more technical details. For one, they'll offer up to 48 TOPs (tera operations per second) of AI performance, thanks to an updated neural processing unit (NPU). In comparison, Intel's previous Meteor Lake chips sported a 10 TOPS NPU, while AMD announced its Ryzen AI 300 chips yesterday with 50 TOPS NPUs. The AI race is on, if you couldn't tell.

Intel will once again have to play catch up in the AI PC space: AMD's Ryzen AI 300 chips will be available in July alongside Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus. It's unclear when, exactly, Lunar Lake systems will launch this fall. Still, for the Intel faithful, Lunar Lake appears to be a major upgrade. It will also sport a new Xe2 GPU, which will offer 80 percent faster gaming performance than the last generation, as well as an AI accelerator with an additional 67 TOPS of performance. (We're still waiting to see how AMD's new Radeon graphics will compare.)

Intel Lunar Lake NPU growth
Intel's Lunar Lake NPU 4 performance, versus its NPU 3 hardware on Meteor Lake. (Intel)

In a surprising twist, Lunar Lake chips will also feature on-board memory, similar to Apple Silicon. The chips will be available with either 16GB or 32GB of RAM, and just like Apple, you won't be able to add more down the line. By bringing the memory much closer to the processor cores, Intel was able to reduce latency and system power usage by 40 percent. You're out of luck if you actually need more RAM though. You'll have to sit tight for Intel's next chip family, code-named Arrow Lake.

Additionally, Lunar Lake will offer eight cores with revamped performance and efficient cores (P-cores and E-cores). Intel also says the chip features an "advanced low-power island" for efficiently handling background tasks. Thanks to that, along with other optimizations, the company claims battery life is 60 percent better than Meteor Lake.

Clearly, both Intel and AMD are going to do whatever it takes to combat Qualcomm's Copilot+ hardware. Those mobile chips are inherently more power efficient — they reportedly get over 20 hours of battery life on Copilot+ Surface devices (though we haven't tested them yet).

When it comes to connectivity, Lunar Lake will offer the updated standards you'd expect: Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, PCIe Gen5 and Thunderbolt 4. (It's strange that Intel isn't committing to Thunderbolt 5 yet, since it plans to launch that standard later this year.)

Intel Lunar Lake NPU benchmark

Given just how far off Lunar Lake actually is, Intel didn't have more information to share about specific chip models or deeper specs. But judging from the company's benchmarks, released during a media briefing ahead of Computex, it'll should be significantly faster than Meteor Lake while running Stable Diffusion, completing 20 iterations in 5.8 seconds compared to 20.9 seconds. While it does draw a few more watts of power, the increased speed should make up for that.