Intel’s Nova Lake family was first announced in 2021, and at the time was expected to launch in 2025 with a heavily updated Core architecture for the enthusiast desktop market, similar to how the first generation of Ryzen improved AMD’s performance. Since then, no further updates have been made to the family, but today sources close to Moore’s Law is Dead say Nova Lake is still in development, with its launch pushed back to the second half of 2026. MLID also provides some preliminary specifications that are likely not yet established. in stone, given the extended time horizon.
Even though Intel has said that use of TSMC should be phased out by 2025, it appears that Nova Lake could still be partially built on TSMC’s N2P production nodes, or even entirely on Intel’s TSMC Node 18A successor (MLID calls it 14A). It all depends on the ability of Intel Angstrom nodes to expand over the next few years.
Currently, Nova Lake is expected to offer up to 16 high-performance cores (new hyperthreading technology), 32 higher-efficiency cores (codenamed Arctic Wolf), and 4 low-power cores. This core count should provide enough performance to compete with AMD Zen6 processors in 2026, with 20-40% single-threaded performance gains over AMD Zen6 Arrow Lake processors and an impressive over 60% improvement over the upcoming Raptor . Processor Lake Refresh. High-end Core Ultra 9 processors are expected to have up to 180MB of latest level cache, while Core Ultra 7 models could benefit from 144MB.
Based on what we’ve learned from previous leaks, MLIdaMD is expected to release Zen6 processors in late 2025 and Zen7 in 2027. If Intel releases Nova Lake in late 2026, it will actually be trying to catch up and dethrone Zen6, not Zen7. therefore, Intel’s release schedule could become significantly out of sync and end up falling behind AMD over the next few years.
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