Intel 16th Gen Panther Lake Launch in 2026: 40 Core Arrow Lake Refresh to Succeed the Core i9-15900K?

Intel’s 16th Gen Panther Lake (Core Ultra 3) processors will only launch in 2026. These chips will leverage an advanced chiplet architecture, consisting of an 18A compute die and a 3nm (or 2nm) graphics tile fabbed on a TSMC node. Panther Lake will be the first client product to leverage the 18A process, with the initial ramp scheduled for 2025. High-volume production will only begin in 2026, leaving 20A to fill the gap with multiple refreshes of Arrow Lake.

According to rumors, Arrow Lake will be fabbed on TSMC’s 3nm (N3B) node, including the CPU tile which was supposed to be the primary 20A product. The latest reports suggest that the Arrow Lake-P mobile processors will be entirely fabbed on N3B, with only select lower-end desktop parts using Intel’s 20A node. Of course, this is just a rumor at this point.

The 15th Gen Arrow Lake (Core Ultra 2) processors will be succeeded by a refresh with more E cores (up to 32, apparently). The Arrow Lake Refresh will be similar to Raptor Lake, featuring minor architectural changes, but offering more cores/cache at every price point. Going from a Core i9-15900K (24 cores) to a 40-core behemoth will be quite the upgrade. Lunar Lake will keep the higher-end notebook market fed till Panther Lake arrives.

Will the Arrow Lake Refresh retain TSMC’s 3nm (N3B) node, or upgrade the higher-end Core i7/i9 SKUs to 20A? It has to be the latter, otherwise Intel’s first GAA node will exist mostly on paper. Of course, there’s a chance that the entire 15th Gen family will leverage 20A, and that would be ideal, but the chipmaker has said very little about 20A in the last couple of months.

PC Optimized:

Source: Intel.

Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have written about computer hardware for over seven years with over 5000 published articles. I started during engineering college and haven't stopped since. On the side, I play RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Divinity, and Fallout. Contact: areejs12@hardwaretimes.com.
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