Rumor mill: News from Taiwan claims Intel has asked Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to make 3nm chips for its upcoming Meteor Lake processors. If true, it adds to the multiple node processes that Meteor Lake will incorporate in its new "tiled" design.

Taiwan news outlet Commercial Times claims that the graphics processing hardware in the Meteor Lake CPUs will be TSMC 3nm chips. Industry insiders say TSMC will start producing them before the end of 2022. East Asia-based financial analyst Dan Nystedt noted Intel plans to package them with compute tiles of its own design for Meteor Lake processors.

Intel's 14th-generation Core processors (Meteor Lake) are supposed to launch in 2023. The 12th-generation Alder Lake CPUs just recently made their debut, and the 13th generation Raptor Lakes are supposed to land sometime next year.

Meteor Lake will separate its various components---graphics, I/O, and compute---into separate chiplets, which Intel terms "tiles" in a new packaging method called Foveros. Each will use a different node process. The compute tiles will use Intel's 7nm "Intel 4" process. Commercial Times says the I/O tiles will use either TSMC's N5 or its N4 process, while the GPU tiles will use a 3nm process.

Last week, CNET photographed one of these tiles on one of Intel's Meteor Lake test processors. These will be Intel's first 7nm processors. Competitor AMD's latest Zen3 CPUs already use TSMC's 7nm process, though the 10nm Alder Lakes already perform favorably against them in benchmarks.

Image credit: Stephen Shankland