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Intel Lunar Lake as 16GB or 32GB

by on04 June 2024

Hardwired into the SoC

Starting with its upcoming Lunar Lake laptop CPU series, Intel will install memory into the processor SoC itself, offering only 16GB or 32GB initially. This will mean the end of user-replaceable RAM, at least for this series of chips.

The Tame Apple Press, without considering whether this was a good thing, praised Intel for copying Apple, which installs memory along with its home-built, Arm-based M processors in the same way that memory is offered on smartphones and tablets.

Like Apple, it means that these new Intel laptops will offer fewer choices to manufacturers, and none at all to consumers after the purchase. 

Intel Senior Vice President Jim Johnson said: “The technical part is that we want to have an exquisite notebook that will take on ecosystem competitors. And that’s what we built. We think 16[GB] and 32[GB] are the right matchup. And yes, it’s not upgradable beyond that, but this is the cornerstone of our architecture moving forward, and we will offer those options in the future.”

The Lunar Lake package offered to laptop vendors uses LPDDR5X memory, topping out at 32 gigabytes and 8.5 Giga transfers per second. The memory on the package system will save “up to 250 square millimetres” in space, which sounds a lot more impressive than .387 square inches. That’s less than half the size of a US postage stamp.

If you want to install or upgrade your own RAM or need more than 32GB of RAM—and lots of people do for high-end laptops—you’ll have to wait.

According to Johnson, the “next turn of the roadmaps will offer more traditional options.” Higher RAM capacities seem like a given, but “more traditional options” may or may not mean that laptop manufacturers or end users will get access to memory expansion.


Last modified on 04 June 2024
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