Intel bets on better battery life as the killer next-gen Core feature

Intel bets on better battery life as the killer next-gen Core feature

Summary: Once it was talk of increased MHz and GHz that dominated new processor launches, now with its Haswell silicon, Intel shifts focus away from power and instead shifts focus onto power consumption.

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Details of Intel's next-generation Core processors – codenamed Haswell – are now out, and it's clear that where power was once king, power consumption is the new yardstick.

The new fourth-generation Core processors represent an interesting shift for Intel. Where once squeezing more GHz out of the silicon – or at least squeezing a better benchmark score from the hardware – was the key, now power consumption is the feature that Intel wants us to look at as it bets on the post-PC world.

And compared to the previous hardware, Haswell is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of squeezing more power per Watt.

(Source: Intel)

While Haswell silicon is based on the same 22-nanometer 3D transistor architecture as used in Ivy Bridge parts, bit this time Intel has built power management directly into the processors, which allows precise control over the voltages based on load.

Desktops that are plugged direct into the mains don't directly benefit from the lower power consumption – the power saving only really becomes apparent if you run a lot of PCs or keep them on 24/7 – there is an indirect benefit in that the system runs cooler, which means they are quieter and more reliable.

The real benefits however, are for notebooks, hybrids, and post-PC devices such as tablets. This is where low power consumption really comes into play, helping to increase battery life, and keep the device cooler during use.

(Source: Intel)

The U and Y variants of the Haswell processors are both designed for use in Ultrabooks, and the power consumption can be as low as 7W SDP (Scenario Design Point, a new reference designed by Intel to describe typical power usage scenarios).

Another Haswell improvement is thinness. The new designs will allow OEMs to build thinner devices without compromising on power.

(Source: Intel)

Then there's the improved graphics processing power. The new processors, such as the Core i7-4558U is capable of delivering a pretty acceptable gaming experience for an Ultrabook processor.

(Source: Intel)

Not only does the beefier GPU mean better gaming, but also better performance in other tasks, such as video rendering.

(Source: Intel)

There are also a whole raft of other features and improvements, most of which are aimed at the mobile market.

(Source: Intel)

It's clear that with Haswell, Intel's focus has shifted from the desktop and onto the mobile market. 

Intel will formally launch Haswell on June 4, and you can expect all the big-name OEMs to be shipping devices powered by this silicon shortly afterwards.

Topics: Processors, Intel, Laptops

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10 comments
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  • Reduced Power...

    given the fast rising costs for electricity, anything which reduces the power consumption on a desktop is most welcome.

    My software usage hasn't really seen a need for increased processor speed over the last few years, but with electricity going up by between 20% and 30%, my needs for a more efficient processor have certainly increased!
    wright_is
    • Reduced Power...

      Maybe you didn't read the article very carefully:

      "Desktops that are plugged direct into the mains don't directly benefit from the lower power consumption – the power saving only really becomes apparent if you run a lot of PCs or keep them on 24/7 – there is an indirect benefit in that the system runs cooler, which means they are quieter and more reliable."
      Ira Seigel
      • I was pointing out

        that power saving, even on a single PC, can be a direct benefit for many.
        wright_is
  • intell is as nuts as microsoft

    intel is as nuts as microsoft if they think desktop users will accept desktop limitations for the sake of other form factors


    top end cpus for tablets and notebooks ?
    as if 1920x1600 rez graphics and handhelds/laps are worth c**p as gaming platforms ?

    I NEED a millionxmillion graphics on a postagestamp and i/o limitations on a pc already limit control without having to try and hold the computer too boot
    sloppyslim
    • The focus may be on mobile...

      But that's on the marketing side. On the engineering side, there's plenty to love about Haswell for desktops. BClk control has returned, as well as much more fine controls for voltage. The overclocks on engineering samples have been legendary even without liquid nitrogen cooling. That's not even mentioning TSX / Transactional Memory, even more AVX/MMX instructions and other stuff to kick up more performance.
      Jacob VanWagoner
      • focus on mobile

        i'm running a 6 year old machine on xp because if I spent twice as much on a new machine it might be 50% faster on some tasks . unless it breaks , or they sell twice as fast as what I already have , whats the point ?
        going after new form factors or throw away phones is fine , but if they can't make desktops fast enough for new paradigms , combining pda's , phones , cameras , and credit cards into a ui limited form factor isn't going to spur continuing turn over in a quickly saturating and margin cannibalizing market segment .

        i guess , at some point , cpu's won't matter . you can only put so much horsepower to the ground using four wheels , but then somebody connected an engine to a set of wings , and next thing you know theres robots on marz
        sloppyslim
    • The desktop space has been stagnating for a while now.

      As a gamer, Sandy Bridge is "good enough" for what I do.

      The power savings from Haswell however, will please others whom need it.
      ForeverCookie
    • not

      It's not all about you.
      louishelps
  • thanks

    dont say it much but thanks A.K.H.. thanks real information.
    sarai1313@...
  • In contrast to AKH, these "post-PC" devices and cpus, feel so much like PCs

    to me.

    Haswell can do Windows, and so can the other Intel chips which can go on mobile devices. So, it all look pretty familiar to me. The only thing different is that size of the devices, but everything else screams PC to me.
    adornoe