Intel Launches ‘Haswell’ Fourth-Gen Core Processor

9/17/2013 4:06:30 PM

Haswell offers ‘better performance’ and ‘reduced power consumption’ than predecessor Ivy Bridge

Intel has launched the fourth generation of its Core processor series. The quad-core chips, codenamed Haswell, offer better performance and the biggest increase in battery life in Intel’s history, says the firm.

Intel refutes the idea that we are living in a post-PC world. It believes the PC is becoming a more diverse, portable and consumer-friendly beast, and its processors are now better equipped than ever to meet that challenge. The distinct worlds of smartphones and desktop PCs are converging, and it is at this sweet spot that Haswell chips are aimed. Indeed, it is promoting the fourth-gen chips as part of a move toward two-in-one computing.

Intel has launched the fourth generation of its Core processor series

Intel has launched the fourth generation of its Core processor series

Intel has also revised the minimum spec for Ultrabooks. Such laptops must now be no thicker than 25mm, and include both a touchscreen and voice control. In battery mode they also have to last seven days on standby, and nine hours when idling.

Intel believes its fourth-gen Core processors are perfectly designed for all-in-one PCs, too. To this end, it has focused on lower power consumption and stronger integrated graphics. The new low-voltage processors have a thermal design power (TDP) as low as 7W, which is much lower than the 17W of some third-generation Ultrabook processors.

If PC makers use this feature wisely it could mean a big breakthrough in battery life, but in the past many have taken the opportunity to build in cheaper batteries.

Intel has also revised the minimum spec for Ultrabooks

Intel has also revised the minimum spec for Ultrabooks

The chips

Intel has introduced four mobile and three desktop Haswell chips. The H-, M-, U- and Y-series processors are aimed at laptops and tablets, the K-series are enthusiast processors intended to be overclocked for extreme performance, and the S- and T-series are low- power chips for desktops.

We saw the die map of a fourth-generation Core processor, built on a 22-nanometre process, with Tri-Gate 3D transistors. An L3 cache is shared across all four cores and the GPU, with 1.4 billion transistors on a 177mm2 die.

As part of Intel’s drive toward portability it has moved from a traditional two-chip platform to a single-chip BGA solution with the CPU and platform controller hub (PCH) integrated into a single package.

Integrated graphics are an important factor when it comes to battery life - if they aren’t up to the job then PC makers will fit power-hungry graphics cards. Intel says it has improved its already impressive onboard graphics with the addition of features such as faster Intel Quick Sync Video, Jpeg and Mpeg decoding, OpenCL 1.2 support and three-screen collage display. There is enhanced 4Kx2K support, plus double the bandwidth with DisplayPort 1.2. Intel has added Iris Pro graphics with integrated on-package EDRAM memory and API support for DirectX 11.1, OpenCL 1.2 and OpenGL 4.0. It should, Intel says, add up to twice the graphics performance for fourth-gen Ultrabooks when compared to those with third-gen processors.

‘Haswell’ fourth-gen core processor

The ‘Haswell’ fourth-gen core processor

As well as the existing Intel HD Graphics 4000, look for Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, Intel Iris Graphics 5100 and Intel HD Graphics 5000, plus Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4400 and 4200.

Intel has also improved Wireless Display. Wireless Display 4.1 includes such features as low power panel self-refresh, reduced latency and a touch-first interface.

There’s support for more USB devices and full-resolution S3D, too.

Samsung chooses Intel over ARM for its 3rd-gen Galaxy Tabs

Galaxy Tab 3 8in and 10.1in are powered by 1.5 and 1.6GHz Intel Atom dual-core processors.

Following the unveiling of its Galaxy Tab 3 7in, Samsung has announced two more Galaxy Tab 3 tablets, but this time running Intel Atom chips.

Samsung has taken off the wraps from its Galaxy Tab 3 8in and 10.1in, which are the first Android tablets made by the company to feature Intel rather than ARM processors.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

Samsung said in a statement: “In order to meet the demand from our vendor/carrier partners and provide a consistent high-quality experience for customers, Samsung has sourced components, including chipsets, from trusted partners.”

It represents a big win for Intel in the mobile market: the firm has previously struggled to compete with the dominance of ARM. Samsung is the biggest vendor of Android tablets in the world and has a market share of 18 percent, according to IDC.

The firm said that each model will arrive globally in June, and will be available in the UK later this year. Models with 4G, 3G and Wi-Fi-only connectivity will be available.

The 8in model has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 1280x800 (189ppi) display, 1.5GB of RAM, a 5Mp rear camera and 16- or 32GB of internal storage. A microSDXC slot supports expansion.

Samsung said its Galaxy Tab 3 8in is “the optimal device for viewing videos, playing enhanced games, and reading e-books anytime, anywhere.”

The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1in features a marginally faster 1.6GHz dual-core processor, a 1280x800 (149ppi) screen and 16- or 32GB of storage. However, it only has 1GB of RAM and a 3Mp rear facing camera.

According to Samsung, the Galaxy Tab 3 10in has been designed to be the best 10in tablet on the market.

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