Intel plans to launch its 4th-generation Core Family chips in 2013. These processors, code-named “Haswell” are expected to consume as little as 10W of power, while offering the kind of performance users expect from a decent laptop chip. But Intel may not be waiting until Haswell is ready to offer new low-power chips.
CNET reports that upcoming Ivy Bridge chips could use substantially less power than the processors currently found in ultrabooks and other portable notebooks.
Ivy Bridge is Intel’s code-name for its third generation Core family processors. The company offers a range of Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 notebook chips with a maximum TDP of 17 Watts.
But according to CNET’s sources, future Ivy Bridge chips could use even less power — enabling PC makers to offer better battery life and even thinner designs since chips which use less power also generate less heat, and don’t need bulky cooling solutions.
In other words, we could start to see more tablets powered by Ivy Bridge processors. Most Windows 8 tablets that have been announced to date have instead featured Intel Atom Clover Trail chips which use less power than Ivy Bridge processors, but which also offer significantly less performance.
It’s not exactly clear at the moment how Intel plans to shave power consumption on its current-generation chips, but it’s likely that they won’t offer the same kind of performance as the existing 17W chips… on the other hand, they’ll probably still be faster than most Intel Atom or ARM-based processors. They’ll also probably be more expensive.