Intel’s 4th-generation Core processors are designed to use less power than their predecessors while offering better graphics performance, among other improvements. A typical Core i5 or Core i7 Haswell chip, for instance, has a TDP of 15W, but offers a performance boost over a similar 17W Ivy Bridge chip.
Now Intel is taking power savings to a new level with the launch of the new Core i3-4012Y processor for tablets, notebooks, and other low power devices.
While the new chip has a TDP of 11.5W, it has what Intel calls Scenario Design Power of 4.5W, which means that it’ll actually use about as much power as an Intel Atom chip most of the time.
Not only does that mean you’ll be able to get long battery life from devices with this processor, but since it doesn’t generate as much heat as more power-hungry chips, it could end up in fanless tablets and other devices.
The Core i3-4012Y is a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor with support for hyperthreading, which means it can run 4 threads simultaneously. It’s a 64-bit chip with 3MB of cache, and support for up to 16GB of RAM.
It features Intel HD 4200 graphics with speeds between 200 MHz and 850 MHz and support for up to 3 displays.
Intel says devices with this new chip could get up to 50 percent more battery life than a model with a 3rd-generation Core processor (Ivy Bridge).
Does this mean Intel is shooting itself in the foot, since the company is also pushing its Intel Atom Clover Trail and upcoming Bay Trail low-power processors for tablets? Probably not. While Haswell-powered devices will likely offer significantly better peformance than models with Atom chips, they’ll also likely cost quite a bit more.
Atom processors aren’t just popular for their good looks and low power consumption. Their low prices are what helps them show up in Windows tablets that sell for as little as $249.
Core i3-4012Y chips are now shipping, and we should start to see tablets, laptops, and possibly even Chromebooks powered by the new chips in the coming months.