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.

intel core i3 logo

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.

via CITEWorld

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7 replies on “Intel ships low-power Core i3 Haswell chips for tablets, notebooks”

  1. I hope it makes it into a 10″ screened notebook. No touch screen, matte screen with good contrast, sharpness, viewing angles, brightness and color accuracy, mDP, dual band 2×2 WiFi, 2 USB 3.0 ports, upgradable RAM, extended battery option, gigabit Ethernet port, backlit keyboard and super thin is not required.

  2. And that power consumption leaves them out of all but the heaviest tablets. 4.5W is a lot for just the CPU; that is more than the total power budget for a typical tablet.

    1. Yes and no, total power for a typical tablet does exceed 5W… Even for ARM SoCs they’re going over 4W for just the SoC and that’s power limited because the high end ARM SoCs are really 8W and higher now but like SDP they limit themselves to lower to keep within thermal limits for fan-less designs.

      While the 4.5W is not just for the CPU, Intel already merged the North Bridge with the CPU. So that figure includes the GMA and memory controller…

      However, the Intel chips are much larger than ARM SoCs and will still consume more power as they don’t yet power sip as well… Along with costing a lot more…

      Haswell update helps fix this a bit with introducing many of the power sipping features already supported by ARM, better power management, and better optimization to eck out more performance for a given power threshold but will still cost a lot more and use up more space… Though, the U and Y chip do shrink down to a single chip but will be a MCM instead of SoC…

      1. Not really. Show me an a-list tablet advertising less than eight hours of run time. Most claim ten now and really get seven or eight. 5W total drain for 8 hours would require a 40W/Hr battery which puts you firmly into laptop territory. While there are a few tablets that get that much battery into the case, like I said originally, only the largest ones can manage it. And remember that the computing parts are only one power hog. You also need to power the display, radios and speakers.

        But the bigger problem for Intel is still the idle power, not power consumption under heavy load. They really have to get that down to single digit milliwatts.

        1. Let’s see the Asus Infinity Transformer Tablet provides less than 10 hours without the keyboard dock. So do quite a few others…

          What they actually do is they’ve started putting in larger batteries to compensate for the increased power of the high end mobile tablets and those battery capacities are already entering the PC size range with many starting to use the equivalent of a 3 cell laptop battery.

          The iPad actually has a larger battery than the Surface Pro does for example, with a large 42.5Whr battery!

          An ARM SoC like the Exynos 5 is actually a 8W SoC… it just limits itself to 4W and allows either the CPU or GPU to go up to 4W at a time but not at the same time!

          Really, a midsize refrigerator that qualifies for the Environmental Protection
          Agency’s Energy Star rating uses about 322 kW-h a year, while a
          iPhone uses about 361 kW-h if you stack up wireless connections, data
          usage, and battery charging.

          Mobile devices are already edging away from the really low power usage and starting to enter the higher range power consumption range.

          They just use a ton of tricks to push the limits as much as possible… and yes, it was my point that it’s not just heavy tablets that use more than 5W because they’re not counting the total power of mobile tablets when they’re stating the SoC TDP either!

          Screen, WiFi, LTE, etc still all get tacked on to them as well!

          You are right though that what Intel needs to work on is idle power but they’re already doing so… The main change Haswell brings is exactly this type of change!

          On die voltage regulator means power can be more efficiently load balanced, sending and using power only where it’s needed at any one time, and supporting features like Always connected standby means supporting idling states that power sip at much less than a watt!

          This won’t change the much higher cost and larger die size of the Core processor but it’s not exactly a world away on power efficiency anymore once Haswell takes over…

          1. Somebody confused their units… 🙂
            WH is not KWH. Or do you really think any portable device is packing enough battery to store close to a kilowatt/hour? Hint, the biggest Alienware gaming laptop doesn’t come close.

            And your example of the current iPad supports my theory. It is one of the biggest and heaviest products in the tablet category and because it had the high density ‘retina’ display before the tech was really ready it sucks power like crazy to drive the backlight so they compensated with extra battery. So my back of the envelope 40WH as an upper end for tablet battery capacity is pretty much spot on.

          2. “Somebody confused their units… 🙂
            WH is not KWH. Or do you really think any portable device is packing enough battery to store close to a kilowatt/hour?”

            Don’t be obtuse, unless you’re just trying to be funny because that was obviously a comparison of how much power is consumed by the device for the whole year!

            Besides, each KWH is just a thousand WH! And I obviously wasn’t referring to battery capacity with that comparison, unless you think refrigerators run on batteries?

            So, nonsense interpretation aside…

            The point is already made that mobile devices aren’t all that power sipping anymore… Increasing performance and features takes its toll…

            And no, you can’t just blame parts like so called retina displays… The iPad’s LTE alone can cut just over an hour off the total run time and the quad GPU needed to actually run those high res displays had something to do with the increased power consumption too!

            All the high end tablets are pushing higher graphical performance and ever increasing CPU performance… they can’t just keep scaling up and not expect an increase in power consumption!

            And that’s not even counting the pro tablets that are the real heavy tablets… sizes 11.6″ and larger and weighing over 3 pounds and even heavier… Look at the upcoming WACOM Cintiq tablet for example… of course that’s a $1500 (Tegra 4) to over $2000 (Core i7) type of Pro tablet, but mobile tablets are hardly in the heavy range!

            Anyway, the only valid point you’ve made is that Intel needs to improve their idle power but as I pointed out that’s exactly what they’re doing with Haswell as the first major step to providing those kind of power sipping states, at least instead of just their ATOM processors that already achieved those low states.

            Intel is even coming out with chips even lower powered than the ATOM, apparently code named Quark for embedded devices… So x86 is being pushed for a much wider range than ever before…

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