Intel reveals 7W Ivy Bridge CPUs, convertible Haswell ultrabook

Intel’s CES press conference just wrapped up, and in it the firm revealed a number of details about not only its next-generation PC platforms, but also a new spin on the current one. Those rumored ultra-low-wattage Ivy Bridge chips are for real, and they’re even more power-efficient than initially expected. Intel is now shipping Ivy-based Core processors with 7W thermal envelopes. These chips offer five times the performance of Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processor, says Intel VP Kirk Skaugen, and they’ll be found in products available in the next couple of months.

One of those new 7W systems is Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 11S, which will start at a reasonable $799. Skaugen also demonstrated an unnamed Acer tablet that’s nearly as thin as the current-generation iPad but supports processors in the Core i7 family. The Acer system has a 1080p display, weighs about 1.8 lbs, and will be available in the spring.

Later this year, we can expect the first ultrabooks and tablets based on Intel’s next-gen Core microarchitecture, otherwise known as Haswell. According to Skaugen, Haswell represents the biggest generational increase in battery life in the history of Intel processors. Ultrabooks based on the platform will “absolutely” deliver all-day battery life, he says.

While Skaugen stopped short of outlining specific battery life standards for the next wave of ultrabooks, he did mention a couple of other requirements. To bear the ultrabook badge, Haswell-based designs will have to integrate Intel’s WiDi wireless display technology. Touchscreens are mandatory, as well, which makes a certain amount of sense given the firm’s assertion that the lines between the various kinds of mobile computing devices are blurring. Convertibles are the future, a sentiment that’s underscored by Intel’s reference design for Haswell ultrabooks: a Transformer-style hybrid split between a detachable tablet and keyboard dock.

This new “North Cape” reference design meaures 17 mm thick with the keyboard attached and just 10 mm without. The tablet portion offers 10 hours of battery life on its own, while the dock’s auxiliary battery kicks in an additional three hours. We don’t know the weight of the complete system, but the tablet portion weighs 1.9 lbs and will support Core i7-class CPUs. Interestingly, hitting a button causes the 11.6″ screen to display a 13.3″ picture via a “smart frame” feature that relies in part on special graphics voodoo. Skaugen didn’t explain this feature in detail, and I’m very curious to see how it works.

Arguably the biggest complaint about ultrabooks is high prices, and it seems help is on the way. By the end of next-year, touch-enabled ultrabooks (will there be any other kind at that point?) are supposed to drop to $599. Skaugen claimed Intel has 140 ultrabook design wins, although it’s unclear what percentage of those will be available at such an affordable price.

Comments closed
    • PixelArmy
    • 7 years ago

    Ok, MS… Surface Pro 2 w/ Haswell… (and while you’re at it release Surface Pro 1 to get that out of the way)

    • Hattig
    • 7 years ago

    arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/01/power-saving-through-marketing-intels-7-watt-ivy-bridge-cpus/

    So here we learn that these 7W cpus are actually 13W cpus.

    7W is a marketing term for average, or scenario power draw.

    This sheds a while new light on the announcement.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      This is disgusting. I was right to be suspicious of that 7W… but I really didn’t expect this. This is worse than saying BD module has two cores..

      Shame!

      Still waiting for Haswell…

        • Game_boy
        • 7 years ago

        Better comparison would be AMD’s “ACP” for servers. Like TDP it was a number that bore no relation to actual power draw, but unlike TDP it bore no relation to engineering limits as well. It was just arbitrarily lower.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          I was thinking that, but I thought this kind of “power marketing” was a thing of the past. It’s just disappointing that it’s back..

            • Game_boy
            • 7 years ago

            I looked up the slides, “SDP” is measured by pretending the chip has an 80 degrees C max instead of 105 degrees C (Tjmax is still 105). Nothing to do with workload.

      • Game_boy
      • 7 years ago

      Thank you for linking this. Surprised TR didn’t pick this up.

        • Hattig
        • 7 years ago

        They didn’t pick it up because it was well hidden. Intel has burned a lot of karma with this, a lot of the good work they have done has been sullied by their marketing department.

        At least AMD were upfront about ACP.

        In terms of ultra-mobiles, typical power draw (however it is named) is vastly different from TDP. This changes the entire comparison to ARM SoCs that has been going on around the web after this announcement. I’m sure that on “scenario” usages, the power draw of even a quad-core Tegra 4 or Exynos 5 Quad is a lot lower than the maximum possible.

        Yet if they had said 13W TDP, but in standard use cases we expect it to draw under 7W, we would still be impressed. But they’re under pressure from ARM, and pulling shit like this as a result.

    • hasseb64
    • 7 years ago

    799$?
    Who will spend that amount of money on a noname product. Even 599$ sounds overpriced.
    Get over it INTEL your products are not for this market!
    Pull back and continue with your high end products!

    Intel the new IBM…

      • maxxcool
      • 7 years ago

      If 699$ ipads can sell, so can these…

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        They won’t sell in nearly the volume Apple ships iPads, but I can definitely see a use for a proper x86 powered WIndows 8 tablet with enough CPU horsepower to be useful in the Windows 8 desktop environment.

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        Do you know how many managers/companies have made that statement? Most have failed.

    • Spunjji
    • 7 years ago

    Sensors detect more hand-waving over price here. I’m not buying into that “$599” claim until I see it – Ultrabooks are always “jam tomorrow” as far as price is concerned, unless you’re willing to settle for terrible screens and creaky build quality, by which point you have to wonder what the fuss is.

    Their insistence on integrating WiDi and touch screens isn’t going to help that one bit, either.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    They need a new laptop standard… a screen wipes holder 🙂

    • Pancake
    • 7 years ago

    Oh man, oh man, oh man I am so going to buy a new laptop/tablet this year soon. Currently looking at a Z2760 Latitude 10 or Acer W510 but if low-power Ivy Bridge can be in the same form factor and battery life or Haswell… decisions, decisions… This is going to be a great year for Wintel.

    • phez
    • 7 years ago

    Asus, where is my Transformer Book?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      [url=http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=transformer<]Here[/url<] are some listings at Amazon for you.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t understand the desire to make things ‘detachable’ and branding it as the future. That just means those points where the two interface will wear out that much faster. I much rather have something with a screen that pivots and folds, much like touch screen laptops used to do before they got rebranded as tablets and locked down.

      • Ricardo Dawkins
      • 7 years ago

      then don’t detach. ok? thanks.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, King Missile thought up that whole detachable thing yeaaars ago.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 7 years ago

      The Surface keyboard is magnetic, and this has only just started. Relax. Technology isn’t going backwards. Like any new trend, it will all be sorted out and standards will inevitably develop.

      We could even get a standardized keyboard connector out of all this, which would allow you to effectively choose a keyboard to “build” your perfect “laptop.”

        • entropy13
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]We could even get a standardized keyboard connector out of all this[/quote<] You mean a proprietary keyboard connector for Apple and a standardized keyboard connector for everybody else?

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]These chips offer five times the performance of Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor[/quote<] At 7W? I wonder if that's 5x the performance only during max turbo... Overall, my guess is that they used some aggressive turbo approach ("Twin-Turbo"?) to get performance while driving TDP down I'm looking forward to reviews, but my feeling is that I'll still have to wait for Haswell...

    • dragmor
    • 7 years ago

    So next year we will get better speced but more expensive laptops, what a surprise.

    The Asus F202E-CT063H has been selling for approx $450 AUD since before xmas. 11.6″ 1.4kg, dual core sandy bridge, touch screen windows 8 laptop. Sure its not in the ultrabook marketing due to have a celeron and I wouldn’t buy one, but lots of people are.

    [url<]http://www.asus.com.au/Notebooks/Superior_Mobility/F202/[/url<]

      • Dissonance
      • 7 years ago

      Looks similar to the Asus X202 I’ve been testing. Stay tuned for the full review.

        • dragmor
        • 7 years ago

        Asus X202, F202 and S202 are all the same laptop, its just Asus being stupid with model names for different regions. Its a shame the battery life doesn’t match the looks, but they are decent if you consider what they really are. The netbook is dead, long live the netbook.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          The battery life does match the looks … form over function, gotta shave off every millimeter!

    • Hattig
    • 7 years ago

    Great work from Intel in reducing the power draw of their Ivy Bridge solution. 7W is very impressive – what have they done to get that power draw in terms of active cores, hyperthreading, features disabled, etc?

    This will be available at the same time as Tegra 4 – which is said to be 2.6x as fast in CPU as Tegra 3 (and 6x for GPU), so this 7W IB is potentially 2x as fast as a quad-core Cortex A15. Then again, if Tegra 4 costs <$40 (no reason it shouldn’t, Tegra 3s are under $20), we’re not exactly comparing like with like.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      i assume this is a single core, but still, damn. that’s some low power usage!

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        I’d wager it has hyperthreading, so at least 1c/2t. The die space: and power draw: performance cost of hyperthreading make it worth including if it’s single core.

        But more likely it’s an extremely downclocked, undervolted and binned 2c/2t dual core, probably with a good chunk of cache removed. The 7W also doesn’t include any I/O interfaces so like Atom we can’t just look at CPU TDP.

      • moog
      • 7 years ago

      I wonder if Tegra 4’s extra cores won’t ultimately be pointless? How many apps have concurrent workloads? So in most common apps we should see Ivy Bridge outperform Tegra 4 by more than 2X?

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        Like any quad core CPU, cores 3 and 4 will likely be idle for most workloads.

        However, unlike early quad core CPUs, there shouldn’t be any real power or performance penalty other than the added die size when the idle cores aren’t being used.

      • Pancake
      • 7 years ago

      There never was a comparison. x86 compatibility is a must for me.

        • Hattig
        • 7 years ago

        Gaming? Or specific software needs it, and in addition that software needs the current performance edge that high end Intel chips have over ARM, etc? In which case a 7W IB isn’t going to suffice.

        x86, sorry, AMD64 is going to be king in the PC arena for a good few more years to come, and the home PC isn’t going anywhere in the next five years (but I won’t extend that to ten years just now).

          • Pancake
          • 7 years ago

          For me, I do various things including developing my own Geographic Information System which is coded in Java using Eclipse so a portable development environment is great when I’m traveling often. I also use ArcGIS which needs the whole Win32 stack. And a whole bunch of spatial number crunching code. So Windows x86/AMD64 is essential to me as it runs various tools I need.

          A little bit of Half-life 2 or even The Walking Dead game episodes I’m going through at the moment would be good. Or whatever gaming goodness at the time.

          No, performance is not really important to me. I think improving your algorithms is more what one should do. I grew up on Commodore 64 and know what “economy” means. Writing high precision linear algebra math libraries for 8-bit processor that can only shift, add and Boolean ops. How much can you squeeze out of a cycle? Battery life and usability is important. If my code is slow maybe I should improve it? Of course, having that C64 background I am naturally frugal with my instructions 😉

            • Pancake
            • 7 years ago

            I should add why is time important? I could be butchering a pig and making sausages, bread or pickles with my family when we catch up. Portable computing device is number crunching in background. I don’t care. I am having great time with family and red wine.

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