Intel’s Broadwell-U arrives aboard 15W, 28W mobile processors

Fresh from its debut in the 4.5W Core M series last fall, Intel's Broadwell architecture has landed in 17 new processors with 15W and 28W power envelopes. The branding for these arrivals is a little confusing—some belong to the 5th Generation Core family, which weirdly doesn't include the Core M, while others carry Pentium and Celeron monikers—but all are easily identifiable by their code name: Broadwell-U.

Where Broadwell-Y, also known as the Core M, is aimed mostly at tablets, small-screen convertibles, and ultra-thin laptops, Broadwell-U is expected to appear in a "broad range of form factors." Among those: larger convertible notebooks, more traditional laptops, and some desktop systems, particularly all-in-one and small-form-factor designs.

Source: Intel

About half of the Broadwell-U family is based on the chip pictured above, the same one that drives the Core M. This die has 1.3 billion transistors and an 82 mm² footprint, making it smaller and denser than last year's Haswell-U silicon.

Intel is quoting some nice performance and battery-life improvements this time around, as the slide above shows. Battery run times are especially improved in video playback, thanks in part to the SmartSound audio DSP built into Broadwell-U. Performance in productivity tasks hasn't improved very much, Intel says, because Broadwell is a "tick" rather than a "tock" on its roadmap—that is, Broadwell's CPU cores are shrunken versions of their Haswell counterparts. We won't see a new CPU architecture from Intel until the next "tock," Skylake, which is due out later this year.

The remainder of the Broadwell-U lineup is based on a bigger chip that allocates a larger transistor budget to graphics:

This jumbo version of Broadwell-U bumps the transistor count to 1.9 billion and the die area to 133 mm². There are still two CPU cores, and the amount of L3 cache is unchanged, at 4MB, but the integrated graphics have twice are many execution units (EUs) as on the smaller die, for a total of 48.

Intel will denote this silicon with HD Graphics 6000 branding on 15W processors and Iris Graphics 6100 branding on 28W parts. Compared to the "baseline" HD Graphics 5500 offered in the smaller die, Intel says users can expect an increase in performance of up to 20% with the HD Graphics 6000 and up to 50% with the Iris Graphics 6100—and all without the use of on-package eDRAM. Only processors with Iris Pro graphics will have eDRAM, and Intel hasn't announced those yet.

Here's a look at the Broadwell-U lineup, starting with 15W CPUs:

Model Cores/

threads

Base

speed

(GHz)

Max Turbo

speed (GHz)

Intel HD

Graphics

Base/max

graphics

speed

(MHz)

Max

LPDDR3

speed

(MT/s)

L3

cache

cTDP

down

Price
1 core 2 cores
Core i7-5650U 2/4 2.2 3.2 3.1 6000 300/1000 1866 4MB 9.5W $426
Core i7-5600U 2/4 2.6 3.2 3.1 5500 300/950 1600 4MB 7.5W $393
Core i7-5550U 2/4 2.0 3.0 2.9 6000 300/1000 1866 4MB 9.5W $426
Core i7-5500U 2/4 2.4 3.0 2.9 5500 300/950 1600 4MB 7.5W $393
Core i5-5350U 2/4 1.8 2.9 2.7 6000 300/1000 1866 3MB 9.5W $315
Core i5-5300U 2/4 2.3 2.9 2.7 5500 300/900 1600 3MB 7.5W $281
Core i5-5250U 2/4 1.6 2.7 2.5 6000 300/950 1866 3MB 9.5W $315
Core i5-5200U 2/4 2.2 2.7 2.5 5500 300/900 1600 3MB 7.5W $281
Core i3-5010U 2/4 2.1 N/A N/A 5500 300/900 1600 3MB 10W $281
Core i3-5005U 2/4 2.0 N/A N/A 5500 300/850 1600 3MB 10W $275
Pentium 3805U 2/2 1.9 N/A N/A 100/800 1600 2MB 10W $161
Celeron 3755U 2/2 1.7 N/A N/A 100/800 1600 2MB 10W $107
Celeron 3205U 2/2 1.5 N/A N/A 100/800 1600 2MB 10W $107

Note the "cTDP down" numbers. While these chips all have 15W TDP ratings, they can also be configured to fit inside smaller power envelopes. It looks like only processors based on the smaller die can squeeze into a 7.5W TDP, though. The jumbo die only goes down to 9.5W.

Such TDP reductions will entail corresponding reductions in base clocks. Intel isn't sharing much in the way of specifics there, but it does say the peak single-core Turbo speeds quoted above apply regardless of the TDP setting.

Thanks to the chipmaker's product segmentation voodoo, vPro and TXT support is exclusive to just four products: the Core i7-5650U, i7-5600U, i5-5350U, and i5-5300U. Also, AES-NI support is missing from the Pentium and Celeron parts, and the maximum supported LPDDR3 memory speed is higher on chips with the jumbo die. All Broadwell-U processors announced today are limited to 1600 MT/s when using DDR3L memory, though.

By the way, don't misconstrue the table above: Pentium and Celeron parts aren't bereft of integrated graphics. Intel simply gives their IGPs plain "HD Graphics" branding without model numbers. That moniker denotes the presence of only 12 graphics EUs—half as many as on the HD Graphics 5500—plus lower base and peak graphics clocks.

Now, here are the 28W incarnations of Broadwell-U:

Model Cores/

threads

Base

speed

(GHz)

Max Turbo

speed (GHz)

Intel Iris

Graphics

Base/max

graphics

speed

(MHz)

Max

LPDDR3

speed

(MT/s)

L3

cache

cTDP

down

Price
1 core 2 cores
Core i7-5557U 2/4 3.1 3.4 3.4 6100 300/1100 1866 4MB 23W $426
Core i5-5287U 2/4 2.9 3.3 3.3 6100 300/1100 1866 3MB 23W $315
Core i5-5257U 2/4 2.7 3.1 3.1 6100 300/1050 1866 3MB 23W $315
Core i3-5157U 2/4 2.5 N/A N/A 6100 300/1000 1866 3MB 23W $315

The base clock speeds are higher here, as are graphics clocks. Intel's cTDP mojo also allows power envelopes to be configured down from 28W to 23W across the board. And no, none of these processors support either vPro or TXT. Corporate customers will have to go with one of the 15W parts if they want those features.

Intel expects the first Broadwell-U-based systems to appear "online and on shelf" on January 18. Machines powered by the jumbo die will be a "little bit behind." (Intel says models with Iris graphics won't hit the market until "later on in the first quarter.") We can look forward to the first Broadwell-U-powered Chromebooks in February, as well.

For several reasons, Intel believes the Broadwell-U rollout will be its "fastest mobile transition ever." This is the first time the chipmaker has launched corporate and consumer offerings together, and it's also the first time Pentium and Celeron processors have come out alongside with their Core counterparts. Broadwell-U chips are priced similarly to their predecessors, and they're compatible with the same motherboards. Intel says we'll see "some chassis reuse" along with some "cool new designs."

Speaking of new designs, there's more to this launch than just processors. The Broadwell-U generational refresh represents the "start of the ramp" for RealSense and Wireless Gigabit technologies, Intel says. The company also foresees "wide deployment" of its Wireless Display technology this generation. The latest flavor of that technology, WiDi 5.1, adds support for business-friendly security and management features, full-screen DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 gaming, and display resolutions up to 4K. A new adapter compatible with WiDi 5.1, Actiontec's Mini2, recently became available for just $39.99.

What's next? Now that Broadwell-U is out, Intel still needs to fill out the Broadwell lineup with higher-wattage mobile and desktop parts. The company provided a rough timeline for those, saying Broadwell chips with thermal envelopes greater than 45W, including some quad-core models, will be out for desktops and notebooks in mid-2015. Offerings with Iris Pro graphics are scheduled for the same time frame, as well.

Comments closed
    • mczak
    • 5 years ago

    Contrary to what this article states, AES-NI is present according to ark.intel.com even on pentium and celeron models. I wonder what’s up with that, and also more wondering what about AVX/AVX2. Traditionally, intel would have omitted AVX and AVX2 (Haswell did that) on pentiums/celerons, but for some reason ark.intel.com lists AVX (but not AVX2 which clearly can’t be right for the core i chips) for all broadwell-u models.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 5 years ago

    I dare not ask how much will they charge for quad core mobile Broadwells.

    • lycium
    • 5 years ago

    Looks like a great GPU with integrated CPU!

    Very keen to see what they do with the L4 cache.

    • MephistoFoundHome
    • 5 years ago

    Those are some pretty high prices for dual core processors with alrightish graphics. I don’t care how efficient they are, charging $300+ for a 2.5GHz dual core unit is a rip off not matter how you look at it.

      • My Johnson
      • 5 years ago

      The segmentation is crazy too. It’s going to tough to figure out if the device you are looking at has the Broadwell-U you would like in the device.

      • mganai
      • 5 years ago

      Lower wattage mobile parts have always been a little more expensive.

    • rootheday3
    • 5 years ago

    re branding comment in 1st paragraph of article – “5th generation Core” branding not including Core M….

    My guess is that Intel is trying to clearly set performance and usage model expectations.

    Core M means 4-6W, mostly fanless ultra thin tablet/convertible designs. It has special packaging to get the z-height down; uses specially binned die for lowest leakage, etc. These are premium parts and outperform other competing SoCs (from Apple, Qualcomm, etc)

    But in every generation, the 4-6W “Y” sku parts will inevitably be clocked lower than the corresponding 15W+ Broadwell/Skylake/… parts and will have lower benchmark scores as a result – potentially even lower than the Pentium and Celeron branded parts from the 15W+ bracket.

    To avoid creating a pricing weirdness vs the Celeron/Pentium/Core i3, i5, i7 hierarchy, Core M is held out as a separate brand/product line with its own Y5xx, Y7xx hierarchy.

    Make sense?

      • VincentHanna
      • 5 years ago

      not a lick…

      Sounds like a ridiculously complicated method of justifying their over-pricing of 2.4 ghz processors.

      Am I wrong?

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 5 years ago

    The sad part is that there are going to be lots of people who will buy i7 laptops with cooling issues, 768p TN display, 5200 RPM HDDs, and fragile chassis.

    EDIT: Fun fact, HP Elitebook 840 allows you to OVERCLOCK an i7 4600U using Intel’s XTU. I know three people that got close to 3.5 GHz when running both cores. I wonder if that will happen again if HP updates their laptop with Broadwell/Skylake.

    The drawback is that the Radeon 8750M is severely crippled by strict power throttling.

    • w76
    • 5 years ago

    $426 for a dual-core chip? AMD, Nvidia, someone needs to really step it up.

      • anotherengineer
      • 5 years ago

      And the cheapest one to support LPDDR3-1866 is $315. So these will probably be in notebooks in the $750+ range with a crappy 1368×766 tn screen?

    • ptsant
    • 5 years ago

    According to SemiAccurate, the U variants only support 4 PCIe lanes, which will most probably be taken by storage and might not suffice for mobile GPUs.

    Any comments on that? Will there be Broadwell-U variants with adequate dGPU support? Or is this going to require external PCIe logic or something like that?

    I understand that the ultrabook market does not necessarily need dGPUs (both my notebooks don’t have dGPUs) but some users do buy “gaming” notebooks.

      • Hattig
      • 5 years ago

      I think that will be restricted to the desktop versions with higher TDPs coming later in the year (possibly over six months off).

      It would appear that Intel’s 14nm process is fine (adequate?) for smaller lower TDP chips, but is struggling with larger and/or higher TDP designs. In addition the reason to launch HD Graphics (12EU) chips at launch is to reclaim yield where half of the GPU is broken – otherwise you would try to sell it as a 24EU i3 as that commands more money (they even have a 23EU i3 SKU for those instances where the defect is purely within a single EU). And with the larger, higher TDP chips coming much later in the year…

      Luckily Intel has the resources to make up for these issues, and the ability to charge $400 for a dual-core chip despite less than stellar specifications. And competitors like AMD who couldn’t market their products to the world’s most gullible person.

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      You mean this article? [url<]http://semiaccurate.com/2015/01/05/intel-releases-15w-28w-broadwells/[/url<] Choice Quote: [quote<]Lets start out with what Broadwell is, essentially a 14nm shrink of Haswell that is a bit over a year late so far and the real versions arenโ€™t going to be out for another few months. [/quote<] Interesting: Let's do some math. "a bit over a year late": So Charlie expected Broadwell to be out in late 2013?? Lessee: Haswell launches mid-2013, so less than 6 months to go from the launch of Haswell to the full-bore launch of Broadwell or else Intel is now "late". I like it when Charlie posts something without the ludicrous $50/pop pay wall: It continues to prove my theory that he's a delusional idiot.

        • ptsant
        • 5 years ago

        Well, a casual google search reveals, from 2013:
        [url<]http://www.extremetech.com/computing/168799-intel-delays-broadwell-2014[/url<] I usually don't bother to confirm much of what I read on forums including semiaccurate (it's a source of amusement, not a job), but in this case I actually found a transcript from Intel's conference call in Q3 2013 discussing Broadwell delays: [url<]http://www.morningstar.com/earnings/57897627-intel-corp-q3-2013.aspx?pindex=3&qindex=4[/url<] Choice Quote: [quote<] Brian M. Krzanich - CEO: So we and our OEM partners have a strong desire to get Broadwell to the market. So if I could there would be nothing slowing me down. This is a small blip in schedule and we'll continue to on from here. [/quote<] So, I don't know when Broadwell was supposed to come out, but analysts were already asking about the delays in late 2013. Anyway, I'm not saying Charlie is right, but I'm wondering whether the dGPU has any future in the laptop. Any comments on that?

          • auxy
          • 5 years ago

          dGPUs haven’t been relevant in laptops for some time now. Sandy Bridge, at least, and even less so with the awesome mobile APUs.

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]TXT support is exclusive to just four products: the Core i7-5650U, i7-5600U, i5-5350U, and i5-5300U. [/quote<] Oh man, AMD is going to make a killing if Intel processors struggle to even open the README.TXT file....

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    Looking at the die shot of HD6000, I wonder how long it’ll be before Intel just gives up on dedicated x86 cores and emulates it on their GPU.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      Why would they? They’re already not dedicating much space to it – why mess with a good thing?

      (edit: looks to be around 35mm^2 if the die shot is perfect and the outlines are exact, or at least close to it)

        • Andrew Lauritzen
        • 5 years ago

        I wouldn’t necessarily count pixels on those die shots… I’m not an expert but these seem to tend more towards the “marketing die shot” photoshop end than the “modified picture” one.

        [EDIT] I asked a few folks I trust and apparently the Intel ones are fairly accurate in terms of sizes/layout. So yeah, kinda crazy… when do we start calling it a GPU with an integrated CPU? ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Klimax
          • 5 years ago

          When dGPU is released with some extra CPU cores… (IIRC NVidia is planning this for next architecture) or alternatively – we aren’t already there? ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Pwnstar
      • 5 years ago

      Wow, 35mm2 is crazy small.

      The problem with emulating a single core using lots of smaller cores is that some software cannot be broken up into many threads. You’ll have all the other cores waiting for a single thread to finish computing before they can continue.

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 5 years ago

    I was wondering why Intel might tout “+4% productivity” since that’s so small, then I realized it has to be the average CPU performance increase over Haswell.

    Last time we got marginal CPU performance and a smaller die, OCing suffered. I have a really bad feeling about desktop Broadwell.

      • willmore
      • 5 years ago

      Did you mention that it was going to be expensive, too?

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Add eDRAM and take away the power limits imposed by mobile uses and the Iris Pro 6100 starts to look interesting as a high-end HTPC box.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      Hopefully Intel actually releases some Iris Pro stuff on a socket this time around. They had the i5-4570R and i7-4770R, but they were soldered and not available to enthusiasts outside of mini barebones systems (and iMacs, I suppose). Basically they were mobile parts with desktop power consumption.

        • chuckula
        • 5 years ago

        [quote<]Hopefully Intel actually releases some Iris Pro stuff on a socket this time around.[/quote<] That's Broadwell-K.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 years ago

          With the eDRAM? I guess I’ve been snoozing. I expected Broadwell-K to just be unlocked Broadwell, similar to Haswell, Ivy Bridge, and Sandy Bridge. Guess this is interesting after all.

            • chuckula
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<]With the eDRAM?[/quote<] Yes, with the eDRAM. That's the most exciting feature and could give performance boosts on some non-graphics workloads too.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            Yeah, I remember Anandtech and TR both showed some big improvements for memory-intensive tasks. Will have to see how it makes my 3570K look (especially since mine is at 4.5GHz) but it’ll be fun to read regardless.

            • willmore
            • 5 years ago

            Same here, but mine didn’t overclock as well as yours–only 4.2GHz on my 3570K.

            If I hadn’t just gotten a nice MSI MB in socket 1150 for $29, I wouldn’t even care about anthing newer for a long time. Intel just isn’t focusing on any market segment I care about these days.

            Btw, $29 after rebate for an MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming was hard to pass up. It’ll be ridden by a little Celeron G1850 (hey, $22, it was hard to pass up!) until I see something better come along. As much as I like the MB, that little chip isn’t going to cut it on my desktop.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 5 years ago

            One of Intel’s enthusiast friendly announcements last year was the availability of Crystalwell on the desktop (as well as more models using the eDRAM cache overall).

            I honestly don’t understand why Intel isn’t launching a lot more Crystalwell parts because it’s just money in the bank for them.

      • ptsant
      • 5 years ago

      The high-end Iris Pro is quite expensive. As in CPU+dGPU expensive. Example: 4570T at 35W costs $200, nvidia 750Ti costs $150 while the cheapest Iris PRO with the SAME CPU clocks costs $434 and is rated 47W .

      If space/heat is not the biggest concern (which is what you are suggesting by removing the power limits), the dGPU performance will always be vastly superior. On the other hand, if performance is not required, why would you buy a high-end processor?

        • willmore
        • 5 years ago

        Yeah, Intel graphics on the desktop continue to make no sense to the consumer. If it’s just ‘good enough’ graphics, then they’re wasting a lot of very expensive silicon to do it. On a laptop it only makes some degree of sense. But on a desktop? Crazysauce.

          • UnfriendlyFire
          • 5 years ago

          They want to beat AMD at their own game of having a better GPU.

            • HERETIC
            • 5 years ago

            More likely-Need to keep CRapple happy……………….

            • LoneWolf15
            • 5 years ago

            Childish much?

          • srg86
          • 5 years ago

          Why? I’ve just built my new machine with a 4790K. I want fast CPU performance but the integrated graphics is just fine for my needs (KDE desktop effects zip by). It also meant I didn’t need the extra expense of a graphics card, which I will never use its potential anyway.

          Not everyone plays games on their desktop.

            • Pwnstar
            • 5 years ago

            As Ptsant points out, the Iris Pro is MORE expensive than a good CPU + discrete GPU.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            But as documented both here at TR and elsewhere, the eDRAM can be used as an enormous cache and in certain workloads really cranks up performance. If at least some of what you do relies on that, it could potentially be a big win, even if you don’ use the iGPU.

            • ptsant
            • 5 years ago

            Low-level benchmarks can be very impressive, but if it were cost-effective outside the GPU you can bet that the $3000 Xeon would have an eDRAM. I can imagine using the eDRAM in some situations, but it’s just Intel’s brute-forceway of improving GPU performance. It only works because they have excellent manufacturing (ie can spare the transistors) and can put it exclusively in the high end models that have nice fat margins. A much more interesting solution is die stacking and high bandwidth memory (HBM). Rumor has it that AMD will be the first to market with that. We’ll see.

            • chuckula
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<] but it's just Intel's brute-forceway of improving GPU performance.[/quote<] Uh... it's not exactly brute-force, it's more a law of GPUs with sufficient performance absolutely need the bandwidth to maintain that performance. HBM solves the same problem in pretty much the same way with the major exception that it isn't ready for use in a mobile package yet. As for HBM, our friends at AMD gave us video evidence that Chorrizo ain't got it, but there are rumors that it might appear later this year... on discrete AMD GPUs where it will replace the already expensive (and high bandwidth) GDDR 5. Don't assume that just because Intel already has a lead with eDRAM that it will never move past the current implementation.. there are rumors about the next-gen Xeon Phi that make a couple of HBM chips tacked onto a video card look like child's play.

            • ptsant
            • 5 years ago

            The 4790K does not come with Iris Pro graphics, only “basic” Intel graphics. The comment I was replying to was referring to the Iris Pro version. It’s the Iris Pro that does not make much sense: a costly iGPU is only interesting for the subgroup of users that do want GPU performance but also want the best possible thermals/power. It doesn’t make much sense otherwise (at least to me…).

        • Pwnstar
        • 5 years ago

        You nailed it.

    • sweatshopking
    • 5 years ago

    don’t think broadwell will get me to swap out my 4790k.

      • drfish
      • 5 years ago

      …or my 2600k… Oh well, at least displays are interesting again.

        • travbrad
        • 5 years ago

        Yep at this rate when I replace my 2500k I’ll be bringing it home in my flying car.

        • Laykun
        • 5 years ago

        …or my 980X. One of these days …

          • Ninjitsu
          • 5 years ago

          OR MY Q8400!

          Oh wait…

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            seriously though, for almost EVERYTHING even a q6600 is fast enough. Not for high end gaming, but everything else doesn’t really benefit from a faster cpu.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            Everyday consumer stuff sure, but real productivity stuff (compiling code, running parallel simulations and tests, etc. in my case) obviously benefits from newer and faster CPUs.

      • Milo Burke
      • 5 years ago

      I remember hearing you sold your desktop for a laptop. Does this mean you got another desktop? What happened to the laptop?

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        I sold it for a profit and then built a new tower.

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