Published in Processors

Intel previews Broadwell Core M

14nm enables fanless Core notebooks

Intel previewed its upcoming Broadwell processor at an event in Santa Clara on Monday. The new Core M processor line is Intel’s first 14nm big core.

Products based on Broadwell Core M chips should start to appear towards the end of the year, but the silicon gods were not too kind to Intel. The chipmaker was forced to delay the processor last year, citing yield issues.

Intel says its 14nm yields are still not on a par with 22nm yields, but it hopes to close the gap over the next two to three quarters.

Broadwell Core M products coming soon

Intel’s decision to go ahead with the Broadwell rollout in late 2014 surprised some industry observers.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich made the announcement back in May. It soon emerged that Intel’s first Broadwell parts would essentially be a stripped down version of the new chip.

One of the compromises involves graphics. Intel will not use its latest graphics cores on the first batch of Broadwell parts.

Here are some Broadwell Core M selling points in plain numbers. The packaging is 50 percent smaller and 30 percent thinned than that used on Haswell mobile parts. In addition, the Broadwell parts feature a 60 percent reduction in idle power consumption.

In any case, the first products should be in shops in time for the holidays, so it sounds like an acceptable compromise.

Broadwell paves the way to fanless Core notebooks

Broadwell showcased an ultrathin reference design at the presentation. At just 7.2 millimetres it is thinner than most smartphones and tablets on the market today.

Thanks to the new manufacturing process, Intel can essentially squeeze desktop-class performance into very thin form factors. Intel VP Rani Brokar stressed that Broadwell will enable 2-in-1s thinner than 9 millimetres.

Of course, most designs will end up a bit thicker, but many Broadwell mobile parts should end up very efficient, thus allowing for truly fanless notebook and hybrid designs.

Borkar said Broadwell Y-series processors will finally bring Core performance to fanless systems.

Details are still sketchy, but we did manage to find out a few specs for Core 5Y70 and this is what Intel's three lines of Broadwell mobile parts should look like. 

Last modified on 12 August 2014
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