Intel released its fourth-generation 'Haswell' Core processors for mobile and desktops just yesterday. We took an in-depth look at the range-topping Core i7-4770K and surmised that, while an improvement over third-generation 'Ivy Bridge' chips with respect to absolute performance, Intel is really focussing on energy efficiency this time around.
Illustrating just this point at Computex 2013 in Taipei, Taiwan, Intel's performance analysis team ran through the some of the benefits of the low-power chips. Here's Eunice Chang explaining more.
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Demonstrating the typical power-draw of an Ultrabook equipped with a Core i5-4350U (15W) processor, it is interesting to note that the chip draws very little power when idling or running simple video-acceleration - Haswell can handle 4K decode with low CPU utilisation, mind. It is the other parts of the system that propel power-draw up to around 5.5W when handling a standard 1080p clip.
There's only so much lower Intel can push the under-load SoC power consumption in future mobile chips designed for thin, light devices, meaning it's important that display, memory, battery and storage manufacturers also improve efficiency for their respective components, because that's the only way we're likely to see a genuine 12-hour battery life.
Intel's performance team also went on to point out the merits of its Atom-based tablets, stating that real-world power consumption was similar to ARM-based tablets of broadly similar specifications. They hinted that upcoming Bay Trail tablets would provide Intel with performance-per-watt leadership in the fast-growing low-power space. Interestingly, an hour or so later at an ARM conference, the British company refuted such claims and laid out graphs and slides that showed that its present-generation Cortex-A15 SoCs were more power-efficient than Intel's next-generation. Lies, damn lies and statistics springs to mind. Let the mobile benchmarking war commence.