Intel hopes that its 4th generation Intel Core processor family available next year will set a new standard for mobile computing experiences and Ultrabook, convertible and tablet designs.
Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel chief product officer David Perlmutter said Intel reduced the platform idle power of its 4th generation Intel Core processor family based on the next-generation "Haswell" microarchitecture by more than 20 times over the 2nd generation while delivering outstanding performance and responsiveness. He also said Intel will add a new line of even lower-power processors based on the same microarchitecture to its roadmap starting in 2013.
"The 4th generation Intel Core processor family and our new line of low-power processors will usher in an era of unprecedented innovation in mobile computing," Perlmutter said. "Our focus to deliver even lower power with the great performance that our processors are known for is as fundamentally significant as when we shifted our development focus beyond sheer processor speed in 2001. As a result, you'll see our customers delivering sleek and cool convertible designs, as well as radical breakthrough experiences across a growing spectrum of mobile devices."
Intel said that more than 140 different Ultrabook designs are in development, a number of which are convertibles, with more than 70 powered by 3rd generation Intel Core processors available today.
When the company's 22nm 4th generation Intel Core processor family comes to the Ultrabook and other PCs in 2013, it will bring Intel HD graphics support, new instructions for faster encryption and performance, new hardware-based security features and low-power processor sub-states to enable longer battery life.
Intel's new low-power chips based on "Haswell" microarchitecture will broaden the company's mobile roadmap, initially operating at about 10 watts to enable thinner, lighter Ultrabook, convertible and tablet designs with better performance and battery life.
Haswell chips have been designed to power everything - from tablets to servers.
The new chips retain prior Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge microarchitecture features such as Hyper Threading, Turbo Boost and Ring Interconnect. They will be available in 2-core and 4-core versions, with GT1, GT2 and GT3 graphics cores. Intel says that Haswell achieves, twice the graphics performance of Ivy Bridge chips at the same power level.
In order to keep power low, Haswell adds a new set of idle states: S0ixOS. The Haswell platform is almost always in this S0ix active idle state and instantly switches between active and idle very quickly.
Haswell also supports the new Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (AVX2) instructions, which doubles the peak FP throughput - 4x and 2x the peak FP throughputs of Nehalem and Sandy Bridge, respectively.
Although the L1/L2 cache organization and size remain the same as Intel's last generation, Haswell has significantly imroved L1 cache (read , write posts are 32bits wide) and L2 cache bandwidth is doubled (1 read every cycle).
Regrading the Haswell GPU architecture, it is similar to Ivy Bridge. However, while CPUs can run at low voltage/low frequency; the GPU can now pull the ring up to feed the engines without pulling up the CPU voltage/frequency, meaning that Haswell totally decouples the ring from the CPU.
In addition, Intel has done significant improvements to the texture sampler, which has up to 4x more throughput fror some sampler modes.
Haswell's video processing capabilities have also been improved, with suport for 4Kx2K video acceleration, hardware based SVC codec, higher encode quality and faster Quick Sync with GT3.
Turning his attention to the full mobility spectrum, Perlmutter said that the next-generation Intel Atom processor (codenamed "Clover Trail") is coming soon. It is is a new system-on-chip (SoC) architected specifically for Windows 8. Based on Intel's 32nm process technology, it powers lightweight tablets and convertibles, and includes outstanding battery life and always-on technology.
Perlmutter also articulated the advantages of Intel-based Windows 8 devices, noting that Intel Atom- and Intel Core-based tablets and convertibles will deliver a range of new features from enhanced media capabilities, security built for enterprise vertical market solutions, and support for the breadth of applications written for Intel processors.
Perlmutter also invited the developer community to work with Intel to bring the next wave of perceptual computing capability to Intel Core-based platforms with the release of the company's first Intel Perceptual Computing Software Development Kit (SDK) beta. The SDK, targeted for release early next quarter, will enable hardware and software developers to bring gesture interaction, facial and voice recognition, and augmented reality to life on existing and future Intel Core processor-based Ultrabook systems and PCs.
Perlmutter also talked about progress made to bring voice recognition to the Ultrabook while showing a system running the Nuance Dragon Assistant Beta optimized for Intel Core processors. Dell plans to make the Dragon Assistant Beta available in the United States next quarter in its Dell XPS13 Ultrabook.