Intel Chips to Become More Power Efficient

December 3, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Intel is planning to bring in chips that devour less power so as to reduce energy consumption and cost. They are going to go ahead with their current line of Ivy Bridge processors instead of waiting for the next generation.

The future versions of the chip will reportedly bear significant reductions in power consumption. The chip giant’s most power efficient Ivy Bridge processors are used in Apple MacBook Air and Windows Ultrabooks, and these are rated at 17 watts.

The future versions are supposed to rate well below this. This, sources say, would pave way for the implementation of the chips in tablets.

Microsoft is already said to be powering its Surface Pro tablet with an Ivy Bridge Core i5. But this chip is expected to have a power rating of 17 watts and not below the existing mark.

Intel’s Z2760 system-on-a-chip is preferred by most of the Most 10- and 11-inch class Windows 8 tablets and tablet-like products (HP Envy x2). But this processor doesn’t reach the performance mark of the Ivy Bridge, even though it is a very power efficient chip.

Because of the performance lag, some PC makers refrain from using it. As it is nowadays, low wattage will give a longer battery life and a thinner product.

ARM-based tablets are an example, as they are very thin, at around 0.3-inches, and weigh less than a pound. The performance is also rated below 2 watts, which give these devices a healthy battery life.

Intel “x86” chips cannot reach up to the level of power efficiency as provided by ARM chips, but they are considerably more powerful. Which is why Microsoft brought out two versions of the Surface Tablet.

Intel has already announced its plans of building their power efficient, next-gen chips. Code-named Haswell, these are supposed to be rated below 10 watts, which will cut down the power consumption by 41 percent.

The company, though, did not give any hints on the new Ivy Bridge chips. Since we are only a few weeks before the New Year, I don’t suppose we will be seeing anything new this year.

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