Intel Haswell Chips Power Systems From HP, Dell, Lenovo, Others
At Computex, Intel officials said the fourth-generation Core chips were the first built from the ground up for Ultrabooks—ultra-thin and light notebooks championed by Intel. They also will support Intel vPro security and management technology. The chips will consume as low as 6 watts of power, enabling systems makers to create a wider range of thinner, lighter, cooler and fanless designs, according to Intel officials. "Fourth-generation Intel Core processors offer the most significant gain in battery life enabling ever achieved by Intel, up to double the graphics and significant CPU performance improvements that are delivering exciting new consumer experiences," Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client Group, said in a statement. "Today's announcement accelerates a new category of two-in-one computing devices delivering the best of a notebook and a tablet in amazing new form factors." Systems with the quad-core versions of the Haswell chips are available now, with two-in-ones, Ultrabooks and other systems planned for the summer. Products with the chips that support vPro will come later this year.Another challenge is whether systems powered by the Haswell chips will include the kinds of apps and widgets found on Apple's App Store and Google's Play online store. "Tens of millions of users have become accustomed to and enthusiastic about apps, resulting in billions of dollars in revenues for developers and vendors," he said. "But with Microsoft's Windows-based app efforts lagging so far behind other players, it would behoove Intel to consider ways to integrate and support alternative app platforms and developers in the Core ecosystem." Intel's low-power Atom platform is already optimized to run Google's Android mobile operating system.
Pund-IT's King said that there are some issues that Intel will have to overcome for the fourth-generation Core chips to be successful. One of those is Microsoft. He said the software giant "seems to have set a new bar for product design/launch bumbling" with the new OS, which was launched in October 2012. "But if rumors of a Windows 8 redesign (with a return of the Start button and relegation of the Metro interface to a toolbar option) are true, a refreshed Microsoft OS could significantly bolster sales of Haswell-based products," King wrote.