First Details About Intel Haswell Emerge: 2-4 Cores, New Graphics Core, DDR3, Low Power

Intel Set to Continue Aggressively Lowering Processor Power Consumption with Haswell

by Anton Shilov
11/09/2011 | 11:05 PM

The very first details about the actual microprocessors based on code-named Haswell micro-architecture for mainstream desktops and notebooks have emerged on the Internet. Instead of increasing the number of cores inside its microprocessors, Intel Corp. will continue to improve efficiency to boost performance amid aggressive lowering of power consumption of chips.


Intel Haswell microprocessors for mainstream desktops and laptops will be structurally similar to existing Core i-series "Sandy Bridge" and "Ivy Bridge" chips and will continue to have two or four cores with Hyper-Threading technology along with graphics adapter that shares last level cache (LLC) with processing cores and works with memory controller via system agent, according to a slide (which resembles those from Intel) published by ChipHell web-site. On the micro-architectural level the chip will be a lot different: its x86 cores will be based on the brand new Haswell micro-architecture and its graphics engine based on Denlow architecture will support such new features as DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 3.2+ and so on.

The processors that belong to the Haswell generation will continue to rely on dual-channel DDR3/DDR3L  memory controller with DDR power gating support to trim idle power consumption. The chip will have three PCI Express 3.0 controllers, Intel Turbo Boost technology with further improvements, power aware interrupt routing for power/performance optimizations and other improvements. What is important is that Haswell-generation chips will sport new form-factors, including LGA 1150 for desktops as well as rPGA and BGA for laptops.

The new processors for mobile applications will continue to have thermal design power between 15W and 57W (15W, 37W, 47W and 57W) for ultra low-voltage and extreme edition models, respectively; while desktop chips will have TDP in the range between 35W and 95W, just like today. However, in a bid to open the doors to various new form-factors, such as ultrabooks, Intel implemented a number of aggressive measures to trim power consumption further even from the levels of Ivy Bridge, including power aware interrupt routing for power/performance optimizations, configurable TDP and LPM, DDR power gating, power optimizer (CPPM) support, idle power improvements, latest power states, etc.

The most important improvements of Haswell are on the level of x86 core micro-architecture. It is believed that the new MA will be substantially different from current Nehalem/Sandy Bridge generations, which will enable further scalability and performance increases. Besides, Haswell will support numerous new instructions, including AVX2,  bit manipulation instructions, FPMA (floating point multiple accumulate) and others. Denlow graphics core of Haswell will also sport substantially boosted performance and will also be certified to run many professional applications.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.