by Anton Shilov
01/17/2013 | 10:36 PM
Intel Corp. on Thursday said it began production of its future-generation code-named Haswell microprocessors in the fourth quarter of 2012, as planned. The new chips that are made using 22nm process technology promise to revolutionize notebooks and ultrabooks as besides of increased performance they will feature lower power consumption.
“We started production of our next-generation micro-architecture product code-named Haswell, which we expect to qualify for sale this quarter. This production prior to qualification for sale resulted in an increase in [older-generation] inventory write-offs,” said Stacy Smith, chief financial officer of Intel, during quarterly conference call with financial analysts.
The fourth-generation Intel Core i “Haswell” processor family will enable true all-day battery life, representing the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel history, the company revealed earlier this month. Intel executives disclosed that new systems are expected to deliver up to 9 hours of continuous battery life. Thanks to higher performance and lower power consumption compared to predecessors, Intel Core i “Haswell” will be able to power new breed of laptops that will, among other advantages, feature touch-screens, voice recognition and gesture controls. Intel itself believes that ultrabooks powered by Haswell will revolutionize the market of mobile PCs in a similar way Centrino did a decade ago.
“In the first half of this year, we will launch Haswell, enabling one of the most significant changes to the PC since Centrino in 2003. Haswell was designed from the ground up to enable breakthrough innovation in form factor, battery life and usability. It will deliver the single largest generation-to-generation battery life improvement in Intel's history and it is inspiring a new wave of ultra-sleek, convertible, touch-based designs across our customer base,” said Paul Otellini, chief executive officer of Intel.
Intel pins a lot of hopes onto Haswell- and Broadwell-generations of its central processing units as both should enable new form-factors for client PCs, which should inspire demand from the end-users.
“I have seen the prototypes of the [new PC’s] industrial designs. They are really exciting products. Our customers have not had this level of performance in this kind of form-factor before. […] To some extent, we are branch predicting that [the new products] will generate sufficient excitement to keep the client growth going. […] We see renewed growth around these new form-factors,” said Mr. Smith.
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. On the micro-architectural level the Haswell chip is almost completely different compared to available solutions thanks to significantly improved parallelism as well as numerous new instructions to speed up specific workloads. 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 and so on.
Intel is expected to formally introduce Core i-series 4000-family “Haswell” microprocessors in late May or early June, 2013.