You’ve been waiting for the highly anticipated 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor family, and it’s finally here. This processor microarchitecture group is the successor to Ivy Bridge, and will give users the ability to select a performance and choice of power that meets their unique requirements across the device spectrum of tablets, convertibles, Ultrabooks™, and desktops.
We got a glimpse of what was coming our way at the Intel® Developer Forum held April 10-11, 2013 in Beijing, China, where Ultrabooks™ were in the spotlight as new experiences based on the 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor family were announced:
"Ultrabooks based on the 4th generation Intel Core processor family will enable exciting, new computing experiences and all-day battery life delivering the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel's history," said Skaugen. "It will also bring to consumers a new wave of 'two-for-one' convertible and detachable systems that combine the best of a full PC experience with the best of a tablet in amazing new form factors." – Kirk Skaugen, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group
There are three major factors in this new processor family: amazing graphics, even more Ultrabook form factor designs, and low-power advances creating longer battery life. Touch capability will also be part of this new generation of devices, along with Intel® Wireless Display (Intel WiDi) enabled on all on all 4th generation Intel Core processor-based Ultrabook devices to allow people to quickly and securely stream content and apps from devices to the big screen.
The Ultrabook computing category was first introduced in 2011 with a 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor. This was ramped up greatly in 2012 with the addition of touch and mainstream price points, along with the 3rd generation Intel core processor. In 2013, we get to experience a 4th generation Intel Core processor and the concept of “2 for 1” computing; basically, we get to experience a table and a PC experience in one machine.
At IDF 2012 San Francisco, we learned that the next generation of Ultrabooks will use fourth generation Intel Core processors, built on the Haswell technology platform. These will enable not only a more robust battery life and increased processing power, but also enhanced media and graphics displays. With this new generation of processors comes increasingly higher level graphics support, including:
- 3D graphics with up to 2x performance
- integrated on-package EDRAM memory
- API support
- Display with new 3-screen collage display
- enhanced 4k x 2k support
- 2x bandwidth with display port 1.2
- Media with new faster Intel Quick Sync Video
- faster JPEG and MPEG decode
- new OpenCL 1.2 support
(Source: IDF Keynote)
Battery and power optimization
The battery life of Ultrabooks will be greatly increased with the Haswell processors; in fact, it’s set to be the biggest battery life increase in Intel history, compared to the 3rd generation Core™ processor. Battery life will be essentially doubled, with all-day battery life for Ultrabooks. Ultrabooks with Haswell configurations will also feature wireless charging and NFC capabilities, making that move to no cords even more of a reality. Power optimization and battery information will include:
- Whole platform power management framework, which includes 3rd party devices, CPU, PCH, and wireless
- Power savings at a low latency cost: S3 style power savings, SO style latency
- The reduction of closed-lid idle power from 20x over 2011
- Designed for Ultrabook: Y: Lowest power SoC for detachables
New processors are certainly something to cheer about since Ultrabooks will be even more powerful; however, this also opens the door for the Ultrabook to be even more innovative and interactive, since touch is required for all 2013 Ultrabooks.
Touch is becoming more expected in consumer devices, and more consumers than ever before are expecting touch as a standard addition to what they use to carry out computing tasks. In an Intel study of touch carried out in December of 2011, users chose touch nearly 80% of the time when given the choice between touch, keyboard, mouse, and track pad.
Definitely something to look forward to!
The experience you can expect from an Ultrabook with the new 4th generation core processor is, in a word, superior. These are extremely responsive machines that offer amazing performance, a natural UI with touch and voice, and AOAC (always on always connected) as a given. You also get to take advantage of Intel Identity Protection, anti-virus, facial log-in, vPro, and Small Business Advantage so your data is always safe. The machine itself is meant to be mobile, with all-day battery life, thinner lighter designs, and Intel Wireless Display. And let’s not forget that it just looks cool; great visuals, 2 in 1 convertibles and detachable form factors, not to mention a high res display.
Ultrabook as a PC category is continuing to drive market innovation; we’re seeing thinner form factors, intriguing designs (convertibles, detachable, etc.), and more natural human/computer interaction, such as voice control integration. Ultrabooks are able to deliver what is essentially a mobile computing experience; we’re looking at consumption usages similar to that of a smartphone or a tablet, with the productivity potential and sheer computing power of that of a full-blown PC. Is it a notebook or is it a tablet? The beauty of an Ultrabook is that it’s both.