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Intel Looking to Cut Power Consumption on Future Ivy Bridge Chips

CNET reports that Intel is hard at work on reducing the power consumption of its Ivy Bridge chips, opening the door to use of the chips in mainstream tablets and reducing battery needs on small notebooks such as the MacBook Air.
Intel will cut power consumption "significantly" for future versions of the chip, an industry source familiar with the chipmaker's plans told CNET.

Intel's most power efficient Ivy Bridge chips today -- used widely in Windows ultrabooks and Apple's MacBook Air -- are rated at 17 watts.

A future version of Ivy Bridge would be rated well below this, the source said.
Intel has already previewed its next-generation Haswell chips that will push power consumption to as low as 10 watts initially, but it seems that Intel is moving to reduce power needs for its chips even before Haswell hits the market.

With future Ivy Bridge and Haswell chips becoming feasible for tablets with their reduced power consumption, there have been rumors that Apple could consider Intel chips for at least the iPad, although Apple seems dedicated to its own ARM-based chip designs for its mobile devices. But with Apple said to be looking to shift away from Samsung for production of its A-series chips, the company is said to be looking at TSMC and Intel as future chip foundry options.

In a research note issued last week, RBC analyst Doug Freedman claimed that Apple is already in talks with Intel on a deal that could see Intel producing A-series chips for the iPhone while Apple shifts to Intel's x86 platform for the iPad.

Top Rated Comments

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22 months ago
You've GOT to be kidding me.

First we see rumors of ARM on Mac. Now we're seeing rumors of x86 on iPad?

People are getting a little bit too crazy with their imaginations IMO. Without hard proof that Apple is working on this, I'd say its much more realistic that Apple is targeting these lower power chips for the MacBook Air line, which only further diminishes the chance that ARM has in competing in the Mac lineup.
Rating: 20 Votes
22 months ago
This means a lot more for the Surface Pro than the iPad. It certainly seems more likely that macs will be shifting towards Arm, not iPads towards X86.
Rating: 9 Votes
22 months ago
These ARM discussions are always great at showing who knows what they're talking about and who doesn't.

Do you honestly think Intel couldn't whip up a processor as low powered and cool as an ARM processor? It's like saying Bugatti couldn't build a scooter, because they're only good at making big engines for cars.

The only reason they've never done it before is because they've never had to. ARM is a decent processor, great for what they're used for, and I applaud the fact they're finally kicking Intel around enough in the mobile sector that they've finally decided to start focusing on efficiency rather than yet more speed enhancements.

...but ARM chips aren't that much better. As has been pointed out here by people who know even more than me, an ARM chip running as quick as an Intel chip would consume just as much power. There's no real advantage between the two. Once ARM finds a way to eek as much power out of their chips with as low a power usage and heat dissipation as possible, and Intel works in reverse, finding ways to make their fast chips more energy efficient, there will be no real reason to prefer one over the other on a pure spec basis.

It's around that's when things will start getting really interesting.
Rating: 8 Votes
22 months ago
I love the future. I love how virtually every aspect of all this technology enjoy everyday inches forward. Faster speeds, less power consumption, higher resolutions, brighter screens, smaller form factors, smarter operating systems, faster connections... Love it!

I grew up on Stat Trek and assorted scifi, it's all unfolding right in front of me and I think thats simply wonderful!
Rating: 5 Votes
22 months ago
So, is this code for "Delays expected for Haswell release.".
Rating: 5 Votes
22 months ago

An ipad5 with an IB CPU? Sounds good on paper, but do we really need that much power in an iPad? The 4 has proved to be just about the perfect balance of battery life and performance. Be interesting to see if Apple do produce an iPad with the new lower wattage IB on board though.


No, the only thing we need is 640 kb of ram ;)
Rating: 5 Votes
22 months ago
Why the hell would an iPad EVER run x86?

Steve Jobs would laugh at the idea.
Rating: 5 Votes
22 months ago

Interesting if true. I initially thought Apple might move completely to ARM but perhaps the ongoing legal battles with Samsung have pushed Apple further into the arms of Intel. Two possibilities: either Apple is looking toward ARM for its entire lineup and wants Intel to dab for them (I suspect Intel's fear of ARM and desire to enter that space may lead them to try to team up with Apple--license Apple's technology?) or Apple is dissatisfied with current progress of ARM chips and is planning to go Intel across the board (in which case Intel would be willing to meet Apple's demands for lower power consumption and better integrated graphics to fend off advances in ARM technology). Either way, this seems to be Apple's response to Microsoft's Surface Pro.

I don't think Apple is dissatisfied with ARM. The A6 is very solid and gives Apple a competitive edge.
Rating: 5 Votes
22 months ago
I think the processors being used in the iPads now give ample power for what they do. This is just Intel trying to keep their feet in the door.
Rating: 5 Votes
22 months ago
So we should expect to see this in a Mac in what, 2 years time?...
Rating: 4 Votes

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