TAIPEI — Intel's President Renée James gave a keynote address at Computex that highlighted Intel's close and historic ties to the Taiwanese PC business and how the company is leveraging those connections to gain a bigger slice of the tablet market. Intel continues to stress its process technology and used this event to announce the mobile processor based on the 14 nm Broadwell chip -- the Intel Core M processor.
While no technical details were given for the part, James also demonstrated the part in an Intel reference design for a "two-in-one" hybrid notebook/tablet. The design is only 7.2 mm (0.28 inches) thick and only weighs 670 gm (1.5 lbs) with the keyboard detached. It achieves the thin design by going fanless.
The so-called Llama Mountain platform uses a 12.5 inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixel) display from Sharp. Asus will ship a version of the reference design as the Transformer T300 Chi. Eliminating the fan saves space above the processor, but can only be achieved by keeping active power below just a few watts.
This is a major milestone for Intel's Core family and does overlap with the low-power Atom-based BayTrail processors, which can also be used in fanless designs. But the Atom chips lack the single-thread performance of Intel's Core processors and do not have the same graphics performance. No date was given to production shipments.
Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel's PC client group, holds up the Llama Mountain platform, a fanless mobile PC reference design based on Intel's 14nm Core M processor.
For Intel, its greatest advantage is using its process technology to integrate more functions into one piece of silicon. The company's 14 nm products are scheduled to ship later this year, and James says Intel can "see clear to 10 nm."
With its process lead, Intel expects to deliver lower power and higher performance than existing products -- although not always at the same time. James contends that process development fuels the IT industry.
Still, the rest of the mobile processor industry is doing quite nicely with 28 nm. James's keynote also didn't account for innovation in design, like heterogeneous computing, that can deliver more performance with less power and fewer transistors.
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