Intel’s Haswell platform to offer more performance, while using less power

/ 4 years ago

Intel’s upcoming Haswell platform has received a bucket load more information at the company’s Intel Developer Forum, where Intel has committed to some lofty goals for the fourth-generation Core micro-architecture, code-named Haswell.

A Technology Insight session was held with Intel senior man himself Tom Piazza, who joined Hong Jiang and Per Hammarlund, also of Intel, as well as Senior Principal Engineer Ronak Singhal, who gave a very detailed explanation of the new technology being baked into Haswell.

Haswell will replace the third-generation Ivy Bridge gear in the first half of 2013, in both desktops and laptops. The talk explained how Haswell’s technology innovations will help it grow further than most people would expect, but Intel really drove home the power consumption abilities of the new wonderchip. Haswell can function as high up as servers, right down to the smart devices we hold in our hands, and everything in between.

Intel’s power savings numbers are going to be a huge factor in this, and a major part of this is the new graphics system. Intel is talking about Haswell’s graphics performance to double the current IVB-based graphics, all at the same power level. This will provide the same performance, at half the power consumption. Singhal pushed that Intel are going for “all-day experiences”, meaning that power management improvements will be made, no matter if the system is active, or idle.

Active (S0) and sleep (S3 and S4) states now use less power than default, with Active (S0) doing so with Turbo Boost improvements that enable more turbo with better load balancing, as well as a decoupling frequency that helps the chip devote improved power or performance to the application that requires it most. Sleep (S3 and S4) use optimised power delivery to enable fine-grain power gating and additional optimisations in the manufacturing process, that also helps the system resume from sleep much quicker.  There’s also a new extremely low-power state called S01x.

Intel is working in other areas in order to reduce power consumption, with technologies such as Panel Self Refresh (PSR). PSR will shut down video processing when the image is static, and doesn’t change, as well as adding new link power management states to frequently used systems like USB, SATA and PCI Express.

Intel are putting forward quite the claim, that these new technologies and methods will usher in a 20x improvement in power usage from the previous generation of CPUs. This power consumption saving would result in battery life improvements, something that Intel is very, very committed on with their Ultrabook and tablet ranges that are hitting shelves, and will continue to do so over the years.