Sunday, Sep 21, 2014

Computex 2014: Everything you need to know about Intel Core M processor

Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC client group, shows the Llama Mountain reference design at Computex 2014 in Taipei. (Source: Express photo by Nandagopal Rajan) Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC client group, shows the Llama Mountain reference design at Computex 2014 in Taipei. (Source: Express photo by Nandagopal Rajan)
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Taipei | Posted: June 4, 2014 8:21 pm

I have always felt that the tablet hybrids that we have been seeing for the past couple of years of so have been a bit underpowered for you to really start considering it better than a tablet. On the other hand, the Ultrabook convertibles have been a bit too large and heavy to start replacing tablets.

All that could change once the first devices powered by Intel’s Core M processor starts hitting store shelves across the world by the end of this year. This processor is meant primarily for fanless, low-power 2-in-1 designs, what Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC client group, calls “razor thin PC meets super fast tablet”.

“We are taking core level of performance into a fanless envelope, something we have never done before,” explained Navin Shenoy, vice president of the PC Client Group and General Manager of Mobile Client Platform Division on the sidelines of Computex 2014 in Taipei.

Intel is still a bit cagey about the details of the processor, but the first Core M device has been announced by Taiwan’s Asus, a superthin 2-in-1 called the Transformer T300 Chi. With the keyboard detached, it is 7.3mm thin, a shade over Intel’s Llama Mountain reference design, a 12.5-inch QHD (2460x1440p) display that weighs only 670 grams. There is a 10-inch design too, weighing just 550 grams and standing 6.8mm tall.

The Llama Mountain reference design alongside other new 2-in-1s at Computex 2014 in Taipei. (Source: Express photo by Nandagopal Rajan) The Llama Mountain reference design alongside other new 2-in-1s at Computex 2014 in Taipei. (Source: Express photo by Nandagopal Rajan)

But Shenoy says it is unlikely that you will see Core M in devices smaller than this. However, there are chances of thin laptops being powered by this new processor. “If pure performance is important there will be 2-in-1 running Core i5 or i7 and there will be Baytrail devices for those who have price considerations,” Shenoy told IndianExpress.com, explaining how a variety of Intel SoCs will be available in this category.

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The 14-nanometer Core M processor package based on Broadwell is about a third the size of Haswell and comes with a smaller motherboard too. It will have to have a thermal design power (TDP) of under 5w to go fanless. “This will be the highest performing fanless product in the world. Period,” Shenoy summed up.

More specifications of the processor and price points of the devices running on it would be know closer towards the actual launch date.

Earlier, David McCloskey, Intel’s Director of Operations, Asia Pacific & Japan, told IndianExpress.com that this product was the culmination of the multi-year journey that they talked about while launching ultrabooks around three years back. “For us, we are within a six month window of finally achieving a peak of what we have been chasing all along. This is the first product that is truly designed for the Ultrabook two in one,” he added.

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