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Intel: Haswell Provides 50% More Battery Life in Notebooks

By - Source: IDG News Service | B 28 comments

Rani Borkar, corporate vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, said in a media briefing on Thursday that Intel's upcoming family of "Haswell" Core mobile processors will provide 50 percent more battery life in laptops than the previous Ivy Bridge generation. That's because the chips were designed with the power-saving needs of notebooks and tablets in mind.

But let's get real here for a moment: the CPU is just one of many power-hungry components in a laptop. To get a significant jump in battery life, the display will need to be more efficient too. However Haswell will supposedly make a noticeable difference thanks to new low power states, a full-integrated voltage regulator, faster interconnects and 20 nm process technology.

Intel claims Haswell will perform even better when in idle or standby mode, extending battery life by up to 20 times than what current processors can manage on laptops and hybrids. Borkar told reporters in the media briefing that there won’t be a tradeoff of performance for longer battery life with Haswell chips. Even more, they'll offer double the graphics performance for laptops and up.

Intel is slated to launch the new Haswell processors next month during COMPUTEX 2013 in Taipei. They're an attempt to throw the PC sector a lifeline as it struggles against the more power-efficient, more mobile and lightweight tablet and smartphone segments. Haswell will not only offer longer battery life, but encourage more hybrid solutions with touchscreens and detachable keyboards.

Haswell represents an update to Intel's instruction set architecture which it delivers every two years. Borkar said that a Haswell-based tablet will offer similar battery life to a non-Intel tablet, but more performance than a "content consumption" device. Some chips will go as low as 7 watts whereas some of the current-generation Ivy Bridge Core chips can go as low as 10 watts.

Haswell's low-power consumption is partly due to an on-chip power management unit which provides an overall view of energy consumption on the chip. This unit dynamically adjusts the power in various parts of the chip to reduce its overall power draw. Voltage regulators have also been consolidated, enabling smaller Haswell-based motherboards that can be mounted in smaller form factors.

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  • 6 Hide
    slomo4sho , May 25, 2013 3:15 PM
    I'll wait for actual benchmarks instead of these marketing claims.
  • 0 Hide
    smeezekitty , May 25, 2013 3:28 PM
    Thats nice to have. But I think it is time to start working on more efficient backlights.
    LED provides an alternative to CCFL and it should be more efficient.
  • 0 Hide
    southernshark , May 25, 2013 3:37 PM
    I suspect strongly that the difference will be more noticeable in cell phones. I doubt the notebooks are going to be effected that much. And for myself my notebook will still need a GPU, because I'm not using Intel's. I'm also a little suspicious of this claim until we see real world testing. More likely than not Intel means 50 percent less energy, "sometimes" rather than all the time (or rather than a gross savings of 50 percent which would require more than 50 percent savings some of the time).
  • 0 Hide
    stige , May 25, 2013 4:22 PM
    Haswell based Surface Pro, ASAP please.....
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , May 25, 2013 4:44 PM
    I don't care what the idle power-saving properties of a processor are. I care about overall in-use power savings. Most processors are already as power-efficient as need be for idle states. But users care about usage states. Claims that the CPU will have THAT big of an impact are...awaiting confirmation...

    My smartphone lasts days and days without using the screen. But start using it for things like web browsing and media-watching, and you're lucky to get a day's use thanks to the screen.
  • 0 Hide
    DRosencraft , May 25, 2013 5:07 PM
    Yeah, will wait to see real-world tests. I expect there will significant power savings, but I'm a little skeptical they'll get that much.
  • 0 Hide
    Fulgurant , May 25, 2013 5:24 PM
    Quote:
    Yeah, will wait to see real-world tests. I expect there will significant power savings, but I'm a little skeptical they'll get that much.


    Right. There won't be a 50% increase in battery life because, as the article mentioned, the CPU is only one component. Still, it's a pretty impressive achievement, even if the CPU-power savings only translate into a 10-15% increase in battery life overall.
  • 0 Hide
    swordrage , May 25, 2013 5:56 PM
    They said it already. What about the usb3 issue? That could have been a news of interest.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , May 25, 2013 6:11 PM
    Quote:
    Thats nice to have. But I think it is time to start working on more efficient backlights.
    LED provides an alternative to CCFL and it should be more efficient.

    CCFL has been out of fashion for years already. The majority of laptops across all price segments have switched to LED over a year ago.

    But backlighting itself is inherently inefficient since you generate white light but then scrap 2/3 of the light by passing it through RGB filters for each individual subpixel and then waste 50-100% of the remaining light by blocking it with a polarized crystal matrix. So, while the WLED backlight may be twice as efficient as CCFL, about 90% of the light produced is wasted on average. That's not counting losses within the backlight diffuser itself, bleeding around edges, coupling losses between LEDs and diffuser, etc.

    If you want to increase efficiency, you have to ditch backlighting altogether and use emissive technologies like OLED then work on improving those technologies' efficiency, brightness and durability.
  • 1 Hide
    wdmfiber , May 25, 2013 7:01 PM
    Haswell is 22 nm tech, not 20.
  • 1 Hide
    amuffin , May 25, 2013 7:13 PM
    More performance per watt! :D 
  • 0 Hide
    marshal11 , May 25, 2013 7:51 PM
    Up to 50%? Sounds way too good to be true. I'd expect around 25% on average which is pretty awesome, nevermind 50%.
  • 0 Hide
    Mike Friesen , May 25, 2013 9:24 PM
    Is this news? More like olds....
  • -1 Hide
    nebun , May 25, 2013 9:25 PM
    how about designing better batteries and not cut down performance
  • 4 Hide
    marshal11 , May 25, 2013 9:48 PM
    Quote:
    how about designing better batteries and not cut down performance


    How about reading the entire article?
  • 0 Hide
    x2ruff4u , May 26, 2013 3:11 AM
    Hell...it's about time.
  • -2 Hide
    Cryio , May 26, 2013 4:50 AM
    Let's see now:
    50% more battery life in standby
    70% faster integrated GPU (maybe 100%)
    5% faster CPU performance
    5% better battery life while on-use.
    At least from a performance perspective, it doesn't look like AMD will have too much of a problem catching up, CPU or APU-wise.
  • 2 Hide
    InvalidError , May 26, 2013 7:36 AM
    Quote:
    how about designing better batteries and not cut down performance

    There is a fundamental problem with that: battery chemistries have intrinsic limits so unless you can break the laws of physics, you cannot go beyond that. Also keep in mind that higher power densities usually call for more potent reactants which are more likely to spontaneously ignite or explode so this rules out a whole class of high-energy chemistries.

    In other words, do not expect cost-efficient intrinsically safe batteries to get much better than they already are.

    Also, even if you had an infinite-power battery, you would still want a highly power-efficient APU in your tablet - I doubt anybody would want a scorching-hot tablet from 200W getting heatsinked into its chassis... even the Tegra3's 3-4W in my Nexus7 is already enough to make the SoC area uncomfortably hot for my taste when playing games for more than a few minutes at a time.

    While more battery power may be nice, I would be far more interested in reducing power draw and associated temperature gradients across the frame.
  • -1 Hide
    matthelm , May 26, 2013 8:20 AM
    So, I glue on of these chips to the outside of my laptop, and I get 50% more battery life. ;-) (just being silly)
  • 1 Hide
    hector2 , May 27, 2013 12:40 AM
    Quote:
    At least from a performance perspective, it doesn't look like AMD will have too much of a problem catching up, CPU or APU-wise.

    What kind of kool-aid are you drinking ?

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