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Intel Discusses Y Chips For Tablets

Intel has discussed its vision for the company's recently unveiled Y series chips designed for tablets.

"We believe...detachables are fundamentally different," Adam King, Intel's director of notebook marketing, told Cnet, referring to laptop designs with displays which can be removed from the base to become standalone tablets.

"The point of differentiation is that the processor is...behind the glass. Detachables we think of as a tablet first. Because when you take it out of the base, it better be a pretty good tablet or the user is going to be disappointed. If you're going behind the glass, you need the Y processor."

He referred to Microsoft's forthcoming Surface Pro tablet as a good example of the kind of device suitable for a Y series chip. "Getting it behind the glass is more challenging because you want a thin design there and you've got all of the heat coming from the LCD so it's much more thermally challenging to put it behind glass (than under the keyboard)."

King also described the new power rating for its Y chips, which he admitted required "more context". "TDP is designed to light up as much of the [chip] as possible. The reality is that 99.9 percent of users will never actually stress their system to that level. So there's actually a big margin of safety built into TDP."

"For the devices that we're targeting, as they move to more content-consumption (tablet-use) workloads, it doesn't make sense anymore to just give guidance to our OEMs on that extreme-set-point TDP definition. SDP is a workload that represents a more mainstream workload. For the Y processor line we'll talk about SDP because that's really the primary design point that makes sense for the kind of devices that use those processors."

SDP will now only be applied to Y series chips including future Haswell processors. TDP, meanwhile, will continue to be utilized more for U and M series processors that require more power.

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