Core M Broadwell Speeds, Feeds, And Performance

Power and Performance

Power and performance are easily the two biggest challenges that Intel faces with pushing 14nm Broadwell into new form factors. No one doubts that Intel can deliver a superior product with its new process technology, but is it superior enough to compete with new hardware from ARM in the tablet arena? Will these systems hit prices that consumers find competitive?

Here, Intel lays out some of its plans for hitting that target. The green triangle with the arrow to the left and bottom is the sweet spot -- these are the areas the company is aiming to hit with its Broadwell Y parts. Generally speaking this corresponds to many of the higher-end 2-in-1s and some of the ultrabooks we've seen ship in recent years -- small systems, extremely lightweight, but that pack more horsepower than your conventional Atom-based machine.

Again, Intel is waving the flag on its own year-on-year advances where power consumption and overall performance are concerned. The company has good reason to be proud -- Intel has steadily slashed the minimum TDP of its processors for years, down nearly 75% from where they sat in 2010.

There are gains everywhere, but the biggest are popping up in video conversion and gaming. This isn't necessarily surprising -- AMD and Intel have both found it easier to pump up the performance of their integrated solutions for the past few years as CPU cores have made more modest improvements. What's truly impressive, in Intel's case, is that the company has drastically slashed TDPs while simultaneously improving CPU performance as well.

However, improving CPU power consumption is just one facet of building a better platform. As CPUs draw less and less power in absolute terms, their percentage contribution to the total platform power consumption diminishes as well. That means manufacturing partners have to focus on the entire platform -- rather than just one component -- to continue boosting lifespan and capabilities over time.  In short, however, Core M Broadwell gains from a platform standpoint, across a number of use-cases noted here, are sizable and easily observable to the end user.

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