Intel announces Broadwell Core family plans

January 5, 2015 // 3:56 p.m.

Tags: #14nm #broadwell #core #core-i3 #core-i5 #core-i7 #haswell #intel-graphics-hd #intel-iris #processor #wireless-ac-7265

Intel has announced its plans for fifth-generation Broadwell Core processors for desktop and laptop systems, following its partial launch in the Core-M family late last year.

In a briefing with press, Intel claimed that the move from the current-generation Haswell microarchitecture to Broadwell will be the 'fastest transition in Intel's history.' The launch is described as 'full line-up' with Intel's varying hardware partners promising machines based on everything from Broadwell-based Celerons up to Core-i7 chips at launch for both the consumer and corporate markets. Additional launches will, Intel has promised, take place throughout the year, culminating in late-2015 with the release of laptops featuring the top-end Intel Iris embedded graphics processing hardware and support for the company's wireless gigabit networking standard.

Describing itself as 'on track for a healthy 14nm [process node] ramp,' the company claims to have put its production problems behind it with no issues expected for mass production of mainstream Broadwell parts. Both desktop and laptop processors have been announced by the company: a family of 15W ultra-low-power variants starts with the Celeron 3205U and its dual-1.5GHz cores and Intel HD Graphics and tops out with the Core i7-5650U with two 2.2GHz cores, Intel HD Graphics 6000 and HyperThreading support; for those with higher power demands, the 28W family starts with the Core i3-5157U with two 2.5GHz cores, Iris Graphics 6100 and HyperThreading, and tops out at the Core i7-5557U with two 3.1GHz cores, the same graphics cores with a tweaked upper frequency limit and HyperThreading.

Details of the desktop variants, which will be available in thermal design profiles (TDPs) up to 45W initially, have yet to be released. Each Core-family model will additionally include an integrated digital signal processor (DSP) core, building on the simple MP3/AAC I2S codec featured in the Haswell family with additional support for Waves and DTS post-processing and wake-on-voice - tying in to the company's plans for OEMs to licence Siri-style voice recognition technology.

Intel has made some bold claims for its latest chips: in its press briefing, the company claimed thast the Core i7-5600U offers 22 per cent improved 3D graphics performance, 50 per cent faster video conversion and up to 1.5 hours of usage per charge compared to the Haswell-based Core-i7-4600U it replaces. For small form factor customers, another major benefit can be found in the die itself: the switch to a 14nm process size means a 37 per cent decrease in die size from 131mm² to 82mm² - despite a rise in the number of transistors from 960 million to 1.3 billion.

The new chips are to be joined by Intel's latest wireless hardware, the Wireless-AC 7265 module. According to the company's internal testing, this M.2 1216 module provides a 50 per cent idle and 30 per cent active power reduction and 15 per cent better peak data throughput along with lengthened range and improved reliability.

Pricing for machines based around the new parts, as well as retail availability of the desktop processor variants, has yet to be confirmed with more information expected from Intel and its partners during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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