Intel has provided the first details about the new Haswell processor family, based on the architecture which will be found in future generations of PCs and laptops, but also in Windows 8 or Android tablets.
The fourth generation of Intel Core uses the same 22 nm manufacturing process introduced with the Ivy Bridge processor family, but focuses on efficiency and mobility, not necessarily on performance.
Without giving too many details, David Perlmutter – general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, said that the first Haswell processors will be models for clients with dual-core and quad-core processor, equipped with one of the three different integrated graphics: GT1 (for energy efficient CPUs), GT2 (standard) and GT3 (double the GT2 performance at an increased energy consumption). Reported energy consumption, reserved for the Haswell graphics core processor family offers performance almost twice as those used in Ivy Bridge processors.
The new GPU supports DirectX 11.1 and receives several improvements on the multimedia part: advanced settings for image quality adjustment and stabilization, support for playback of a wide range of media formats, hardware encoder for MPEG2 format video playback and support for the 2K / 4K resolution. The CPU performance increases about 10% in comparison to Ivy Bridge processor at the same frequency, but adding AVX2 instruction set brings a more consistent performance benefit for specially optimized applications.
The most effective improvements are made to optimize energy consumption. If better GUI performance 2D/3D practically doubled without increasing energy consumption, adding a new stage of energy saving (S0ix) reduces by 20 times the energy requirements for operation in idle, when the processor does not execute computing tasks.
The first wave of Haswell processors will arrive in early 2013 and includes models designed for tablets, desktop PCs and laptops from the Ultrabook category.