It is Intel’s hope that with its new ultra low power, yet
high-performing mobile chip range, fans will go by the wayside.
The processors will come with speeds starting at 2.0GHz and max
out at 2.6GHz for the fastest model. Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer,
Toshiba and Asus are producing some of the 20 products that are
currently in development with Core M inside, some of which will go
on sale as soon as October this year.
Despite having a line of power-efficient chips (Intel Atom,
which began their life making netbooks feasible) and a range of
mainstream CPUs (the Core i3, i5 and i7 chips), Intel saw a need to
slot an entirely new brand in between the two ranges.
“This is the first new brand Intel has had for the PC in over
five years,” says Intel’s Kirk Skaugen, speaking to Wired.co.uk
ahead of his keynote at IFA in Berlin today. “The reason is that
we’re releasing the most energy efficient processor in Core
history. We’ve had positive pickup for the 2-in-1 [product]
category and the Core M will usher in a new wave of designs that
eliminates the need for people to carry a tablet and a laptop.
“For the average [person] using a four-year-old PC we’ll be able
to double their battery life, deliver something that’s half as
thick, that has twice the performance from a CPU perspective and
seven times the graphics performance.”
Intel vs. Qualcomm
Skaugen singled out major competitor Qualcomm and he was confident
Intel’s Core M will give it a run for its money.
“On web application performance, against the Snapdragon 805
we’re 3.6 times higher; against the Snapdragon 800 we’re 3.3 times
higher. For 3D gaming performance we’re 1.9 times higher than the
805 and 2.1 higher than the 800,” Skaugen said. “And that’s our
value [processor], not our premium chip.”
Wired.co.uk questioned whether it was strictly fair comparing
Core M, which uses the x86-64 architecture that Microsoft’s Windows
and Apple’s Mac OS X requires, to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line, which
is based on the ARM architecture used by Android amongst
“For Core M, we should be able to double the performance of the
best tablet in the market, regardless of which chip they’re using,”
says Skaugen. “At least double, if not triple, depending on which
benchmark you’re using — graphics or CPU.”
Is Atom not the competitor to Qualcomm’s line? “If you want the
cheapest tablet in the world, Atom will compete with Qualcomm and
we’re not getting rid of Atom for the value tablets,” says Skaugen.
“But for 2-in-1 and the world’s highest performance fanless devices
[…] we can give something nobody else in the world can give, with
twice the performance of anything on the planet.”
Fanless is not a fan of passwords
Intel believes the classic password is on its way out –
something this week’s celebrity iCloud hijack suggests is probably
no bad thing. Skaugen said that with Intel’s acquisition of the
Mcafee security company the Core M will be able to take a more
biological approach to computer authentication.
“That’s a journey, but for some customers it could become a
reality early next year,” says Skaugen. “We want you to be your
password — your fingerprint; with our 3D camera we can do 48-point
facial recognition, pulse detection, blink detection and so we can
eliminate passwords to login to Windows as well as websites and
that’s a product we’ll be delivering on these Core M platforms in
No fans, no passwords, doubled performance. 2015’s tablets may
look very different to 2014’s.