Intel Core M performance overview: fanless tablets with multiple times the throughput of iPad

Intel is holding the lead in terms of manufacturing technology - while ARM fabs have just started mass production of 20nm chips (the Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Alpha are among the first devices to ship with silicon on that node), Chipzilla has unveiled details about its upcoming Core M chip, one of the first made using the 14nm process.

What is Core M all about and is the new manufacturing process the only thing worth noting? The company revealed more details about the newest member of its chip family at IDF, and it’s time to take a deeper look.

First, let’s keep in mind that the Core M chip will arrive in devices by the end of the year, and while it does not fit in the power envelope for Atom (a territory for tablets and smartphones), it has an important role bridging the gap between tablets and laptops. This format includes 2-in-1 tablet/laptop convertibles a la Microsoft Surface - it is this type of devices that will get the new chip, and we do not expect to see it in regular $500 tablets for two reasons: it has a high price and the thermal envelope might be pushing the limits of battery longevity at that form factor.

For all else, Intel’s new Core M series is a huge leap forward for the company and shows new priorities - launching this first as the new Broadwell family of silicon rolls out reveals just how important the mobile sector has become for Intel. While previously the company’s low-power chips and Atom in particular lagged behind in priority to desktop and laptop chips, and did not make the cut for Intel’s newest manufacturing processes, this time around things have changed.

So how powerful is it? Intel says that Core M is three times more powerful than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 system chip, but that’s not an apples to apples comparison since the difference in price is also multiple times (we don’t yet have an official MSRP for Core M, but it’s almost certain that it’s more than three times as expensive).

“The Intel Core M is two to three times faster than the top of the line premium tablets out there. So if you’re talking about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 or 805 we’re going to be about two to three times faster. We’re about two times faster on gaming and three times faster on most of the other things you’re doing like web applications,” according to Intel.

It’s hard to generalize about the Core M series, though, as just as the Core i family, we have different models at different clock speeds and prices. Right below, you’d see the specs and the overall details about the upcoming platform, what do you think, will Core M be a threat to ARM’s mobile business or not?

reference: AnandTech



1. TheCynicalTechie

Posts: 78; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

2-3 times faster? Wow, that is really, really good.

3. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

But but...what about battery life??? 3 times less???

6. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

See pic #5. "Even Lower Power for Longer Battery Life"

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5762; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Should be much better battery life The Core M 5Y70 is only 4.5W, while the i5-4300U is 15W That's about 70% less power consumption That's similar power consumption to ARM tablets/iPads That really impressive since Core M 5Y70 has the better performance than the Surface Pro 3's i5-4300U (similar/same CPUs used in MacBook Airs/other ultrabooks)

21. Jommick

Posts: 221; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

Independent PC OEM here, correcting a common misconception. The 4.5W and 15W numbers are TDP, which stands for Thermal Design Power. It's less an indication of the watts used and more a reference for hardware manufacturers/assemblers to know that whatever is being used to cool the electronic component in question should be capable of dissipating (x) amount of heat in order to prevent a hardware malfunction/meltdown while (this dependency is key) under the 'maximum perceived load' - effectively an estimate of the max amount of power the part in question will require. Source: I own a company that assembles custom Linux and Windows computers from parts, and this comes into play quite a bit when it comes to the cooling aspect of a build.

28. Armchair_Commentator

Posts: 222; Member since: May 08, 2014

Man things are getting more and more impressive with process shrinkage and efficiency. I mean that's 1/30th the tdp of my desktop processor. Apples to oranges I know, but still impressive

30. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Do we know the 805 TDP?

25. pulkit1

Posts: 354; Member since: Jul 03, 2014

no iPad air tdp is 2.5w. and Apple announced that A8 will be 50 % more power efficient hence it should not be more than 1.5w. Even snapdragon 805 only consumes 3.2w .

31. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

2.5W ? LMFAO ... Not even close maxing out the A7 puches it up to 6W....

27. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Wait, so the i5 on the surface pro 3 and ultrabooks are not even 3x the SD805? I highly doubt that. They are two comp!etely different classes. So this is probably weaker than the current i5's and more of another category between atom and i5s.

32. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

These cores M fall slightly behind the i5 of the SP3 (on CPU)

12. janno

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 19, 2014

If true. But it's not.

2. darkskoliro

Posts: 1092; Member since: May 07, 2012

Gogo Intel! :)

5. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Not much details. Will like to see actual product in notebook and tablet. Besides it's not phone enable so it's not a direct threat to ARM yet.

7. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

The Games begin now *creepy stare face*

8. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

2-3 times faster than 805...damn, we'll be playing Battlefield 4 on our devices in about 2-3 years.

11. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

You'll have to wait a little longer. This doesn't say anything about dedicated GPUs.

20. marcski07

Posts: 600; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

it's possible, see the advancement of technology, we are getting lot faster. and battlefield 4 will be just like super mario on 2020.

10. S.M.Talha

Posts: 70; Member since: Aug 27, 2014

If i am not wrong intel core m is used in laptops.isnt it?

14. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

no .. next time read the article first ". This format includes 2-in-1 *tablet*/laptop convertibles a la Microsoft Surface" Its a 4.5W chip , fanless tablet territory . And some manufacturers are putting them on fanless laptops too

13. janno

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 19, 2014

Intel is full of cr*ap. They must be talking about the "high-end" version of Core M, which probably won't be fanless in most, if not all, devices. And also the chip alone probably costs like $300, which means $500-600 at retail. So don't expect any sub-$500 tablet with it, let alone sub-$300 tablets. Also even if it gets 4.5 TDP, which this version they are talking about most likely doesn't. That would still be 2x as much as the iPad. Aslo that TDP is most likely achieved when the Intel processor runs at its base clock speed, not with Turbo Boost. However, in benchmarks you DO see Turbo giving a big boost. But Turbo isn't that useful in real world. So Intel gets to claim both "big performance" because of Turbo cheating in benchmarks, AND good battery life - because the chip would actually run at its base clock speed (800Mhz-1200Mhz, depending on the version) the vast majority of time, and you won't see that "turbo boost" performance much.

17. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

There are only 3 versions , and even the most powerfull is fanless with a 4.5W TDP Most of the time you wont need turbo boost , most of time you wont even be running at the base clock.. In benchmarks turbo boost is limited the same way it is in normal use ; thermal throttling .. If it behaves like on other ULV versions; CPU centered use allows for near constant turbo boost use ; but when stressing the GPU will reduce to near the base clock..

15. Tuxedo

Posts: 356; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

Intel is desperate, and I can see why.

22. Jommick

Posts: 221; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

desperate? Their stock is at a 5-year high, and they manufacture some of the highest quality silicon in the world. I fail to see how this equals desperation. Rather than push out several chips a year, they focus on the quality of their performance, and anyone who knows anything about computing knows that this chip's performance (on paper at the moment) is far superior to any offering that Qualcomm has announced so far.

16. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

and next gen atoms is not far off , also on 14nm...

18. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

Ok, now intel has to make good chips for smartphones

19. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Intel Atom Merrifield and Moorefield, a little delayed but is coming out now...

23. Jommick

Posts: 221; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

aww yiss

24. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

? ? ?

34. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

good, I hope they don't have compatibility issues like Razr I

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