Intel's newly announced Core M processors will pave the way for thinner hardware

Intel Processor

Intel has today announced a new family of Core M (Broadwell) processors that will help make hardware even thinner. Tablets and 2-in-1 personal computers are already pretty darn thin, especially when you compare everything available in 2014 against what was on the market a few years ago. Intel has played its part in offering more advanced processors to cut down on unnecessary space taken up by cooling solutions without compromising on power and the next-gen Core M chips will further help manufacturers.

Presenting the new chips at Computex, Intel president Renee James showed off a 2-in-1 PC powered by the company's new 14nm Intel Core M chip, making way into the fifth generation (Broadwell) of Intel processors. The new processors utilize less energy and improves battery life, while providing enough power for consumers to enjoy a smooth experience on supported devices. The 2-in-1 PC shown off at Computex was just 7.2mm thick (see below photo) with no fans to hear or external exhausts to see.

Intel Core M Computex

According to data supplied by Intel during the presentation, the new Core M processors will feature the following:

  • Runs up to 60 percent cooler
  • Will offer an increase of performance between 20 and 40 percent
  • Between 10 and 45 percent lower power draw
  • Takes up 50 percent less space in devices

This all sounds solid for consumers who are after yet more power in their hands, without having to deal with issues generated with more powerful processors (heat generation, etc). It'll also be interesting to see just how thin PC manufacturers will be able to take new hardware.

Source: Engadget


Reader comments

Intel's newly announced Core M processors will pave the way for thinner hardware


This sounds incredible. I can't even imagine how thin they could have gotten the surface 3 if these had already come out. Wish I didn't get a yoga 2 pro a few months ago and just waited.

Surface 4 in 5 months!!!!!!!!! :) It'll seem slimmer, that's for sure. I wonder if this is what's actually in the Surface Mini.

Intel created a prototype llama mountain tablet which is just 7.2mm thick whereas surface pro 3 is 9.1mm so we can assume the surface pro 4 to be around 7.2mm

If intel can get it down to 7.2, the Surface team will get it to 4.75. They always find a way.

I wonder if they'll name the Surface Mini as the Surface 4... seems pretty irresponsible not separating two different processors. The non-mini has the high powered i3,i5,i7 and the mini has this.

Odds are, the surface mini has an ARM or some type of low powered processor like that. (if it actually exists)

Considering they can go fanless with these new chips then it really deserves more than just a swap-out; they can shave off a few mm and remove the clever cooling vents. It really needs a new chassis.

I remember SP1 came out just as the low power hasswells started to ship a few months later. ugh.

Then SP2 and SP3 shipped with hasswell just as these core M's will ship. ugh.

I thought panos said MSFT and intel worked together. well somebody apparently messed up the schedule, and I'm guessing it was intel.

No, I'm sure MS knew about these. These new chips won't be on the market until most likely next year. MS didn't want to wait that long to release the Surface Pro 3.

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Mobile broad well is scheduled to hit around September. So yeah I'm personally a little confused as to why MS didn't wait. It might be that they are just iterating really quickly, but who knows. I may or may not cancel my preorder, pending reviews from somebody like Anandtech. Other technology websites are nice, but they aren't nearly as thorough or objective as them. Especially in battery life, as it seems to be coming in below expectations.

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There's always something coming next to make one feel it's not the right time to buy, but this is ridiculous. The SP3 isn't even out and this superceeds it. The Asus Chi is rumoured to be using this and that's coming soon. Seems like MS did a lot of work for nothing and could have just waited 3 months for Intel.

True, there is always something better down the road, however, in this case the SP3 was just announced and now it looks obsolete next to the Intel device.  We are talking days here.

The point is that MS seems to be a step slow in their release cycles. They are releasing new products at the END of the HW lifecycle, not at the beginning. This shortens the lifecycle of their own product. Now, the SP3 will only be relevant over the summer of 2014, which is the SLOWEST buying season.


I think because SP3 were already in mass production while the Core-M chips were just starting to be produced. We don't know exactly how these chips will stack up against the rest of the new Gen of Core processors. Real world benchmarks will only tell. Plus I think MSFT wanted to get the new tablet out the door for consumers.

There's nothing wrong with the SP2 or 3. Anyway, the average person actually most people will be just fine with what the sp3 has. I do video editing, 3D modeling and more with my Surface Pro and (now) Surface Pro 2.

If people don't buy SP3, there might not be an SP4. Without a doubt from my experience, Surface has two amazing things going for it still, the vapor mag build quality and stand. Then, we'll be stuck with piss poor OEM equipment with no innovation or quality.

No thin plastic or metal tab/laptop wannabe can compare to this right now. And, it will be here in less than 18 days!

Computex is like a showcase for concept cars. Some never see the light of day. It's pretty much a given you won't see things from Computex on the market until after 6+ months. Buy and enjoy SP3 now if you need it and have the money. If not, just wait 6 more months.

Just wondering. Is it small enough to fit inside a phablet? I would like to see a 1530 running on core i7 :P

All WM phones had a stylus and I used it all the time for note taking. I think those screens were under 3", but it still worked fine for me!

Yes!! They need to merge RT and WP first, so you can run phone apps in phone mode, and then connect to external display via USB or HDMI, and it would switch into desktop mode........ That would be sick!

Think I'll go with the 100% thinner version and just get a surface 3. But kinda curious as to what processor they say they are comparing this with to see the processor performance increase.

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Pretty sure with that much capability we will soon see Intel inside our windows phones.

Unfortunately for me that means my next phone is still gonna use Qualcomm

Since you're asking about socket type I assume you mean desktop - it should launch on broad well compatible mobos (LGA1150) iirc, in the 1H 2915. I *think* it might be by 1Q 15 but Im not 100% certain. Mobile is scheduled to hit pretty soon I believe.

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Yaa just saw it will have the same socket as of haswell but not sure whether all mobo will be supported they have introduced 2 new gaming chipset for it z97 & h97. Hope it will be compatible with all haswell mobo.

Because it is not a purchase for sure now? Believe me. The Processor development is not standing still. by the time you get Notebooks with that you have announcements of faster thinner and more efficient CPUs as well. Wonder where you have been the last 50 Years of IT

yes but you're ignoring one fact which unlike the incremental cadence of chips where they just add a few mhz, a bit more cache, a few more efficiency gains etc, this stands to make a huge difference. This is the first core series designed specifically for mobile ultra thin 2-1 devices. Sure we had the U and Y variants but they were basically ultrabook chips that still required a fan or underpowered chips like the atom that couldn't really replace an ultrabook.

This however is quite different. So while in most cases you're better off buying now, this is not the case this time. In particular if you're looking to spend a lot of money and keep the device for 2 + years. In that case, holding off to get these core M's may yield an experience so superior, that it will be worth it.

I was curious how Asus could pack a core chip without fans and yet keep everything as thin as they claim they can in their new 2-1 offerings. This is how.

how are you even comparing these chips, we don't even know the specs yet.  Again you are assuming this chip is faster buying into intels marketing,  I'm going to bet it clocks in slower and has lower graphics than what we currently have.  I'm not waiting a year so I can have 30 more minutes of battery life.

Broadwell shows promise, but it will be a boost in performance compared to the Y variant, not the U variant that the sp2/3 have. Sp3 is all about power and I highly doubt the next surface pro will have core M; likely it will have the broadwell U variant which will still have fans. This is a very common misconception, I don't know why the media doesn't clarify (maybe because nothing has been announced yet). While Intel is improving their chips incredibly, they're not quite at the point of a fanless U variant. I guess we'll see what happens when they release.

It will ship mostly in 1st or 2nd quarter of 2015 so there is no point of skipping surface pro 3 for now on if you want

Just put two of these in the next Surface Pro 4, the tablet is already thin enough.  More power, more memory and bigger battery is what we want.

Can't wait to see this in the future SP4, whenever that becomes available. It'll probably be as thin as an iPhone 5(s) by then. Bad ass.

Either that, or keep it the same ultra-thin profile as the current SP3, and use that extra space to provide a bigger battery. I'd they did that, they could easily get 11-12+ hours of battery on this theoretical device.

Again: Bad ass.

i dont know much about processors but is it possible for Intel to create a really high end PC processor scalled down for mobile phones?

Yes. I believe Intel has started experimenting with their own series of ARM chips, and I'd I remember correctly: They're trying out these new ARM processors in 64bit configurations. They can be found on a few select Android devices.

The reason, of course is, while (very similar to Microsoft, actually) Intel has a near-monopoly in the desktop market: Their presence is nearly non-existent in mobile. And as mobile grows while conventional desktop sales decline, they risk becoming obsolete and forgotten, like IBM. IBM is around, of course, but only in enterprise, and mostly forgotten from a consumer standpoint.

That's also while Intel was pushing Android and Windows 8 hybrid devices: Trying to offer the power of Windows and the app library of Android. Just anything to stay relevant.

IBM is not irrelevant and forgotten, they're not "just around" either, they make great strides in advanced technology and capitalize on them. In fact, they're one of the largest and most profitable companies. Calling them obsolete and forgotten is ignorant and incorrect.


IBM does very little in the consumer market. But a lot in the business market so they get little attention by consumers. Don't worry they are alive and well and making a dollar or two at the same time.


IBM does very little in the consumer market. But a lot in the business market so they get little attention by consumers. Don't worry they are alive and well and making a dollar or two at the same time.

I'm still keeping my pre-order for a Surface Pro 3. This isn't going to be on the market for a while yet, and by the time it is, something else thinner and faster will be announced soon after. If you wait for something better to come out all the time, you never will be able to buy anything, since it will always be obsolete soon.

The Surface Pro 3 still packs incredible power in a slim package, and this doesn't change that.

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Dude: This won't be available until late 2014/Early 2015. If you refuse to ever buy anything due to what's just around the corner, then you can't ever buy any tech devices ever.

Seriously, technology is advancing at breakneck speeds. That's a good thing to be celebrated. So buy your devices and enjoy them, while you eagerly await what's just around the corner.

Normally you get a few months before the next big thing comes along though, this has been announced before the SP3 is even on the shelves. I agree if you wait then you'll never buy anything, but this is just a little harder to swallow than normal and does feel like if only MS had worked together with Intel on this instead of their "100 custom parts" SP3 they could have gotten that out earlier (and as an exclusive for a few months).

you realize that they might know a lot more than we do at current iteration.....as in we don't know anything about this mysterious broadwell chip over than what is given to us by intel.  and even then its all marketing anyways.  I say buy your device and just enjoy it, I think the SP3 is already revolutionary in two years if its thinner, better battery life and faster.  That would be great but it isn't going to stop me from buying it now.

With this one, tablet has to be built by a metal or stainless. I'm afraid, if tablet using a plastic, it will be split in to 2 parts easily.

True. Plastic is a great building material, and can be stronger than metal; however Samsung's version of plastic is cheap crap that looks ugly too.

Surface Pro 3 Magnesium FTW.

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Gonna switch to iOS 8, but will keep my SP cause I love it. Also I wish MS add this processor in SP4, will love to upgrade ^_^

Is this (Broadwell) the newest ship from intel the same

line as (Haswell) or it's defrent line of ships Just for 2-1 devicese ?

Same as haswell but with imrpoved performance.
Socket is lga1150 only.
But not sure whether all mobo will support it.
They have introduce 2 new chipset for it too H97 and Z97 for desktop version and it will feature ddr4 ram

so this is what Asus will be using on their new tablet. I have to say, damn you intel. Always shipping products at the worse time. Basically they will miss the back to school rush which would have proved a hit for these 2 in 1.

That aside, makes me wonder if surface pro 3 won't be soon replaced with surface pro 4, an even thinner lighter maybe truly fanless device.

If they had released it 2 years ago, win8 devices would have outsold oppenents and there wouldn't have winrt at all. Intel was too lazy to change. Btw, i'll wait for surface 4.

It looks like AMD have literally disappeared from the consumer CPU race. Haven't seen any announcement from them, let alone a product containing AMD CPUs for almost a over a year now.

They have had plenty of announcements. The problem is that Intel rules the laptop segment with an iron fist.

I wish my new HP ultrabook was powered by the new AMD A10 APU. Intel graphics barely run 1080p much less anything more than that.

Wow... 14nm is quite impressive. I'm anxious to see the next generation of devices powered by this technology.

Surface Pro or Surface won't go down thinner in future.7.2 won't allow USB port.Then people will complain no ports.I wish Microsoft creates super thin category of tablets something called 'Fine' tablets. :)..surface pro 3 with dedicated graphic card will ultimate killer tablet.Artists and professionals will pay anyhting to get it.

With the thunderbolt port in the SP3 charger connection, it could have the potential to plug in an external GPU.

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It's still not totally fanless.

"The Core M reference model, a 12.5 inch 2-in-1 detachable that weighs 670 grams and is 7.2mm thick, includes a docking station that provides cooling to allow the chip to increase its performance, as well as a "full desktop" experience."

There has always been a person here that regardless of what processor the surface has in it, or how brand new it is... he always states "I'll wait until the new generation of processors are built into the surface before buying." I ask myself, will he ever get one? lol


talks about external cooling to increase performance:

1) These are slow chips when not actively cooled. Meaning they will not yield the performance of a hasswell chip on anything without a fan.

2) intel pulled in a miracle and they are indeed better than an actively cooled chip, but they go berserk when actively cooled.

I'm hoping for the latter but the idea of an extenal cooler on the reference design sounds strange to me as it is the fact that a mere transition to a smaller process would yield such incredible gains to remove the need for the fan while keeping the performance.

I was expecting fanless from skylake and maybe even an i3. A fanless i7 which is the broadwell microarchitecture in 14nm, but performns the same just sounds too good to be true.

Why did they HAVE to release the SP3 so soon. I think they wanted to release this on time but Intel had it pushed back. Decisions decisions.... Just announce the surface pro 4 already OR just remodel the 3.

I just can't believe anyone really buys this utter marketing BS. How did all the all those fantasy numbers for fourth generation chips work out for everyone?  This will be yet another INCREMENTAL improvement over the previous chips.  They will spew this stuff until release, always include disclaimers about optimal conditions, and leave the hardware producsers to deal with the fact that the jump from five to 12 hours is actually six to eight hours (sound familiar). Oh, how disd those really cool fourth gen chips work out for anyone owning a Surface Pro 2, Lenovo Yoga Pro, etc., etc.,?  Last I checked, including this morning when I picked up my Surface Pro 2 while it was doing some actual work, they are hardly eny cooler to touch than the previous.    Intel's numbers are never to be trusted. 

Can't make surface pro much thinner with a full size USB on there. No matter how small or heat efficient the chips get

Yes these will help computer tablets but it doesn't say that tier level of this CPU. I see it replacing the atom and Pentium processors instead of the core processors that we see in the surface. The architecture will probly be cooler for the core family but I don't see high performance CPU s going called just yet.