Intel reveals more info on Core M chip that could be used in future Windows 8.1 tablets

core m

Intel has revealed some more concrete information on its upcoming Core M processor, which will be the first chip that will use its Broadwell micro-architecture and made using its 14nm manufacturing process. It's more than likely that the chip will find itself inside upcoming Windows 8.1 tablets.

Intel stated, "The combination of the new micro-architecture and manufacturing process will usher in a wave of innovation in new form factors, experiences and systems that are thinner and run silent and cool." Some of those device could be as thin as nine or eight millimeters. The Core M processors are supposed to be twice as fast for regular computing tasks compared to earlier Intel chips, and will offer speeds of up to seven times older chips when it comes to handling graphics.

At the same time, battery life for tablets and other products could be extended to twice their current amount, with batteries that are half its size. The first Broadwell-based devices were supposed to be out by now but Intel ran into production issues that delayed their launch by over six months. Intel now says the first devices with the Core M chip could begin shipping by the end of 2014, with a larger push planned for the spring of 2015.

Are you waiting to get a Windows 8,1 tablet with a Core M chip inside?

Source: Intel, Wall Street Journal


Reader comments

Intel reveals more info on Core M chip that could be used in future Windows 8.1 tablets


Despite the fact I'm a fan of the RT OS concept (as a portable OS) I think people and market would only trust it again when its finally merged with the Windows Phone OS... :-(
Till then I don't see any future to RT.

Which is a shame, RT is awesome. Easily the best "tablet os". I just don't get why people, and especially tech people think that it would be better if they removed things. Very rarely does tech get better when you take stuff out. Don't like desktop? Don't use it. Personally being able to clip a keyboard on, switch on my Bluetooth mouse and plug in a terrabyte drive is a fantastic feature.

Definitely agreed. Its the tablet OS that delivers way more features than any other. And by keeping the alternative of several desktop tools available makes it easier to use to those used to full OS. I don't see any problem in the OS technically, but in the marketing area. Fact and perception are two different things and both should be taken into account. Unfortunately people have the perception of it as "Windows" so they should do anything "Windows" does. And as the Store was pretty much bare naked in the beggining people found no alternative besides the browsers. 

I don't have the solution for this, but perception is something to be tackled. And if you call it "Windows" (RT? Maybe "Portable" or even "Mobile"), one gotta take whatever that name brings.

RT's name was definitely a contributor to the OS's lack of success. It set the stage for expectations that were never intended to be met.

I'm more of the opinion that "other" parties didn't want it to succeed, so they each (individually, no overt conspiracy...much) pushed as hard as they could the message that "it was a 'confused', 'confusing', 'half-baked', 'non-full' Windows O.S.!" In short, not something they would like to be associated with.


Don't you find it telling that every single OEM that was tasked with shipping Windows RT shipped one and was done?! When has that ever been their M.O?


As a contrast to the excuse of "it wasn't selling" or "there was no demand", how many OEM's are shipping the [collectively] infintesimally low selling Chromebooks? and how many models and iterations have each of them produced thus far?


TD:LR It was a new Microsoft O.S. It interferred with their business model. They buried it!

Rumor has it, that they will combine RT and WP to make a desktopless successor. By then they will have the "modern" version of Office ready too. At that point it doesn't really matter what processor architecture is used. This can be viewed as an advantage, because now vendors (and ultimately customers) can choose what is right for them.

I actually believe that the modern UI version of Windows has potential to work on more than just mobile devices. With some modification it could work on the big screen as well, I feel like they should try and merge the best ideas from both WP, RT (Metro, not desktop) and the Xbox into ONE Windows. Maybe keep,some distinct features and UI elements for each type of device. This would enable cheap, ARM or x86-based, devices for the living room, low powered and with the same UI as on the Xbox, but without the ability to run Xbox games. Well, actually I think they should enable those to run on PCs as well, but that's a different story. Apps and games, of course, installable from a unified store, etc.

The only place where the fully immersive (full screen) experience wouldn't work is on a traditional desktop PC. In this situation you could have modern apps running in windows.

Now, I'm not saying that this won't require some, potentially big, changes to the modern UI, but I do believe it is about time they went back a moved that part of Windows forward again. And it does sound like they are doing just that (or maybe they are moving it backwards) with the potential removal of the charms bar, etc. We will have to see...



▶ Thanks for the link. I'm super excited about that. I feel like the only thing my phone and PC can agree on is Office and OneDrive. So having that combined with Cortana will be a winner in my book.

The reason to remove RT from the mobile space is that it is a redundant waste of money. The full Windows 8 stuff running on Atom processors gets comparable battery life at a comparable price point, while keeping legacy software in-play. There just isn't a benefit to picking RT over an Atom device. RT just bleeds money for Microsoft and wastes developers, who could be working to improve Windows 8/9. Plus, if they dumped the Surface RT line, then an Atom-based Surface Mini could be released at a price similar to the ASUS T100, and we could have a high-end x86 hybrid in the small form-factor market.

Maybe its true today (comparing to the amount of devices running on Atom), but I believe that Qualcomm, Tegra and others systems for SoC will always be less expensive and require less energy than full x86 processors, even Atoms. Thats why I'd like an OS running on SoC to succeed.

You have to understand that they didn't remove the desktop just to remove it. Using non-x86 compatible chips had the tradeoff of being cheaper and hitting the iPad at a lower price but losing the desktop. There was no way MS would've came out the gate with only a surface pro that was priced higher than the lowest prices iPad.

The big issue with RT is/was it's lack of apps for connecting to business domains that use specific applications for connections. How is it the "most productive" tablet OS if I can only use it while at work? (I can join the company Wi-Fi) I can use either of the other major OSs and connect. BTW this is an issue with WP as well...

You probably meant: "...How is it the "most productive" tablet OS if I *cannot* use it while at work?...", then I agree with you. VPN and other corporative features should be there from the start. Not just Office (not that having Office is less of a feature tho)

That sums it up better for most. For me I can connect when the corporate Wi-Fi is available, but there's no way to connect remotely. IOS and Android devices can and it is a bit mind boggling that MS didn't have it squared away from day one. I think many more professionals would have moved to win rt devices since they are pretty awesome when you are on the corporate Wi-Fi.

I was an RT fan. I looked forward to convergence with Windows Phone. But instead of a Surface RT Mini, I had to get a Dell Venue 8 Pro. And what I discovered was that simple tasks like de-archiving are baked into the OS on x86, and had proven to be a nightmare on RT. Now I own a Surface Pro 3, and see nothing but x86 in my tablet future. And it's all because of no 7" or 8" RT tablet. I would have waited for the Surface Mini had they committed to it and made that commitment public at an early stage

Yeah, but by definition ARM is a good platform for SoC as it requires way less energy than x86 platforms. What Intel is trying to do is magic (trying to bring caracteristics from ARM processors up to x86), but it has its limits.

Yeah. If the difference in reason why someone would choose RT versus full Windows is cost and performance resulting from different processors... then cost and performance are brought into parity or improved in the opposite direction, why would you want the one that limits your capabilities from a software perspective? A personal thing, I know. For me that choice would be full OS with Intel. Core M sounds promising.

Yes, thats another way to solve the thing. If Intel is able to bring x86 platform to the same level of performance and (at least) the same cost then thats the way to go. I have no arguments (in that scenario) for a (limited/cropped) windows experience on ARM.

Haswell delivered and bay trail delivered as promised. If they can get mobile communications into the chips that rival that of Qualcomm, then we have a fucking face off.

Wasnt actually any solid information, more like marketing fluff. The performance and battery life gains were quoted without any context so they could be referring to any older chips in comparison. I'd wait to see final product before getting too excited.

Intel is more misleading than Steve Jobs ever was. Intel over promises and skews their marketing - especially when it comes to power profiles.
I wont believe any of this until a formal product is released and reviewed.
As for "RT" I am a huge fan of Windows on ARM and feel its the right product for 90% of users.
Real people don't want to update drivers and codecs and worry about compatibility.
They want plug and play even I it might mean less performance. This is one of the reasons people love Apple - little to no 3rd party drivers, codecs, etc and ZERO on iOS.
Microsoft needs an easy to use non-breakable product line for the masses and RT is the right product -- even if the Tegra was absolutely the wrong SoC.

Totally agree. MS needs to realize the majority of people want a simple PC...and that's what Windows RT offers. They need to change the name for sure. But the way I see there should be 3 OSs. Windows Pro, Windows, and Windows M. Only the Pro will have desktop. And Windows M will be like Android ...lightweight windows that can go on anything.

Not what I've seen. Every time something won't run on iOS I hear cursing and complaining. I have yet to hear, "Good guy Apple keeping me from seeing something so I don't have to install a codec and I love them for it."

Sounds almost too good to be true. Actually, aren't there a fair few consumers out there like me who'd appreciate four times the battery life with the same size battery?

Haven't they said this same stuff everytime? Just marketing stuff, there definitely will be an improvement, but I doubt it's what they say, just like battery life. I doubt they'd use these in tablets smaller than 10" who would need that much power when you can do so little on a tiny screen like that. I wouldn't be surprised though if we see the next Atom carrying some of those improvements in the GPU over to power the smaller tablets and still provide enough oomph in the graphics department to not be a slouch but deliver even better battery life.

No, Broadwell succeeds Haswell. I've got a Haswell chip in my desktop and can vouch for its low temp and power consumption. Can expect better, cooler video cards as well. Will be exciting to see what they come up with.

At this stage it is the screen that takes the most battery power, not the CPU. That a device can run longer on a smaller battery - marketing hype.


Wait, I thought Broadwell was the successor to Haswell? A lot of people in the WPCentral forums have b*tched to no end about how "they should've waited until Broadwell. The Surface Pro 3 is too thick and heavy!!!" Are they full of it or am I reading this wrong?

Hmm, I'd go with "full of it" since no one seems to take into consideration the custom parts in the Pro 3 and the fact that once a design is chosen you don't just change things up midstream when you have a deadline.

Surface Pro 4 with this chip would be EPIC!!! Microsoft will probably wait till WIndows 9/Threshold release to put out a new Surface Pro though :(

As the owner of a Surface Pro 2, I am happy to wait for rev 4 rather than having it come out this year. Let the Pro 3 continue to wow people as it has.

I'm gonna scream like a fangirl right at the moment the surface pro 4's released with this chip, double battery life, stylus support, thinner and cooler...



im starting to consider this, if they manage to make a surface 3(like the rt models) with absolutely no fans or heat like a x86 cpu, just quiet and cool arm-like performance with the same battery life, why not? there would be no compromise but instead you could have all the windows app, thats a win win, IF it ever happens, qualcomm & nvidia arent sleeping though, their next socs will improve too

This is going to be a game changer. I'm definitely waiting for it to be in a SP3 or SP4 before I get a tablet/laptop replacement,

I guess i gotta stop waiting for the next iteration and finally get one.  But this news makes me want to wait for the SP4 and mini

I feel it would be more likely to be a full revision than a simple update, what with no longer needing to have fans and also having the option for a smaller battery. It would make more sense to build the entire tablet around the new processor than slap it in where the rest of the system wasn't designed around its capabilities.

It's not clear to me whether the new Core M is simply a Y-series Broadwell CPU or a more power-optimized version. Regardless, these new CPUs should have the same processing horsepower as the corresponding member of the current Haswell family (i3/i5/i7)

The big deal is the die shrink (due to using a 14nm process vs. the current 22 nm process), which means lower power usage and a smaller physical footprint. Basically, you could have a fanless Surface Pro 3.

I read upon that and they Y-series are those that could be done fanless but not with the corresponding power of the i5 for example. Any other processor that could come out with the same horse power has to be ventilated.

Can you provide a link? I haven't seen anything concrete on the fanless performance. We'll have to wait to see actual numbers from reviews on anandtech.com or pcper.com before making a final judgment.

Edit: I expect to be pleasantly surprised with the performance. The current Intel Core CPUs blow away Intel Atom CPUs (which blow away ARM CPUs).

I think Intel Core is a pretty good platform. My computer has a intel core and it never crashes if both cpu core's runs on maximum speed. So i think it is a good move from intel to put intel core's in the Windows tablets.

I'm going to bribe an ms engineer to swap my surface pro 3 processor with this when it comes out. Lord knows i'd crack it in half trying myself.

Intel costs microsoft failure to catch up with the new trend in computing. If they'd released a more engery efficiency cpu just like qualcomm, there's no need to have win rt

Comparing apples with oranges tho, depends what you need but Qualcomm chips dont support SLAT needed for Hyper-V etc (happy to be corrected if I'm wrong) but yea you can't necessarily compare mobile chipsets with notebook ones just yet, maybe with Threshold but not just yet.

Also I'll add that this is why the Surface RT & Surface 2 dont have intel chips......Microsoft will source the chips from whoever can get the job done so that's not really a valid thing to say that it is resting on Intel!

Hmmm, 2 weeks into my i7 SP3 experiment........ do I return it and wait another 10 months (that seems to be the launch schedule), or keep it and sell it when the new ones come out??? Anyone want to take a guess what the i7 256gb with type cover will sell for when the new improved version is released

Something tells me that if Intel did'nt had delays on the Broadwell chip it would have been in the Surface Pro 3 but they likely will safe this for the Treshold release spring 2015, and it wil be amazing!

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I'd gladly upgrade from my new 3 to a new 4 next year. Provided Microsoft keeps up the good work overall.

Also, bring that cool slide keyboard to the surface as well ;) I love it on the phone... Feels weird typing on a surface now already haha.