Computex is going down in Taipei, Taiwan this week. Computex is often overshadowed by bigger events like CES in January, but it does have one bit of significance – it’s usually when Intel trots out their new commercial processors for the year, and, more importantly for us, what Intel expects computers running on their processors to look like.
Every year, Intel produces a reference design PC running their latest processor, for the sake of developers and hardware manufacturers. This year, that PC is running on Intel’s new Broadwell processor. Intel releases a new generation of processors every year, in a two year schedule. Every two years, they shrink the die on the mold, making processors even smaller while being more energy efficient. This year, we’re due for a die shrink – instead of the 22 nm architecture of Haswell, Broadwell will be based on 14 nm architecture. You’ll come to know Broadwell better as the Intel Core M processor.
To show it off, Intel created – what else – a 2-in-1 hybrid. It’s a 12.5” slate at 7.2 mm thick and 670 grams (1.48 pounds). Even bigger news is that this PC will be fanless – you can probably expect that to be the case with a lot of other Core M processor PCs in the year to come, too. It has a detachable keyboard and a media dock, which will provide extra cooling for more intensive processes.
Intel is saying that the Core M processor is their most energy-efficient processor ever. You won’t be seeing their reference design in stores anywhere, but you’ll be seeing a lot of PCs like it soon, including more than a few hybrids that will probably be unveiled later this week at Computex. They’ll be faster, quieter, and could have even better battery life than the Haswell-powered PCs we’ve been seeing in the past year.