Rumor: Intel to cut power use of future "Ivy Bridge" chips?

Intel is on a quest to make its current PC chips use less power. That is, at least, the plan for future versions of its current processor design, best known under its "Ivy Bridge" code name.

CNet.com reports, via unnamed sources, that Intel will cut the power usage of these chips "well below" that of Ivy Bridge's current rating of 17 watts. That could allow these chips to be put inside Windows 8 tablets. The report claims that these new versions won't be made available for PC OEMs to use this year.

These new Ivy Bridge chips will apparently not arrive in time for Microsoft to use them in their upcoming Surface Pro tablets. Microsoft said last week that the Windows 8 Pro version of its 10.6 inch tablet would use "Intel’s next generation Core i5 processor" but CNet's report claims that the Surface Pro's Intel chip will still be rated for 17 watts.

Indeed, the general manager of the Surface at Microsoft, Panos Panay, admitted last week that the Surface Pro tablet would only have about half the battery life than the current Surface tablet, which uses an NVIDIA chip based on a design from ARM.

Intel recently launched its Clover Trail processor, which were made to be used by Windows 8-based tablets. While Clover Trail chips are designed to use a low amount of power, they don't offer the performance of Ivy Bridge chips. Intel's next major processor is code named Haswell, and is due to launch in late 2013. The company says its power consumption will be rated as low as 10 watts.

Source: CNet.com | Images via Intel and Microsoft

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