Haswell: What You NEED to Know!

As we interact with technology every day in our busy lives, it’s easy to forget about the intelligent systems that are working behind the scenes. The next time you print out a boarding pass at an airport, download a video on your cell phone/tablet , or use an ATM machine, it may very well be the Intel® Core™ processor (codenamed “Haswell,”) and our ecosystem making your experience better, faster, more connected and secure. The 4th generation Intel Core processor family, launching today, represents a significant milestone in the evolution of Intelligent Systems.

In a broad sense, moving to the next generation processor means thinner, lighter and longer battery life, which is fantastic for Ultrabooks™, tablets, and a myriad of customized mobile devices. But what really gets me excited is the increased performance per watt, graphics enhancements, and security features that enable systems designers to insert more intelligence and processing power into intelligent “embedded” devices and applications where it wasn’t possible before.

Here are the game-changing attributes of Haswell that will have a significant impact right out the gates and over the lifetime of the chip:

  • Power and Performance: Increased performance per watt means higher performance computing in small spaces. These new products will boost 3D graphics performance by up to 50-60%, as well as delivering high quality video up to 4k resolution – all at the same power levels as the previous generation. And later this Fall, we’ll see embedded versions of the new U-Processors, which can run at 15 W of power ; so we’ll see those same performance improvement over 3rd Generation Intel Core processors, “Ivy Bridge” while using 25% less power. What’s more, the U-Processors will combine the CPU and chipset into a single-chip footprint, shrinking the X/Y dimensions and enabling its use in many new intelligent devices/applications.
  • Graphics and Media: The way that we receive information from and interact with intelligent systems is becoming more visual, so there was a significant focus on graphics and media improvements. The 4th gen Intel Core processors include smooth Flash playback and rich interactive 2D/3D graphics, and it’s now possible to support real-time video encoding and decoding for multiple full HD 1080p video simultaneously. Expect to see more and more visual interactions with intelligent devices in the near future, such as ATM and digital security & surveillance cameras that help identify you for increased personal security, large touch-screen vending machines, and more digital signs that change their advertisements by determining gender and approximate age of the person in front of it. Without getting too technical, we’ve upgraded the vector extensions in the Haswell microarchitecture (Intel®AVX 2.0) to better support the Floating Point and Integer algorithms necessary in many signal processing applications such as MRI/Ultrasound machines, weather radar & sonar, and 3G wireless networks. More data can now be processed, cleaned up (getting rid of noise), and analyzed in order to provide a better picture of the physical world.
  • Security: It goes without saying that as more devices are connected, there is greater need for security across the platform, applications, and for the “in flight” data. With the new 4th gen Intel Core processors we accelerate encryption on the hardware level, freeing up chip resources, and we’ve added hooks that allow companies like McAfee to run anti-virus software to trap and neutralize malware. At the platform level, Intel® Platform Protection Technology with BIOS Guard protects the basic boot flash from modification without platform manufacturer authorization. This helps defend platform from low level hack-attacks

Coming on the “tock” cycle of 22 of nm technology, the new 4th gen Intel Core processors deliver exciting performance and new features for system designers and embedded developers working on next generation devices. As you’d expect, these chips allows you to design secure, high-performance, low-power intelligent systems that can be connected, managed, and secured within the Intel® Intelligent Systems Framework.

More information on the 4th Generation Intel Core processor family is available here.

Alan Ignatowski

About Alan Ignatowski

Product Line Manager, Intelligent Systems Group INTEL CORPORATION Alan has over 25 years of experience in the electronics industry and is currently the Product Line Manager for the 4th gen Intel® Core™ Processor Platform in Intel’s Intelligent Systems Group. He has held multiple roles in Product management, Marketing and Platform Planning positions at Intel as well as serving on his local high school Soccer & Football Booster clubs and was the head coach of the 2nd place Gilbert National Little League White Sox. Alan holds a BSEE from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Michigan & spends most of his free time with his family and desperately trying to become the next great American photographer.

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