Intel Fires Shot Across ARM's Bow With New Processors


Intel CEO Brian Krzanich
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at IDF 2013


Intel's new CEO Brian Krzanich stepped into the limelight for the first time as the company's leader at the Intel Developer Forum Tuesday, showing off a bevy of new processors for fanless Ultrabooks, LTE phones, sub-$100 tablets and even some Dick Tracy-style wearable computers.

During the keynote, Krzanich, a three-decade Intel veteran, outlined the company's plan to "put our tech in every segment of computing" starting with Ultrabooks and its next-generation Broadwell CPU core -- a 14nm shrink of the Haswell processor.

At the company's annual developer conference in San Francisco, Krzanich showed off Intel's first fanless Ultrabooks running Core i5 and i7 chips. Krzanich said the Broadwell microarchitecture will give Ultrabooks a 30 percent power boost. Broadwell chips, he said, would start shipping by the end of 2013.

[Related: Intel Names Brian Krzanich Its New CEO]

Also in Intel's pipeline are new Bay Trail Atom 22nm system on a chip (SoC) processors that Krzanich said deliver a 50 percent performance boost over current Intel-based Clover Trail processors. With Krzanich on stage were nearly two dozen Android and Windows 8 tablets, many of which would be priced under $100 this holiday season, Krzanich said.

Intel also staked out the mobile handset market with Atom-based 22nm SoC with integrated support for voice over 3G and data over LTE. Krzanich said LTE handsets with integrated support for LTE will ship "soon."

Krzanich also announced a family of ultra-low power Quark SoC family of chips targeting the emerging market of embedded computers, sometimes referred to as the "Internet of things," and wearable computers. Intel said the Quark chip bests the Atom chip when it comes to size and power. Krzanich said Quark processors are one-fifth the size and use one-tenth the power of the Atom processor and are the company's smallest chip to date.

Intel executives said Quark chips will be built by third-party partners, not Intel itself.

Intel's move to mobile remains the company's biggest challenge and its greatest opportunity. Competitors Qualcomm and Samsung, which use ARM-based chips, account for most of the mobile market. Intel's move to mobile is important because of the rapid narrowing of the PC market. Intel has had to scramble to stay competitive. To that end, Intel is planning on making a joint announcement with Google on Wednesday that many expect will include news of a partnership based on its new Atom-based 22nm SoC.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 10, 2013