Metrics for Intel's power-frugal Ivy Bridge chips questioned

Intel used a new power efficiency measurement for its new Ivy Bridge chips. Ars Technica is calling this into question.

Intel announced its new low-power Ivy Bridge chips on Monday at CES.
Intel announced its new low-power Ivy Bridge chips on Monday at CES. CNET

The yardstick used for Intel's new power-frugal chips is being questioned in article posted by Ars Technica.

The article, titled "Power saving through marketing: Intel's '7 watt' Ivy Bridge CPUs," asserts that Intel may have been over-aggressive with its power-efficiency claims.

More specifically, the 7-watt Ivy Bridge processors Intel announced on Monday at CES are actually specified by Intel on its site as 13 watts, the article says.

"The 7-watt number advertised during Intel's keynote yesterday is actually from a new metric, 'scenario design power' (SDP), which purports to measure how much power the CPU is using during average use," Ars Technica said.

Intel's longstanding yardstick for measuring a chip's power envelope is TDP, or thermal design power.

So, based on the historical TDP measurement, the new i5-3339Y Processor -- one of the new extra power-efficient chips -- is 13 watts, as Intel's own site specifies.

Intel did not respond to a request for comment.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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