More details have emerged on Intel's first system-on-a-chip for mainstream PCs.
What does Haswell mean for future Macs and PCs? Even more powerful ultraslim MacBooks and laptop PCs will emerge--as well as hybrid laptop-tablet designs.
Imagine, for example, a future 15-inch MacBook Pro as skinny as a MacBook Air but faster than a high-end MBP today. And Windows 8 Haswell-based Ultrabooks from Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Acer, and others.
Technically, an SoC puts everything on one piece of silicon. Haswell puts two chips into one chip package (see slide above). So Intel's chip would technically be a System in Package. But inside a Mac or PC it would appear as one chip. And what constitutes a true SoC is murky anyway, as the SoCs in smartphones sometimes rely on separate chips to implement various functions like 3G or touch-screen controllers.
Key Haswell features:
- The core of a PC and Mac in one chip package.
- Next Intel "tock" or chip architecture. Follows 2012's "Ivy Bridge" in 2013.
- Faster graphics: codenamed GT3. Graphics is now a major focus at Intel.
- 3D transistors based on Intel's 22-nanometer process.
- Better total power efficiency than the most power efficient Intel Core chips today.
- Lower power memory: DDR3L.
- Support for USB 3.0 and DirectX 11? We know Ivy Bridge will.