Intel confirms 'Haswell' chip intro at Computex

The countdown to the chipmaker's next-generation mainstream processor has begun.

3,337,200,000,000,000 nanoseconds means Intel's next-generation mainstream processor is due to arrive on June 3 in the U.S.
3,337,200,000,000,000 nanoseconds means Intel's next-generation mainstream processor is due to arrive on June 3 in the U.S. Intel

It's official. Intel's fourth-generation core "Haswell" processor will arrive on June 3. Expect a crush of desktops, laptops, convertibles, detachables, and tablets to ensue.

"In approximately 3,337,200,000,000,000 nanoseconds, Intel will reveal all there is to know about the highly anticipated 4th generation Intel Core processor family," Intel said in a statement Friday.

That's June 3 in the U.S. and June 4 in Taiwan, where it will be rolled out at Computex.

Haswell is mostly about better battery life and, to a lesser extent, about improved graphics performance. So, expect, for instance, Haswell laptops that last longer -- maybe a lot longer if other power-saving technologies are also used -- than today's latest and greatest offerings.

Here's a quad-core Haswell diagram showing a large graphics engine. What Intel describes as 'configurations with large graphics and large cache.'
Here's a quad-core Haswell diagram showing a large graphics engine. What Intel describes as 'configurations with large graphics and large cache.' Intel

The first Haswell processors out of the chute are expected to be the quad-core variety aimed at high-end laptops. But don't be surprised if more quad-core chips seep into mainstream 13-inch and 14-inch laptops too due to Haswell's improved power efficiency.

At the other end of the spectrum will be a new variety of ultra-power-efficient Haswell chips that should allow PC makers -- and Apple if it so chooses -- to offer newfangled ultrathin designs with good performance.

And, of course, touch will be a big factor because of Windows 8 -- with Windows 8.1 to follow in the second half.

But it's not just a Windows world anymore. Intel told CNET that Android laptops are on the way. While many of them will tap Intel's Atom chip, new designs that run Google's Chrome OS -- like the Chromebook Pixel -- will adopt Haswell.

With Haswell expect more high-performance detachable tablets like Lenovo's Helix.  Microsoft's Surface Pro will almost certainly tap Haswell too.
With Haswell expect more high-performance detachable tablets like Lenovo's Helix. Microsoft's Surface Pro will almost certainly tap Haswell too. Lenovo
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