The countdown to the chipmaker's next-generation mainstream processor has begun.
Brooke CrothersFormer CNET contributor
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.
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.
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.