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New Intel Core M CPU will supercharge future tablets and laptops

Intel Core M
Intel Core M unveiled at IFA 2014
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Intel's senior vice president and GM of personal computing, Kirk Skaugen, has launched its next generation of processors, coined the Core M.

The new processor range will focus on three mobile segments (convertibles, ultra portables, tablets), delivering what Intel says, is the most energy-efficient processor in the company's history at 4.5W (based on SPEC CPU2006 intel estimates for performance and core power.

Interestingly, most of the demonstrations during the keynote were referring to laptop, convertibles and tablets with keyboards, with few tablets on their own.

The Core M uses a 14nm manufacturing process and offers 50% more CPU performance as well as 40% faster graphics performance compared to last year's Core i5-4302Y.

Other advantages include significantly lower power consumption and consequently power dissipation; that translates into a fanless design - which reduces the size and weight of the devices and improves reliability - as well as much better battery life.

Setting the laptop free at last

The Core M platform will also include support for high-quality audio, Wi-Di 5.0, second generation 802.11ac with wireless docking WiGiG coming in the (near) future.

Intel expects manufacturers to come out with tablet products less than 9mm thin; that about the thickness of the Apple iPad 2. More than 20 OEM products based on the Core M processor are expected to hit the shelves just in time for Christmas.

One of the highlights of the keynote was the Llama Mountain reference device that is a 7.2mm tablet that's only 670 grams, thanks to a motherboard package half the size.

Three SKUs will be available at launch: The Intel Core M-5Y10, the 5Y10a, both clocked at up to 2GHz and the M-5Y70, clocked at up to 2.6GHz; the latter also supports vPro, making it a good fit for business users.

Intel also announced that it will provide with a $280 (about £180, AU$300) software bundle for SMEs called Small Business Program Partners Software Bundle for selected products.

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.