Intel Previews 14nm Core M Broadwell Architecture for Thin Form Factors

Paul Lilly

A look at Intel's newest microarchitecture

After seeing Broadwell appear on a number of leaked roadmaps, Intel today finally provided some technical details about its 14nm manufacturing process and what the future holds. The first Broadwell chip to be based on the new microarchitecture will be Intel's Core M chip, which the company expects to power a broad range of products, everything from the infrastructure of cloud computing and devices that fall within the Internet of Things (IoT), to personal and mobile computing products.

This represents a "tick" in Intel's tick-tock cycle, the last "tock" being Haswell. Broadwell essentially represents a die shrink of Haswell to 14nm, along with various optimizations, though Intel also baked in a few new goodies.

Broadwell-based Core M chips use Intel's second generation Tri-gate (FinFET) transistors, which lead the way in performance, power, density, and cost per transistor. Intel said it was able to achieve a greater than two times reduction in the thermal design when compared to a previous generation of processor while providing similar performance and better battery life.

"Intel's integrated model – the combination of our design expertise with the best manufacturing process – makes it possible to deliver better performance and lower power to our customers and to consumers," said Rani Borkar , Intel vice president and general manager of product development. "This new microarchitecture is more than a remarkable technical achievement. It is a demonstration of the importance of our outside-in design philosophy that matches our design to customer requirements."

On the consumer side, you can expect to see Core M show up in tablets and new form factors, including thinner systems that run silent and cool. Part of that is made possible by the fact that the Broadwell-Y platform sports a 25 percent smaller board area compared to Haswell. Broadwell also features a 50 percent smaller package size and 30 percent thinner Z-height compared to its predecessor.

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