One of the biggest downsides to having an Intel processor inside of a mobile device compared to having an ARM processor is been power consumption. Intel processors traditionally use more power than competing products leading to shorter battery life for the devices using Intel processors. However, Intel is aiming to change that with the goal of reducing the power consumption on its Ivy Bridge processors.
CNET reports that an industry source familiar with Intel’s plans has stated that Intel plans to cut power consumption significantly for future versions of its Ivy Bridge chip. The most powerful Ivy Bridge chips on the market today consume 17 W of power. These chips are commonly used in various Windows ultrabooks and inside the Apple MacBook Air.
According to the source who claims to be familiar with Intel’s plans, the future version of the Ivy Bridge chip will have power consumption well below the 17-watt level. The power consumption of the chip would be low enough that computer makers could use the chip inside tablets. Microsoft plans to use an Ivy Bridge Core i5 inside the Surface Pro tablet set to launch soon.
However, that Surface Pro tablet will use the 17-watt chip that’s already on the market and is expected to have roughly half the battery life of me Surface RT tablet using a ARM processor. Right now the downside to Intel’s line of low power consumption chips, such as the Z2760, is that the performance is significantly less than what the Ivy Bridge parts offer. By comparison, power consumption on ARM processors, commonly used in mobile devices such as tablets, is typically below two watts.