A rumor is making the rounds on many technology and business news websites that Intel is planning the imminent introduction of what for it are low power versions of its Ivy Bridge family of X86 processor chips.
It is to be targeted at mobile tablet designs such as Microsoft’s next generation of Windows 8 tablets. Currently Microsoft's Surface Pro devices feature the use of a standard Intel Core i5 processors and feature the ability to run legacy x86 applications and the full version of Windows 8.
According to an “anonymous” industry source that has made sure that every significant and not so significant news outlet has been contacted, Intel will shortly release an ultra-low power version of its Ivy Bridge chip family with a thermal design profile (TDP) of just 10W.
That is still significantly higher than most ARM-based system on chip designs run, but it is half that of the company’s current 17 W Ivy Bridge chip set.
The consensus is that this is an effort to convince tablet makers to commit to the use of the lower power Ivy Bridge chip set in the higher performance end of the tablet market. Such a 10W Ivy Bridge chip would be only a transition strategy until Intel’s up-coming Haswell family of X86 chips which will include 10 W and lower models.