Intel’s new fourth-generation Core CPU–nickname Haswell–has been on everyone’s mind lately. Better graphics. More energy-efficient. Great for mobile units. But a lot of the buzz right now is consumer buzz. People are excited about having Haswell in their Macbook Airs. But if you are working on an intelligent system (an industrial control application for example), should you care?
Intel’s former CEO, Paul Otellini, claims that Haswell represents the largest one-generation boost in power efficiency in the history of its x86 CPUs. As manufacturers seek faster and more efficient factory automation for minimized downtime, this is wonderful news. Not to mention: Anyone running a graphics-intensive application? Or surveillance? Video? Intel says that “the new 4th-Generation Intel® Core™ architecture offers embedded designers a 15 percent increase in processor performance, double the graphics performance, and a potential 50 percent increase in battery life for portable applications when compared with the previous generation.”
So the short answer is, “Yes, you should care.”–unless you are doing something very minimal with your CPU.
IPC always lags behind the consumer market a bit, but that’s not actually bad news: Why be guinea pigs for new technology? Let the consumers work out the inevitable first-generation kinks. Liken this to using Windows 8 for an embedded application: Our FAEs generally recommend Windows 7, as its wrinkles have been worked out.
The even better news is that Haswell embedded Mini-ITX boards are on their way. Some firms claim they are already here. But at Logic Supply we try to distinguish between engineering samples, initial shipments in limited quantities, and true availability. We anticipate true availability in late July.
Boards of interest:
NF9J-Q87 (Desktop, socket LGA1150)
AS Rock IPC
Boards of interest:
IMB-180 (Mobile, socket PGA947)
IMB-181-D (Desktop, socket LGA1150)
Sales Engineer Cole Downing says some customers have begun designing full systems in advance of their Haswell board’s actual arrival. “We’ve got the schematics and IO layout, so right now we’re getting a jump on chassis integration and complete system design for a customer in the teleconference space.”
Let us know if and why you’re excited for Haswell in the comments below. And if you’re excited enough to start thinking about a project, call our sales team at (802) 861 2300, Option 1.