Intel's New Broadwell Processor Could Make Your Next Ultrabook Silent

Intel has just announced a new reference PC design that uses its upcoming Broadwell
chipset. Usually, that wouldn't get us excited—but this concept ushers in the prospect of silent ultrabooks and MacBook Airs.

The new design uses 14 nanometer processing to create a slab of PC-grade silicon—this is the next iteration in Intel's Core range, to be called the Core M—that doesn't require cooling. Indeed, it's Intel's most energy efficient Core processor yet, which means that the reference design—a 12.5-inch tablet that's just 7.2mm thick —requires no fan to keep it cool. Sure, tablets already don't need cooling, but remember that this chip is actually designed to power PCs; it's more powerful than anything you'd find in a mobile device.

So, while Intel's 670-gram design features a detachable keyboard, strictly making it a 2-in-1, there's no reason, as Verge suggests, that OEMs couldn't use the silicon to power the next generation of ultrabooks and MacBook Airs. Think of it as blurring the lines between mobile and desktop: enough grunt to keep up with the demands of real work, enough efficiency to need no noisy cooling system. Tranquility could soon arrive on your lap. [Intel via Verge]

Image by Mark Sze under Creative Commons license.