Intel readies Core i5 and Core i7 ULV CPUs
With the launch of dual-core Sandy Bridge mobile CPUs in February of this year, Intel also introduced several low-voltage and ultra-low voltage (ULV) models. ULV parts were assigned i5-25x7 and i7-26x7 processor numbers, and they featured 17 Watt combined Thermal Design Power for CPU cores and graphics, smaller BGA package, and generally higher, than Arrandale CPUs, core frequencies. Later this year, Intel plans to expand Sandy Bridge ULV line-up with three new processors, Core i5-2557M, Core i7-2637M and Core i7-2677M. New models will have better performance due to increased clock rates, while still operating within 17 Watt thermal envelope.
Two forthcoming Core i7 ULV dual-core processors, i7-2637M and i7-2677M, have 1.7 and 1.8 GHz base, and 2.8 GHz and 2.9 GHz Turbo Boost frequencies. This is 200 MHz higher than the frequencies of their predecessors, Core i7-2617M and i7-2657M. Default clock rate of the HD 3000 graphics on new chips stays the same, 350 MHz, although the maximum turbo frequency is increased to 1.2 GHz. The microprocessors boast 4 MB level 3 cache, and support HyperThreading and Vpro technologies. It is interesting to note that, despite of having lower processor number, the Intel i7-2637M SKU will be faster than the i7-2657M.
Core i5-2557M part has two CPU cores, clocked at 1.7 GHz, and can execute 4 threads at the same time. The model also features Turbo Boost technology, that can temporarily overclock the CPU up to 2.7 GHz. L3 cache on this chip is smaller, only 3 MB, while all other processor characteristics, including specifications of on-chip HD 3000 graphics, are identical to Core i7 ULV parts.
Launch date and pricing for Intel Core i5-2557M and Core i7-2637M / i7-2677M processors are not known yet. When released, the new ULV chips should have noticeable CPU and graphics performance advantage over previous generation of ultra-low power Arrandale CPUs. For reference, the fastest Arrandale ULV part was Core i7-660UM, which operated at 1.46 GHz and had 166 Mhz graphics controller.
Brief specifications of Core i5 / i7 low-voltage microprocessors are provided in the table below.
Jun 19: Intel introduces ultra-low voltage mobile CPUs
Jun 16: Intel mobile CPUs to launch in June 2011