Intel aims at losing fans

Fashion bag maker Intel appears to be focusing its Haswell chip into fanless thinner gear.

Intel wants to have the power envelope of Haswell down to a rating of 4.5 watts.

We have known since June that Intel would be pushing Haswell down to six watts but it appears that its research teams are pushing the power down still further.

A Chipzilla spokesperson told CNET that the company wants to make Haswell a fanless Core processor. At the moment the growing market is fanless portables.

This puts Intel in an interesting position. Most of its market is made selling laptops which need a fan. The fanless consumer gear is mostly thinner, lighter laptops and hybrid laptop-tablets.

So far there are no indications that PC makers would use the low-power Haswell chip in a pure tablet design, but it could happen.

But this means that Haswell will be eating into Intel’s Bay Trail Atom chip. Bay Trail was supposed to target fanless devices like tablets and smartphones. However, its performance will be much lower than Haswell, if Intel can get the power levels down to 4.5 watts.

It seems that whatever Intel does, it will be canablising one aspect of its business. Both these new chips will be eating into laptops, and Haswell will munch on Bay Trail.

In many ways Intel, with its wide control of the market, is damned whatever it does. Still, we will see what happens when the low-power Haswell chip hits the shops later this year.