You think those new Sandy Bridge MacBook Pros are beasts? Just wait a couple years. That’s when Apple will be able of releasing bleeding edge MacBooks capable of not only running for 24 hours on a single charge, but of recharging their cells as they run by sucking up the ambient light in the room around them. Wow.
At today’s Intel Developer’s Forum, Intel introduced its new Haswell architecture, and it’s a doozy of an update to current chips.
Created using a 22 nanometer 3D transistor process, the first thing Haswell makes possible is ARM-like power consumption on an x86 chip. That means all day battery life, as well as ten days of connected standby. Drool.
But that’s not all. The Haswell architecture sucks up so little power — twenty times less than current Intel chips — that they can actually run on a solar cell. To prove it, Intel even showed off a Haswell-based Windows PC that was running entirely off a solar cell that was basking in the glow of a single light bulb.
Theoretically, this means that future MacBooks could have, for all intents and purposes, absolutely no constraints on their battery life. If Apple stocks them with solar cells, they could work indefinitely off of a single charge, juicing themselves as needed from the ambient light in the room. Wow.
Of course, Haswell’s a couple generations away — first we need to get through Ivy Bridge, which should come out next year and also reduce Intel power consumption. Plus Intel has some optimizations to do first.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Apple switching the MacBook line to ARM chips, which has always been farfetched, but Haswell cinches it: Intel’s finally taking power consumption seriously, and they are using their absolutely peerless manufacturing process to try to destroy ARM’s advantages in just a couple generations.