Intel Broadwell processors could slim MacBook Air to just 9mm thick

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The Apple rumor mill has been abuzz for months with whispers that the company plans to release an even thinner MacBook Air with a Retina display, and Intel’s new line of Broadwell processors could be the vital component that makes that makes wafer-thin MacBooks a reality.

Intel’s Broadwell chips have been delayed b early manufacturing problems, but today Intel revealed new details on its new 14-nanometer processors that combine the high-performance of the Haswell Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, with low power improvements that may allow Jony Ive to slim the next MacBook Air down to just 9mm thick.

Intel’s architects have managed to create a new micro-architecture that the company claims will “usher in a wave of innovation in new form factors, experiences, and systems.” Broadwell’s smaller size is one piece of the puzzle, but the Core M chips also run cooler than existing Haswell parts, which should allow Apple to make a fanless MacBook Air just 9mm thick.

The Broadwell chips feature similar performance to Haswell, but battery life has been improved by the low-voltage design. Apple supposedly plans to launch a 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display and thinner design later this year, but its unclear if the Core M chips would be powerful enough support a Retina display.

Devices carrying the heat-efficient Core M processors should start hitting shelves just by the end of the year, according to Intel’s report, with wider OEM availability in the first half of 2015.

  • dcj001

    “the Core M chips also run two times cooler than existing Haswell parts”

    There is no such thing as “two times cooler.” If anyone thinks that there is, please answer this question:

    Item A is 100 degrees Fahrenheit. What temperature would item B need to be in order to be two times cooler?

    Or were you trying to say that the Core M chips also run 50% cooler, or one half as cool, than existing Haswell parts, Buster?

    • Tanniyn

      Actually, there is indeed such a thing. If I told you that the temperature here was twenty below, and that it was twice as cold (or “two times cooler”) in another city, what would be the logical conclusion? Forty below, perhaps?

      You’re right though; the terminology originally used in the article was misleading, as chip temperatures generally are used to indicate heat, not cold. I’m pretty sure that Buster was trying to say that the Core M chip ran 50% cooler (which is actually one half as hot) than the existing Haswell parts.

      … why again are we nitpicking terminology choices in an otherwise really cool article? I for one am pretty excited to see what improvements this brings to the MBA.

      • dcj001

        Yes. I understood negative temperatures when I made my post. I did not see that as being a factor in this example.

        My concern is that, if one writer of a website periodically writes garbage, how much of the rest of what he writes is untrue?

  • Andrew

    I really wouldn’t want a computer that I could snap in half with my ass.

  • Stuart Nicholson

    Don’t you mean 9mm thin

  • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

    Couldn’t care less about the Macbook Air line, but once this technology gets into the useful Macbook Pros, I’m all ears.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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