CHIPMAKER Intel has admitted that it should have clarified the 7W scenario design power (SDP) metric used in Kirk Skaugen's CES presentation instead of comparing it to other Intel chips' TDP ratings.
Intel announced at CES that it had managed to bring its flagship Ivy Bridge processor microarchitecture down to 7W, something of an impressive feat. However days after Skaugen's presentation, it was revealed that the metric wasn't the commonly used TDP rating but rather the Intel defined SDP, which led to some criticism in the industry press.
Now Intel has told The INQUIRER that it should have been clearer in Skaugen's presentation that the 7W figure for the Core i5 3339Y chip was not TDP but SDP. Adam King, director of notebook product marketing told The INQUIRER, "The fact [is] that we didn't really specify in Kirk's [Skaugen] keynote when we put SDP numbers up there with TDP numbers without clarification and that's really what I think has caused the questioning, which is fair."
King continued, "If you read our press release we're a bit more precise and specific, where we say these processors run as low as 7W. For the purposes of Kirk's keynote, given the audience and everything we wanted to announce, we didn't want to get into the technical details between TDP and SDP and get into a lengthy explanation there. But we probably could have done a better job of caveating it or showing on the chart or using an asterisk or using the 'as low as' language as in the press release, so [it was] our fault there."
It is unlikely that Intel tried to deceive its customers with the 7W claim on its Y series Core processors, rather it was being lazy with its presentation, hoping that journalists wouldn't pick up on its shortcut.
Intel confirmed to The INQUIRER that the Y series Core chips will only be available in BGA packaging, meaning they will be sold to OEMs and possibly motherboard makers rather than being shipped into the retail channel. Large OEMs do their own testing in order to specify other components and therefore would quickly catch on to the fact that a Y series Core chip can exceed 7W under certain workloads.
Nevertheless, Intel should have known that creating a situation where journalists felt like they were duped could only result in some negative publicity. If Intel had been clearer on the meaning of its SDP metric then it could have avoided the criticism of employing marketing sleight-of-hand. µ