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CHIPMAKER Intel remains coy about the precise definition of the workload used to calculate its scenario design power (SDP) metric that it has applied to its Y series Core processors.
Intel quietly introduced the new SDP metric at CES where it revealed a 7W Ivy Bridge chip and received some criticism for relying on a new metric to hit its headline figure. When The INQUIRER asked Intel to define the scenario in which the Core i5 3339Y chip hits the 7W figure, the firm said it was "not prepared to talk about the workload at this time".
Intel claims the SDP scenario is one that reflects the most likely workloads the chip will face in certain devices. Although the firm wouldn't detail specifics about the workload, it told The INQUIRER that the tests included web browsing, video conferencing and casual gaming, though it wouldn't say much more than that.
While Intel will not disclose what workload it used to generate the SDP figure, it said that its customers, the OEMs that it hopes will buy the chips to put into tablets and other devices, will have full access to the workload characteristics. The firm also said the 7W SDP figure was just part of a "SDP spectrum" and that its customers could pick chips with different SDPs.
According to Intel, its decision to remain quiet about workload specifics behind the headline 7W figure is a matter of "competitive advantage" and it claimed that other chip firms do not disclose similar information. Intel said that the 7W figure was at the high end of energy consumption in normal consumer workloads.
Ultimately Intel's customers, the OEMs, will decide whether the scenario it used to generate SDP figures cuts the mustard. It would be silly to assume that Intel didn't work with OEMs to generate a suitable workload. After all, it doesn't want to end up with a high profile chip that has no takers, since there's no shortage of proven tablet chip vendors in the market. µ
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