Xeon is headed for notebook PCs, Intel says stay tuned

August 10, 2015 by Nancy Owano

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There was a time when the division of hardware form factors seemed simple enough—you use your notebook for messaging, or for viewing flight times and movie trailers or for checking out funny ads. You go to your workstation computer for, well, work.

Times have changed. Intel's blog reminds people that "With the increasing popularity of digital creation (4K videos, digital design etc.), more creative professionals and engineers are seeing a need for workstation class capabilities in a portable device." The company referred to IDC's report on mobile workstation usage which showed that the quarter ending in June 2015 was the sixth straight quarter of year-over-year mobile workstation unit growth.

The comments were used by the company to pave the way for its revelation that it is bringing its Xeon processor to notebook PCs.

Professional workers can expect to see a launch coming soon of something called the Xeon Processor E3-1500M v5 Product Family. The advantage for the consumer is "high precision computing horsepower in notebook form factors."

A non-technical business professional might simply clear away words about a need for horsepower and next-gen capabilities to realize that the business environment has gone increasingly visual. Renderings. Modelings. Simulations. Graphics. Charts. Slide Shows. Illustrations. Videos. Data center graphics are playing an increasing role in business, said Intel, changing the way products are sold, the way data is analyzed, the way information is shared.

"Engineering work once done only on a deskside workstation is now being moved to the data center with complex 3D applications being delivered remotely to end devices. This enables better collaboration and offers increased security as data is stored in secure data centers," said Intel. The company sees the trend in high-quality video and complex 3D applications. Intel said the Xeon family means the user goes beyond video processing to measure, analyze, and interpret streaming content. "For companies investing in big data analytics, new processors deliver the computing power to capture valuable metrics, gain insights, and perform data-intensive tasks like video search indexing, digital surveillance, and automated ads that react to scene changes," said Intel.

The blog spoke about features to anticipate in the coming Xeon-based mobile workstations. One of those features is error-correcting code memory that automatically detects and repairs errors that cause data corruption and system crashes.

Mobile workstations with Xeon will feature Thunderbolt 3, said Intel. Its Thunderbolt 3 is promoted as a fast and versatile connection to any dock, display, or peripheral device, and Intel said that includes billions of USB devices.

Also, Intel will provide certifications for applications in computer-aided design and engineering, and digital content creation.

Ian Cutress in AnandTech offered comments on what the Xeon platform for mobile workstation platforms will mean for users: "With specific mobile processors going Xeon, Intel can forge (with OEMs) a line of workstations that are more akin to the ultrabooks and notebooks we already see in the market but with certified professional level features."

Cutress said "it does not become hard to imagine a professional version of the Dell XPS 13 or a MacBook / MacBook Professional type device that looks like a Core-M or a 15W clamshell with Thunderbolt 3, and/or ECC memory, while also having hardware-assisted security and ISV workstation level certification."

Explore further: Intel, Sun Hint at Future Plans

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