Intel keeps shrinking down its silicon in order to power more devices smaller than traditional computers. The company announced its new Core M processor, a smaller chip that device makers can use for Android or Windows software. Perhaps best of all: The new design is fanless.
That means your tablet, 2-in-one, phone or laptop using the Intel Core M processor won’t generate fan noise or use energy to power a fan. It’s similar to how chips based on the competing ARM architecture work. Intel says that 130 devices are on tap using its mobile chips this year, with more than a dozen coming from hardware partners this week alone. These latest devices won’t use the new chip, but instead have recently released Intel Atom processors.
To display what can be done with the new Intel Core M chip, Intel is showing off a device it built itself. The reference design is an example of what hardware partners can create or — if they want to — modify and rebrand as their own product. The example device is a 12.5-inch touchscreen tablet that can can fit into a docking keyboard for a traditional laptop form factor. There are several similar products on the market today, but this slate is just 7.2 millimeters thin; it helps when you don’t need to allocate space for a fan-based cooling system.