X-bit Labs scored some more information about the new integrated voltage regulator module (VRM) that will be part of Intel's upcoming Haswell processors. This new feature is part of an effort to make its processors even more energy efficient, the integrated VRM will allow to independently and very precisely control power consumption of each core, graphics core, system agent as well as the interconnection buses within the Haswell chip.
In a bid to make its chips even more power efficient than they are today, Intel has developed a special programmable chip with 20 power cells, reports PC Watch web-site. Each power cells is a mini VR with analogue circuits rated for up to 25A electric current and supporting up to 16 phases. Potentially, one 20-cell chip enables 320 power phases per CPU, which allows extreme granularity of power supply. Intel will install the integrated voltage regulator (IVR) chip, which will be made using 22nm process technology onto the same substrate with Haswell microprocessors.
The integrated VRM will boost energy efficiency without compromising performance. For instance, with Haswell it will be possible to halt all CPU cores during video playback without halting ring-bus interconnections, which means the graphics core will still be able to operate at full speed.
Future processors beyond Haswell will take this even further by integrating the voltage regulator into the microprocessor itself, enabling further granularity of power supply