In a rather understated blog post, Intel made an interesting move at the end of last week by announcing that for the first time the Xeon platform is heading for mobile workstation platforms.

When I first heard this, I thought ‘wait, is it not already?’, given that I have seen laptops with Xeon processors in the past. The fact of the matter is that those previous platforms relied on desktop processors (either socketed or soldered) from the high end line and were only ever found in custom designs such as those from Clevo or Eurocom which promoted a more modular concept.  As a result, these systems were typically heavy, demanding, and featuring more cores/cache/TDP than was expected for a laptop. We also saw consumer processors for notebooks with vPro, but these were typically not ECC memory verified. Intel’s announcement today changes this.

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. Intel is stating that by default all E3-1500M v5 processors will have vPro (which was to be expected) as well as Thunderbolt 3 using Type-C and access to ECC memory. So 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. It is our understanding we might expect announcements on specific products from manufacturers in the coming weeks.

This announcement does not give details about what types of processors (if they might be dual core, quad core, or have eDRAM) will be coming to the market, only that the mobile workstation market (according to IDC’s most recent report) has showed its sixth straight quarter of year-over-year growth which is a big pointer into the decision to release Xeon on mobile. We will be getting more details as time progresses – with Intel’s Developer Forum conference a week away, we may hear something then.

Source: Intel

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  • nathanddrews - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    NVIDIA commands higher margins because mobile Kepler is simply better at this moment.

    The best mobile FirePro offered is the M6100 - cut down Bonaire. It is not a 200-series equivalent. There is a mobile Tonga (M295X/M385), but it is configured as a gaming card, not optimized for professional software. So far, they have not offered up a mobile Tonga-based FirePro. If they did, it would likely obliterate NVIDIA's current top of the line K5100M.
  • MrSpadge - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    Not all people's work is about graphics. That's what Powerpoint & Origin are for once the real work is done.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - link

    If you're paying for Quadros on your own dollar I feel sorry for you. I just hack the drivers on Geforces.
  • lilmoe - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    Very interested myself. Looks like Xeon powered, thin mobile workstations are going to be the next big thing for professionals in a couple of years, while ULV will be dominating the mainstream.
  • sashabaw - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    This is for the iPad Pro, described here:
  • hpvd - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    so will this support AVX3 / AVX512 like other skylake xeons should do ??
  • hpvd - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    this latest addition to AVX versions would not be available in consumer variants anymore...
  • MrSpadge - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    That's why he's asking if it's in the Xeons. Would've asked that myself.

    @Ian: please try to squeeze some official information from Intel regarding AVX-512, if you get the next chance. Will there be an i7 6700 equivalent Xeon which has it?
  • extide - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    These are not skylake, but broadwell. I would assume that once skylake ones come out, that they would include it, yes. That is, if that feature exists in the die they are using, which is probably the same one as the desktop E3 -- so yeah I would think so.
  • hpvd - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    following the headline of this article, this are already skylakes :-)

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