Intel and AMD are both reducing the size of processors while packing in more cores, controllers and other features. That reduces the number of components on a motherboard, reducing power use further.
The Broadwell chips are manufactured on Intel's latest 14-nanometer process, which means smaller transistors. A Broadwell chip is 37 percent smaller than a comparable chip based on the Haswell microarchitecture.
AMD claims its PC chips will be 25 times more energy efficient over the next few years, which could mean 50 hours battery life in idle mode.
But for now, 15 hours is the exception rather than the rule. It's pretty impressive when you compare it to just a few years ago, and for now it's probably enough.
"That's unless you want to walk around with a 10-pound battery, which no one really wants to do," Brookwood said.
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