The "Haswell" chips will support DirectX 11.1, which is Microsoft's latest set of tools to develop and run games. "Haswell" chips will also support the OpenGL 4.0 API and OpenCL 1.2, a framework of parallel programming tools in which certain calculations and graphics tasks can be offloaded to the graphics processor.
Intel has introduced a new naming scheme for its graphics processors integrated in the chips. Intel's HD 5000 graphics will go into chips drawing 15 watts of power, while the more powerful Iris Graphics 5100 and Iris Pro graphics 5300 will go into "Haswell" processors that draw more power. The naming scheme is important for PC buyers who measure the quality of a chip based on graphics performance.
The company typically releases a new chip for laptops and desktops every year, with each new generation adding more CPU and graphics performance. With PC shipments falling, "Haswell" chips are perhaps the most important chip release for the company to date. Intel hopes the power-efficient fourth-generation Core chips will also be used in devices like tablets or hybrids.