Many of the methods being used to lower Haswell's power consumption are pretty conventional, and we touched on them a bit in our overview of the architecture: more power gating means that the CPU can turn off more parts of itself if they're not being used, and the Haswell platform can also transition between these different power states more quickly than could Ivy Bridge. The new S0ix system power states will also lower power consumption—these "active idle" states will allow the tablets to consume less power during light use like web browsing or checking e-mail, and they'll also enable the tablets to come out of sleep mode more quickly.
The most interesting part of the AnandTech piece isn't about how Intel will be reducing power usage in its own chips, but in how it will exert its reach over third-parties to lower power consumption of other non-Intel system components like voltage regulators and motherboard micro-controllers Intel wants to recommend not just specific components, but also things like component firmware versions, all in the name of saving power.
Intel even wants to dictate the components in displays—it wants manufacturers to begin putting small amounts of RAM into their display panels to make them capable of storing static images. That way, if a user is reading a document or Web page but not interacting with anything on the screen, the computer could display a static image of the screen rather than continuously refreshing it for no reason.
None of the Haswell platform's power management tweaks amount to huge savings by themselves, but taken together they add up to much improved potential battery life—if not comparable to ARM, then at least within spitting distance. The downside is that, to achieve the best results, Intel goes beyond the processor itself and begins dictating which components third-party manufacturers should and shouldn't use. This may maximize battery life, but if Intel succeeds in making serious inroads against ARM in the next few years, it puts a worrisome amount of control to put in the hands of a single company.