As accurately rumored, Intel has officially launched its quad-core lineup of Ivy Bridge processors, which the chip maker refers to as its 3rd generation of Core processors. Intel isn’t expected to launch its dual-core lineup of Ivy Bridge processors until June, but this release nonetheless paves the way for Apple to work on imminent refreshes to its Mac lineup of notebooks and desktop computers, which are expected to be powered by the new Intel chips. Intel highlights the new features of its third-generation Core processors just ahead in its official press release. Are you excited for new Macs?
SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 23, 2012 – Intel Corporation today introduced the quad-core 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor family, delivering dramatic visual and performance computing gains for gamers, media enthusiasts and mainstream users alike. Available now in powerful, high-end desktop, laptop and sleek all-in-one (AIO) designs, the new processors are the first chips in the world made using Intel’s 22-nanometer (nm) 3-D tri-Gate transistor technology.
The combination of Intel’s cutting-edge 3-D tri-gate transistor technology and architectural enhancements help make possible up to double the 3-D graphics and HD media processing performance compared with Intel’s previous generation of chips. As a result of the stunning, built-in visual performance, all the things people love to do on their PCs — from creating and editing videos and photos, surfing the Web, watching HD movies or playing mainstream games — are quicker, crisper and more life-like. With as much as 20 percent microprocessor performance improvements and new technologies to speed the flow of data to and from the chips, the new processors further extend Intel’s overall performance leadership.
In the coming months, additional versions of the 3rd generation Intel Core processors will be available to power a new wave of systems ranging from Ultrabook™ devices, to servers and intelligent systems in retail, healthcare and other industries.
“The 3rd generation Intel Core processors were created from the ground up to generate exciting new experiences,” said Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group. “Our engineers have exceeded our expectations by doubling the performance of media and graphics versus the best processors we’ve built until today, which means incredible new visual experiences are here for new all-in-one PCs and upcoming Ultrabook devices. What makes all this possible is the combination of Intel’s leading manufacturing and processor architecture, and our unwavering commitment to drive computing innovations forward.”
“Tick-Plus” – The Intel Advantage
The performance gains found in the new processors are due in part to the groundbreaking, three-dimensional structure of the new Intel transistors. Until today, computers, servers and other devices have used only two-dimensional planar transistors. Adding a third dimension to transistors allows Intel to increase transistor density and put more capabilities into every square millimeter of these new processors. Intel has once again re-invented the transistor and delivered an unprecedented combination of performance and energy efficiency, thus sustaining the pace of technology advancement and fueling Moore’s Law for years to come.
Intel engineers also reworked the graphics architecture of the 3rd generation Intel Core processors, helping to deliver dramatic improvements in the overall visual experience. Changing the chips’ architecture while at the same time shrinking the size of the underlying transistors is an acceleration of Intel’s “tick-tock” model. Previously, the company adhered to a strict “tick-tock” model in which a new manufacturing process was introduced in 1 year (the “tick”), and the architecture of the chip (the “tock”) was altered the next. The ability to accelerate the roadmap and change both the chips’ architecture and the manufacturing process at the same time was made possible because Intel is one of the few companies that both designs and manufactures its chips, a method called Integrated Device Manufacturing.
Get Visual and Get Your Game On
The 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor with Intel® HD Graphics 4000 delivers up to two times better 3-D graphics performance compared to the previous-generation processor, bringing more gaming fun with richer detail at higher resolutions. Intel HD Graphics 4000 supports Microsoft* DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.1 and OpenCL 1.1.
“The 3-D graphics capabilities in 3rd generation Intel Core processors represent a major step forward for PC gaming,” said Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve Software, a leading online game provider. “Mainstream gamers are going to have a blast playing titles like our upcoming DOTA 2 on Intel HD Graphics 4000.”
Great visual experience is about more than just gaming. Online video continues to grow dramatically, and is expected to comprise half of all Internet traffic this year.** The key to making video fun is the ability to quickly convert it for online sharing with friends and family. With Intel® Quick Sync Video 2.0 technology built into the new processors, people can convert their videos up to two times faster than even last year’s processors and up to 23 times faster than PCs just three years old.
Experiences, Secured. Platform, Enhanced.
The 3rd generation Intel Core processor also adds security features, including Intel® Secure Key and Intel® OS Guard to safeguard personal data and identity. Intel Secure Key consists of a digital random number generator that creates truly random numbers to strengthen encryption algorithms. Intel OS Guard helps defend against privilege escalation attacks where a hacker remotely takes over another person’s system. These two features join existing platform security features such as Intel® Identity Protection Technology (Intel® IPT) and Intel® Anti-Theft technology (Intel® AT) to help make Intel platforms some of the most secure in the industry. When paired with the Intel® Series 7 Chipset, the new processors with Intel IPT can make a portion of the screen unreadable to spyware with the “protected transaction display” feature, helping prevent a hacker from obtaining login credentials that could lead to identity theft.
Platforms based on 3rd generation Intel Core processors also deliver faster data transfer capabilities made possible by USB 3.0 integrated into the Series 7 Platform Controller Hub (PCH) and PCI Express 3.0 integrated into the processor. These next-generation I/O technologies bring bigger data pipes to the platform to keep data moving, minimizing any interruption to the PC experience.
Processor and System Availability
Systems based on quad-core 3rd generation Intel Core processor products will be available beginning this month from leading system makers. Boxed versions of these processors will also be available this month from online, retail and channel resellers. Additional versions of the 3rd generation Intel Core processor products for servers, intelligent systems in retail, healthcare and other industries, Ultrabook devices and laptops and more will be available later this year.