CHIPMAKER Intel has released its Ivy Bridge processors, the first to use its 22nm tri-gate process node.
Intel's Ivy Bridge processor is the 'tock' that came after the hugely successful and all-conquering Sandy Bridge parts Intel released 15 months ago. Intel's Ivy Bridge processors, headed by the Core i7-3770K, might use considerably smaller transistors but the firm has said compute performance will see minimal gains as it has spent its 'silicon budget' on improving graphics.
Intel's 22nm tri-gate process was announced over a year ago and the firm claimed Ivy Bridge processors would appear by the end of the 2011. After a number of delays, the chips will ship on 29 April, and a couple of retailers we spoke with say they already have the chips in stock but are waiting for the release date.
For Intel, Ivy Bridge will bring PCI-Express third generation support and finally DirectX 11 compatible graphics. Intel was very keen to stress that while Ivy Bridge was a 'tock' in terms of CPU performance, the HD 4000 Graphics is more of a 'tick' in Intel's product cycle.
Intel has announced nine desktop parts, five of which are branded as Core i5 with the rest being Core i7 units. Intel has initially launched quad-core Ivy Bridge parts, with dual-core units coming towards the end of 2012.
Not only has Intel kept the LGA1155 socket for Ivy Bridge but the thermal design power has remained the same, meaning firms can use existing chassis and cooling designs with Intel's latest processors. Intel's Ivy Bridge range topper, the Core i7-3770K processor is clocked at 3.5GHz with a maximum turbo boost up to 3.9GHz. µ