updated 05:20 pm EDT, Thu October 20, 2011
Intel Ivy Bridge ships en masse
Intel while discussing its banner summer results revealed that it had just started mass-producing Ivy Bridge processors. The first wave should be qualified for sale late in 2011 and ship to partners in late November or December. Like most Intel launches, it should include both desktop and notebook processors.
CEO Paul Otellini still warned that actual shipping computers wouldn't be available until the spring, roughly five months away. Intel hasn't given an exact reason for the delay versus this year, when PCs using Sandy Bridge were available soon after they were unveiled in January. Typically, there is always at least some delay between shipping the processors and complete products as PC builders test their designs on real-world chips and ramp up production.
Ivy Bridge is Intel's first 22 nanometer chip and gets all the speed and power-saving benefits that come from moving to a smaller manufacturing process than the 32nm it uses today. Integrated graphics performance will get a disproportionate boost and will be fast enough to compete with some mid-range dedicated video as well as handle 4K displays that could become mainstream next year.
The design is expected to be vital for Intel's ultrabook ambitions. It should either improve performance at current power levels, making for ultraportables like the MacBook Air that run as well as full-size models, or else lead to systems with similar performance but noticeably longer battery life. [via Tom's Hardware]