updated 01:15 pm EDT, Mon April 23, 2012
Intel details Ivy Bridge chip roster
Intel continued its Ivy Bridge deployment on Monday by providing extensive detail of the 13 processors that would make up the initial group. The line includes six quad Core i7 processors, including Intel's first truly moderate-power example. The 2.1GHz Core i7-3612QM uses 35W like Intel's usual dual-core notebook processors but still has up to eight program threads (using Hyperthreading), 6MB of cache, and up to a 3.1GHz Turbo Boost when streamlining itself to a single core.
The regular, 45W quad-core chips clock slightly higher than their outgoing Sandy Bridge-based equivalents, starting at 2.3GHz and ramping up to 2.9GHz for an Extreme Edition Core i7-3920XM. The high-end model scales up to 3.8GHz in Turbo Boost mode. Every notebook chip carries the faster HD 4000 integrated graphics, with slightly higher clock speeds later into the lineup.
Among desktops, the initial wave of regular power processors starts with the 3.1GHz (3.5GHz boosted) Core i5-3450 up to a 3.5GHz (3.9GHz) Core i7-3770K. The four consume 77W of thermal peak power and have between 6MB to 8MB of cache and either the basic HD 2500 video or the HD 4000. Low-power models start off with the 2.8GHz Core i5-3450S, using 65W power, and include both chips running up to 3.1GHz. A special 2.5GHz, Core i7-3770T uses just 45W of power and is meant for all-in-ones and slim towers.
Intel also reiterated some of the less commonly known additions to Ivy Bridge, including support for OpenCL hardware acceleration in the graphics, not just from the processor. Wireless Display (WiDi) 3.0, tougher randomization-based hardware security, and more flexible overclocking are some of the improvements on the processor. USB 3.0 is now an option for high-speed peripherals alongside Thunderbolt without having to get a third-party chip.
Prices start at as little as $174 for desktop chips in bulk quantities. Not all mobile parts have prices, but the higher-end versions start at $378.
The 35W chip could be key to small or very thin notebooks that have the full abilities of a quad-core processor without the associated heat and power. Whether or not a significant redesign is in the works, frequent low-power advocate Apple is near a MacBook Pro refresh and could theoretically use the Core i7-3612QM in a 13-inch MacBook Pro, not just 15-inch models.