Intel Launches First 22-nm Ivy Bridge Processors

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After 11 years in the R&D lab, Intel launched Monday the first of its highly-anticipated third-generation Ivy Bridge Core processors based on its debut 22nm tri-gate transistor technology. The chip maker unveiled 13 quad-core chips based on the new architecture, which are optimized for desktop, notebook and all-in-one PCs.

Dual-core versions optimized for Ultrabooks will launch in the "coming months," Intel said.

The 13 Ivy Bridge processors introduced Monday are said to deliver a 20 percent jump in processor performance compared to the prior generation Sandy Bridge-based chips. They also tout a 20 percent lower power envelope than their predecessors, and they more than double the graphics and media performance.

Intel said these benchmarks, and particularly the boost in graphics performance, exceeded its expectations for Ivy Bridge. Normally, Intel employs a "Tick Tock" development model for its chips, whereby a new manufacturing process is introduced in one year (the "tick"), and a new architecture the next (the "tock"). But Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client Group, said the new 22-nm chips represent a development milestone for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker, which it fittingly dubbed "Tick Plus."

[Related: REVIEW: Intel Ivy Bridge Chip, Motherboard Got Game]

"You’re going to see absolutely stunning visuals, and I’m pleased to say that things at Intel are going very well," Skaugen said at an Ivy Bridge launch event in San Francisco Monday. "We are actually exceeding our expectations and are going to be talking about a concept on our Tick Tock model called 'Tick Plus.' What we mean by that is that we have significantly exceeded our expectations around the graphics and media performance of this next-generation processor."

Skaugen explained that, per the Tick Tock model, each new processor launched is expected to increase the media and graphics performance of the prior generation by 70 percent. Because the 22-nm Ivy Bridge line-up more than doubles the graphics performance of its predecessor, the 32-nm Sandy Bridge series, it earned its "Tick Plus" distinction.

In addition to faster performance, Intel’s quad-core Ivy Bridge chips include faster data transfer capabilities with integrated USB 3.0 and PCI Express 3.0 capabilities. They also come equipped with Intel Secure Key and Intel OS Guard technology to safeguard personal data and strengthen encryption.

Skaugen said that the new Ivy Bridge line-up will power a total of 270 desktop and all-in-one PC designs and 300 notebook PC designs.

NEXT: Intel Moving Forward, PCs and Beyond

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