Report: Ivy Bridge i3 Core Processors To Launch This Month

Citing sources from Intel’s offices in Taiwan, the reports allege that a June 24 launch date has been set for the chip maker’s new 22-nm i3 processors, which would make them available weeks before the originally speculated third-quarter launch.

The new i3 Core processors will be the lowest-end of the Ivy Bridge series and, as such, are poised to be used in notebooks and desktops that fall on the lower end of the price scale. Ivy Bridge-based i5 and i7 Core processors, which were launched in April, are being adopted primarily to fuel higher-end Ultrabooks, notebooks and convertible PC form factor from OEMs including Asus, Acer, Lenovo and HP.

[Related: Intel Launches Third-Generation vPro Processor Platform ]

A report by PC World made note of two potential i3 models: the ultra low-power i3-3217U and the i3-3110M performing at 2.4 GHz. Both chips are expected to be dual-core, rather than quad-core like the i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge chips, since they are aimed at lower-end systems.

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Tom Kilroy, senior vice president and general manager of sales at Intel, said at the Computex Taipei event this month that a new wave of Ivy Bridge i5- and i7-based Ultrabooks will hit this year, and that the new super-thin laptops will "raise the bar" compared to prior generations. The inclusion of Ivy Bridge alone, he said, will allow these next-gen Ultrabooks to deliver up to 20 percent better performance and up to 15 percent lower power consumption.

Kilroy said that more than 35 new Ultrabook systems are available now or will be within the next few weeks, with over 110 designs expected in the next year.

While the new i3 Core processors would most likely go into more traditional desktop and notebook PCs, they still stand to usher in a new era of modestly priced Ivy Bridge-based systems. Most of the Ultrabooks running on Intel’s i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge processors, which are just starting to make their debut on the U.S. market, tend to have price tags ranging from $800 to as high as $1,400.