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Naming things can be difficult. Think about how hard it was to name your kids. If you don't have kids, think about how hard it was for your parents to name you! A similar crisis plays out when the Intel engineers are trying to come up with the codename for upcoming Intel CPU architectures.
I have to take a moment and apologize for the corny Shakespearean title. It's just that from Intel's perspective, it's true. It doesn't really matter what they call the chip as the name has no influence on the design. The codename just has to be something "nice name that could pass the legal test."
Usually Intel codenames are based on locations in North America, so Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge actually break this mold for, what I can tell, the first time ever. To understand how Intel came up with Ivy Bridge, we actually have to look at Sandy Bridge first. Arie Harsat is the Intel engineer who came up with Sandy Bridge.
Now, Sandy Bridge wasn't always Sandy Bridge. First it was "Gesher," the Hebrew word for "bridge," because Harsat saw the new architecture as "a bridge into the future." However, this name didn't pass the legal test because Gesher is also a former political party in Israel. The name was changed to its English meaning and the word "Sandy" was tacked on. Harsat doesn't remember where the word Sandy came from. It could be a reference to beach sand, which is one of the main ingredients in silicon.
Intel, as is tradition, is saying out with the old and in with the new as it ushers in Ivy Bridge, the next generation CPU architecture based upon its 22nm tri-gate transistors. What's interesting this time is that Intel is phasing out low end CPUs while the upcoming launch will be the high end CPUs.
The parts on the chopping block come from the i3, Pentium, and Celeron line of products--not exactly blistering performance stuff. But every product has its place, such as these are useful in low-cost PCs. Intel has advised its partners that it will end shipments of the following processors as of April 16th, 2013:
- Celeron P4600 (2.0 GHz)
- Core i3-370M (2.4 GHz0
- Core i3-390M (2.6 GHz)
- Pentium P6100 (2.0 GHz)
- Pentium P6200 (2.13 GHz)
- Pentium P6300 (2.2 GHz)
Orders will continue to be accepted with the ability to cancel until October 16, 2012. Past that date, no more cancellations can be made. Intel's justification for killing these low end processors is that a "shift of market demand" has occurred. If you want to grab one of these processors, you best do it within a year.
hWhile the upcoming Ivy Bridge chips (think 3770K, etc) may suck on air, with a little bit of love and some extreme cooling solutions, it looks like these chips could prove to be pretty darn good overclockers. Chinese overclocker x-powerx800pro has managed, with the help of liquid nitrogen (LN2), to achieve a massive overclock of 6.616Ghz!!!! DAMN!
That blows the socks off of my previous record of 5.5Ghz on my old 655K (note: I used a chilled water setup). Using a 63x multiplier and a base clock of 105.03MHz, he was able to achieve the massive overclock of 6.616GHz. Thank you 22nm goodness. However, pay no attention to the reported 'Core Voltage' in the following CPU screenshot.
The core voltage reported is actually a bug. The real core voltage is much higher and comes in at a large, but not ridiculous, 1.85v. This chip is also showing up as an 'ES' which means engineering sample. This means that the retail version could clock much differently. And contrary to the rumor posted previously today, the screenshot does say 77W for the TDP.
It could disprove the rumor, or the TDP could be reported wrong due to it being an engineering sample or CPU-z may not have been updated to include updated numbers from Intel yet. I wouldn't count the rumor out just yet, but I would start scrounging for more exotic cooling solutions if you plan to overclock.
With the launch of Intel's Ivy Bridge getting extremely close, it's impossible to keep these retail chips out of the hands of people who haven't signed NDAs. More and more people are getting a hold of the chips and overclocking them. Someone has finally managed to snag a boxed retail version of the chip and found something interesting.
As you can see in the picture above, the rated TDP is 95W. Intel has been telling us along the way that the quad-core Ivy Bridge parts were to be rated at 77W TDP, so this is quite the discrepancy. The only possible reason for this, other than it being the true TDP, is if there was a misprint on a large batch of processors, because sources are saying all of the boxes are marked this way.
Additionally, people overclocking the new part have found it to be a worse overclocker than Sandy Bridge. The main issue with overclocking is that because of Intel's new Tri-gate transistors, they are packed so tightly together that the die size is tiny and doesn't allow adequate heat removal. As such, overclockers are reporting that Ivy Bridge looks to be 200 - 300 Mhz worse than Sandy Bridge.
Somewhere between 4.6 - 4.7 Ghz the temperature gets so high the processor throttles. Of course, once we finally get a chip in to review, we will either be able to confirm this rumor or bust it. As for right now, take it with a grain of salt, however true it may appear to be.
Wanted to know when Intel's Chief River Ivy Bridge chipsets would be made available, well thanks to a product roadmap from Lenovo, we should expect them on June 5. Lenovo lists the date as the official on-sale date for its upcoming, yet unannounced slew of laptops sporting the new silicon.
Intel isn't offering anywhere near that level of information, but it would be nice of Intel to make this stuff official, instead of keeping their customers guessing. But, guessing customers, are customers who aren't fully aware of what's just around the corner, and you've got to move that inventory somehow, right?
The full document can be found here, but we're looking at June 5 as the day to keep our eyes peeled.
It looks like we could be in for a treat. Industry sources are saying that Intel will launch the die shrink of Sandy Bridge, dubbed Ivy Bridge, this coming Monday, April 23, 2012. Previously, it had been rumored that Intel was launching the new Ivy Bridge April 29, so it will be coming just under a week early.
This has to be one of the worst launches in recent Intel history. Leaked chips and performance "previews" have been running rampant. Even we have managed to get a hold of one of these chips and put it through its paces. Rumors have been running around that a new, thinner MacBook Pro will be launching with the new Ivy Bridge chips.
The launch will be similar to other Intel launches where the high performance quad-core parts come out first. Then they will be followed by the more power-efficient processors destined for the MacBook Air and Ultrabooks. Intel has said some of these power-efficient chips may launch a few weeks later than originally planned.
If you are planning on buying a new CPU from Intel's upcoming line of Ivy Bridge processors, you will be happy to hear the news that's come out today. Intel has dropped channel pricing on the chips by an average of $7-8. Channel pricing isn't directly related to retail pricing, but usually if the channel price falls, the retail price falls as well.
There is no promise that the retail price will drop by as much as the channel price has, but it certainly should drop some. Whatever you do, don't go pre-ordering these chips because they are charging quite the premium right now. The top CPU, the i7-3770K, sees a $19 decrease from the expected price of $332.
The price drops are less as you move down the list, but savings are savings, are they not? I've never really seen a company drop prices before a launch quite like this, especially when they have a pretty big dominance in the market. Hopefully Intel will finally make up its mind regarding Ivy Bridge and just get the launch over.
Intel wants to push out Ivy Bridge rollouts throughout the year, and not just dump everything onto the table at once. This means that we won't see Core i3 Ivy Bridge-based processors until Q3, even after most people had hoped to have seen them introduced in June.
When Intel does launch the Core i3 desktop models, we should expect to see a top-to-bottom release of: 3.4GHz Core i3-3240, the 3GHz Core i3-3240T, the 3.3GHz Core i3-3225, the 3.3GHz Core i3-3220 and the 2.8GHz Core i3-3220T. All five models sport 3MB of shared L3 cache, two cores and hyper threading.
The standard models are rated at 55W TDP, with the T models destined for all-in-one systems, and are rated at 35W TDP. The exception here is the Core i3-3225 which features Intel HD graphics 4000, with the four other models being filled with Intel HD graphics 2500. Intel is set to add support for AES to the new Core i3 models. No pricing has been mentioned, but it should fall close to the price of the Sandy Bridge-based CPUs out now.
Intel's Ivy Bridge notebook chips have been tested, and have shown up with some impressive results. Bulgaria's Laptop.bg was given a reference notebook with an unreleased 2.3GHz Core i7-3610QM which has shown some serious power over the current 2.2GHz Core i7-2670QM.
For the CPU tests in Cinebench 10 and 11, the performance increase was eight and 22-percent, respectively. Photoshop didn't show the same improvements, but that could be because it was wanting some of that graphical power for some of its filter. The upgraded HD 4000-series graphics still isn't enough to keep up in current games, but this is an integrated solution, so it's to be expected, for now.
Gaming wasn't too bad on the HD 4000, details needed to be dropped, but that still doesn't put the HD 4000 in the box of "it can't run games", because it can. Just not amazingly well. Intel is expected to launch their first Ivy Bridge-based CPUs on April 29, with all first mobile processors to be the quad-core Core i7 models, and should hit mid- to large-size notebooks, including Apple's MacBook Pro or Dell's XPS15.
VR-Zone Chinese has leaked spec sheets on NVIDIA's upcoming system-on-a-chip (SoC) detailing the next-generation of Tegra chips codenamed "Wayne". We should expect four different Tegra 4 models in 2013, all using the same 4-PLUS-1 tech from NVIDIA.
We have two "Flagship" models, the first of which should drop in Q1 2013 dubbed "T40" and will clock in at 1.8GHz and be made from the Cortex-A15 architecture, the second Flagship model is the "T43" and clocks in at 2GHz, this is from the same Cortex-A15 tech. We then have two "Mainstream" products that should arrive in Q3 2013.
These two models are "AP40" and "SP3X", with the latter coming in between 1.2-1.8GHz, and the former arriving in 1.2-2.0GHz. They will be based off of Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A9 designs for the AP40 and SP3X, respectively. One thing to note of the SP3X chip, is that it will finally bring with it LTE connectivity in the form of LTE100/HSPA42 tech, it will also be designed for 7-inch tablets, with the other three models made for 10-inch designs.
It's pretty far out, and having to wait over twelve months to see LTE connectivity on an NVIDIA Tegra-based smart device is pretty lame in my opinion. The tech world will change so much between now and then.