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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.
Good old leaks, you got to love them to get some insight into upcoming products. In this case, we have a leaked AMD marketing slide which was meant to be for AMD's industry partners. The slide is claiming that Trinity will provide up to 29% faster productivity, or CPU performance in other terms, and up to 56% faster graphics performance than the current Llano.
The graphics performance appears to be on-par with early test results which lends credibility to the numbers quoted. The slide also claims that Trinity is optimized for Windows 8, and looking at the instruction set, this could very well be true. It is said to feature the third generation auto-overclocking technology, TurboCore 3.0. The mobile version is designed to give 12 hours of resting battery-life.
These are set to launch in this quarter, or in other words, before July.
As always, this is just a rumor, and it comes from SemiAccurate, which by name alone isn't accurate all the time. But, Charlie has some interesting news, and according to his sources, "GT3 variants" of Haswell will sport an insane 64MB of memory sitting on the CPU package itself, right next to the processor die.
This memory will be enough to accommodate the frame buffer, which should help performance bottlenecks which are tied to the main memory interface. Earlier reports were talking about desktop variants of Intel's Haswell sporting a dual-channel DDR3 memory controller, and we all know that there's only so much bandwidth you can suck out of a dual-channel memory controller.
In an earlier report by Charlie, he said that Haswell's integrated GPU will have five times the shader performance of Sandy Bridge's IGP. If we take into consideration the 64MB of onboard memory, we should be in for some pretty big performance improvements, if this rumor turns out to be true, that is.
Details are leaking for NVIDIA's next-generation Tegra, which for now is called Tegra 4. Tegra 4 is built on a 28nm process, and according to VR-Zone's tipsters, should bring with it GPGPU support to use its graphics core for boosting CUDA, OpenCL and other general-purpose tasks.
The addition would push it a few notches up the road, as it would sport a graphics core that is multiple generations newer than what is in the Tegra 3, which dates back to the 2006-era PlayStation 3. What's being thrown around as a rumor right now is that NVIDIA could opt to use the current-generation Kepler core in Tegra 4.
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has already teased that Kepler would arrive in smartphones, but he didn't state whether this would be sooner rather than later. If NVIDIA's trend continued, we won't see Kepler-based cores in Tegra for years, as the current Tegra 3 only sports NV40-class cores. There are more speculative rumors, though.
AMD have integrated a real-time operating system (RTOS) into their G-Series of processors. What does this entail, you ask? Well, AMD is now loading Green Hill's Integrity OS into the platform. The embedded system is capable of a bunch of tasks where space and power are at a premium.
This would include devices such as TV set-top boxes, other electronic home devices, industrial control systems, networking, the military, and medicine. You know, just a few of the largest markets in the world.
AMD's G-Series of processors combine a low-power CPU with a discrete graphics core into a single form-factor. The RTOS then provides intelligence upon which application specific code can be written. The Green Hill Integrity OS has integrated middleware functionality that includes support for a bunch of necessities like USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and IP routing and switching.
The tech is used across the market in devices like printers, network routers, and cars, which often have to handle actions immediately and with a minimum of overhead.
After a couple of delays, it looks like Intel is on track to deliver one side of the Ivy Bridge coin on April 29 according to two different sources, Sweclockers and Donanimhaber. Both desktop and mobile IBs will be released at the same time if these reports are correct.
Just over a week from now on April 8, Intel will announce Z77, Z75, H77 and B75 chipsets. On the same day, we should see a slew of reviews for Z75- and Z77-based boards, sporting Sandy Bridge-based CPUs. Ivy Bridge processors are expected to take the stage in the fourth week of April, somewhere between April 22 and April 28.
The announcement will only include quad-core models, Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme families, desktop Core i7, Core i5-3570K, i5-3570T, i5-3550, i5-3550S, i5-3450 and i5-3450S. The chips that get announced should be made available for sales on April 29, with benchmarks and reviews hitting the same day. Specifications and pricing on said processors is below:
On June 3, we should get the second side of the Ivy Bridge coin with the following chips: Core i5-3570, i5-3570S, i5-3475S, i5-3470, i5-3470S and i5-3470T desktop CPUs, and Core i5 dual-core mobile microprocessors. Below is a full list of third-generation Core-branded processors: