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It feels as though there's a launch from Intel every few months now, but I guess that's the benefits of a tick, tock-based release schedule. The latest news from Digitimes' Taiwanese sources is that the first batch of Ivy Bridge gear coming will include no less than 25 processors.
Out of these 25 processors, 17 of them will be desktop models and the remaining 8 will be notebook/ultrabook chips. 8 chipsets will also launch, (Z77, H77, Z75 and B75 for desktops, HM77, UM77, HM76 and HM75 for mobile PCs. More Ivy Bridge-based products will also launch, including the Core i5-3470T CPU and the A77, Q75, QS77 and QM77 chipsets, which are said to be launching in May.
Let's talk dollars, the upcoming CPUs should cover the same spectrum as the current Sandy Bridge-based Core models, ranging from $184 to $332, while chipsets will go from $37 for the B75 to $53 for the QS77 (the Z77 desktop 'flagship' is supposed to cost $48). If you don't already know, the Ivy Bridge CPUs are manufactured on a 22nm process technology which sports Intel's 3D Tri-Gate transistors. They'll feature DirectX 11 graphics, sport the current LGA 1155 packaging which allows them to work on current, 6-Series-based motherboards.
All you'd need is a BIOS update which will be supplied by manufacturers. The 7-Series, which launched, will include native USB 3.0 support.
PCI-Express 3.0 has been here for a little while now, but it has only been with the launch of the PCI-Express 3.0-capable AMD Radeon HD 7000-series that there has been some proper testing. The world's first 28nm GPU to support PCI-e 3.0 is here, people!
PCIe 3.0 increases per-land bandwidth from 500MB/sec to 1GB/sec, this means for an x16 slot, double the bandwidth from 8GB/sec to 16GB/sec. Impressive, but will we see anything close to double the performance? Not now, and not in games. GPU compute tasks do see a difference in performance, however.
Improving bandwidth and latency between the CPU and GPU is always a good thing, but for high-performance GPU compute tasks, this is the difference between night and day. AnandTech tested AMD's AES Encrypt/Decrypt sample application. The test bed consisted of an EVGA X79 SLI motherboard, with a BIOS provided by EVGA for the PCIe 3.0 toggle on/off.
With this in hand, AnandTech saw a 9-percent increase in performance on the Radeon HD 7970 which told them two things. First, you can get PCIe 3.0 working on a Sandy Bridge-E/X79 board with the Radeon HD 7970, and secondly, PCIe 3.0 will definitely be useful for GPU compute applications.
AMD have today updated their A-Series line-up of desktop and notebook APUs (Accelerated Processing Units), which include not only speed and performance improvements, but AMD Steady Video update makes this unique feature more compelling than ever. AMD have also included the ability to overclock the APU, so for the first time users can now tune both x86 and graphics settings within the single processor for boosted performance.
The new updated AMD A-Series APUs combine up to four x86 CPU cores with up to 400 Radeon cores, where it delivers DirectX 11-capable, discrete-level graphics and dedicated HD video processing, all on a single chip. The new A-Series APUs deliver a bigger performance punch when compared to the existing A-Series APUs.
Intel's Ivy Bridge processor prices have been leaked thanks to CPU World, with another leak today. It looks as though the Intel Core i7-3770K will replace the current Core i7-2700K at the same $332 pricing.
Core i7-3770K will bt the most expensive, and fastest Ivy Bridge chip at launch. There are three other Core i7 chips that will be released, i7-3770, i7-3770S, i7-3770T. We also have a slew of Core i5 processors, ranging from $184 through to $205. Ivy Bridge-based Core i5 processors will continue the tradition of Sandy Bridge by offering just four physical cores, 6MB of L3 cache and no hyper-threading.
The Core i7 processors will include hyper-threading, and 8MB of included cache.
There was a patch that was released by Microsoft last week (KB2592546) for Windows, where it was claimed it would improve performance of systems powered by AMD's latest processor architecture, Bulldozer.
What the patch did, was make the OS aware of the way AMD's Bulldozer cores are structured, so it could effectively make use of the parallelism at its disposal. Microsoft a few days later, pulled the patch. But, this is the Internet.
SweOverclockers' had enough time to do a "before and after" performance test of the new AMD FX-8150 processor, with the now pulled patch. The results of SweOverclockers' tests are in the picture above. "tidigare" is before, "nytt" is after, and "skillnad" is change. The chip has been put through a fair amount of tests, some synthetic CPU-intensive tasks, and real-world gaming performance tests.
The results are actually, not that good, and this is most likely the reason the patch was pulled.
Intel, in it's plot to take over the CPU world, is set to release another unlocked Core i5 processor. It will arrive in the form of the Core i5-2550K and has a retail channel part number of BX80623I52550K and OEM part number CM806230121300, the Core i5-2550K was added to the MDDS database.
The Core i5-2550K will carry the S-spec code SR0QH. Clock speeds are unknown at this time, but CPU World expect it to be 3.40GHz. The chip will be on the LGA1155 package, feature four cores, 256KB L2 cache per core, 6MB shared L3 cache, integrated dual-channel DDR3 IMC, integrated PCI-Express 2.0 root complex and a TDP of 95W.
The USB Implementers Forum announced this week that Intel's upcoming "Ivy Bridge" 7-Series Chipset, and other Intel chipsets, have achieved, finally, USB 3.0 certification. Intel's Ivy Bridge silicon, which is due to ship in Q2 2012, will have USB 3.0 as a standard feature, for the first time ever. At the moment, it has only been made available on select notebooks and desktops, and requires chips from AMD, or additional chips from NEC, and others.
General Manager of Intel's Chipset and SoC IP Group, Ahmad Zaidi, said in a statement:
SuperSpeed USB certification...helps ensure interoperability and backward compatibility within the broad USB ecosystem.
Analysts believe that once USB 3.0 has been baked into Intel's chipset, it will made the standard universal as it can be offered on virtually any PC. Brian O'Rourke, research director for In-Stat, has said:
Intel's integration of SuperSpeed USB into its upcoming core logic chipset is critical because it allows cost-conscious PC (makers) to offer the technology at a very competitive price point. Additionally, SuperSpeed USB adoption in PCs is leading to broad adoption in PC peripherals, consumer electronics, and mobile devices.
Intel did show off a Medfield-powered tablet at IDF which had NFC tech built in, as well as being partnered with MasterCard, it promises to bring PayPass checkouts to Ultrabooks.
Intel is now entering a licensing deal with Inside Secure. Inside Secure specializes in contactless payment systems and will be lending its Microread, Secured and Open NFC products to Intel for future chips.
NFC should feature in Ultrabooks, and we should see it in any future x86-powered smartphones, too. NFC is looking to become the next pure standard, and with companies like Intel behind it, it gives more confidence to the technology, and its customers.
GlobalFoundaries will be a name that will be commonly mentioned in 2012, which is something they'll be easily doing if they continue at this pace. They've announced a dual-core Cortex A9 test chip that is built on a 28nm HPP (High Performance Plus) process.
This test chip clocks in at 2.5GHz and is said to be capable of higher frequencies. It operating voltage is just 0.85V. Both the frequency and voltage targets are good for a Cortex A9 implementation, but remember, this is just a test chip.
Most companies are expecting to pass the 2GHz mark next year on high-performance 28nm processes, so we should see this by the end of 2012, if not early 2013. We should see these designs in tablets and netbook replacements, with ARM being Windows 8-compatible now.
AMD launched their AMD FX processor family with just a few units, two eight-core parts (FX-8150, FX-8120), a six-core product (FX-6100), and the quad-core one (FX-4100). But there's now a new processor set to hit the shelves of retailers worldwide, a six-core FX-6200 chip.
The FX-6200 receives quite the speed boost compared to the FX-6100. The FX-6100 has a stock clock speed of 3.3GHz and 3.90GHz under TurboCore, but the FX-6200 puts its hard hat on and gets onto its Bulldozer with stock clocks at 3.8GHz and a TurboCore speed of 4.10GHz. AMD have a chart which shows that we should expect a 10-percent increase in performance when using MainConcept Convert HD to Flash. I look forward to seeing some real-world, gaming results.
Now, if AMD could just find those 800 million transistors that have gone missing...