Intel 'Ivy Bridge' chip arrives in Ultrabooks

Intel's next generation Ivy Bridge chip is already running in finished laptops--or more specifically Ultrabooks--from major manufacturers.

For those doubters out there who think that Intel's next-generation mainstream chip is delayed, laptop manufacturers at the Intel Developer Forum are sending another message.

Major laptop manufacturers like Foxconn, Pegatron, and Inventec are showing fully functional "Ivy Bridge" Ultrabooks on the Forum conference floor here today. Those three companies together make--or have made--many of the laptops from major brands like Hewlett-Packard and Dell.

Ivy Bridge is the chip design that follows the current Sandy Bridge processor. It is the first to use Intel's touted 3D transistor technology and offers a substantial boost in graphics chip performance, among other new features.

The Ultrabooks being shown all average about 17 millimeters in thickness (0.66 inches) and are running Windows 7--and are pretty much ready to go for PC vendors that want to rebrand the designs, said Ben Young, who is in the Intel Ultrabook marketing group.

If these are any indication of designs to come, the material used in the chassis could be a break from aluminum designs of the past. Most on display at the conference seem to be made of plastic or a possibly a composite. Whether this carries over to a finished product from a major PC marker or not is unclear, however.

An Ultrabook design from Inventec that uses an Intel Ivy Bridge chip.
An Ultrabook design from Inventec that uses an Intel Ivy Bridge chip. Brooke Crothers
A Foxconn Ultrabook design based on Intel Ivy Bridge processor. Its 'put your brand here' marking means it's ready for prime time.
A Foxconn Ultrabook design based on Intel Ivy Bridge processor. Its 'put your brand here' marking means it's ready for prime time. Brooke Crothers